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From the People Archives: How Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs Was Made — and the Real Serial Killers That Inspired It

From the People Archives: How Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs Was Made — and the Real Serial Killers That Inspired It

Director Jonathan Demme, known for his hit movie The Silence of the Lambs, died Wednesday due to complications from esophageal cancer at the age of 73. Here, People takes a look back at a 1991 story on the making of Lambs and the real-life serial killers and FBI agents that inspired its unforgettable — and horrific — characters.

The cell door opens. Into a dank asylum basement steps Clarice Starling, the FBI trainee dispatched by her driven boss to interview the mad doctor. Clang! The door slams shut behind her. Simultaneously fearful and determined, she makes her way down the dark corridor to confront psychiatrist Dr.

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