Your Fave Thomas Harris Psychopath?

Which is it?

Out of all of the strange people he’s depicted in his novels, I’d have to go with Francis Dolarhyde (sp?) from Red Dragon. Yeah I’ve read other books by him, but this one is the greatest.

Sigh. Yes if your favorite char is someone not crazy, like Clarice Starling, you may choose that, but let’s make it more fun and stick with the weird, bizarre ones, shall we?

The harelipped family killer? My favorite also.

“Okey dokey.”

I saw an interview with Anthony Hopkins, and he said he ad-libbed that line.

Gotta love the doc.

Definatly Francis. The most complex (he even had a personal life), the most believable, and probably for those very reasons, the scariest.

I mean, Lecter is cool and all, but he’s practically preternatural. Francis is a human monster, much more horrible.

We got like, what, five psychopaths to choose from here?

  1. Bad guy from Black Sunday (which I haven’t read, so I’m assuming there is one)
  2. Francis Dolarhyde
  3. Hannibal Lecter
  4. Jamie Gumm
  5. Mason Verger

Not much of a selection, I’m afraid. But I gotta go with the obvious choice and pick Lecter. The man’s got style, even apart from Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal. (Although Red Dragon scared me a lot more than either SotL or Hannibal.)

Yeah…I remember how when I read it, I found myself indentifying with him, with certain details of his life. Not that my grandmother tortured me in such a heinous fashion- or at all, for that matter- but still. Kind of scary to think you can relate to a serial killer. I guess that’s what Will Graham has to go through.
Yup, a personal life, alright. Makes you wonder…did Hannibal Lecter ever have sex? I just can’t imagine it. (Weird topic, I know.)

Well…sorry, Minty. I know, I know. Not a huge selection of killers. Write to Harris, implore him to write more novels.

You nailed it on your first try. Dolarhyde was the best. Both during and after I read this book I could not sleep.

Like what others have said, the reason Hannibal wasn’t too scary was that he seemed to be more than human, which detracted a bit from his scaryness.

Although I can relate to Francis Dolarhyde, and can certainly see where Hannibal Lecter is coming from, I’m going to put in a vote for Michael Lander and Dalia from “Black Sunday”.

It was interesting how Harris had Lander growing up so dysfunctinally, yet completely functional on the surface. Like the Red Dragon, he had a combination of bad experiences that made him go over the edge. Yet he was able to maintain his expertise in piloting, engineering, and plotting.


Is Thomas Harris a pilot? I’ve noticed that in each of his books there are several less-than-casual references to flying. Like a little more information than one might include unless one were quite familiar.

In Black Sunday he described the blimp flying in detail, and also described a perfect crosswind landing in a Cessna. In Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal, he talked about the flaps going down on airplanes, types of planes people flew around in, and going into towered vs. non-towered airports.

Anybody got info on this?

Sigh. :bump: Come on, there have to be more fans out there…

Grok: to answer your ?, I don’t know…I know he has a background writing crime, but I’m not sure about piloting. I’ll try to find out.

Well, I’m with minty, Lecter is actually one of my heroes.
Verger was an out and out asshole, Gumb wasn’t quite developed enough for me, for some reason, and I wanted to make everything all better for Francis- I kind of identified with him. (Not saying any more on that ;))
I did like him lots though, but still like Lecter the best.
I haven’t read Black Sunday, so I can’t comment on that.

There goes my hero…he’s cannibalistic…:stuck_out_tongue:

I know what you mean…I couldn’t see Jame Gumb. He felt too transparent.

Hey now i don’t feel so bad. People thought i was odd when i said i had a crush on Francis in another thread.

I gotta go with Hannibal. He’s got more style and debonair than the rubberband man.

Another vote for Francis from Red Dragon (though I haven’t read Black Sunday). Like others have said, he seemed to be the most real.
Lecter was very stylized and his backstory was very intriguing, but it made him seem more like a character than a killer. I really liked him, but he seemed like he was well-written and far-removed from reality. Dolarhyde seemed much more real and thus a lot scarier. It might be the “Any Super-hero vs. Superman” analogy for me, though. Superman has every super-power and thus it seems like a cop-out to choose him. Lecter is just so cool in every respect and seems to be unbeatable, so it seems like a cop-out to choos him as a fave. Lecter is a close-second, though.
Gumm was a composite of Ted Bundy, Ed Gein, and another serial killer (I think his name was Gary Heidnick). While this was interesting, it made him less cohesive as a character at times. Verger was just too despisable (if that is a word) to be a favourite.

I think those guys went into Lecter too- seems to me I was reading something about that, along with another guy from early in the century, Albert Fish, maybe? He ate people, had a fondness for kids, especially their butts, and while pretty vulgar when caught, was fairly elegant while hunting. Supposedly, he got the idea from a merchant marine or sailor who told him about shops in China selling cuts of kids- there was a famine or something going on at the time.
I could be wrong on all counts- I forget 1/2 of what I read…


Having read a few of Harris’ books I’d have to say the biggest psychopath in them is the author himself. Christ, now there’s a guy I could live without.

I vote for the Tooth Fairy.

Will Graham is cool.

Don’t you think Starling winds up being a pretty good psycho? “I want more.”