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Officer Starling, you may know Mr. Krendler from the Department of Justice. Paul, this is the girl Jack Crawford sent in to Lecter.
— Senator Martin

Paul Krendler is a Deputy Assistant Attorney General from the United States Justice Department. He makes his first appearance in the novel The Silence of the Lambs and also in the novel Hannibal. He is played by Ron Vawter in Silence of the Lambs and Ray Liotta in Hannibal. He is played by Michael Cudlitz in the television series Clarice.


The Silence of the Lambs[]

Krendler is described by Starling firsthand with the words "Krendler's bald spot was tanned and he looked fit at forty."

He holds many doubts over Clarice Starling's head as she is still just an agent in training and even takes her off the Buffalo Bill case after having her reveal harsh evidence of Catherine Martin in front of Senator Ruth Martin. He heavily criticizes the Behavioral Science Section Chief, Jack Crawford, for not taking compassionate leave due to his wife's illness. It is, however, only a fuel to his ego and not due to personal feelings.

In the film adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs, Krendler is seen on the phone after Jack Crawford uses Senator Ruth Martin's name to gather information from Hannibal Lecter through Clarice Starling. Later he is seen with TV reporters in a rush to catch a flight.


In this novel Clarice Starling describes Krendler as "...Her nemesis, Paul Krendler from Justice, with his long neck and his round ears set high on his head like the ears of a hyena. Krendler was a climber, the gray eminence at the shoulder of the Inspector General. Since she caught the serial killer Buffalo Bill ahead of him in a celebrated case seven years ago, he had dripped poison into her personnel file at every opportunity, and whispered close to the ears of the Career Board."

Krendler tries to discredit Starling after the failed drugs bust which left five dead. Krendler, working for Mason Verger, does everything he can to ruin her career. Hannibal Lecter is soon captured by Verger, in revenge for being mutilated by Lecter. Lecter escapes with an injured Starling and takes residence at Krendler's home. Lecter drugs Krendler and removes the top of his skull. Lecter and Starling dine on Krendler's brain while he is still alive, prepared elegantly. Krendler succumbs to his injuries, becoming the twenty-ninth and final known victim of Lecter.

The Hannibal film adaptation presents the same events as the books with regards to Krendler, including his conspiring against Starling and working alongside Mason Verger, as well as the eventual dinner scene. In the film, instead of Lecter and Starling eating Krendler’s brain, Lecter cooks the brain and feeds it to Krendler, much to Starling’s horror. A final scene in which Lecter is on a plane implies he has what appears to be Krendler's brain as part of the meal he carried in, with a young boy persuading him to let him try some of it.

Clarice series[]

This section covers content from the Clarice television series, a sequel taking place a year after The Silence of the Lambs. (See our Timeline Policy for more information on how we organize different timelines and adaptations.)

Paul Krendler in Clarice, portrayed by Michael Cudlitz.

Television series Clarice features Paul Krendler as the leader of the VICAP Fly Team. Having grown up in the second-best house in the second-best neighborhood in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Paul grew to hate "The Sweetest Place on Earth" with a serious passion.

A truly gifted investigator for the Department of Justice with solid legal skills, Krendler has also proven to be wily and sensitive to the shifting political winds.[1]


  1. Flook, Ray (November 28, 2020)."Clarice: Michael Cudlitz's Paul Krendler Won't Be Mistaken for Abraham". Bleeding Cool. (Retrieved on January 26, 2021).