What if Lecter was responsible for making Wild Bill into the monster he became? The actual villain from The Silence of the Lambs, or the one that people were supposed to be focusing on at least, is also the one that managed to get the least amount of attention since Hannibal Lecter pretty much stole the show the moment he came on screen. But as it’s been seen throughout Hannibal’s history thus far it’s pretty obvious that he’s the guy that everyone should be worrying about anyway since he’s the most devious of the bunch in his part of the world. Think about this though, if Wild Bill was Lecter’s patient, what could the doctor have done within the confines of reality that might have made Wild Bill’s psychosis even worse? After all, the main bad guy is someone that hated his body and wanted to change it, and was willing to commit murder to do so. The story is that he killed his own grandparents and didn’t look back as he continued onward in life and that eventually, he started killing women so that he could skin them and wear the grisly results to transform himself into a woman in the only way that was still open and feasible to him. There’s no dodge to say that Wild Bill wasn’t responsible for his actions, but there is something worth noting about this theory when it comes to thinking that Lecter might have had something to do with the way that Wild Bill turned out.
The fact that Bill was already broken when he was seen by Dr. Lecter is obvious, but it’s also worth noting that Lecter is extremely intelligent and could have twisted Bill a bit further to send him along the path he took in a number of different ways. Some folks tend to disagree with this since it relies upon too many variables, and the disagreement only grows when it comes to Lecter using Bill as his insurance card given that the FBI kind of had to come to him to figure Wild Bill out. In this manner, though Lecter could have just had that kind of foresight and might have even had a few other insurance cards to play had Wild Bill not worked out the way he wanted. Keep in mind that just because he saw some of the worst of the worst doesn’t mean that they were all just as bad, but it’s entirely likely that Lecter could turn just about anyone if he really put his mind to it. The guy is a genius after all when it comes to people and he knows how to twist folks around so that they’ll do pretty much anything that might run contrary to what they’re really like and what they believe. So it’s not too hard to think that he might have given Wild Bill just the right push in the direction he needed to make him walk down the path that would eventually lead to him becoming the killer he was. And if Wild Bill didn’t pan out, then what? There were still many patients he could have used in such a manner since he didn’t fully plan on being caught, but it does appear that he was making contingency plans should anything like this ever happen.
Plus, even if it’s not in his nature to act like a caged rat, Lecter was obviously unhappy during his incarceration, though he was simply too smart and too cultured to show it since believe it or not, there is one last bastion that can be taken away but usually isn’t, and it’s the mind and soul of a person that doesn’t break so easily when imprisoned or denied their freedoms. Lecter could have easily been creating psychopaths for some time to either cover his own tracks as a killer or simply to have something to fall back on if any of his pet projects turned out to be more than regular law enforcement could handle. That would facilitate the need for the FBI, and if they couldn’t figure out the problem, that would lead back to him since it would be established that he’d been seeing to the mental well-being of the killers in question before they went off the rails. Someone might have eventually put two and two together, but it’s likely that this still wouldn’t have upset Lecter too much since he might have remained unflappable and still acted as though he had plenty of pull since Lecter knows how to play the long game just as well as anyone else.
It’s an interesting theory to be certain but it does feel as though it could be poked through with holes simply due to the uncertainties that Lecter would have to face. But it’s still fun to entertain.
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