Friday, December 11, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 54: The source of the tissue note hair is determined

CATEGORY: MOVIES     [Hidden plot related]

Top left: Hannibal Lecktor closes a book when he hears someone begin to enter his cell area (click image to enlarge). Note that Lecktor is holding a blue object in his right hand. Top right: The person turns out to be a guard Lecktor is expecting, to bring him a phone that he has requested in order to make an outside call. Note the absence of a wedding band or any kind of ring, on the guard's left hand. Above left: The guard passes the phone through to Lecktor's cell. Note that the guard has dark hair. Lecktor placed his altered version of Dollarhyde's note in the book when he heard the guard approaching , and now, he wants the guard to 'catch' him with the 'hidden' note in his cell. However, the guard does not notice Lecktor hiding the note this time around. The guard has had Lecktor stand up against his bunk and face away from the guard toward his cell wall, and therefore, the guard cannot see the book, which is lying on the bunk, since his view of it is blocked by Lecktor's body. The blue object Lecktor was holding is the felt-tip pen that he used to mark over a portion of his own part of the note, and part of Dollarhyde's note. Above right: While the guard is leaving the cell area, Lecktor says, "Thank you so much. I'll call you when I'm finished." This statement indicates that Lecktor is exercising control over the guard - Lecktor has him under some form hypnosis such that he can make 'suggestions' to the guard's unconscious, that the guard do certain things (not necessarily just this guard; note that this must be how Lecktor obtained the pen and scissors he used to prepare the note).

Above left: A different guard than the one discussed above (note the presence of a wedding band on this guard's hand) has entered Dr. Chilton's office with the altered tissue note, and tells the doctor that Lecktor was caught hiding it in a book when his cell area was entered for cleaning. Lecktor has now succeeded in getting 'caught'. We cannot see the guard's head at any point in this scene, so we're initially unsure what color hair he has. However, when Chilton tells the guard to put the tissue note on his desk, he says to the guard, "Put it down on my desk blotter", and the guard does so; but the way Chilton has said this also could be taken to sound like he's saying, "Put it down on my desk, Blonner", as if calling the guard by his name or nickname, in turn suggesting that the guard has blond hair. After the guard puts the note down, Chilton verifies that no one but the guard has seen it. Above right: Chilton, now connected by phone with Graham and Crawford, goes over the note. He is careful not to touch it, and at one point during the phone conversation, Graham tells the doctor that he wants the note to be placed back in Lecktor's cell, after it has been examined by the FBI (in Washington) and then returned to the prison (in Baltimore), such that Lecktor will not realize that it has been found. In saying that he want this done, Graham is preserving his 'therapeutic bond' with Lecktor.

Regarding the toilet tissue note, it's a logical assumption that Lecktor would have removed any foreign material that might be on the note, i.e., any piece of Dollarhyde's hair that was already on it, before hiding it in the book in his cell. Also, note that the blond guard is not the same man who had earlier brought Lecktor a phone, since the latter man has dark hair.

With the above things in mind, we note that shortly after Katz mentions the presence of a half-inch strand of blond hair on the note, she asks Graham, who is standing next to her (see screencap at left), "Wha-da-ye have for negative comparison?", ostensibly to be heard as, "What do you have for negative comparison?"; but her slurring of the statement, as indicated by the first spelling of it just given, and including saying the word "for" very quickly, makes it sound more like, "We have negative comparison." Since the samples that Graham has brought for comparison include samples of the guard's hair, this statement by Katz is not only a hint to the Manhunter audience that she plans on deceiving Graham about the source of the hair on the note (the implication of her slurred statement being that the hair will not match any of the samples Graham brought with him), but it is also a 'suggestion' of this same idea to Graham's unconscious, so that he will not question Katz's confidence when she later states the result of the analysis she does on the hair (i.e., that the hair found on the note matches the blond hair found at the Jacobi crime scene, thus confirming that the tissue note was written by the Tooth Fairy).

The fact is that the guard who brought Chilton the note has blond hair, and he got one of his blond arm hairs on the note while handling it. As mentioned above, the hair found was one-half inch long, which sounds right for the length of a large man's arm hair; we can tell the guard is large when we see him standing in Chilton's office.

Now we know where the hair on the tissue note actually came from; and we know that Katz is trying to trick or mislead Graham. The issue of why she would try to do this, will be discussed later in the analysis.


1) In certain instances it has been determined that the creators of some of the productions analyzed on this blog, and/or the creators of source material(s) used in the making of these productions, may be making negative statements about certain segments of society in their productions. These statements should be taken as expressing the opinions of no one other than the creators.

2) This blog is not associated with any of the studios, creators, authors, publishers, directors, actors, musicians, writers, editors, crew, staff, agents, or any other persons or entities involved at any stage in the making of any of the media productions or source materials that are analyzed, mentioned, or referenced herein.

3) In keeping with the policies of the filmmakers, authors, studios, writers, publishers, and musicians, that have created the productions (and their source materials) that are analyzed, mentioned, or referenced on this blog, any similarity of the characters in these films or source materials to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.


All images on this blog are used solely for non-commercial purposes of analysis, review, and critique.

All Wikipedia content on this blog, and any edits made to it, are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Marcus Aurelius's Meditations - from Wikisource (except where otherwise noted); portions from Wikisource used on this blog are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Saint Augustine's Confessions and City of God from Wikisource (except where otherwise noted); portions from Wikisource used on this blog are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Saint Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica from the 'Logos Virtual Library' website (except where otherwise noted), compiled and edited by Darren L. Slider; believed to be in public domain.