Dr. Salazar: The Inspiration for Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs is one of my all-time favorite films. The story, the characters, the utter horror, Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s eerily composed creepiness. The movie won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1992, spawning hundred of true-crime headlines such as “Real Life Hannibal Lecter Kills Again.” But who was the man who inspired the sophisticated, genteel cannibal?

In the 25th Anniversary re-release of the best-selling book behind the movie, author Thomas Harris tells of a man, identified only as Dr. Salazar, whose creepy mannerisms and obsession with the human mind inspired the character of Hannibal Lecter. I won’t spoil it for you, but you can read more about this terrifying figure here: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/silence-lambs-thomas-harris-opens-5374350.

Harris himself discovered the doctor while at a prison to interview one of the inmates. For those who have seen the movie or read the book, it really is fascinating to see where reality blends into fantasy.


2 thoughts on “Dr. Salazar: The Inspiration for Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs

  1. Mike Kassem March 23, 2015 / 2:26 am

    This is absolutely wonderful. I never took the time to look up the origins of the movie. It really is so fascinating how they made the scene with Clarice talking about her childhood with Lector mirror the dialogue of the real conversation. My next question would be how does somebody find this? Do they just stumble upon it randomly? This was before the internet so it isn’t like they could google random killers like this. Someone must have had an extra copy of the Argosy article it was mentioned in and read it. It is incredible. Thank you for sharing!


    • dizzybells March 23, 2015 / 4:42 am

      Right? It’s so creepy. Dr. Lecter is one of my favorite characters in cinema and this article really gave me the chills. I love reading stories like this and finding out the origin of certain characters or stories.


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