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Jack Crawford
Jack Crawford
Occupation(s) FBI officer
Status Deceased
Relatives Bella Crawford (wife; deceased)
Relationships Will Graham (former employer)
Clarice Starling (former employer)
Other info
First appearance Red Dragon
Last appearance Hannibal
Portrayed by Dennis Farina (Manhunter)
Scott Glenn (The Silence of the Lambs)
Harvey Keitel (Red Dragon)
Laurence Fishburne (TV series)
Jack Crawford gallery

Jack Crawford is a fictional character who appears in the Hannibal Lecter series of books by Thomas Harris, in which Crawford is the Agent-in-Charge of the Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI in Quantico, Virginia. He is modeled after John E. Douglas, who held the same position.


NOTE: This history is based on the novel by Thomas Harris, not any of the screenplays in which Jack Crawford appears.

Red DragonEdit

Jack Crawford first appears in the novel Red Dragon, in which he calls upon Will Graham, his former protégé, for assistance in solving the murders being committed by a serial killer dubbed "The Tooth Fairy." Graham, as a profiler, has a reputation for being able to think like the criminals he hunts, thus assisting the FBI in a criminal's ultimate apprehension. Graham had retired after being attacked and nearly killed by Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a Baltimore psychiatrist he had been consulting with about a series of cannibalistic murders, after Graham intuited that Lecter was the killer he sought. Crawford convinces Graham to come out of retirement to help solve the "Tooth Fairy" murders, and soon they both realize that they would need Lecter's help again. Crawford helps shelter Graham and his family after Lecter sends the killer, Francis Dolarhyde, his old nemesis' address. With Crawford's help, Graham eventually solve the case, but Dolarhyde disfigures him before Graham kills him. Crawford feels responsible for Graham's misfortune, and resents Lecter for the rest of his life.

The Silence of the LambsEdit

Jack Crawford appears again in the novel The Silence of the Lambs, again investigating a serial killer. This time, the serial killer is nicknamed "Buffalo Bill", and his killing signature involves killing and skinning women. Crawford is desperate to capture Buffalo Bill and is forced to once again call upon Lecter for assistance. This time, however, Crawford sends an FBI trainee, Clarice Starling, to interview him. By way of information obtained from Lecter, Crawford and the FBI attempt to track down the killer, Jame Gumb. However, the address they obtain for him is out of date. Gumb had killed the employer of one of his former victims and moved into her house to use its large basement, which contains a disused and empty well. He uses the well as a makeshift holding space for his victims. Realizing that Buffalo Bill probably knew his first victim, Fredrica Bimmel, Starling sets about interviewing everyone close to her and ends up stumbling upon Gumb's house. By the time Crawford and his men arrive, Starling has singlehandedly killed Gumb and rescued his intended victim.

Throughout the novel, Crawford is struggling under a double burden, as he is caring for his terminally ill wife, Bella, at home while leading the investigation into the 'Buffalo Bill' case. Bella dies near the end of the novel.


Crawford appears as a relatively minor character in the book Hannibal. He is portrayed as very sympathetic toward Starling, yet increasingly distant due to failing health and his powerlessness against the corrupt bureaucrats set to destroy her career. It is later revealed that he died later due to a heart attack.



Crawford appears in the film adaptations of Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs; he does not appear in the adaptation of Hannibal, although a deleted scene explains that he has died. He has been portrayed by four different actors:


  • Jack Crawford was absent in the film adaptation of Hannibal as Scott Glenn wasn't interested in returning. The character was mentioned to have died in a deleted scene.
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