Mindhunter is a 2017 series modeled after the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, that secret division of the FBI that profiles serial killers. They do other stuff, but that’s what we know them for. The series and its cases are taken directly from the books written by John Douglas, the original profiler who went around interviewing serial killers to hear why they did what they did and how they did it. That gave him and his colleagues the insight into how to catch other killers.
The star of the show is Holden Ford who is modeled after John Douglas himself. His partner, Bill Tench, is modeled after John’s partner Robert Ressler. When Holden first starts working with Bill, they’re traveling all the time, going to various police stations and teaching cops how to identify motives for killers. But what they’re teaching isn’t all that helpful. On one of these trips, Holden realizes they are close to the penitentiary where famous serial killer Ed Kemper is being held on a life sentence. So Holden goes and speaks with Ed, who is a formidable and terrifying guy. He’s six feet nine inches tall and roughly three hundreds pounds. He’s incredibly smart and manipulative. But he likes to talk. He and Holden form a tentative friendship in which Ed tells Holden why he did what he did and what he was thinking at the time. He tells him about his cruel mother and cruel grandparents and how he started out his criminal career. This is one of the reasons your children should not watch this series. It’s graphic in parts, at least vocally, not necessarily visually.
I found the series engrossing and had a hard time not binge-watching the whole season in one night. It’s fascinating how he came to be the famous profiler he is. It’s also interesting to note that Jack Crawford, the famous profiler from “Silence of the Lambs” was modeled after John Douglas, as was David Rossi, the famous profiler on “Criminal Minds”. (And the list of profilers in films modeled after Douglas goes on.)
If you love this series, you’ll also enjoy Douglas’s books.
10 out of 10 stars for an interesting and engaging series.