Hannibal Lecter, also known as Hannibal the Cannibal, although a fictional character has become quite the legend. Hannibal Lecter was created in Thomas Harris' brilliant imagination for the famous film Silence of the Lambs and his character was modeled after real serial killers. The documentary Real Life Hannibal Lecters details the lives and crimes of numerous serial killers who inspired the creation of Lecter's character.
In reality, ninety percent of serial killers are white males. They usually have low to middle class backgrounds and intelligence is often a common characteristic although they have difficulty focusing in school as children. Traumatic childhoods are also a recurring factor and in many cases serial killers are abused physically, sexually, or psychologically. Families are sometimes unstable with histories of criminals, mental illness, alcoholism, and abuse.
Because of these unfortunate circumstances, these men (and sometimes women) are left alone or shunned by society. This leads to dangerous, unhealthy, or even criminal activities such as animal abuse which is often a known theme among serial killers. They're unable or unwilling to let go of the past and things that have greatly affected them. While many people can move on, these people can't or refuse to do so.
They crave attention and want to feel important and special to others. Serial killers feel that the only way to fulfill these needs is to obtain dominance and control over others, often involving murder. They often associate pain with pleasure and the killings often have a sexual component to them because they enjoy the suffering of others.
The documentary discusses the serial killers Albert Fish, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Andrei Chikatilo, and John Wayne Gacy. These men all had at least one of the commonalities between serial killers and many of them had traumatic childhoods which may have influenced the way that they turned out. Some serial killers participate in cannibalism which the documentary discusses in great detail.
In Real Life Hannibal Lecters professional and knowledgeable speakers study and analyze serial killers and cannibals and talk about some of the different reasons why these people commit such heinous acts.