No one knows serial killers like John Douglas does. While working for the FBI’s Investigative Support Bureau, Douglas forged the art of psychological profiling to grapple with a wave of inexplicable, seemingly unmotivated serial killings. Douglas, the inspiration for Jack Crawford of The Silence of the Lambs, approached solving crimes by “thinking like a criminal," and deriving conclusions about suspects' personalities through crime zone observations. He also interviewed many convicted killers to build in-depth profiles, which he used to track other killers.
Mindhunter, a David Fincher-directed drama premiering Friday on Netflix, brings us into this world of deep psychological investigations of serial killers. Though the series is based on Douglas and Mark Olshaker's book, Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Serial Killer Crime Unit, it introduces an entirely new set of characters — two agents (Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany) and a psychologist (Anna Torv).
Here are the serial killers that Douglas worked with, or helped catch, over the course of his career — and who you may expect to see in Mindhunter.
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