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.
The Silence of the Lambs NovelEdit
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 Behavioural 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 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. Lecter shoots Krendler with a cross bow. Krendler becomes the twenty eighth and final known victim of Lecter.
The Silence of the LambsEdit
He 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 the movie, he conspires against Starling, partly because of being rebuffed ten years before and partly she caught Buffalo Bill before him. He works with Lecter's surviving victim, Mason Verger, in order to discredit Starling and to have Lecter captured and brutally killed. After Verger dies at the hands of his physician, Lecter follows Krendler to his home and incapacitate him. Lecter removes the top of Krendler's skull, and before a horrified Starling, cooks and feeds Krendler his own brain. Krendler later dies from his injuries.
Later, what appears to be Krendler's brain is shown as part of Lecter's meal on the plane, in which a young boy persuades him to let him try some of it.