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"Can I borrow your imagination?"

Jack Crawford is a main character in NBC's Hannibal. He is a Special Agent at the FBI and the head of Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI, and Will Graham's boss. He was married to Bella Crawford prior to her death.


As a young man, Jack Crawford met Bella Crawford while both of them were stationed in Italy while enlisted in the Navy. While Bella's legal name is Phyllis, she acquired her nickname due to Italian men fawning over her, calling her Bella for her beauty. Jack decided that he wanted her to be his Bella and the two later married. Bella went on to be staffed with NATO, while Jack went on to head the Behavioral Sciences division of the FBI.

Two years prior to the events of the show, Jack Crawford recruits FBI trainee Miriam Lass to go digging up information on the Chesapeake Ripper. Jack allows Miriam to see the Wound Man-inspired victim of the Ripper, sending her off to investigate through novel means. When confronted on the fact that her efforts are outside of the usual boundaries of the law, Miriam concludes aloud to Jack that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission in her position, and that his hands are tied as "the Guru" - what trainees call him. Miriam Lass finds Hannibal Lecter and goes missing, presumed to be a victim of the Ripper before he went inactive.

Season 1[]

The beginning of the television series introduces Jack Crawford investigating the Minnesota Shrike, Garret Jacob Hobbs, who has been abducting girls fitting a profile very similar to his daughter. Coming up with nothing but dead ends, Jack Crawford re-introduces himself to Will Graham, whom he originally met when opening the Evil Minds Museum - something that Graham thought had a "hammy" name that glorified the killers on display. Despite Graham's reservations, he agrees to help Jack and goes to Minnesota with him where a body is discovered during an interview with the latest abductee's parents. Graham undergoes a psychological evaluation with Hannibal Lecter after he has trouble coping with getting back into the field, at Bloom's recommendation, although she shows reservations about putting Graham "out there" unless Jack is willing to cover him. Jack agrees to watch out for Graham. After Will Graham is cleared for the field, Jack brings him out to the scene of an apparent Copycat crime scene. With a better psychological profile and a shred of evidence on the body, Graham and Lecter are able to locate Garret Jacob Hobbs, who is shot to death by Graham after receiving an anonymous advance warning from Lecter that the FBI was coming for him.

Jack continues to investigate the Minnesota Shrike after his death, suspecting that Abigail Hobbs, his daughter, played a role in her father's murders. While investigating the Minnesota Shrike's nest, a hair from Freddie Lounds is found. After more interference from Lounds allows a killer to escape before the FBI can raid his workplace, Jack Crawford tracks her down to deliver a strong message about contaminating crime scenes and how she can be arrested for obstructing justice. This doesn't seem to stop her.

Oeuf introduces Bella Crawford, Jack's wife. After Jack gets home from closing a case where children were being roped into murdering their own families, ending with Jack consoling a child who nearly killed his own, he comes home to ask Bella if it's too late for them to have children. She responds, "It is for me." Several episodes later, it's revealed Bella has been diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer and has been hiding it from Jack, reasoning that he has enough to worry about with the stress of his job. Bella begins to withdraw from Jack, and he assures her that he'll be there for her when she's willing to talk about what she's going through. Bella begins seeing Lecter as her psychiatrist. After dealing with a murderer whose killings were caused by a brain tumor, and listening to his spouse talk about how he behaved when he was diagnosed, Jack realizes what Bella was hiding from him and confronts her as she's exiting a therapy session with Lecter. The two of them use Lecter's office to discuss her cancer diagnosis, Bella insisting that she doesn't want chemotherapy and doesn't want to die in indignity. Jack later persuades her to try chemotherapy to prolong her life, although both of them recognize that her cancer is terminal.

Bella leaves for a NATO trip and Jack Crawford is home alone as the next case progresses: a fake Chesapeake Ripper investigation surrounding Abel Gideon. Jack discusses the Ripper case with Lecter, revealing his guilt surrounding Miriam Lass, who went missing two years prior. After Lounds is involved to write an article about Gideon being the Chesapeake Ripper to flush out the real Ripper, Jack's house receives a call in the middle of the night playing a recording of Miriam Lass's voice in what seems to be her final moments. After the lab is unable to trace the call, Jack asserts that he knows when he's awake and that he knows the call was real. He later receives another call on his cell phone and is led to an Observatory where the team discovers Miriam Lass's severed arm clutching a cell phone.

This incident spurns Jack on into more intently investigating the Chesapeake Ripper, Alana Bloom speculating that he's obsessed and willingly putting Will Graham in danger in order to catch him because of a personal vendetta. Jack and his team catch another killer who's harvesting organs out of an ambulance. Later, Jack responds to Hannibal Lecter apparently being attacked by the next killer they're investigating, Tobias Budge, who Lecter claims also killed his patient, Franklyn Froideveaux, before attacking Lecter himself. Jack suspects that the situation isn't as it seems, but he accepts Lecter's claim that he killed Budge in self-defense.

Jack investigates and arrests several more murderers with Graham's help: an elderly killer who made a totem pole of bodies, a woman with Cotard's syndrome who mutilates faces because she can no longer recognize them as anything more than masks, and, after his escape from the Baltimore State Hospital For The Criminally Insane, Abel Gideon, who is shot by Will Graham while on the way to kill Alana Bloom. Graham is hospitalized with an incredibly high fever following many episodes of lost time and confusion at crime scenes, showing increasingly worrying behavior that Jack pushes him through because he's saving lives by catching killers.

Season 2[]

New evidence surfaces which gives Jack sufficient evidence to pin Abigail Hobbs as a helper in her father's crimes. No longer trusting Graham or Lecter to be objective on Abigail Hobbs, due to viewing themselves as her new father figures, Jack confronts Bedelia Du Maurier, Hannibal's therapist, but learns nothing useful. Before he's able to arrest Abigail Hobbs or locate Will Graham, he's called by Lecter to respond to an apparent loss of time where Graham murdered her and ate her, vomiting up an ear in his sink. Graham is arrested and processed but later escapes custody after demonstrating symptoms of dementia during his interview in custody. Jack figures out he's going to Minnesota with Hannibal Lecter, traveling there and confronting Graham just as Graham has a gun on Lecter. Graham goes to shoot, but Jack fires first and Graham falls in the same corner where Garret Jacob Hobbs died. Jack arrests Graham and they travel back to Baltimore, where Graham is admitted to the BSHCI awaiting trial.

Whilst attempting to apprehend Hannibal Lecter after learning he is the Chesapeake Ripper in the season 2 finale, he is stabbed in the neck by Lecter with a piece of glass and badly wounded, although he survives the ordeal.


Actual Victims[]

  • Bella Crawford - Purposefully overdosed on her pain medication as a mercy killing.

Attempted Victims[]

  • Matthew Brown - Jack shot Brown to stop him from killing Hannibal. It is later revealed that Brown survived and is now in custody. 
  • Hannibal Lecter - Attempted, in self-defense after Lecter was recognized as the Chesapeake Ripper and attempted to murder Jack. Lecter was able to overpower and severely wound Jack before escaping.



  • "Can I borrow your imagination?" (to Will)
  • "Come on, Will. I need my beauty sleep!"
  • "Are you beginning to appreciate my lack of sympathy?" (to Dr. Bloom)
  • "Don't worry, I won't leave you here." (to WiIl)
  • "So, is it me, or is it becoming easier for you to look?" (to Will)
  • "Well, not feeling like yourself is kind of what you do." (to Will)
  • "Well, clearly there's something you don't want to tell me." (to Will)
  • "My instincts tell me that Abigail Hobbs has answers that we have not heard." (to Dr. Bloom)
  • "In my house, in my bedroom, where my wife sleeps." A quote directly from Al Pacino's character Michael Corleone, from The Godfather.
  • "I'm here for Will Graham. I borrowed his imagination, and I broke it. I don't know how he managed to piece it back together again." (to Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi)


  • Laurence Fishburne and Gina Torres were married in real life (2002-2018).
  • Jack has shown himself to be a skilled fighter, as he was able to match Hannibal in a fistfight and even overpower him. In Florence, he was later able to savagely beat Hannibal in a fight, though Hannibal was not fighting back at the time. His fighting skills may come from his training in the FBI and Navy.
  • Jack's suits are made by Garrison Bespoke.


Main Characters

Will GrahamHannibal LecterAlana BloomBeverly KatzJack Crawford