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'Mindhunter' Doesn't Just Portray Real Serial Killers In The Show - The Agents Are Real, Too

Updated 9 Sep 2019 2.5k views10 items

Netflix's show Mindhunter captures viewers' attention by providing a less-dramatized observation of serial killers. Fans of the show might be surprised to learn not only are the criminals interviewed on Mindhunter based on real-life serial killers, but the fictional FBI agents were real people as well. Netflix realistically depicts the work of now-retired FBI profiler John E. Douglas, the inspiration behind the character agent Holden Ford.

Mindhunter challenges serial killer stereotypes. Whereas other films and shows often portray serial killers as highly intelligent and methodical, the work of FBI agents Douglas and Robert Ressler proved otherwise. While most serial killers may have a pattern and victim profile, many also had below-average intelligence and felt motivated by personal issues, such as insecurity and the need for power.

The work of Douglas and Ressler provides the framework for modern profilers and continues to help law enforcement. Consequently, when investigators approach a crime scene containing minimal evidence, they can still walk away with a list of suspects.

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