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Dr. Murder: Thomas Harris Revealed The Real-Life Inspiration For Hannibal Lecter

By / 07.27.13

Despite decades of fan mail from charming cannibals and Anthony Heald lovers alike, Red Dragon author Thomas Harris has never revealed who inspired his most famous creation, Hannibal Lecter. Until now *lighting cracks, thunder booms* In the introduction to The Silence of the Lambs 25th anniversary edition, an excerpt of which was published in the Times, Harris explains that the IRL Hannibal is none other than Dr. Salazar. Doctor who?

It was as a 23-year-old reporter working for Argosy magazine in the 1960s that Harris encountered a man he identifies only as “Dr. Salazar” after being sent to the Nuevo Leon State Prison at Monterrey, Mexico, to interview a separate inmate.

Harris was asked by the magazine to interview mental patient Dykes Askew Simmons who was under a death sentence for killing three young people. The author tells how Simmons had attempted to escape the prison a year earlier by bribing a prison guard to leave a door unlocked and provide him with a pistol.

But the guard betrayed him, taking his money, keeping the door locked and shooting him down.

He was only saved by the skilled prison doctor saved him, Harris added.

I bet this prison doctor was a nice fellow.

The author recalls interviewing Dr Salazar, which he later explains is not his real name, about how he treated the gunshot wounds and stopped the bleeding.

But he describes how the conversation took a much darker twist when the doctor began questioning the journalist on Simmons’s disfigured appearance, the nature of torment and the murderer’s victims.

It was not until Harris left the doctor’s office that he learned of Dr Salazar’s history from the prison warden. The doctor was a murderer and the warden told Harris: ‘He will never leave this place. He is insane.” (Via)

…he said with a cackle, knowing full well that the secret antidote would never be found. Also, if Dr. Murder isn’t a show on NBC by 2015, I’ll eat my hat, with a side of Mads Mikkelsen.

(via Getty Image) (Via) (Via)


TAGSHANNIBALHANNIBAL LECTERTHOMAS HARRIS

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