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Crime News

4 Horrifying And Creepy Truths That Inspired Netflix's 'Mindhunter'

The show lifted real lines of dialogue from interviews with serial killer Ed Kemper, who chopped off his mom's head and had sex with it. 

By Gina Tron

Obsessed with Netflix’s "Mindhunter"? We are too. It’s crime, it’s compelling, and best of all it's about true events and people. The show is based on former FBI agent  John E. Douglas’s memoir Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit. Not only did Douglas’s work inspire the character of Holden Ford on "Mindhunter," but he was also reportedly the driving influential factor behind character Jack Crawford in "The Silence of the Lambs." Here are four aspects of "Mindhunter" that are very real.

1. Ed Kemper's dialogue

Actor Cameron Britton’s brilliant performance of serial killer Ed Kemper is as charismatic as it is chilling. Eerily, it wasn’t a writer who created Britton’s lines for the show. It was Kemper, the co-ed killer, himself. Several portions of dialogue in the show were directly lifted from interviews with the serial killer with a genius IQ.

Check out some of Kemper’s interviews with law enforcement. You’ll likely recognize some of the language.

As a teen, Kemper murdered his grandparents. As an adult, he killed at least ten women, one of which was his own mother. After chopping off his mom’s head, he had sex with it. He even kept the head on his dresser for a while.

2. Jerry Brudos’ attraction to shoes

Happy Anderson plays serial killer Jerry Brudos in several episodes of "Mindhunter." In the show, Brudos has a love (er, lust) for shoes. There’s an even a memorable scene where he “makes love” to a shoe much to the disgust of Ford and Bill Tench.

As a child, Brudos stole women’s shoes and underwear which played a big role in his dark, homicidal fantasies. He even reportedly stole his first-grade teacher’s shoes. Although there is no indication that the shoe masturbation in prison scene ever happened, Brudos definitely had a shoe fetish.

Brudos murdered at least four young women, and always tried to steal their shoes and undergarments.

3. The tactics used to make Darrell Gene Devier confess

During the show’s season finale, Ford and Tench use unprecedented (at the time) tactics to get Darrell Gene Devier to confess.

In the show, and in reality, Ford/Douglas used a fake file of papers to intimidate Devier, who raped and killed a 12-year-old girl. The file was an attempt to show Devier that police had a lot of dirt on him, which wasn’t the case. Douglas also put Devier’s murder weapon in front of him, a bloodied rock, to throw him off guard. The tactics worked.

4. The "ADT Serviceman" aka the BTK killer 

Throughout the series, "Mindhunter" has been very slowly introducing us to a character named “ADT Serviceman,” an ADT technician from Kansas. He has large glasses and a thick mustache.

The ADT man is based on the BTK killer, which stands for Bind, Torture Kill, Dennis Rader. Like the ADT man, Rader lived in Kansas, a state which he terrorized for nearly three decades with his vicious killings and creepy letters and poems to the media.

Rader worked at the Wichita-based office of ADT Security Services from 1974 to 1988, where he installed security alarms in homes. In several cases, he installed security alarms for homeowners specifically concerned about the BTK killings, according to Investigation Discovery.

Check out a recent Martinis & Murder episode, all about Rader’s heinous crimes.

Mindhunter author Douglas also authored another book called Inside the Mind of BTK: The True Story Behind the Thirty-Year Hunt for the Notorious Wichita Serial Killer which goes into great depth about the serial killer.

[Photo: Getty Images]