Recall that Hannibal Lector, the hero of four novels by Thomas Harris, is a talented psychiatrist and surgeon, at the same time a monstrous serial killer who practices cannibalism. The creator of the tetralogy about the maniac Hannibal Lecter, writer Thomas Harris, said that the prototype of his character was a prison doctor from the Mexican city of Monterrey in the state of Nuevo Leon. This became known from the preface of the writer to the new edition of "Silence of the Lambs", dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the publication of the book.
The surname of Dr. Lecter's prototype is Salazar. Harris said he met with Dr. Salazar at the prison, where he came to interview an American prisoner convicted of the murder of three young men. Harris does not remember the exact date of the meeting - presumably it happened in 1964.
Harris met Dr. Salazar after he saved the life of a criminal whom the writer was going to interview. The prisoner was injured while trying to escape from the prison, but the prison doctor was able to cure him. The writer recalls talking with Dr. Salazar about a wounded American prisoner and childhood psychological trauma that could have prompted him to murder. This conversation inspired a scene in The Silence of the Lambs where Hannibal Lecter asks FBI trainee Clarissa Starling about her childhood traumas.
“Dr. Salazar was a small lithe man with auburn hair. He was very calm and had a certain elegance, ”says Harris.
The author of novels about Hannibal Lecter has not yet revealed in any of his interviews who became the prototype of the criminal he invented. Readers and critics have speculated that real-life cannibal killers such as Albert Fish of New York or William Coyne of Mississippi could have become prototypes.
A series of books by Thomas Harris about the psychiatrist, surgeon and cannibal Dr. Lecter was published from 1981 to 2006. It includes four books: The Red Dragon (1981), The Silence of the Lambs (1988), Hannibal (1999) and Hannibal: Ascent (2006). They were all filmed. Director Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs won five major Academy Awards, including Anthony Hopkins for the Lead Actor.