Who is Hannibal Lecter Based on Real-Life Inspiration Is Scarier Than Silence of the Lambs?


Hannibal Lecter is one of the most famous and scary bad guys in the history of movies. He first appeared in the book Red Dragon in 1981, but most people know him from the movie The Silence of the Lambs, where Anthony Hopkins played the doctor as crazy and evil.

Lecter scared a lot of people who watched his movies because of how sociopathic he was and how often he ate the people he killed. But the story of the killer in the story might be even scarier.

Hannibal Lecter is not real, but he is based on a murderous doctor who really lived. The way Hannibal was made in Thomas Harris’s books was a sad example of how art can be like life.

A lot of what people know about Lecter, from his tendency to kill to his perfect charm, came from a real-life killer. So, here’s the real scary thing about Hannibal Lecter that will make the lambs do much more than just keep quiet.

Who Was Hannibal Lecter Based On?

Thomas Harris, who wrote The Silence of the Lambs, was a journalist in the early 1960s. One of his cases sent him to Mexico to talk to a killer named Dykes Askew Simmons who had been badly hurt.

But it was the other prisoner who took care of this convict that really stuck with Harris when he made the horror movie icon.

who is hannibal lecter based on

This was “Dr. Salazar,” a made-up prison worker who started to talk to Harris as much as the other way around. His questions and actions were so smart that he really lived up to the name “doctor.”

The ideas he had about Simmons’ victims were both horrifying to think about and to hear. Harris found out later that Salazar wasn’t the prison worker he thought he was. In fact, his name was Alfredo Ball Trevio, and he was also a prisoner.

Trevio was also gay, which was a very unpopular thing to be in Mexico at the time. His attempts to fit in with the rest of society made his lover very angry, and Trevio would later kill his lover out of anger.

After that, he cut him up into many small pieces and buried them in an attempt to hide the crime. On top of this horrible act, he was also thought to have killed many hitchhikers in a similar way.

What Makes Hannibal Lecter and Alfredo Ball Trevio Similar?

Hannibal Lecter and Alfredo Ball Trevio both kill and cut up their victims, which is a clear similarity. However, this wasn’t the only thing that Harris was inspired by. Alfredo also had great taste and a refined way of acting, even when he was in jail. This is a lot like how Lecter acts and talks, which is like a gentleman.

who is hannibal lecter based on

At the same time, Harris wasn’t the only one who was influenced by killers when he made Lecter. However, his time in the Mexican prison made it easier for him to understand how a killer’s mind works.

This makes Lecter, like Don Corleone by Mario Puzo, a character made up of parts of real killers. Even though we don’t know if Trevio ever ate a victim’s liver with fava beans, we do know that the real-life killer had a horrible effect on the person who wrote about Lecter.

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