'Mindhunter' Season 2 Release Date Premiere, Cast, Killers, and Spoilers

Holden and Bill are turning their attention to the Atlanta child murders.

Mindhunter Season 2 is so close we can almost taste it. In July 2019, series executive producer David Fincher confirmed Mindhunter Season 2 would return to Netflix in August 2019. This is one bit of news fans will be delighted by — in addition to all of the other Season 2 information — if only because it’s been two very, very long years since we followed FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) as they profiled serial killers in the late 1970s.

The Netflix drama, based loosely on the true crime book Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by Mark Olshaker and John E. Douglas, follows fictional FBI agents Holden and Bill as they travel across the U.S. to profile incarcerated killers. During their work, the pair form a working theory about a new kind of killer profile based on shared traits from their subjects. This leads Holden and Bill to create a working theory on what a serial killer truly is and how the profile could help identify if other suspects fit the bill.

Mindhunter was quickly renewed for a second season just one month after it premiered in October 2017. Fans have been waiting for what seems like a lifetime to reconnect with Holden and Bill, along with psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv). We wouldn’t mind seeing the murderous Ed Kemper (breakout star Cameron Britton either.

While you wait for that Mindhunter Season 2 release date, here’s a rundown of everything we know so far, from when exactly the series will return to Netflix to which killers will be featured this time around.

When Will Mindhunter Season 2 Premiere On Netflix?

While being interview on The Treatment podcast, Fincher confirmed Mindhunter Season 2 will debut on Netflix on August 16, 2019.

Fincher’s announcement serve to confirm past comments from cast and crew about when the series would finally return. Previously, in a SiriusXM interview with Howard Stern, Mindhunter executive producer Charlize Theron revealed that Season 2 will release on Netflix in August 2019.

This follows an August 2018 comment from actor Holt McCallany, who told fans at the Vulture festival not to expect new episodes until 2019. “We’re actually in the process of shooting it right now,” he said, “but we’re still in episode one.”

That same month, Pennsylvania news sources confirmed with Mindhunter’s casting staff that the show would film scenes in the area well into December. Information about the new season is kept militaristically under wraps; in September, a man was arrested for walking across the set without authorization.

Is There A Trailer Mindhunter Season 2?

Even though Season 2’s release date of August 16 was confirmed, no new trailer has surfaced. Chances are a trailer will be released very close to the premiere of Season 2, if not a few days before as Netflix has done with other originals in the past. You can view the Season 2 announcement trailer at the top of this page.

The first trailer for Mindhunter arrived in March 2017, a full seven months before the series debut. Season 2 is expected this year, so if Netflix plans to keep to that rhythm we should expect a trailer pretty soon.

How Many Mindhunter Season 2 Episodes Will There Be?

According to IndieWire, the second season of Mindhunter will include “eight episodes and feature direction from Fincher, Andrew Dominik, and Carl Franklin.” Franklin has previously directed episodes of House of Cards, 13 Reasons Why, and The Leftovers.

In an interview with Vulture, Mindhunter author John E. Douglas also confirmed that Season 2 would feature eight episodes.

Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) in Netflix's 'Mindhunter.'


What Do We Know About The Plot Of Mindhunter Season 2?

During a 2017 interview with Billboard about the show’s score, composer Jason Hill let slip that Season 2 will explore the series of crimes now known as the Atlanta Child Murders. True crime fans may recognize that particular string of murders from the HowStuffWorks podcast, Atlanta Monster.

“Next year we’re looking at the Atlanta child murders,” Fincher told Billboard. “So we’ll have a lot more African-American music, which will be nice. The music will evolve. It’s intended to support what’s happening with the show and for the show to evolve radically between seasons.”

In July 2018, Mindhunter’s crew released a casting call for actors who could play “upscale movie theater patrons,” and another casting call circulating in early August called specifically for African-American extras to play “to portray hippies, protesters, students and FBI agents.” An August call from Mindhunter’s casting team confirmed the production would pay $75 for the rights to family photos of “young African American children between the ages of 5-12.”

In late September, several Pennsylvania publications confirmed that Mindhunter was re-creating a political march that put a national spotlight on the Atlanta murders. Possibly, Holden and Tench will be inserted into that tense movement. A season 2 leaked set photo depicts the two men wrestling a large white cross into a car, which could point to a section of the source text which describes staging memorials at the site of each kill. According to Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, the proto-profilers believed Atlanta’s baby killer was the type to return to the scene of his crimes.

Ed Kemper (Cameron Britton)  on Netflix's 'Mindhunter'


What Other Killers Will Mindhunter Season 2 Include?

In the same July 2019 interview on The Treatment where the Season 2 release date was announced, Fincher confirmed serial killer Wayne Williams would figure prominently into Season 2. In real life, Williams is serving life in prison for the murder of two men in 1981 in Atlanta. He was also a key suspect in the Atlanta Child Murders but was never convicted. Fincher’s acknowledgment back in 2017 that Season 2 would focus on the infamous Atlanta case might have clued people in to Williams’ possible involvement but it’s good to know, thanks to Fincher, Williams will definitely be involved. However, Fincher didn’t confirm who would be playing Williams during the interview.

Mindhunter Season 1 featured Ed Kemper in a recurring role, along with Montie Rissell (Sam Strike), Jerry Brudos (Happy Anderson), and Richard Speck (Jack Erdie). We also met several serial killers who were still active in 1977 when the show is set, including Dennis Rader, aka BTK, (Sonny Valicenti) as he quietly evades suspicion — BTK’s last recorded murder was in 1991 but he wasn’t arrested or charged until 2005.

Here are the other disturbed murderers you can expect to meet in Mindhunter Season 2.

Charles Manson

On August 2, the pop culture blog called The Hashtag Show announced it had exclusive confirmation that Mindhunter Season 2 had cast unnamed actors as Charles Manson and Manson Family second-in-command Tex Watson. The blog, however, did not name its source.

On August 20, Collider reported that actor Damon Herriman had been cast as Manson in Mindhunter. Herriman, an Australian actor, will also play Manson in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which is set to be released on July 26, 2019. Collider also confirmed that Herriman had wrapped his scenes as Manson in Mindhunter in July.

Son of Sam

Speaking to Vulture, the author of the Mindhunter book confirmed that David Berkowitz (aka, Son of Sam) would appear in Season 2.

“They are going to have David Berkowitz, as well as Charles Manson,” he said. “The Atlanta child killings in the early ’80s, they’re gonna be covering that.”

Before that, redditor u/waynedingo posted several set photos to r/mindhunter which depict external and interior set pieces meant to evoke New York’s Attica Correctional Facility, the maximum-security prison which housed David Berkowitz.

Will Ed Kemper return?

In an interview with Inverse, Cameron Britton (who played Ed Kemper in Mindhunter Season 1) declined to comment on whether he’ll return for Season 2. At this point, the new episodes had already been filmed, but we can’t blame Britton for keeping it a secret (and likely honoring his non-disclosure agreement).

In our conversation, Britton also made it clear why his character is such a fan-favorite, and why Netflix really does need to bring him back for Season 2:

One of the reasons I love Kemper is that you never know where he’s coming from. When you meet him in the very first scene that he’s in, you expect a maniac but you get this pleasant guy offering egg salad sandwiches. That holds true to the very last scene of the show. You never quite know where he’s coming from. That’s the point he’s trying to share with Holden, and, I guess, trying to share it with audience as well.
But the goal was that the audience doesn’t expect Kemper to jump up and turn around and block Holden. So, that is the mystery to me, as well as to anyone that the fun is is not quite understanding where Kemper’s coming from.
Isn’t that sort of the crux of Mindhunter? Isn’t that kind of why we watch true crime in general? Because we can’t understand what makes these people tick?

Other killers in Mindhunter

In the same post that confirmed Manson’s appearance, Hashtag Show writer Sarah Carey elaborated on Mindhunter casting, adding, “Also on the list of (most-likely) interviewees [are] Elmer Wayne Henley, […] William Pierce, Jr., […] William Henry Hance, [… and] Paul Bateson.”

It’s perplexing that Henley is pointed out on the casting list, but not his friend David Owen Brooks or their criminal “mentor” Dean Corll, aka The Candy Man. Both young men assisted Corll in abducting, raping, torturing and murdering at least 28 teenage boys and young men in Houston between 1970 to 1973.

Pierce, a serial killer with a debilitatingly low IQ, was active in Georgia in the 1970s. Hance was an African-American veteran who specialized in murdering female sex workers and soldiers.

Bateson, arrested on a separate charge of murder, was also suspected of murdering six gay men in New York City from 1977 to 1978, mutilating their bodies and dumping their remains in the Hudson River. While incarcerated, he allegedly “bragged” about the series of crimes known as the “bag murders,” telling fellow inmates he had dismembered the men “for fun.”

In July, redditor u/waynedingo also posted a shot of a prison bus marked “Texas Department of Corrections,” which is where friends and fellow serial killers Henry Lee Lucas and Otis Toole were incarcerated until they died. It’s also where Elmer Wayne Henley was kept after his arrest in 1973

Though Newsweek theorized that the timelines of killers including Jeffrey Dahmer (first kill in 1978), Ted Bundy (first arrested in 1975), Patrick Kearney (arrested in 1977) and John Wayne Gacy (arrested in 1978) put them in the running for a Season 2 appearance, their names have not yet been floated by theorists.

Will Mindhunter Season 2 Rely on a Consultant?

Dr. Emily Sweitzer, a professor of psychology at the University of California in Pennsylvania tells Inverse that the team behind Mindhunter hasn’t used any consultants to finetune its portrayal of the show’s various serial killers and their psychology. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen for Season 2 or beyond.

“They said they’re going to be considering it,” she said. “They haven’t used any consultants for the program, but I guess the possibility exists.”

This post has been regularly updated.

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