Netflix's streaming service is chock full of dozens of different and amazing TV shows and movies, so it can be kind of hard for any one particular TV show or film to distinguish itself from the rest of the pack. Their original series Mindhunter, however, has no such problem in that department.
This series is about the development of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, and it focuses on FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench as well as Dr. Wendy Carr as they interview many of America's most famous serial killers in the hopes of gaining some insight into their methodology and having a better shot at catching criminals like them before their body count continues to grow. And the show has featured fictionalized versions some of the most notorious killers in American history. These men and their crimes are as repulsive as they are fascinating, and these are undoubtedly the ten most interesting killers to be featured on Mindhunter so far.
10 Montie Ralph Rissell
When it comes to American serial killers, there are a lot of big names who's crimes or at least whose name will be familiar to even the average Joe. But some of the more interesting cases that are covered in the Netflix series Mindhunter are the cases of serial killers that most people probably haven't ever heard of.
One of their lesser known but just as disturbing cases is that of Montie Rissell. Within the span of less than a year he killed five women and assaulted twelve, and what's even more astonishing and horrifying is that he committed all of these crimes and was convicted of them by the time he was eighteen years old.
9 Elmer Wayne Henley Jr.
It's hard to ever try to sort out serial killers from the more "normal" ones to more "abnormal" ones, because everything that they've done is so beyond insane that it's difficult to parse between their atrocities and judge one as worse than the other.
But Elmer Wayne Henley Jr. is definitely a weird case, even in comparison to other serial killers. What makes Henley so bizarre is that he wasn't a natural born killer. He actually coincidentally met up with an active serial killer who started using Henley to recruit other victims, and eventually Henley started participating in the murders himself.
8 Tex Watson
It's certainly not a reality that most people would like to face, but the fact that people like Elmer Wayne Henley Jr. or Charles "Tex" Watson actually existed makes it seem like most people are more capable of brutal, repeated acts of violence than anyone would like to admit.
Tex was one of the members of Charles Manson's "Manson Family" and he was really the lead actor in the famous Manson murders. Watson committed some of the most atrocious murders in American history, and it would appear that he did them simply because Charles Manson told him to, which is dramatized for Mindhunter but is frighteningly true too.
7 Charles Manson
Within the fictionalized world of Mindhunter, an in person interview with Charles Manson is the dream of agent Holden Ford and by extension the entire Behavioral Sciences Unit of the FBI. And it's easy to see why. While Charles Manson is a complete wack job and the information that he gives to Holden and Tench during their interview seems all but useless, Manson also "achieved" something that most people wouldn't think was possible.
He actually convinced multiple people to commit murder on his behalf, and he didn't even have to be there to ensure that his commands were followed, the people around him were just that devoted to his will.
6 David Berkowitz
As far as violent and gruesome acts go, David Berkowitz, better known as the Son of Sam, is actually one of the less violent and pathological offenders that Holden and Tench interview for their studies. Berkowitz terrorized New York with a shooting spree that paralyzed the city with fear, and when he was caught he came up with an absurd story about a possessed dog that told him to commit the murders.
However, he still admitted his guilt and accepted a guilty plea instead of pleading insanity. And of course, he eventually confessed that his entire story about his mental illness was completely fabricated.
5 Jerry Brudos
In a TV show that is populated by mostly the creepiest creeps who ever lived, serial killer Jerry Brudos manages to stand out from the crowd as one of the most uniquely repulsive. And that is pretty much in line with the real life Jerry Brudos.
Brudos' predilections and preferences when it came to his victims is pretty accurately portrayed within Mindhunter, and his crimes were especially unsettling for a few reasons. Obviously the things that he did were awful, but he was convicted of only a few murders, whereas his personal collection of disturbing photographs included pictures of many women who remained unidentified and whom he was never convicted of killing.
4 Richard Speck
One of the main distinctions that the Behavioral Science Unit comes up with in Mindhunter to distinguish between types of killers is the difference between organized and disorganized killers. And it would seem that mass murderer Richard Speck would be the poster boy for disorganized, impulsive killing.
While it takes most serial killers a while to rack up a body count, the eight murders that Richard Speck was convicted of were all committed on one night. And if Speck is to be believed, he wasn't even planning on committing the crimes, he broke into a dormitory on a random night and then murdered eight out of the nine women inside one by one.
3 Wayne Williams
Unfortunately the thing that makes the case of Wayne Bertram Williams one of the most interesting cases covered in Mindhunter is also what makes those cases the most tragic, and that is that although Wayne Williams is the prime suspect in almost two dozen child murders he has never been convicted of any of them.
Wayne Williams is currently serving life in prison for two murders that he actually was convicted of (and those particular victims were two adult men), and although he is suspected for murdering anywhere between 23 and 30 children in Atlanta he has never been tried or even charged for any of those crimes.
2 Dennis Rader
The inclusion of Dennis Rader, better known as the BTK killer, in Mindhunter is one of the most curious decisions made by the show's writers. Because while Rader was actively committing murders around this time, he wasn't actually caught and convicted of anything until many years later.
The FBI did everything they could to find him, and it's true that he did tease and taunt the media as well as law enforcement. But his insatiable need to feel like he was outsmarting everyone that was searching for him didn't actually catch up to him until 2005, when he was finally caught as a result of resuming his contact with the police and media in 2004.
1 Edmund Kemper
Mindhunter has done a great job of examining and including a lot of fascinating freaks in its storylines, but clearly the star serial killer of the show is Edmund Kemper.
Ed Kemper is an interesting character in his own right, and it seems that the Ed Kemper that we see on the show is a pretty close match to the real life Kemper. Most of the people who interacted with him said that he was a very intelligent, polite, honest, and open individual that didn't seem to square up with all of the horrific crimes that he had committed.