Netflix series “Mindhunter” gives surreal glimpse at serial killers


Klaria Holmes, Opinions Editor

On Oct. 13, Netflix released its newest original series titled “Mindhunter,” based on the book “Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit” by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker.

“Mindhunter” is set in 1977, during the early days of the criminal psychology unit in the FBI. It follows the story of how two agents, Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), interviewed several imprisoned serial killers in order to understand how their mind worked while committing their crimes, and then used this knowledge to help solve other murder cases.

It’s important to note that these two agents completely revolutionized the way the FBI handles serial killers and their cases, because while every serial killer and case is different, as the show illustrates, they can all be helpful in determining the motive and pattern of a killer.

While “Mindhunter” is based on true events, director Joe Penhall took creative liberty with the characters of the show. “I think I can do a better job of dramatizing this if I’m given the leeway to take some of the attributes of this person and create a new character,” Penhall said in an interview with TV Guide Magazine.

The acting in “Mindhunter” serves as a time machine, seemingly giving you a look into the interviews conducted with the killers and a vivid picture of their thoughts.

It’s no secret that America has an obsession with serial killers, and “Mindhunter”  is a show that definitely fills the void.  “Mindhunter” takes a new look at this, diving deeper than any account of serial killers before, forcing viewers to look at the traits of killers and apply them to cases along with the agents.

The show covers several pivotal points in history, with mentions of well-known killers while introducing us to a few new ones as well. There are mentions of Charles Manson, David Berkowitz and Vaughn Greenwood, while Ed Kemper, Monte Ralph Rissell, Jerry Brudos, Richard Speck and Darrek Gene Devier are a few of the ‘unknown’ killers introduced to viewers.

“Mindhunter” does an excellent job of utilizing dark colors to enhance the drama and add an extra effect of creepiness, but it isn’t for the faint of heart. “Mindhunter” successfully captures its audience and keeps their attention, which is no wonder it was renewed for a second season six months before its initial premiere.