The Real Life Killers featured in Mindhunter & Predictions for Upcoming Seasons

If you have any interest in true crime, Netflix’s Mindhunter is a fantastic show. The basis of the show is a young FBI agent, (and eventually a small team), studying the minds of psychopaths, specifically serial killers. The show is phenomenally made and highly binge-worthy. Here is the official trailer for the series, if you’re wondering whether or not it’s something you would enjoy watching:

If you’re curious about the killers portrayed in the show and want more information – here are the real life killers you see in Season 1:


Edmund Kemper

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Cameron Britton did a hauntingly accurate depiction of this real life killer. Also known as the “Coed Killer”, Ed Kemper is a truly terrifying individual. The way his interviews are portrayed in the series is SO similar to his real interviews, it’s beyond creepy. In real life, when Ed confessed, the police didn’t even believe him at first. He was known to hang out in “cop bars” and was very well liked by most of the patrons. They were all horrified and shocked to find out the guy they were sharing beers with was in fact, a cold-blooded killer.

Some horrific facts about the real Ed Kemper:

  • Killed a total of 10 people, including his own mother and paternal grandparents.
  • He’s 6’9 and has a very high IQ.
  • He performed horrific sexual acts with their bodies after he killed them. I won’t go into too much detail, (as it’s extremely graphic).
  • Read more about Kemper on this Wikipedia Page.

Richard Speck

Even though Speck doesn’t fall into the category of a serial killer – his actions on a single night made him infamous. Considered a mass murderer, he killed 8 nursing students in a single night, brutally. Over a period of hours, on July 13, 1966 – Speck held the nurses captive at knife point, killing them one by one. He claimed that he was drunk and high on drugs during the murders and initially only wanted to rob them. One woman was able to remain hidden under a bed. Possibly, due to his state of mind, Speck may have lost count of the number of woman in the house.

He was a very sick and twisted individual who showed absolutely no remorse for what he had done and died in prison, where he was quoted saying, “If they knew how much fun I was having in here, they’d set me free.”

Here’s Richard Speck’s Wikipedia page.

Monte Rissell

He was a serial rapist that eventually became a serial killer. He murdered 5 woman in Virginia in the 70’s. He was able to fool counselors into releasing him from an institution and even raped a woman in the very parking lot of that institution. In the series, we see him fall into the category of “unorganized killers.” Read more about Rissell here.

Jerome Brudos

He’s thought to be one of the inspirations for the character “Buffalo Bill” in Silence of the Lambs. The real Brudos killed at least 4 woman after photographing them. He did all of this while married with 2 children – making him that much more terrifying. In the series we see his shoe fetish and, unlike Kemper, his very unreliable interviews. Happy Anderson did an amazing job of portraying this horrifying, real life killer. You can read more about Brudos here.

Dennis Radar

Better known as “BTK”, his sinister title standing for: bind, torture kill. We see bits of pieces of his “beginning” in the Mindhunter series. The real BTK is known for tormenting the officers hunting him with letters. I’m thinking we will be seeing a lot more of him in Season 2. Radar was a seriously twisted killer who was able to remain undetected for quite awhile, racking up a body count of 10 people. Read more about BTK here.

Predictions for Season 2:

It’s likely that more prolific serial killers will be making an appearance on the series. Obviously we’ll be seeing more of BTK and the events that lead up to his capture.

We’ll likely see Holden face down his own demons regarding what really draws him to psychopaths. If you saw the season finale, it’s clear that he’s beginning to really have issues with his work and the time he spends with killers, (mainly the way the killers view him). Lots of people seem to speculate that Holden is actually psychopath himself, but it’s a theory I believe is far from the truth. Is his ego inflated? Absolutely. Does that make him a psychopath? No.

Killers I think we’ll see in season 2: Gary Ridgeway AKA “The Green River Killer” is likely going to be in the series but perhaps not in season 2. Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and maybe even Aileen Wournos will also be shown in the series. I’m also curious as to whether or not Charles Manson will be talked about on the series at all, since he was briefly mentioned early in the first season.

If you enjoyed the series, I highly recommend the book “Mindhunter” by John Douglas & Mark Olshaker. 

A Graphic Warning before Watching:

I can watch incredibly graphic content and not be bothered by it. However, my guy had to the leave the room a few times while we were watching this series. The series gets really down and dirty when it comes to horrific crimes. The way the content is presented could be highly disturbing to certain people.

To me, true crime has always fascinated me, specifically the stories of survivors and what makes killers so different than you and me. The psychology behind their behavior is a rabbit hole of interesting.

Netflix hasn’t set a date for when Mindhunter will return to Netflix, but I’m thinking it will be in the fall. I hope you enjoyed the series as much as I did.

Krissy October is a professional freelance writer, aspiring novelist and knowledge nerd who is dedicated to consistent self-improvement and finding clever ways to solve everyday problems.

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