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An Oxford Companion to NBC’s Hannibal

By Kimberly Hernandez

The new television show Hannibal resurrects Thomas Harris’s famous serial killer and offers a few new surprises bound to shock both newcomers and longtime fans of Dr. Lecter. So while you’re catching up on the latest incarnation of the series, why not brush up on criminology facts or learn something new about cannibalism?


How does Will Graham get inside the minds of serial killers?

Criminal Law: The Essentials
By Sue Titus Reid
This brief text will introduce you to the main issues and developments within the field.

Crime Profiles: The Anatomy of Dangerous Persons, Places, and Situations
By Terance D. Miethe, Richard C. McCorkle and Shelley J. Listwan
Learn more about the motivation and design of criminal acts.

Forensic Psychology: A Very Short Introduction
By David Canter
A thorough overview of the field of forensic psychology including a chapter dedicated to how to track down a criminal.


Jack Crawford’s FBI team doesn’t have the best record for bringing in criminals alive, but what can they expect when brought to justice?

Criminal Law: The Essentials
By Sue Titus Reid
This brief text will introduce you to the main issues and developments within the field.

Minds on Trial: Great Cases in Law and Psychology
By Charles Patrick Ewing and Joseph T. McCann
A behind-the-scenes look into high profile cases with an emphasis on the testimonies of mental health professionals.

Criminal Law
By Sue Titus Reid
A broader overview of criminal law and justice through a modified case by case approach.

The Oxford Handbook of Crime and Criminal Justice
Edited by Michael Tonry
A guide to the American criminal justice system and essential to learn what happens next to the killers caught on the show.

Criminal Law
By Nicola Padfield
Review this concise volume on criminal law before the next big case.


Do you need to stay ahead of Dr. Lecter’s mind games with the latest developments in psychiatry?

Psychiatry: A Very Short Introduction
By Tom Burns
Test your knowledge on this field and see if you can keep up with Dr. Lecter.

Psychiatry’s contract with society: Concepts, controversies, and consequences
Edited by Dinesh Bhugra, Amit Malik and George Ikkos
Read this to get a better handle on the complicated relationship between doctor and patient (luckily not as complicated as Graham and Lecter’s will be).


Where did Thomas Harris get his inspiration from?

Gangsters, Swindlers, Killers, and Thieves: The Lives and Crimes of Fifty American Villains
Edited by Lawrence Block
Learn about the real villains that could have been the inspiration behind some of the characters on the show.

The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing
Edited by Rosemary Herbert
Review the entry on serial killers and mass murderers by Marion Swan to see how real life killers inspire our writers.


How does human flesh taste?

The Man-Eating Myth: Anthropology and Anthropophagy
By William Arens
No book list on Hannibal Lecter would be complete without a few reference books on cannibalism.

The Oxford Companion to the Body
Edited by Colin Blakemore and Sheila Jennett
The entry on cannibalism by W. Arens provides a historical perspective on the anthropophagic nature of ‘others’.

Now that you’re prepared, use your newfound knowledge to solve the next case before Will does!

Kimberly Hernandez is a social media intern at Oxford University Press.

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Image credit: All images from the Hannibal television series copyright NBC. Used for purposes of illustration.

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