Hayley Vawter | Reporter
For as long as I can remember I have loved criminal justice television shows. The investigation, catching the bad guys and the criminology of it all has always been extremely intriguing to me. I’ve always had a curious mind, and I think that’s probably the main reason why the subject interests me. Over the years, I have watched pretty much every crime show you can think of: “NCIS” being my first, followed by others like “CSI: Miami,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” and currently “Criminal Minds.”
In February, I was looking for something to watch on Netflix, and a few friends recommended that I watch “Mindhunter.” Upon further investigation, I learned that it was a Netflix original series and it sounded right up my alley. So, the same night I went home and did some research about it.
It turned out to be a ten-episode series, all episodes ranging from thirty-five minutes to one hour in length. The series synopsis on Netflix states: “In the late 1970s two FBI agents expand criminal science by delving into the psychology of murder and getting uneasily close to all-too-real monsters,” and even with the description I knew I was going to love it. I started the series that night and with one episode I was hooked.
The show follows FBI Special Agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) on their ‘adventures’ in interviews with a new classification of murderer. They interview well-known murderers who killed for reasons that had not yet been talked about or considered, including killing more than one person. They open the world of criminal profiling, also known as the psychological and physical evaluation of crime scenes, killing patterns and signatures left by murderers to track them down and put them behind bars.
The show not only goes through Tench and Ford’s lives in the FBI but also includes things about their personal lives and the scrutiny they face from the higher-ups at the FBI and outsiders who do not believe in the work they do in their department, the Behavioral Science Unit (BSU).
The show is based on a true story, and while the names and personal stories might be different, the work that Ford and Tench do in the series are based around real-life events and work done by FBI Agents Howard Teten and Patrick Mullany, the founding fathers of criminal profiling and the very first FBI Profilers.
I managed to finish all ten episodes of “Mindhunter” in three days. I highly recommend watching this show, whether you are interested in criminology or criminal TV or not, it is mind-blowing to watch the beginning of an entire new genre of killer and a practice that is used daily in today’s justice system to find and catch criminals.
The show is such a hit among viewers like me that Netflix announced in November 2017 that “Mindhunter” would be getting a second season at the end of 2018.