It was around the '70s when American law enforcement saw the need to study the mechanics of psychopathy in greater scientific depth: looking for every way it may apply to the study of, correction of, and prevention of, violent and (seemingly random) crimes against persons.

Despite the fact that the seemingly random brutality of Jack the Ripper happened almost a century earlier, the violence of the Villisca Axe Murders happened about 60 years earlier (my piece on Villisca at 105 years can be found here), and very brutal and also seemingly random crimes happening on American soil in the present day, and at seemingly higher frequency — especially the crimes of Ed Gein in Wisconsin in the ‘50s, and the crimes of the Manson Family in 1969 in Los Angeles — law enforcement and the culture at large still didn’t have a very solid grasp on what a “serial killer” actually was.

It was around this time that a FBI agent with an interest in forensic psychiatry came up with an interesting idea: what if we did a large scale psychological study of incarcerated psychopaths (or those suspected of being psychopaths)? Could this guide us in dealing with these seemingly random (and brutal) crimes?

That agent’s name was John Douglas, his was used as the basis for criminal profiling in the present day. It became the basis of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) which profiles serial killers, terrorists, bombers, and even product tampering cases.

His study also became the basis for his book Mindhunter and a big inspiration for Thomas Harris in writing The Silence of the Lambs. Now, David Fincher and Netflix will be adapting it into a series, starting October 13. Knowing Fincher’s penchant for detail, drama, and profiles of murder — think 1995’s Se7en, 2014’s Gone Girl, and his first television effort, Netflix’s House of Cards— Mindhunter looks to be a 'can't miss'. The trailer can be found below.