'Mindhunter' Season 2: Everything We Know About the Plot and the Killers

The men who invented criminal profiling are about to turn their sights on Charles Manson and the Atlanta child murderer.

Mindhunter released on Netflix in October 2017 with a murderers row of talent (David Fincher produces, Asif Kapadia directs) and an even more murderous cast of characters. The series, which focuses on the origins of criminal psychology and the serial killers involved in that research, was quickly renewed for a second season, but the wait for Mindhunter Season 2 has proved torturous for fans hungry to return to this chilling Netflix drama.

Loosely based on Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, a true crime book from Mark Olshaker and John E. Douglas, the series portrays the work and lives of FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), after they team up with psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) to interview convicted serial killers and figure out what makes them tick. Plenty of infamous names get tossed around, but only a few criminals actually showed up in Season 1.

Previous Mindhunter subjects included real-life murderers Ed Kemper (breakout star Cameron Britton), Montie Rissell (Sam Strike), Jerry Brudos (Happy Anderson), and Richard Speck (Jack Erdie). We also see shots of several serial killers who were still active in 1977 when the show takes place, 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.

So, what awaits serial killer obsessives and Mindhunter fans in Season 2? We’re collecting every bit of news related to the second season, which still doesn’t have a firm release date, and we’ll update this page regularly with new updates. So check back soon.

Re-watch the Season 1 trailer for 'Mindhunter' above.

When will Mindhunter Season 2 premiere on Netflix?

In August, actor Holt McCallany 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 yet for Mindhunter Season 2?

Nope, and it’s tough to say when we’ll get one until we have a release date. 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.

Then again, with David Fincher in command of the editing room, it’s pretty much up to him when we get the first trailer. So don’t be surprised if we still have a ways to go before it’s released.

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.

Which killers will Mindhunter Season 2 include?

Atlanta Child Murders

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 said. “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.”

The inclusion of the Atlanta Child Murders was also confirmed at a recent casting call for Mindhunters Season 2 where children were cast for the upcoming story. The casting call, which followed a Q&A event at the University of California in Pennsylvania, was organized by psychology professor Dr. Emily Sweitzer, who tells Inverse that the team behind the popular Netflix series is still carefully guarding its secrets.

“The only thing they did say about the next season is that one of the plots is going to be the Atlanta Child Murders,” Sweitzer said.

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 Harriman had been cast as Manson in Mindhunter. Harriman, 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 Harriman had wrapped his scenes as Manson in Mindhunter in July.

Will the Son of Sam be in Mindhunter?

Redditor u/waynedingo has 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 Richard Berkowitz, aka the Son of Sam.

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.

What do we know about the plot of Mindhunter Season 2?

We can piece together an idea of the series’ take on the Atlanta Child Murders from casting call copy. In July, 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.

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.”