The head of the FBI Behavioral Science unit, Jack Crawford, calls on profiler Will Graham to assist them catch a serial killer. The killer has now kidnapped eight women, all similar in appearance and always on a Friday. His most recent victim is Elise Nichols. Graham has been teaching at the FBI academy and isn't too keen on going out into the field. He is particularly empathetic and has a tendency to get far too involved in these types of cases. Crawford arranges for a well-known psychiatrist, Hannibal Lecter, to work with him and ease the stress. It seems Lecter has his own plans for Will.
A Minnesota serial killer leaves his victims' bloodily labored corpses strangely exposed, with body parts missing. FBI Behavioral Science unit chief recruits field work-reluctant, uniquely empathic FBI academy profiling instructor Will Graham to understand the killer. Will realizes it's a brilliant cannibal but there also seems to be a copycat at work. Will turns for advise to highly esteemed psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter, who agrees to be his mentor but actually has his own, grim agenda.
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