Francis Dolarhyde is a fictional character and the main antagonist featured in Thomas Harris' novel Red Dragon.
Dolarhyde is a serial killer nicknamed "The Tooth-Fairy" due to his tendency to bite his victims' bodies, the uncommon size and sharpness of his teeth and other apparent oral fixation. He refers to his other self as "The Great Red Dragon" after William Blake's painting "The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun" (Mistitled in the book as "The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun", another painting by William Blake).
Born in Springfield, Missouri with a Unilateral complete cleft lip and palate, Francis Dolarhyde is abandoned by his mother and cared for in an orphanage until the age of five. He is then taken in by his grandmother, who subjects him to severe emotional and physical abuse. After his grandmother becomes afflicted with dementia, Dolarhyde is turned over to the care of his estranged mother and her husband in St. Louis, Missouri; he is further abused by this family and is sent back to the orphanage after being caught hanging his stepsister's cat. He begins torturing animals at a young age. After being caught breaking into a house at age 17, he enlisted in the Army. While on his tour in Japan and neighboring countries, he learns how to develop film and receives cosmetic surgery for his cleft palate. He later gets a job with the Gateway Corp. as the production chief in their largest division—home videos.
Dolarhyde begins his killing spree by murdering two families within a month after discovering The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun with both crimes being committed on or near a full moon; it is hinted in the book that he had killed before that, however. Dolarhyde is obsessed with the image and convinced that he is "unique" and is becoming the Dragon. He chooses his victims through the home movies that he edits as a film processing technician. He believes that by killing people, or "transforming" them, as he calls it, he can fully become the Dragon. On a trip to Hong Kong during his army service, he has a large dragon tattooed across his back and had two sets of false teeth made; one of them normal for his usual life, the other distorted and razor sharp for his killings, based on a mold of his grandmother's snaggle-toothed grimace. There is also a sexual component to his crimes; he molests the corpse of one adult female victim, and he often masturbates to the films he himself makes while committing murder.
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