Serial Killers: The Real Life Hannibal Lecters

Serial Killers: The Real Life Hannibal Lecters

2001, Crime  -   81 Comments
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Ratings: 6.64/10 from 72 users.

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.

Directed by: Sean Buckley

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Hannibal
Hannibal
5 years ago

The sheer ignorance and grandstanding of the mass’s never fails. Astounding is the abundance of stupidity. Spew your thoughts for There is no shortage of cattle

roadkill
roadkill
7 years ago

A pattern seems to me, is very odd relations with their mothers.

paul
paul
8 years ago

I believe in the phycology of serial killers but, my father was an alcoholic and I have become one as well. How can you put a justification on that alone.

kandace frye
kandace frye
8 years ago

I could only eat human flesh in only one circumstance. If it was THEE only thing to save my family's life and mine, then yes. I would definitely cooked the shit out of it!!

ForeverDove
ForeverDove
11 years ago

I just want to make it clear that i am not a racist by any means. And being called one hurts me deeply.......it hurts my soul :(

Dan Eggen
Dan Eggen
11 years ago

Foreverdove seems to not be familiar with the rapant canniblism, rape, mutilation that has recently occurred in the DR Congo, Liberia, and several other African countries (still going on in some). Reports of soldiers forcing parents to watch their children raped and then eaten in front of them for example. Why not watch the Vice Guide to Liberia (parts linked on this very site)

D
D
12 years ago

the healthiest meat a human can consume his human meat

Robert Lee
Robert Lee
12 years ago

I dont understand why cannibalism is so taboo or horrifying. Meat is meat. We are animals no matter how much we lie to ourselves and fill ourselves with delusions of being created "special" or "different" by a god. Catholics eat the flesh of Jesus and drink his blood, and many of them actually believe this in the literal way. I also dont see this as a racial or religious issue. Religious morals do not stop a sick person from commiting horrible crimes. Ask an alter boy.

Lavanghues
Lavanghues
12 years ago

why is it that people feel compelled to comment when they have no idea what they are talking about? Religion has a very little part in any of this. None of these men torture or kill in the name of any god (or lack there of). It is only for themselves. And just to be clear, Albert Fish WAS a church going man all his life and Jeffrey Dahmer had atheist beliefs and converted to christianity. There is nothing in the official profile of serial killers that states that they are or are not religious. Furthermore not all serial killers are psychopaths. And to be perfectly clear, a psychopath is not someone who cant feel any emotion. If you read the DSM which is the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, Psychopaths do feel less empathy than most people but they do still feel it in certain situations. Every person is unique and you cannot fit any person neatly into a category. For example, the only difference between a serial rapist and a serial killer is that the rapist chooses not to kill his victims. (not to say that all killers rape) also the only difference between a serial killer and a genicidal dictator is that the dictator just happens to be in a possition of power. Classifying these HUMANS as demons from hell only allows society to dismiss the reality of their pressence in our world. How many Amber Alerts or missing persons ads in news papers must go by before we realize that the ones who are in jail are only the ones who have been caught? There is a reality to human nature that people do not want to admit, and that is the true crime...

Detached99
Detached99
12 years ago

I would rather encounter a serial murderer than a right wing american capitalist. Only one of these is worth being realistically afraid of, and it isn't serial killers.

ForeverDove
ForeverDove
12 years ago

There always has been and always will be people like this, and almost guaranteed to be white people.
What does that tell us?
It tells us that there is some underlying problem with the psyche of white people which is easily influenced by socio and psychopathic tendencies that trigger this kind of behaviour.
The so called experts tend to argue the fact that environmental factors coupled with childhood trauma and also sexual deviancy are key markers for this kind of behaviour.
True that these may be catalysts, but catalysts no doubt reserved for the psyche of predominantly white people.
The problem may lie with the genetic make-up of caucasoids in general.

slack63
slack63
12 years ago

i pray to god i never encounter one of these individuals , and that there are never anymore here on earth.

Sumedh Raghavan
Sumedh Raghavan
12 years ago

Either way, society could do without these sick sick people.

Sumedh Raghavan
Sumedh Raghavan
12 years ago

I think pop culture and media have a lot to do with the growth of these monsters. As even displayed in the comments below, some find the subject amusing, and entertaining to pose as serial killers. The disintegration of family values and the veneration of material goods is the culprit. I doesn't help when influential characters like Eminem make songs about how much fun murder is, or when Hollywood pumps us with horror and sadistic movies. I do not wish to sound ridiculous, but we have truly developed a 'Godless' society that gives ample opportunities for these warped beings to emerge from.

emilyemily
emilyemily
13 years ago

I don't believe for a second Jeffrey Dahmer was sorry for what he did. He's a psychopath. They don't feel sorry. They make you THINK they're sorry when they really couldn't care less.

MilkyMike
MilkyMike
13 years ago

@LILY actally psychopaths are.

John D
John D
13 years ago

Damn this doc is scary... lol

Jeffery
Jeffery
13 years ago

Who are we to say this is wrong. People have been killing since the beginning of time and kill in war over things as miniscule as belief systems. When everything has a label things get blurry. Everybody has their addictions . . .

Joe
Joe
13 years ago

LOL MIKE I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!

aaangie
aaangie
13 years ago

that was chilling, I think i can safely guess what my nightmares will be about tonight!

Lisa
Lisa
13 years ago

Hey Levin - don't even begin to suggest that we all have a cannibalistic streak somewhere inside of us.....never has crossed my mind and never will!

Angelclaw
Angelclaw
13 years ago

If you pay other people to torture animals in factory farms so you can indulge your craving for dead flesh you're every bit as sick as any serial killer.

Tan
Tan
13 years ago

"To say eating humans and hamburgers are the same is outrageous..if your killing animals to eat them thats humane if your killing them for the sick thrill to kill thats messed up"

Tan
Tan
13 years ago

@Tahyo
I second that

Tahyo
Tahyo
13 years ago

@ Normal

I kill and butcher and that makes me less of a vegaterian ..I didn't climb to the top of the food ladder to eat a carrot. To say eating humans and hamburgers are the same is outrageous..if your killing animals to eat them thats humane if your killing them for the sick thrill to kill thats messed up

Lily
Lily
13 years ago

Ps: Remember that mental illness plays a big factor in most serial killers lives, notibly Ed Gein.

Lily
Lily
13 years ago

We now look upon these people with disgust... In society's eyes they're lower than human. But they are still human... They weren't born evil. They were once innocent.

People aren't born bad, they're made bad.

youhavenoclue
youhavenoclue
13 years ago

@ Jackie

You obviously don't know what you're talking about, especially when it comes to religion. In that case, it is best you stay out of the conversation.

Randy
Randy
13 years ago

@Sum1uallno

Hemorrhoids are actually delicious! Have YOU ever eaten one?

Come a little closer to Uncle Randy... come here!

Uncle Randy loves you!

So sweet, very nice...

Sum1uallno
Sum1uallno
13 years ago

Andy wants Randy for lunch. Shhhh Uncle Randy is really smart. Barf bag anyone. Let the two of the same person fight over the big pieces. Heres a fork for the both of you. Clowns seem to follow clowns.

This was worth a watch. Never to thrilled when it comes to a hemorrhoid that you just cant seem to find the right cushion for. HUH o.0

Andy K
Andy K
13 years ago

Anyone up for a burger?

Randy
Randy
13 years ago

Hannibal Lecter was my hero.

He was a super-intellectual and ate people that were st00pid or rude...

What's not to love?

I eat intellectuals so that I can gain their knowledge and power, but... that is just me.

Thomas Harris, the author of the "Red Dragon" series, is a fantastic writer and very knowledgable about the FBI and criminology.

All of you young, fresh, smart people need to come closer to Uncle Randy... he needs to whisper something to you...

Armchair Shrink
Armchair Shrink
13 years ago

I think that this documentary could've been interesting but for the obvious condescension to us idiotic masses with short attention spans & a pathological need to be entertained. Had I known that they'd waste my time dragging out pop cultural nonsense like old tired B movies & Hannibal Lecter (a fictitious character)I would've selected a different documentary to watch. The added drama of the cheap horror movie sound-track & random images of wide-eyed people wasted precious time that could've been better spent on intelligent discourse. Heck: they could've tossed in another serial killer in the time that they wasted!

Someone above mentioned the guy in the glasses. YES! He was annoying. I was wondering why he chose to speak sooo slowly. It was agonizing! He also has a feeble grasp on history. There have been several serial killers who were 'high up' on the 'social scale' or whatever elitist term he used. Remember Elizabeth Bathory & Vlad (remember that sweet-heart?)Many heads of extremist governments such as warlords & other dictators were serial killers; many were also cannibals!

The other guy, Levin, claimed that most serial killers were 'middle-aged'. In fact, few are. Most are in their mid 20s to 30s. I disagree with Levin's universalizing of serial killers' motivations and feelings about what they do. Bundy's aberrant behaviour seemed to be, in a large part, triggered by the rejection he got from a society girl.NOT being to the manor born, despite looking & sounding the part helped unravel him. Before this incident, he was a relatively normal young man (how many teen boys & college aged guys masturbate a lot, watch too much porn & love to get a peek at an undressing young woman?)Levin says that Bundy grew up 'in poverty' & never knew his father. His family was more working class than truly poor & he was not an abused child. There are tens of thousands of children being raised by single mother figures: almost none become serial killers. Barak Obama & Bill Clinton had no relationship with their father either & Abe Lincoln was raised in dire poverty.

Chikatilo is a different sort altogether. He was 'raised' under circumstances out of most people's worst nightmares. Having encountered several older people who lived through these same circumstances, I can state that none emerged unscathed: these are damaged people. He was likely not born mentally intact to begin with & his life's circumstances did the remainder of the work of un-gluing him.

As to serial killers all being 'unable to succeed in conventional society', Levin is wrong about BOTH Bundy AND Chikatilo. The judge who sentenced Bundy stated that he would've made a brilliant lawyer. He was a smart, good-looking up & coming man. Chikatilo has risen well in the Communist party & was considered to be an upstanding & good citizen (which helped him get away with what he did) in his society. Dave Baumeister was a very successful business man with a loving wife, nice kids & a grand estate. Levin's description of what motivates serial killers applies more to Aileen Wuornos than any of the men in this slip-shod film.

I believe Bundy was correct when he said that "We are your brothers, fathers & husbands" (or something similar). In countries where there is mass poverty & dysfunction, there are comparatively few such serial killers. Why are there so many in America is a question worthy of exploration. Does the media play a role in creating such people by venerating them, giving them a snazzy nick-name & a new identity & making them seem like 'cool' counter-culture out-laws putting snooty cute co-eds in their place? Next time you're at a DVD rental place, go to the horror section. Count how many films are about some evil guy, ghost or other back-from-the-dead type hacking up terrified pretty slim young women who seemed to have the world in the palm of their hands & everything to live for. Could it be that many men secretly nourish the fantasy of extreme misogynistic male domination & showing all these 'feminists' what they really think of them? THAT thought is scarier than any serial killers real or fictitious.

Sadie the Celt
Sadie the Celt
13 years ago

Interesting Documentary, I know the subject matter is upsetting, but we have to get as much intelligence as possible on the 'enigma' of serial killers. It was stated that they have only began researching for the last 20 years and so it is therefore a relatively 'new' area of research - and due to the fact that there are 200 serial murder victims per year in the USA alone - justifies and strengthens the importance of data.
a serial killer is one that has killed 3 or more individuls on 3 (or more) seperate occasions.

H
H
13 years ago

"If everyone had to raise and butcher its own meat, most would become vegetarians."

i doubt that, i know i wouldnt

srtg
srtg
13 years ago

What really got to me was the part where the killer wrote to the victim's parents, documenting the horrible things he did. It's just so sad to think how people find so many ways to be cruel to each other.

Jack
Jack
13 years ago

I would totally eat human flesh. I'm no hypocrite. I eat animals, human meat is no different, and maybe even better I would think. Of course, only if the person died from natural causes and I bought it prepackaged. I can't even punch someone.
And this doc is quite slow.

Jackie
Jackie
13 years ago

All this talk of the absolute discusting act of flesh eating and yet the act of taking holy communion doesent grose anyone out. Is this not a good part of the population of our planet pretending to EAT the flesh of a man and drink his blood on, I dont know, a weely basis? Im not Catholic or even Christian for that matter but this has always growsed me out!

beauregard
beauregard
13 years ago

The prophet Jeremiah tells us that the heart is desperately wicked beyond our comprehension. Each heart contains the potential for evil, any evil. Given the circumstance, the next serial killer could be you.

john
john
13 years ago

I live in Wisconsin right near Plainfield and Milwaukee where Dahmer and Gein committed their crimes. Don't know what drove them to do what they did but if somebody feed me human flesh...i would be typing this from a f'n padded cell.

JP Tardif
JP Tardif
13 years ago

Allan, this is a sick religious hypocritic jugement. Walk with Jesus... what the f..k do you believe it means. oh I see you mean those monsters were not walking with Jesus so you obviously mean that others that don't do the walkin' they are evil and serial killers. Be carefull people here have brains don't consider them like stupid ass!

Claire
Claire
14 years ago

The guy in the glasses with the upward inflection.... he ruined this for me.

Allan
Allan
14 years ago

would recommend this documentary,pretty bad to see what people can do when they don't walk with Jesus

Nora
Nora
14 years ago

this is a real enlightening Doc. but the victims....the children. ):

brett
brett
14 years ago

Mmmm?
Humor = hope?

I like the concept

OK!
Come on world.
Say something funny to the person next to you ...

Amuse it or loose it

:)

Shugga
Shugga
14 years ago

@brett

Good point, indeed, whenever we see excesses in disturbing human behavioral structures, the coping mechanism from that point on relies on irreversible transitions to either futility or humor. You make a valid point, in my personal case, I think it's mostly to do with the prolonged suffering part of the procedure.

brett
brett
14 years ago

Hi Shugga!
Perhaps the Rape V Cannibalism question is influenced by the human instinct to make humour out of the nastiest situations as a coping mechanism.
If you listen to Police who may be investigating a horrible crime, they may at times make jokes that can seem sick to outsiders but these "jokes" are a way of perhaps making sense out of something abstract & bizarre.
We also grow up with things like cartoons depicting a cannibal tasting the cooking pot with a clown inside it and the cannibal saying something like "this tastes funny"
Whereas I don't recall ever seeing a cartoon about rape.
We are conditioned to some extent by our environment.
Perhaps also, in cannibalism the victim is dead & no longer suffering but in rape, the victim continues to suffer afterwards.
Perhaps you can empathize with the rape victims but not the cannibal victims.
Perhaps rape also involves something that we use to connect most intimately with someone we love. When that is taken away from us it impacts our inner being in some indescribable way?
I suppose that is part of what makes us human and so fascinating.

Cheers!

Milton Babb
Milton Babb
14 years ago

Excess stress on the brain, the pineal gland, affects the mind.

Shugga
Shugga
14 years ago

Am i messed up in the head for putting considerably less moral heavyness on cannibalism than I do on rape? For some reason, I can laugh about cannibalism and kinda see the humor in eating another human, but I draw the line at rape, which to me seems like a much worse thing to do to somebody...

Milton Babb
Milton Babb
14 years ago

Or that "trickle down economics".