‘I was Silence of the Lambs killer’s neighbour on Death Row – he was nuts’

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    A former Death Row inmate who was wrongfully convicted of murder recalled living next door to the real Buffalo Bill – and selling him chocolate bars.

    Nick Yarris, 61, spent 22 years awaiting execution in prison, the first three of which were spent in solitary confinement where he wasn't even allowed to speak.

    In that time, he rubbed shoulders with some of America's most famous killers, including the man who inspired the movie Silence of the Lambs.

    READ MORE: 'I escaped Death Row when guard went to toilet – then hid outside police station'

    Appearing on the Anything Goes podcast with host James English, he spoke about prisoners he met who opted to have the death penalty earlier than planned.

    “The real Buffalo Bill did it," he recalled.

    "Gary Heidnick, the dude who abducted six black women and put them in a pit under his house."

    Asked if Heidnick was the man who inspired Silence of the Lambs, Yarris replied: "That’s the real Buffalo Bill, he was my next-door neighbour for two and a half years."

    Heidnick kidnapped, tortured, and raped six women and two of them while keeping them hostage in a pit he had dug in his basement floor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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    He was sentenced to death for his crimes and received the lethal injection in July 1999. His last meal was two slices of cheese pizza and a black coffee.

    The sicko is one of the killers who inspired the hit movie Silence of the Lambs, starring Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter and Ted Levine as Buffalo Bill.

    And Nick revealed he was just as "f***ed up" in real life as in the movie.

    "He was f***ed up in the head," he said. "He was a Charles Manson wannabe creating a master race with black women.

    "He was nuts. When we lost power, he would put on a performance about killing the ladies. He was performing this ritual of killing women.

    "A lot of black dudes whipped his ass. I'm sorry, you can't do that in a predominantly black prison system and get away with that.

    "Every so often, someone would light him up and he'd go and hide in his cell somewhere."

    He also claimed he used to sell chocolate bars to the evil killer and even "patted him on his crazy head".

    Nick was sentenced to death after being wrongfully convicted for the rape and murder of Linda Mae Craig in July 1982, at the age of 21.

    He spent time in several jails including the B Block of Huntingdon Prison in Pennsylvania, which he said was designed to "break" even the most hardened of prisoners.

    He also made an impressive bid for freedom, making him a wanted man for 25 days before he turned himself in.

    After learning about DNA testing in 1988, Yarris became the first Death Row prisoner to request it.

    "If it wasn’t for DNA, I was dead," he said.

    "I kept fighting for DNA testing."

    But it would take another 15 years before he was finally found innocent of the crime.

    In 2003 it was found two other men, not Yarris, had committed the murder.

    He was released in January 2004 after clearing the charges related to his escape.


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