Hannibal Lecter
Portrayed byMads Mikkelsen

AliasThe Chesapeake Ripper
The Copycat Killer



ResidenceBaltimore, MD

FamilyRobert Lecter - Uncle
First appearance"Apéritif"
Gallery (23)

Dr. Hannibal Lecter is an accomplished psychiatrist, who is secretly a psychopath and cannibalistic serial killer. He is assigned to be Will Graham’s psychiatrist by the FBI, while gaining access to the FBI for himself.


Hannibal had a paper called "Evolutionary Origin of Social Exclusion". His analysis shows an interest in evolutionary psychology. Hannibal acted as Alana Bloom's mentor, and has stayed in touch with her ever since. He regularly sees patients in his Baltimore office, while also living a secret life of a homicidal cannibal.

1x01 HannibalCooks.jpg
Hannibal is recruited by Special Agent Jack Crawford of the FBI to help profiler Will Graham to control the stress and fears brought upon him by the brutal nature of his work. Hannibal at first tries to directly psychoanalyze Will, though when it fails, he visits him at his Minnesota hotel with breakfast, during which the two discuss the murders by the killer "the Minnesota Shrike," who has kidnapped eight girls of a certain age and look. It is deduced that the killer has a daughter of which he cannot let go, which explains his obsession with other girls. A copycat seemingly strikes, who mounts a girl on the antlers of a deer and removed her lungs. Unbeknownst to Will, Hannibal had human lungs for dinner that same night. ("Apéritif")
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Hannibal and Will visit a construction site in which a "Shrike" suspect, Garrett Jacob Hobbs, works. While looking through his files, Will confirms his theory that Hobbs is the killer. Hannibal secretly calls Hobbs' house, and warns him of Will's impending arrival. Will and Hannibal arrive at the house only to find Hobbs' wife dying from a slashed throat, with Hobbs inside the house, holding his daughter at knifepoint. After slashing her throat, Hobbs is gunned down by Will, and Abigail is saved. Hannibal accompanies her in the ambulance, and spends the night by her bedside. Will arrives and sees a sleeping Hannibal holding Abigail's hand. ("Apéritif")

Modus operandi

Hannibal removes edible body parts from his victims corpses. A gourmet-level amateur chef, Hannibal then uses these body parts in elaborate dishes.

Hannibal also frequently feeds these cannibalistic meals to his unwitting dinner guests. Many of the body parts he removes are not cuts of meat but edible organs, such as kidneys, liver, lungs, etc. It's possible that he uses unusual cuts of meat to disguise their source, i.e. someone who knows what a beef steak tastes like might realize that what Hannibal is serving isn't actually beef steak, but they would be less familiar with what an expertly prepared beef lung dish is supposed to taste like. Besides French cuisine, Hannibal is also very skilled at sushi preparation, so at other times he serves expert cuts of raw human flesh. Hannibal's elaborate cooking talents help to hide the true nature of the dishes he serves.

Current psychological profiling can only begin to guess at what Hannibal's underlying motivations for murder are, much less his thought processes. As his own psychiatrist Bedelia Du Maurier put it, she could only catch brief glimpses of who the real Hannibal was through the stitches of his expertly maintained "person suit". He does appear to be free of any audio-visual hallucinations, and to possess a cold, calculating intellect. As a psychiatrist himself, Hannibal possesses deep understanding of any of the research methods which other profilers might attempt to use on him. This means that while the police track the "Chesapeake Ripper", Hannibal was clever enough to leave misleading clues to frustrate any attempt at making an accurate profile of the killer, or to disguise the murders as the work of other serial killers.

Will Graham has come the closest of anyone to understanding the mentality of the Chesapeake Ripper, but even he can only make the most hazy of outlines, and professes that he does not truly comprehend this serial killer as he has past ones. Nonetheless, this leaves Hannibal somewhat fascinated with Will, that anyone could even vaguely begin to comprehend his actions - even while expressing revulsion at them. Graham's loose analysis of the Ripper/Hannibal is that he murders and eats people to satisfy his belief in his own demigod-like level of superiority. Hannibal sees most other people as useless, annoying insects, and the best way to actively display his belief that they are so far beneath him is to eat them. To Hannibal, the braggarts and louts he sees around him everyday are only, at best, capable of being food for him. Hannibal kills and eats people because he sees it as the ultimate way of humiliating those he sees as annoying, unintelligent wastes of space.


Miriam Lass: Only her hand gripping a cellphone has been found.

Adrew Caldwell: An independant medical examiner whom Hannibal disliked. Found in two halves on a school bus. His kidney and lung were taken and served as a meal.

Michelle Vocalson: A customer service worker at Stanwood Tailored Coats. Her liver was harvested and presumably used in a "Chicken" liver pate

Darrell Ledgerwood: General manager at Hidden Room Rare Books. His lungs were harvested and are suggested to have been served as Braised "Beef" Lungs

Christopher Ward: IT consultant, whose brain was taken for Parmesan Crumbled "Lambs" Brains

There are many anonymous others whom Hannibal has killed for meals. When asked by Abigail Hobbs how many people he had killed, he answers: 'Many more than your father.' Her father, Garret Jacob Hobbs has killed at least nine people.

After the season finale, when it became clear that Will Graham had eaten an ear of Abigail Hobbs, it was widely assumed that she is dead, most likely making her another victim of Hannibal Lecter.


  • Dr. Lecter's office is located at 687 Bayshore Avenue - Suite 200, Baltimore, MD, 21161. His office phone number is 443-555-0159.


Additional Casting

Image Portrayer(s) Movie(s)
Brian Cox
Manhunter (1986)
Anthony Hopkins
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Hannibal (2001)
Red Dragon (2002)
  • Gaspard Ulliel
  • Aaran Thomas (Child)
Hannibal Rising (2007)
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