The True Stories Behind The Killers We’ll Be Seeing In ‘Mindhunter’ Season 2

Katie StocktonKatie Stockton in Entertainment, Netflix
Published 09.08.19

Mindhunter is releasing its second season soon – the first of four more to come, it is rumoured. This means that along with our all-star main cast, we will get a veritable buffet of new serial killers to meet and explore the inner workings of.

It’s about time we took a deep dive into the psychopaths and serial killers featured in Mindhunter Season 2, both returning and new. You could call this like a Serial Killer Top Trumps. You shouldn’t. But you could.

Let’s go. Oh, but watch the trailer first.

Who is Dennis Rader?

A returning face from Season 1. Dennis Rader, an American serial killer, is better known as “BTK.”

Why, you ask? It stands for “Bind, Torture, Kill”, of course…


He also goes by the “BTK Strangler.” He’s not fussy.

Rader killed ten people over the span of fifteen years, all in the Kansas area. His victims included the Otero family: mother, father, daughter and son, leaving their eldest son to find their corpses as he returned from school. He also murdered other women and families in the coming years.

Rader had a shine for fame and mystery. He would write letters detailing the murders, and stash them in niche local library books, waiting to see if someone would ever discover it. He then later grew hungrier for fame, writing to TV stations about his murders, and even suggesting names for himself in the letters. BTK was the one that stuck.

In an eclectic turn of events, he even wrote a poem called “O Death To Nancy” in one of his letters, referencing a Nancy Fox he had earlier murdered. He seemed to want to play around a bit. From these actions, it seems he was perhaps more of a madman than a psychopath.

He is now serving ten life sentences in a prison in Kansas.

Who is Edmund Kemper?

Also a returning face from Season 1. Kemper, another American serial killer, was also a necrophile. Which is really, really rough, if you ask me. Google it.

He was called the “Co-Ed” killer because most of his victims attended co-ed institutions. He murdered ten people, including his mother and grandparents.

Kemper suffered an abusive childhood. Possibly from this trauma, he was diagnosed as schizophrenic at the age of fifteen, leading to his arrest after killing his grandparents where he pleaded insanity.


However, when he was released at age twenty-one, he went on a further killing spree, murdering his mother and a young women hiking around the California area. He would lure his victims into his car, murder, decapitate, dismember them, and take them to his home to be violated.

He was trialled again, and the court found him sane and guilty. He asked for the capital punishment, which he was not given. He is now serving eight life sentences in California. He is reported to be happy in prison, even refusing parole.

Interestingly, Kemper is reported to be a highly intelligent man, with an IQ of 145.

Who is Montie Rissell?

Our final returning killer from Season 1 of Mindhunter. Rissell raped and murdered five women in the Alexandria, Virginia area, where he lived.  He is known as “Monte.”

Though Monte suffered no obvious abuse in his childhood, his mother had been divorced twice by the time he was twelve years old, and his biological father had left home by the time he was seven. Monte committed his first rape at the age of fourteen. He was institutionalised for this and some petty crimes, released some years later, only to commit violent crimes again, against women.

Rissell’s first murder happened when he was reportedly angry with his ex-girlfriend after he saw her with another man. Rissell visited a sex worker after this argument. He became angry with the sex worker for allowing him to have sex with her – something he should have seen coming, really – and for pretending to enjoy it. He murdered her through strangulation with her own bra.

Some time later, after another murder, Rissell actually let a victim go, when she told him her father had cancer – something Rissell’s brother also suffered from. Aww, what a sweetie. I’ll make sure to try that one if I’m even in a similar pickle.

He went on to murder and rape four more women.


Rissell is now serving five consecutive life sentences in prison. He was eighteen at the time of his sentencing. Whilst in prison, Rissell wrote a 461-page manuscript detailing his murders.

They fancy themselves as writers, this serial killer bunch, don’t they? Suffering artists and all that.

Who is Charles Manson?

Our first new guy on the block. You’ve heard of him. We’ve all heard of him. It’s Charles Manson.

Manson was a cult leader. He formed a commune called the Manson Family in California. Unsurprisingly, that cult went on to commit nine murders. To anyone who has seen Midsommar, you would have seen that coming. God cults, change the record maybe?

Manson also wanted to start a race war but seemingly never got around to it.

Manson was also good friends with Dennis Wilson, of The Beach Boys. They even recorded a song of his, entitled “Never Learn Not To Love,” which seems a hopeful title, but the song was originally titled “Cease To Exist,” and the band seemingly veto-ed that quite quickly.

Manson was also charged for two counts of first-degree murder, separate to the ones he “ordered” through the cult. He died in prison, in California, whilst serving his life sentence.

Manson had a following of “fans,” mostly women, who seemed attracted and obsessed with him. He has also become a pop-culture figure, standing for the disturbed, the insane, the morbid.

Who is David Berkowitz?

Another new addition you can expect to see in Season 2 of Mindhunter.

This guy has been lucky enough to acquire two nicknames: Son of Sam, and, my personal favourite, The .44 Calibre Killer. He is a serial killer that plead guilty to eight separate shooting attacks in New York City.

Why the nicknames? Firstly, because he claimed to be following orders from a demon manifested in a dog, that belonged to his neighbour “Sam,” and secondly, more obviously, he was named after his murder weapon of choice.


Berkowitz also indulged in teasing the police with letter writing. These letters promised further crimes soon and were highly publicised by the press at the time. Many have later noted that Berkowitz enjoyed the pseudo-fame this gave him. This perhaps shows some narcissistic personality disorder tendencies within Berkowitz.

Although, he was an aspiring writer much like our other killers – imagine the LinkedIn bios – Killer/Writer/Model being the latest “slash career” – he didn’t have much of a silver tongue. Below is an extract from on famous letter:




… Bit on the nose for my taste.

David is currently serving six life sentences in prison, which he confessed to. Later on, he amended his confession to state that he was part of satanic cult that killed his victims to use as ritual sacrifices, but he remains the only person charged with these murders.

He is the fourth of our serial killers to have had their biological dads walk out on them in early age. Just when we thought men were already to blame for everything, we can add serial killers to the list. Thanks, Obama.


Who is Wayne Williams and what were the Atlanta Child Murderers?

Another, and possibly final, addition to Season 2 of Mindhunter. 

From the middle of 1979, to 1981, 28 children, adolescents and adults were murdered. At least. Wayne Williams, named above, was trialled at the time and found guilty of two of the adult murders. But this doesn’t yet explain who the Atlanta Murderers responsible for the other deaths, including those of children, are. Though police have later attributed some of the child murderers to Wayne, he protests his innocence.

The case has recently been re-opened, in March 2019, in an attempt to recover new evidence that could be used to identify suspects.

Wayne actually had a “slash” career too. Freelance Photographer/Music Promoter/Murderer. Wayne is now serving life imprisonment.

And he lived with both of his biological parents so really he had no excuse. Come on, mate.

Mindhunter season two will be available to you in its entirety come the 16th of August.