Hannibal Lecter was an eighth generation Count born in Lithuania in 1933. His father was
descended from the warlord "Hannibal the Grim" who defeated the Teutonic
Order at the Battle of Grunwald. His mother, Madame Simonetta Sforza, was descended from both the Visconti and Sforza families who separately ruled Milan for a total of 250 years.
Images of Lecter's childhood were first revealed in Hannibal, but
were fully detailed in Hannibal Rising. Even though Lecter's reasoning
behind murder remains a mystery, it is strongly suggested that witnessing the
violent murder of his beloved sister Mischa was the major catalyst that later lead him
to serial murder and cannibalism. After the unexpected death of his parents in
and his sister Mischa were held against their will by a group of looters during
1944. Unable to find
food, the looters had no choice but to resort to cannibalism. Branding Lecter too skinny, the group
chose Mischa to be consumed. Lecter was severely traumatized by his sister's
death, and the incident haunted him for the rest of his life.
Orphaned, Lecter was then raised in Paris by his uncle and aunt, Robert Lecter and Lady
Murasaki. Hannibal learned art from his uncle and grew fond of his aunt, so much
that he attacked a local butcher when the butcher insulted her. Robert attempted
to confront the butcher, but died of a heart attack shortly after. Enraged,
Lecter killed the butcher by decapitating him.
After being accepted to medical school, Lecter spent his time wandering
Europe in an attempt to find the members of the group of looters who killed
Mischa. As revenge, he killed the group members one by one, and for retribution,
he cannibalized some of them. Lady Murasaki, knowing his intentions, told him to
forgive them. Hannibal refused and never saw Lady Murasaki again. In the end,
the leader of the group, Vladius Grutas, reveals to Lecter that he also ate
Mischa in a broth given to him. This knowledge sends Lecter into a fit of rage
and he kills Grutas by carving Mischa's initials into his flesh.
Lecter's drawings led to an internship at Johns Hopkins
Medical Centre 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".
Lecter was caught in March or April 1975 by FBI Special Investigator Will
Graham. Graham consulted Lecter on a serial killer case dubbed "The Cheasapeake
Ripper", and then glimpsed antique medical books in Lecter's office. Upon seeing
these, Graham knew Lecter was "The Chesapeake Ripper". 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 left to call the police, but Lecter crept up
from behind and stabbed him, nearly disemboweling him. Graham managed to shoot
Lecter, who was then apprehended by police.
The courts found Lecter insane;
thus sparing him the death penalty. As the media covered his trial, he was
nicknamed "Hannibal the Cannibal". He was sent to the
Chesapeake State Hospital for the Criminally Insane for nine consecutive life
terms, under administrator Frederick Chilton.
Lecter was well behaved for the first year of his incarceration, but on July
8th 1976, he was brought to the infirmary after complaining of
chest pains. After his restraints were removed for his EKG he bit a nurse,
savagely mutilating her face and eating her tongue. During the
struggle, his shoulder was accidentally dislocated by one of the orderlies.
Following the incident, Lecter was fitted with a straightjacket and muzzle, and transported only when strapped to a
During his stay in Baltimore State Hospital, Lecter would be asked to help
with two FBI cases. Lecter was first asked to assist on the "Tooth Fairy" case
by his captor Special Agent Will Graham three years into his incarceration. Lecter reluctantly assisted in
the investigation, however, Lecter sent a coded message to "The Tooth Fairy", assembling a life and
death battle between him and Agent Graham. The Tooth Fairy is killed and
Will Graham is left both physically and psychologically mutilated.
Five years later, and The FBI sends trainee Clarice Starling
to Lecter in order to ask for
his assistance on the "Buffalo Bill" case.
Starling allowed Lecter into her mind in return for leads and information on
Buffalo Bill, which Lecter found fascinating.
Buffalo Bill's last victim was the daughter of Tennessee 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 false name. Starling then visited Lecter at his makeshift cell, and he gave her
some final clues before finally escaping from custody, killing two police
officers during the ordeal.
Lecter would next be discovered seven years later residing in Florence,
Lecter had plastic surgery done on his face and had his extra digit removed in
order to avoid recapture. Despite his efforts he would be discovered by a
corrupt detective named Pazzi. Pazzi, discraced in his own community, made a
deal with Mason Verger (Lecter's forth victim), in order for him to exact personal revenge. Lecter
discovers this and kills Pazzi. Lecter returned to
the United States after hearing of Clarice Starling's disgrace at the FBI.
Lecter was captured by Verger's men, only to be rescued by Starling.
The couple then vanished. Three years later,
Lecter's former caretaker, Barney Matthews, spotted the two in Buenos Aires,
Argentina.....and therefore Mr Lecter is still at large.....