Today, Netflix dropped the first full trailer for its upcoming crime series "Mindhunter." Directed by David Fincher (best known for his work on the "Gone Girl" film and "Zodiac"), the new series is set to explore the horror and drama behind some of the earliest investigations into serial killers.
Starring Johnathon Groff as Holden Ford and Holt McCallany as Bill Tench, the show is based on the real-life work of John E. Douglas and Robert K. Ressler. Douglas and Ressler were FBI agents specifically assigned with the task of investigating what would eventually be known as serial murder.
The show is loosely based on the criminal psychology book of the same title, a groundbreaking work that explored the motives behind some of the country's most gruesome repeat murderers. The book details the beginnings of what become known as psychological profiling, which is a theory used by investigators suggesting parts of a killer's personality can be detected in a crime scene. By deducing specific patterns in these details, detectives can more acurately predict future crimes.
In 1970, Ressler joined the FBI Behavioral Science Unit, where he helped organize interviews with 36 incarcerated killers in the hope of better understanding their motivations. Ressler was also behind the creation of a database of this material, known as Vi-Cap. Throughout his career at the FBI, Ressler worked on some of the most notorious cases in American history, including that of Jeffrey Dahmer, Richard Chase and John Joubert.
Douglas, the original author of "Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit," worked in the FBI as a teacher of hostage negotiations and applied criminal psychology at Quantico before he began traveling around the country and interviewing a handful of killers, including David Berkowitz, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, Lynette Fromme, Arthur Bremer, Sara Jane Moore, Edmund Kemper, James Earl Ray, Sirhan Sirhan, Dennis Rader, Richard Speck, Donald Harvey, and Joseph Paul Franklin.
Douglas claims that his early research elicited doubt from his colleagues — until they began to see the usefulness of his methodology. Douglas served as the inspiration for the Jack Crawford character in Thomas Harris' legendary horror novels "The Red Dragon" and "The Silence of the Lambs."
Ressler and Douglas willingly explored some of the darkest corners of the human psyche, and their work has been immeasurably helpful in the apprehension of innumerable criminals since.
Netflix clearly has high hopes for the new series: The show has already been renewed for a second season — long before the first episode has even aired.
"Mindhunter" season one will debut on Netflix on October 13th, 2017.