The final trailer for the Netflix series Mindhunter has been released. Throughout most of history, crime fighting was about catching and stopping criminals. There was very little curiosity as to the reasons why crimes were committed. But a lot of that changed with FBI Agent John E. Douglas, who joined the Bureau in 1970 and went on to become one of the first criminal profilers. By interviewing a number of serial killers and other violent criminals, Douglas began to learn why the worst criminals act the way they do. From there, he became able to use behavior to help investigate and solve other crimes.
Douglas’ work has not only been used both to apprehend criminals and exonerate the innocent, but he has also served as the inspiration for a number of characters in entertainment. He is the basis for the character of Jack Crawford in the Hannibal Lecter books – and has therefore also been seen in three of the movies based on the books by Thomas Harris as well as the TV series Hannibal. On Hannibal Douglas was also used as the basis for the character of Will Graham. And on the series Criminal Minds – which is about the FBI’s profilers – both the characters of Jason Gidion and David Rossi were inspired by Douglas.
And now Douglas’ own story will be told, on the Netflix series Mindhunter. Produced by David Fincher and Charlize Theron, Mindhunter is based on Douglas’ own book – Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit. With the show becoming available in only a few days, Netflix has now released the final trailer for the series, which shows main character Holden Ford and Bill Tench facing opposition from their superiors as they begin interviewing serial killers. And learning some very dark things from some very dark men.
The names may be different, but Holden Ford – played by Jonathan Groff (Glee, Frozen) – is clearly based on Douglas. His interview partner Bill Tench – played by Holt McCallay (Sully) – is based on Robert K. Ressler, who is believed to have coined the term “serial killer” to describe someone who has committed three or more murders over a period of time. The work that Douglas and Ressler did for the FBI changed crime fighting forever, and now the series Mindhunter will use fictional versions of them to tell the story of how it all began.
The trailer makes it clear just how difficult a job Ford and Tench make for themselves with these interviews. On one hand, their superiors at the FBI don’t see a purpose to understanding serial killers, they just want them locked up and executed. On the other, they have to stay in a room with the worst of humanity for hours on end, learning about the most horrific and depraved behaviors and intentions. All the while keeping their sanity.
The first season of Mindhunter will be made available on Netflix October 13.
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