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Silence of the Lambs-inspired 'cry for help' lands Pennsylvania man in court

Silence of the Lambs-inspired 'cry for help' lands Pennsylvania man in court
From CBC - September 15, 2017

A Pennsylvania man has been ordered to stand trial on charges he threatened a judge by sending her a letter including a picture of movie cannibal Hannibal Lecter.

Gregg Tchirkow, of Monessen, Pa.,claimed at Thursday's preliminary hearing that the picture was a "cry for help" and a way to tell the court he needed psychiatric help when transitioning from prison to freedom.

Lecter is the criminally insane psychiatrist who helps an FBI agent track a serial killer in the film The Silence of the Lambs.

Westmoreland County Judge Meagan Bilik-Defazio sent Tchirkow to prison for 18 to 36 months in 2015 for growing marijuana in his home. Prosecutors contend the letter was sent in retaliation and to terrorize the judge.

Tchirkow, acting as his own attorney during a contentious two-hour hearing, called charges of retaliation, stalking and terroristic threats "ridiculously frivolous" but could not persuade the district judge who heard that case that he meant no harm with the letter he sent to Bilik-Defazio from state prison in July.

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