Benjamin Raspail was a flautist of the Baltimore Philharmonic Orchestra. He was a patient and the ninth and last known victim of Dr. Hannibal Lecter , prior to Lecter's capture. Raspail first introduced Jame Gumb to Lecter for therapy, after Gumb had murdered Raspail's lover Klaus. Raspail was undergoing treatment himself for manic depression and was assigned to Lecter. The therapy was not successful, as Raspail spent most of the time talking about his school days, which Lecter claimed to be boring.
During the 1970s, Lecter embarked on a savage killing spree, killing nine people and attempting to kill three others. Raspail was the ninth victim to die, and the third to have been killed within a nine day span, during which Lecter escalated his killings. Raspail was murdered during a therapy session with Lecter, in which he discussed Jame Gumb, and how Gumb had murdered Raspail's lover. Lecter stabbed him through the heart and instantly killed him. Raspail was reported missing on 22nd March 1975 and was found in a church pew three days later. His heart had been pierced and was missing his thymus and pancreas (known in cooking as the sweetbreads). Lecter served these organs to the board of the Philharmonic Orchestra. Lecter noted in an interview with Clarice Starling that he killed Raspail because the other man was starting to bore him, but various sources have speculated that his primary reason for killing Raspail was that his playing disturbed the otherwise excellent quality of an opera that Lecter had attended. The president of the orchestra developed alcohol problems as well as anorexia after learning what was in his meal after Lecter's arrest and media coverage into his murders.
There is some discrepancies in the movies as to whether Raspail was murdered by Lecter. In The Silence of the Lambs, Raspail's head is found in a garage that was leased in Lecter's name. Lecter assures Starling that he did not kill him, merely "tucked him away". A Death's Head moth is found in Raspail's throat, which confirms him as a victim of Buffalo Bill. However, in Hannibal, Starling discusses with Paul Krendler on the reasons why Lecter dines on his victims. She describes that Benjamin Raspail was killed and served to his fellow musicians to improve the quality of the Philharmonic Orchestra, and discusses the ingredients of that particular meal.