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Lionel Strarkweather is the twisted mastermind behind the entire Manhunt scenario and the main antagonist of said game. The Director communicates to James Earl Cash through an earpiece for most of the game, using it to tell Cash where to go and sometimes gives special instructions on murdering certain people. As the game progresses, stealthy executions begin to lose their effectiveness to satisfy Lionel in his blood lust, in that regard that effectiveness is instead brought on by fire fights and the bloody mutilation of victims. Little is known of Starkweather's past  but according to bonus material, he was once a prominent director in Hollywood but fell out of the spotlight due to some unknown incident and went insane, turning to underground pornography and slasher films to rebuild his funds and using it to turn his enemies into " extras." He later used Valiant Video Enterprises as a front to distribute snuff films. He hides deep within his mansion where Cash confronts him, mutilating and killing him using a chainsaw.

His voice was provided by the British actor Brian Cox.

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