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True story behind hit Netflix series Mindhunter as fans demand third season

True story behind hit Netflix series Mindhunter as fans demand third season

Mindhunter is one Netflix's top-rated shows, boasting a 97% score on Rotten Tomatoes

Fanbases are a loyal bunch. Just ask those who love hit Netflix show Mindhunter.

The psychological crime thriller, set in the 1970s and 1980s, follows United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) alongside psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv).

What follows next is a gripping tale documenting the start of the FBI's criminal-personality profiling on serial killers and mass murderers through the creation of Behavioral Science Unit (BSU).

The show first debuted on Netflix in 2017 to critical acclaim, with it going down as one of the best shows of the year.

A second season aired in 2019 and continued in the footsteps of the first outing, with Victoria Segal of The Times saying: "Mindhunter is compelling, but after watching, you might feel you need a shower."

Since then, fans have been crying out for a third run of the hit show, with many expressing their devastation over the initial announcement that Mindhunter had not been renewed for a third season.

However, this week, hope was finally given after McCallany said show runners had b been exploring its possible return.

The show itself is based off many elements of real life within the history of the FBI.

Inspired by the book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit, the show follows a number of factual events undertaken by the book's author, John E. Douglas.

Douglas himself spent 25 years as a special agent and unit chief in the FBI, with the character of Agent Ford inspired by his own career.

Just like Ford in the show, Douglas redefined how society approaches and categorises what we now call serial killers.

FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) alongside psychologist Wendy Carr.

Throughout his career, he interviewed some of the most notorious criminals in modern history as part of a BSU study into violent crime.

This included Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, Edmund Kemper, and Richard Speck.

In the show, Ford travels across the US to record interviews with these people. And transcripts from many of the real-life interviews with these people were pulled out of the history books for the show's fictional version of Douglas' encounters, in order to guarantee authenticity.

With season one using these interviews and the creation of the BSU as its core plot, season two expands the narrative with the Atlanta Murders serving as the undercurrent to the entire nine episodes.

In the show, Ford and Holden begin visiting the city to investigate after a number of young black children begin to go missing. Tragically, bodies then start to be discovered some time later.

In real life, Douglas served as one of the leading faces for the murders through 1979 to 1981, with the BSU heavily involved in the cases.

Both the show and history books point the finger at Wayne Williams, a local man who in real life would later be prosecuted for the murder of two adult men who died during the Atlanta Murders.

Season two even featured Charles Manson.

No one has been convicted for the remaining 28 deaths. Williams has also maintained his innocence throughout the entire process.

Whether it is the individual interviews with some of the most twisted people in modern society or the Atlanta Murders reaching its crescendo, both seasons of Mindhunter gripped audiences from start to end.

So you can understand why, more than four years later, people are still demanding a third outing of the Netflix masterpiece.

Executive producer David Fincher (Fight Club, House of Cards) previously said the show hadn't attracted the numbers to justify a return.

But hope remains even in 2024, with one of the show's lead actors Holt McCallany claiming Fincher is considering an attempt to bring it back.

Talking with Awards Daily, the actor said: “I’ve heard that David’s thought about it. I’m not saying it’s going to come back, but what I am saying is that if it comes back, I’m coming back with it. You can take that to the bank, but it’ll depend on what David wants to do.”

Mindhunter told the tale of an elite FBI team.

In a less hopeful update, McCallany admitted that a third season is still ‘probably unlikely’ as it has ‘been a few years now’. But he ended by saying: “But just even that [Fincher] would think about it is a hopeful sign.”

More than 90,000 have signed a petition to Fincher and his show colleagues demanding its return, and explaining why they need it to make a comeback.

Fincher said of Netflix’s decision to discontinue the thriller in February 2023: “I’m very proud of the first two seasons. But it’s a particularly expensive show and, in the eyes of Netflix, we haven’t attracted a large enough audience to justify such and investment.

“I don’t blame them; they took risks to launch the series.”

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Netflix, Mindhunter, TV and Film, Crime