December 28, 2023 | Jade B

24 Mind-Bending Facts About Mindhunter

Mindhunter is the spellbinding new Netflix series about the beginnings of a more psychological understanding of serial killers at the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit in the 1970s. The show features Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, and Anna Torv as trailblazing FBI employees striving to uncover a fresh comprehension of our motivations for violent acts. This enigmatic and action-packed new law enforcement show conceals a few secrets of its own. Read on to discover 24 mind-bending facts about Mindhunter.

Mindhunter Facts

24. Familiar Faces

Mindhunter is produced by David Fincher, who has directed feature hits such as Fight Club and Gone Girl. Fincher also regularly directs episodes of the series.

Mindhunter Split image


23. It Pays to be Loyal!

In the first episode, Fincher makes a shoutout to his long-time assistant Andrea McKee; a woman who brings Holden his coffee near the start of the episode is named after her. McKee is also an associate producer on the show.

New York factsPixabay

22. Persistence

Theron and Fincher first brought Mindhunter to HBO in 2009; it took over six years for Netflix to pick it up!

Joan Crawford factsShutterstock

21.Wheels on Fire

In the show, Holden's girlfriend Debbie Mitford (Hannah Gross) drives a beige Volkswagen Beetle — the exact car that notorious murderer Ted Bundy used to assist him in carrying out numerous slaughter incidents.

Mindhunter facts Thecrimemag

20. Based on a True Story

The entire series is based on authentic unlawful incidents, real-life serial killers, and actual individuals. The main character, Holden Ford, is based on FBI profiler and author John E. Douglas, who co-wrote the book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Unit. Douglas has also served as the inspiration for Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs.

Mindhunter FactsMindhunter,Netflix

19. Accomplished

Holden’s mentor Bill Tench, portrayed by Holt McCallany, is based on Robert K. Ressler who was formerly employed at the Behavioral Sciences Unit in the '70s. Ressler is credited with having first used the term referring to individuals who commit multiple murders. Ressler also developed a database for unsolved unlawful acts, which assisted in apprehending killers across state lines.

Mindhunter FactsMindhunter,Netflix

18.  Let's Hear It for the Girl

Not to be outdone, psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) is based on Dr. Ann Wolbert Burgess. Burgess was also a trailblazer in researching and providing therapy for victims of intimate harm. She co-founded a counselling program for the treatment of trauma at Boston City Hospital, and teaches at Boston College today.

Mindhunter FactsMindhunter,Netflix

17. Survivor

Douglas, Tench, and Burgess co-authored a book, titled "Patterns and Motives in Lethal Attacks," presumably referenced throughout the initial season of Mindhunter.

Impress a Crush factsPixabay

16. Mix up!

Although Wendy Carr is played by Anna Torv, you may need to tell Twitter that. It seems the Twitter-verse is full of people who mistakenly believe that the actress playing Wendy Carr is Carrie Coon. This happened so often that Coon started directly correcting followers on Twitter, and changed her official Twitter bio to read, "That's not me on Mindhunter."

Mindhunter FactsMindhunter,Netflix

15. Talk About a Resume!

Torv has experience acting as law enforcement: She heads back to the FBI in Mindhunter after portraying FBI agent Olivia Dunham in the cult TV series Fringe.

Mindhunter FactsGetty Images

14. Returning Star

McCallany is a long-time Fincher collaborator: he has worked with the director in both Fight Club and Alien 3.

Mindhunter FactsGetty Images


13. Make an Impression

While the profilers are only loosely inspired by real-life FBI agents, actors Groff and McCallany are in regular contact with profiler John Douglas. The actors playing the serial killers on the show also match the mannerisms and voices of their real-life counterparts, and sometimes even repeat direct quotes taken from Douglas’s interviews with killers.

Mindhunter FactsMindhunter,Netflix

12. In Good Company

Fincher may have put an easter egg in the script for his fans down under: In Australia, the two historic and most competitive motor company makes are Holden (a General Motors brand) and Ford. The lead character's name is, of course, Holden Ford.

Mindhunter FactsWikipedia

11. Twisted

Fincher has a twisted sense of humor that works well with the show: when working on Alien 3, Fincher nicknamed the newborn alien featured in the film the “Bambi Burster.”

How To Tell If Someone Is LyingUnsplash

10. What’s in the Box?

In one episode, Dr. Wendy Carr can be heard asking: "What's in the box?" This is possibly a reference to Fincher's film Se7en, where Brad Pitt's character asks the same question.

Celebrities Changed Names StoryShutterstock


9. Subliminal Messaging

Fincher includes one of his trademarks in the opening credits to Mindhunter. Black and white photographs from critical incidents are quickly flashed during the credits. Likewise, his movies often feature several single frames that flash on the screen, which is mentioned explicitly in his cult classic Fight Club.

Mindhunter FactsGetty Images

8. Digital World

Fincher was one of the first filmmakers to go digital, and Mindhunter is shot using a customized, one-of-a-kind version of the RED Epic Dragon built specifically for David Fincher's use, called the RED Xenomorph.

Mindhunter FactsGetty Images

7. Awards Season

If you love the acting on Mindhunter, you shouldn't be surprised. Fincher has directed five actors in Oscar nominated performances: Brad Pitt, Taraji P. Henson, Jesse Eisenberg, Rooney Mara, and Rosamund Pike.

Horror Movies factsGetty Images

6. Bedfellows

Jonathan Groff, who plays Holden, loved working on Mindhunter. Although noting that Fincher is as meticulous as he is rumoured to be, he described the process as “so f**king amazing. I have withdrawal.”

Mindhunter FactsMindhunter,Netflix

5. Let It Groff

Groff is best known for his work as an actor in musicals, namely in the mega hit Broadway show Hamilton, where he played King George, and for voicing the character of Kristoff in Frozen.

Mindhunter FactsGetty Images

4. Chills

Cameron Britton, portraying the infamous Edmund Kemper on Mindhunter, completely embodied the character. After doing an immense amount of research, Britton duplicated the tics, mannerisms, and voice of "The Co-ed Killer." As Groff relates, ""I got to read with [Britton] once, and he just walked in, and started saying his lines in character, and...he had the voice, and everything...To be sitting in this room with him in Los Angeles, all by myself, was terrifying."

Mindhunter FactsMindhunter,Netflix

3. Books on Tape

In the '80s, the real Ed Kemper was known for his distinct, chilling tone of voice and he used this to his advantage. While incarcerated, he managed to keep busy narrating hundreds of audio books for blind people.

Mindhunter FactsWikimedia Commons

2. Wanted Man

Mindhunter also features an active offender, who never crosses paths with the other characters, in various scenes scattered throughout the series. This killer is likely Dennis Rader, better known as The "BTK" Killer, who took the lives of 10 people in Sedgwick County, Kansas between 1974 and 1991. Rader wasn't caught until 2005.

Mindhunter FactsGetty Images

1. Just Like Directing a Movie

The scene where Holden intimidates the tree-cutter into confessing was based on a real case of Douglas’s–that of murderer Darrell Gene Devier (which is also the character's name in the episode). The fake folder of papers, the implication the victim had asked for it, and the bloody rock were all used in Douglas’ interrogation. Even Devier passing the polygraph comes from the true story.

Mindhunter FactsMindhunter,Netflix

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11


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