This is the book and movie version. For the TV version, please go to here.
|Age|| 23 (Hannibal Rising)|
42-44 (Red Dragon)
45 (The Silence of the Lambs)
|Alias(es)|| Hannibal the Cannibal|
|Relatives|| Mischa Lecter (sister; deceased)|
Count Lecter (father; deceased)
Simonetta Sforza-Lecter (mother; deceased)
Robert Lecter (uncle; deceased)
|Relationships|| Clarice Starling (Wife/Lover)|
|First appearance||Red Dragon|
|Last appearance||Hannibal Rising|
|Portrayed by|| Brian Cox (Manhunter)|
Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, Red Dragon)
Aaran Thomas (8 years old) (Hannibal Rising)
Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal TV series)
|Hannibal Lecter gallery|
Hannibal Lecter VIII (born 1933) is a Lithuanian-American serial killer, notorious for consuming his victims, earning him the nickname "Hannibal the Cannibal".
Orphaned at a young age, Lecter moved to the USA, becoming a successful psychiatrist. He was eventually caught by Will Graham, who later consulted him for advice on capturing the "Tooth Fairy". He escaped incarceration whilst assisting Clarice Starling in capturing "Buffalo Bill".
Lecter was born in Lithuania in 1933 to a wealthy aristocratic family; his father, simply known as Count Lecter, was a descendant of the warlord "Hannibal the Grim" (1365-1428) who defeated the Teutonic Order at the Battle of Grunwald, in 1410, while his mother, Madame Simonetta Sforza-Lecter, descended from both the Visconti and Sforza families who separately ruled Milan for a total of 250 years. He is the eighth in his blood-line to bear his ancestor's forename.
Lecter may have also been descended from Giuliano Bevisangue ("Bevisangue" means "Blood-Drinker"), a feared and ruthless figure in 12th-century Tuscany, and from the Machiavelli bloodline. Lecter himself would pursue this subject, to determine from the records of the Capponi Library if there was any true connection to Bevisangue, but he was unable to answer the question. Lecter was a distant cousin of the artist Balthus.
Childhood and BereavementEdit
When Lecter was six years old, he was introduced to his sister, Mischa, who was born in 1939. The two formed a strong, affectionate bond. When he was eight, his family left their estate to live in a lodge in the forest in order to escape Hitler's Blitzkrieg. Three years later, his parents, tutor, and family retainers were killed by a German bomber attempting to disable a Soviet tank (decades later while flying between Europe and the United States, Hannibal dreamed of being six at the time of these events).
The lodge was invaded by a group of former Lithuanian collaborators turned looters. Lecter and Mischa were held captive by said looters. Mischa was cannibalized, but Lecter escaped, only to be severely traumatized by his sister's death and was rendered mute. Mischa's death would haunt Lecter for the rest of his life; Hannibal explains that it destroyed his faith in God, and thereafter he believed that there was no real justice in the world.
After the looters fled, he wandered the forests until he was found by a tank crew. The soldiers cut the shackle from his neck, which had stripped away pieces of his skin, leaving a scar that would never truly heal. He was also carrying, at this time, his father's binoculars: the binoculars stayed with him for many years and featured again later.
The Soviets returned Lecter to his family's castle, which had been converted into an orphanage. The war had many lasting effects on the children, and many of them became bullies. While living there, he frequently attacked and severely wounded many of his fellow orphans, but only those who bullied, hurt or insulted others. Lecter called on his memories of the leader of the group of looters, Vladis Grutas, to inspire the anger necessary to hurt the bullies. He was well-behaved around the younger orphans, often letting them tease him a little, letting them believe him to be a crazed deaf-mute, and giving them his treats that he rarely received.
Adoption and RevengeEdit
When Lecter was 13 years old, his uncle (the new Count Robert Lecter) brought him to his home in France. He formed a close relationship with his aunt, the Lady Murasaki, with whom he instantly fell in love. He was educated at home on his uncle's estate on the banks of the Essonne; his uncle encouraged him to take up painting while his aunt taught him aspects of Japanese culture. Still mute and disturbed by his sister's death, he saw the psychiatrist, Doctor Rufin. At age 13, he attacked a local butcher, Paul Momund, in retaliation for an obscene insult to his aunt. Robert Lecter died from a heart attack during a further confrontation with Momund. An enraged Lecter then committed his first murder, slashing Momund with a Tanto that had belonged to his aunt's samurai ancestor, Date Masamune. He then beheaded Momund and, after receiving a tip from his aunt's chef whilst they prepared a fish, sliced off his victim's cheeks and ate them, his first willful act of cannibalism. He then presented the decapitated head to Masamune. The murder brought Lecter to the attention of Inspector Pascal Popil, who intuitively grasped that he was guilty and pressed him to confess. Lecter proved impenetrable, however, even passing a lie detector test; thanks to Lady Murasaki's intervention, he escaped any blame. Following her husband's death, Lady Murasaki moved to a flat in Paris, where Lecter attended a boarding school. Popil, who was fascinated by both Lecter and Lady Murasaki, remained in close contact with them.
Lecter excelled at the Lycée and graduated early, becoming the youngest person admitted to a medical school in France, where he was mentored by a Doctor Dumas. He had been alerted to the survival of the Totenkopfs who had held him prisoner, when he found a painting looted from his father's collection for sale in a Paris gallery.
In 1951, he returned to Lithuania and the scene of his sister's murder. He excavated the ruins of the lodge where his family died and, upon finding Mischa's remains, gave her a proper burial. He also unearthed the dog-tags of the group of deserters who had killed her. One member of the group, Enrikas Dortlich, now an officer in the Soviet Border Guards, arrived at the scene intent on killing Lecter. Lecter, however, was not caught off guard and instead murdered Dortlich. Once again, Lecter consumed his victim's cheeks.
Dortlich's murder put the group on alert and, due to the similarity of Lecter's first murder, placed him under renewed suspicion from Popil. Grutas dispatched a second member of the group, Zigmas Milko, to eliminate the problem by either bribing Lecter or killing him. Lecter killed Milko instead, drowning him in formaldehyde. Both Popil and Lady Murasaki try to dissuade him from hunting the gang. During a confrontation with Lady Murasaki, Lecter almost had sex with her, but relented at the last minute, claiming he had made a promise to Mischa. He attacked Grutas in his home but Grutas was rescued by his bodyguards. Grutas kidnapped Lady Murasaki and used her as a lure to draw Lecter to his death. Lecter, donning the Tanto, tracked Grutas to his houseboat. In a final confrontation, Grutas claimed that Lecter too had consumed his sister in broth fed to him by the soldiers, and it was to keep this fact secret that he was killing them. Enraged, Lecter eviscerated him by repeatedly carving his sister's initial into his body. Lady Murasaki was disturbed by his behavior and fled from him even after he told her that he loved her.
Popil arrested Lecter for the murders, but there was little incentive for a trial; no evidence could be conclusively tied to him, and all the victims had been slavers and war criminals. His victims' association with the Nazis led Lecter to become something of a cause celebre in France, with communists and students marching for his release. Lady Murasaki visited him one last time while he was being held by the police, and saw that he had become completely emotionless. After receiving references from Doctor Dumas and from the head of the Police Forensic Laboratory, for whom he has worked as a volunteer, Lecter was released. He left France, killing the final member of the group, Bronys Grentz, while on a vacation in Montreal, before returning to his internship in Baltimore.
Career as a psychiatristEdit
Lecter's drawings led to an internship at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, where he graduated with a degree in medicine and eventually settled. As written in Red Dragon, Lecter established a psychiatric practice in Baltimore in the 1970s. He became a leading figure in Baltimore society and indulged his extravagant tastes, which he financed by influencing some of his patients to bequeath him large sums of money in their wills. He became world-renowned as a brilliant clinical psychiatrist, but he had nothing but disdain for psychology; he would later say he didn't consider it a science, criticizing it as "puerile", and comment that most psychology departments were filled with "ham radio enthusiasts and other personality-deficient buffs".
Lecter killed at least nine people before his capture. He also attempted to kill three others, including Will Graham, an FBI profiler, and Mason Verger. Verger went through psychiatric counseling with Lecter as part of a court-order after being convicted of child molestation, and for viciously raping his own sister, Margot, who also went to Lecter for counseling. Verger invited Lecter to his home in Owings Mills one night after a session. Lecter drugged Verger and suggested he try cutting off his own face with a mirror shard. Verger complied and, again at Lecter's suggestion, fed some of his face to his Dobermans and ate his own nose. Lecter then broke Verger's neck with a rope used for auto-erotic asphyxiation and left him to die. Later, the dogs were taken to an animal shelter to have their stomachs pumped which led to the retrieval of Verger's nose, lips and parts of his forehead; however, the skin graft was unsuccessful. Verger survived, but was left hideously disfigured and forever confined to a life support machine.
Benjamin Raspail was Lecter's ninth and final (known) victim in the Chesapeake series before his incarceration. Raspail was a not-so-talented flautist with the Baltimore Philharmonic Orchestra, and it is believed that Lecter killed him because his musicianship, or lack thereof, spoiled the orchestra's concerts; he was also a patient of Lecter's. Lecter would claim to Clarice Starling that the reason for Raspail's death was that Lecter "got sick and tired of his whining" during their appointments. Raspail's body would be discovered sitting in a church pew with his thymus and pancreas missing, and his heart pierced. It is believed Lecter served these organs at a dinner party he held for the orchestra's board of directors. The president of the board was later to have developed an alcohol problem and anorexia. Raspail was the former lover of Jame Gumb, who would later be involved in Lecter's life as the serial killer dubbed "Buffalo Bill".
Not much is known about his other victims or how they were killed. They can be presumed to have been mutilated and in most cases, eaten. In at least one case, he prepared his victim as an eloquent meal and shared his remains with the victim's fellow musicians. Victims included a person who initially survived, and was taken to a private mental hospital in Denver, Colorado. Others included a bow hunter, a census taker whose liver he ate with "fava beans and a big Amarone", and a Princeton student whom he buried. Lecter was given sodium amytal by the FBI in the hopes of learning where he buried the student; but Lecter, instead of giving them the location of the buried student, gave them a recipe for potato chip dip, the implication being that the student was in the dip. He had trained himself previously by administering self-hypnosis in case he was ever administered hypnotic drugs. Lecter committed his last three known murders within a nine day span. Since one officer retired after seeing Lecter's basement, it can be presumed that parts of his victims were stored there.
Lecter was caught in March or April 1975 by FBI Special Investigator Will Graham. Graham was investigating a series of murders in the Baltimore area committed by a cannibalistic serial killer, and had sought Lecter out after discovering he'd treated one of the victims for a hunting wound. When Graham questioned Lecter at his psychiatric practice, he noticed some antique medical books in his office. Upon seeing these, Graham knew Lecter was the killer he sought; the sixth victim had been killed in his workshop and laced to a pegboard in a manner reminiscent of Wound Man, an illustration used in many early medical books. Graham realized that the hunting wound that led him to Lecter was similar to one in the illustration which inspired Lecter to further emulate the illustration. Graham left to call the police, but Lecter crept up from behind and stabbed him with a linoleum knife, nearly disemboweling him. However, Graham managed to survive the encounter, while Lecter was then apprehended by FBI agents and Maryland State Troopers. After Lecter's arrest, Graham was briefly committed to a mental institution and retired upon recovering from his wounds. Ironically, the sixth victim that exposed Lecter was not eaten.
The courts found Lecter insane; this spared him the death penalty. He was instead sent to the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane for nine consecutive life terms, under administrator Frederick Chilton. Many of the families of his victims pursued lawsuits against Lecter to have their files destroyed. The FBI exhumed the graves of four patients who had died under Lecter's care for further investigation into the cause of their deaths. He was nicknamed "Hannibal the Cannibal" in the National Tattler, a tabloid that also published unauthorized photos of Graham in the hospital after being attacked by Lecter. Another officer retired from the FBI after being the first to discover Lecter's basement. Lecter's electroencephalogram (EEG) showed an unusual pattern and, given his history, was ultimately branded "a pure sociopath" by Chilton, although this was because they did not know what to call him. Many in the field of psychiatry labeled him a "monster". The National Tattler described Lecter's crimes as "unspeakable practices". 
Lecter, while in custody, was said to be "far too sophisticated" for most forms of psychological evaluation, especially as he enjoyed staying abreast of all of the latest developments in his field. Since he knew how the tests worked, he could easily come up with the typical answers that would brand him as not being psychologically disturbed, and he also mocked the psychiatrists' attempts to profile him by folding their tests into origami.
Lecter was a model patient until the afternoon of July 8, 1976. After complaining of chest pains, he was taken to the infirmary. After his restraints were removed for his electrocardiogram (ECG) he attacked a nurse, tearing out an eye, dislocating her jaw, and biting out her tongue and eating it. Chilton would later note that Lecter's pulse never went above 85 beats per minute "even when he swallowed [her tongue]." During the struggle with the orderlies, his shoulder was dislocated. Following the incident, Lecter was treated very carefully by the hospital staff, often outfitted with heavy restraints, a straitjacket and muzzle, and transported only when strapped to a hand-truck. His cell consisted of a double barrier, the first being standard bars and the second a nylon net stretched across. Despite this high security measures, Lecter managed to create a handcuff key from two pens left in his cell by visitors.
Chilton and Lecter's relationship was marked by mutual hatred; Chilton's status as a psychologist, his mediocrity and inflated self-importance offended Lecter, who often humiliated his keeper; while Lecter's constant mockery and elusiveness infuriated Chilton, who punished him by removing his books and toilet seat. At the end of Red Dragon, Lecter diagnosed this form of punishment as indicative of the damnation of society by half-measures: "Any rational society would kill me, or give me my books." By contrast, Lecter reached a mutual respect with his primary caregiver and warden, Barney Matthews, and the two often shared thoughts over Barney's correspondence courses. During the investigation of Buffalo Bill, the two would also discuss Clarice Starling. It is also implied at the end of the novel and of the film adaptation that Lecter seeks revenge on Chilton for the mistreatment that he endured at Chesapeake.
During his stay in Baltimore State Hospital, Lecter would help with two FBI cases. Graham came out of retirement in 1978 to offer his insight on the "Tooth Fairy" case and upon arriving at a dead end, went to Lecter for help,, but before Graham went into retirement. Lecter gave Graham some valuable insights into the Tooth Fairy, but upon learning about the case, secretly sent a coded message to the killer, Francis Dolarhyde, to kill Graham and his family (which would later result in Graham's permanent disfigurement).
Five years later, Jack Crawford sent FBI trainee Clarice Starling to Lecter to administer a psychological questionnaire. Starling, initially assuming the assignment was related to her studies, ended up getting him to help the FBI in the Buffalo Bill case. In both of these cases, Lecter used wordplay and subtle clues to help Graham and Starling arrive at the conclusions themselves.
Buffalo Bill's last kidnappee was Catherine Martin, daughter of Senator Ruth Martin. Lecter told Chilton he would reveal Buffalo Bill's real name to Martin and was promptly flown to Memphis, Tennessee, and held at the Shelby County Courthouse. During his stay in Memphis, Lecter lied to Martin, giving her the fake name "William Rubin," or "Billy Rubin". (Bilirubin is a pigment found in feces. It is the same color as Chilton's hair, Lecter's hint that the name was fake. The film adaptation changed the name to "Louis Friend," an anagram for "iron sulfide" - fool's gold.) Starling then visited Lecter at his makeshift cell, and he gave her some final clues before making a bloody escape, killing two police officers during the ordeal. He escaped by making a "mask" from the face of one of the officers, donning the officer's uniform and pretending to be his own still-living victim so that he would be hurried away by ambulance while the authorities hunted for him. He also murdered two paramedics and a touirst, stealing the latter's clothes and identity.
Life on the RunEdit
After plastic surgery and the removal of a distinctive sixth finger, Lecter relocated in Florence, Italy. Lecter avoided reconstruction of his nose to protect his uncanny perception of fragrances. In Florence, he took the pseudonym "Dr. Fell," possibly a reference to the Tom Brown translation of Martial's epigram "Non amo te, Sabidi" ("I do not love thee, Doctor Fell / The reason why, I cannot tell." Fell also means "cruel" or "fierce") As Dr. Fell, Lecter's dazzling charm and expertise won him the recently vacated position of museum curator; Lecter had, of course, murdered the position's previous occupant.
Lecter's identity would be discovered by Florence detective Rinaldo Pazzi seven years after his escape from Memphis. Lecter had been going by the false name Dr. Fell and Pazzi, who had been disgraced when he bungled the "Il Mostro" case, saw a chance for redemption when he realized Dr. Fell's true identity. Pazzi struck a deal with Lecter's sole surviving victim, Mason Verger to get the doctor alive so that Verger could exact his revenge by feeding Lecter to a group of specially trained boars. In his efforts to capture Lecter, Pazzi found himself the doctor's prisoner, and he informed Lecter of his plot. After disemboweling and hanging Pazzi, Lecter returned to the United States. Both Verger and Starling would hunt him, hoping to get to him before the other. Lecter was captured by Verger's men, but Starling rescued him. In the ensuing fight, Verger's men shot her with two darts filled with sedatives. Lecter carried her away from the boars and convinced Margot Verger to kill her brother. Lecter left a voice message claiming responsibility for Verger's death.
Lecter kept Starling in total isolation during the next few months, subjecting her to various conditioning techniques in order to systematically replace Starling's memories and personality and make her believe she was Mischa. After breaking Starling down, Lecter kidnapped her nemesis, Paul Krendler, who was trying to discredit her, as a final test. At the rented home that Lecter was living in, Lecter performed a craniotomy on a drugged Krendler and tastefully prepared and shared his brains with Starling and Krendler himself while Krendler was still alive.
However, Lecter's plan to brainwash Starling ultimately failed, as he utterly underestimated her strong will; Starling refused to have her own personality sublimated, mocking his efforts to turn her into his sister. Then, she exposed her breast to Lecter and seduced him.
The couple then vanished. In 1993, Lecter's former caretaker, Barney Matthews, spotted the two in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is stated on the last page of the novel that both Lecter and Starling were capable of murder at any time; in essence, whatever of Lecter's conditioning took created a "counterpart" of himself in Starling.
The relatively short relationship between Graham and Lecter is marked by mutual hatred. By the end of Red Dragon, Lecter is directly responsible for ruining Graham's life twice - nearly causing the deaths of Graham's wife and stepson as well. Prior to Red Dragon, Graham had only met Lecter twice, both times very briefly, for Graham to ask Lecter routine questions; however, during their second meeting, Graham realized that Lecter was the killer he'd been seeking. When Graham left to call in reinforcements, Lecter snuck up behind Graham, gutted him, and escaped for a brief period before authorities ultimately caught him. This was only the first time that Lecter would cause Graham's hospitalization; the second time would be by proxy, through Francis Dolarhyde. After his life was ruined for the second time, Graham sank into an alcoholic depression in Florida. Eventually Jack Crawford and the others at the FBI, along with everyone else, stopped visiting because they saw that Will was killing himself and there was nothing they could do - it was too hard on them to see this empty shell of what Graham used to be.
While Graham was the protagonist of Red Dragon only, Clarice Starling is the protagonist of both The Silence Of The Lambs and Hannibal. Starling and Lecter's very long romance began with Starling's assignment from Jack Crawford to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter - to quote Thomas Harris himself, " "How seldom we recognize the sound when the bolt of our fate slides home." Lecter has been in love with Starling ever since this first meeting, although he tried very hard to hide his obsession from her, as he didn't want Starling to know the power she had over him. Lecter was frightened and frustrated by the fact that he'd fallen in love with this "trainee", and tried to send her away; ultimately though, Lecter found that he wanted to help her. Starling succeeded against all expectations, and was promoted to the status of full FBI agent because of her killing of Jame Gumb, who Lecter helped her to find. Even after Lecter's bloody escape, Starling somehow instinctually knew that he would never hurt her. A few weeks later Lecter sent Starling a letter confirming that she had nothing to fear from him. Truly, Lecter would never be able to bring himself to harm Starling, and he would only enter her life again years later when he saw she needed his help. Lecter's letter ended with the phrase "Some of our stars are the same." This bears a certainly resemblance to the famous letter written by one of the men who tried to scale Everest to his wife, which said "Goodnight and great love to you. We see the same stars." This appears to be another roundabout way of Lecter's to tell Clarice that he loves her, similar to how, in Memphis, he told her "People will say we're in love," as though he couldn't quite bring himself to say the actual words. As we learn more about Lecter's past in Hannibal Rising, it appears that Lecter's reluctance to say the words "I love you" stems from his aunt's rejection of him the two times he told her "I love you." Nearly seven years after their physical parting in Memphis, Starling - whose career has not been nearly as successful as her bright start would have indicated - has been suspended from the FBI, and is about to be kicked out entirely. Suddenly she receives a letter from Lecter, from which she finds encouragement and because of which the FBI is forced to allow Starling to not only stay in the FBI, but to allow her into Behavioral Science, the place she'd always wanted to be, as this is the first trace of Lecter they'd had in nearly seven years. Starling is hunting Lecter for the FBI (or so she wants to think; but we're told by Harris that "The truth was more complicated than that.") but Lecter is also being hunted by his former "victim", Mason Verger, who intends to torture and kill Lecter. The ensuing manhunt comes to a head when Verger's men capture Lecter as he is leaving a birthday gift for Starling. When Clarice tries to tell her "superiors" that Hannibal Lecter was just kidnapped by Verger's people, they don't believe her. Back at home, Starling remembers the encouraging things Lecter had said to her, and then she thinks about Mason torturing him to death. She can't help seeing Lecter as a lamb who needs to be saved. So Starling goes on her own to rescue Lecter. In the ensuing fight at the Verger farm, Starling enters the barn where Lecter is tied up - ready to be fed to the pigs waiting at the gate. Starling shoots and kills what she thinks are all of the Sardinians in Mason's employ, then proceeds to work on freeing Lecter from his restraints. However, one of the Sardinians is still alive and shoots at Starling with the tranquilizer gun meant for the pigs. Lecter warns Starling about the other Sardinian in time for her to whip around and shoot him, but his tranquilizer still catches her. By this time the pigs have managed to get into the barn themselves, but Lecter finishes freeing himself in time to lift Starling into his arms and carry her to safety. Lecter and Starling spend a few weeks together at a house on the Chesapeake where he cooks for her, plays the harpsichord for her, and closely monitors her recovery - her physical recovery from the effects of the two tranquilizer darts she was hit with, and her psychological "recovery" from the death of her father, as she never really let herself accept and grieve his death. Lecter also tells Starling about his sister Mischa during this time. After Lecter makes dinner one night for himself and Starling partially from her nemesis, Paul Krendler, Starling and Lecter are sitting together in the drawing room, talking about "teacups and time". Lecter finally tells Starling his desperate hope to bring Mischa back to life. Starling sympathizes with him, but she also puts him in his place, pointing out to Lecter that they've spent the last few weeks together finding the solution to her acceptance of her own father's death. Starling tells Lecter that if, as he himself told her, there is room within Starling for her father's memory, then there must also be room within Lecter for his sister's memory. Lecter is eagerly ready to accept this solution. Then Starling experiences an epiphany of sorts, and realizes what Lecter really needs/wants. She reaches into the neckline of her dress and frees her breast, meeting Lecter's eyes the whole time. At her invitation, he swiftly comes to kneel on his knees in front of her chair and takes her breast into his mouth. They become lovers and disappear together. The next time we see "our couple" - as Thomas Harris calls them - is three years later, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Barney, the former orderly, and his new girlfriend Lillian Hersh encounter Lecter and Starling at the Teatro Colon opera house. Barney sees Lecter and Starling completely absorbed in each other, and it is unknown if they were aware of his presence or not. Barney is able to convince Lillian to leave with him immediately without telling her why, and, presumably, Barney never told anyone about this encounter. We're then given a glimpse into Lecter and Starling's home life: They live together in a wonderful Beaux-arts building near the French embassy in Buenos Aires; the servants in their household have a high morale, but there is an iron discipline among them; Lecter and Starling often speak at dinnertime in languages other than Starling's native English, especially Italian, as she finds a curious freedom in the visual nuances of the language; They often dance at dinnertime, too. We're told that "Sex is a splendid structure they add to every day." So, they have a very active and healthy sex life together as well. We're told that Clarice has a memory palace of her own, and that it is filled with pleasant things: her father; the horse, Hannah, that she had as a child; and even Jack Crawford, "when she chooses to see him." We're told that Clarice and Hannibal's memory palaces have many rooms in common, although hers grows on its own. The novel, and the series, closes with Harris telling us that we must leave, while Hannibal and Clarice are dancing together on the terrace, as "the wise Barney has already left town, and we must follow his example," because "For either of them to discover us would be fatal."
Physical Apperance Edit
Lecter was a small and sleek man but was deceptively strong. His left hand had a condition called mid ray duplication polydactyly, i.e. a duplicated middle finger. He later performed plastic surgery on his own face on several occasions and removes his extra digit. Lecter's eyes were a shade of maroon and reflected the light in "pinpoints of red". He also had small white teeth and dark, slicked-back hair with a widow's peak.
He did not fit any known psychological profile, though Frederick Chilton classified him as a "pure sociopath". However, unlike subjects with sociopathy, Lecter did not exhibit pleasure from killing, which would have resulted in an accelerated heartrate. This was shown when Lecter viciously attacked a nurse, and his heartrate was noted to have never exceeded 85 beats per minute. When he killed two police officers upon his escape from custody, his heartrate did not exceed 90; the heightened rate of 90 was due to the exertion of beating one of the officers to death with a police baton. He also wasn't shallow or a drifter, as noted by Will Graham. Lecter simply described himself as being evil, stating that psychiatry is "puerile", and wrong to categorize different kinds of evil as different behavioral conditions. Lecter then supported this by stating that the inconsistencies in his behavior were traits of pure evil and that he did not possess a behavioral abnormality.
Lecter was considered to be one of the most brilliant minds in the field of psychiatry. Socially, he was considered charming and an excellent host, who put on many extravagant dinner parties for his friends. He indulged in many hobbies and fields of expertise, from art, music, literature and of course culinary. He was an excellent artist, being able to draw with both hands and could draw entire landscapes from memory. He was known to be an excellent cook, who cooked delicious meals for friends. The true nature of what was in the meals came out after his arrest. He was a proficient musician who could play piano to a high level, but showed stiffness in the left hand after having his sixth finger removed. His intellect was described as being impossible to measure. His intellect was on par with the physicist Stephen Hawking. According to Barney, Lecter never lied. However, this was not true, as Lecter often misled the authorities and anyone who tried to categorise him. When captured for the first time, he lied about his age and that he tortured animals as a child.
His reasons behind his killings varied. Unlike many cannibalistic serial killers, Lecter did not kill for sexual or sadistic pleasure, his mentioned victims did not suffer extensive pain. Revenge and retribution was prominent in his murders before moving to America. He first murdered a butcher who was rude to his aunt. He then became obsessed with hunting Mischa's killers and inflicted brutal revenge, often beheading and eating the cheeks. During his killing spree as a psychiatrist, he murdered those who he deemed inferior to himself or that had committed acts that deserved punishment. This was the case when he attacked Mason Verger, a highly sadistic paedophile.
From his love of art, Lecter would inflict poetic justice on some victims. His sixth American victim, the bow hunter, was murdered and arranged in the style of the medieval drawing Wound Man, depicting many battle injuries. Rinaldo Pazzi was hanged and disembowelled like his ancestor. His penultimate victim, Donnie Barber, was arranged in the style of the Blood Eagle, a Norse execution method.
Rudeness was especially heinous to Dr Lecter, considering it "unspeakably ugly". Lecter talked Miggs into swallowing his tongue after Miggs threw semen at Agent Starling. According to Barney, Lecter would eat the rude, "free range rude" as he called them. Whatever his reasons, when preparing a victim to be eaten, Lecter used his expertise to create delicious meals from them, either for himself or others. In at least one case, he cooked human flesh for the Baltimore Orchestra.
Lecter had killed a total of at least 28 people in his life, attempting to kill another four. In his youth and travels through Europe and Canada, he murdered eight men. In the USA, he was convicted of nine murders and three attempted murders. In the asylum he savaged a nurse, eating the woman's tongue. He drove a fellow patient to suicide, effectively murdering him. During his escape he killed five people. While in Italy and his return to America he killed six people. The FBI knew of 16 victims
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