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Mindhunter Season 2: Everything We Know

The serial killer drama is almost back

Amanda Bell

Following its breakthrough inaugural season, David Fincher's Mindhunter will return to Netflix for a second round of serial killer psychoanalyzing and crime-solving. While many of the details are still a mystery, we do know a few things about what fans of the eerie drama series can expect in its sophomore run.

Let's take a look at everything we know about Mindhunter Season 2 so far.

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It's returning in August. Nearly two years after Mindhunter debuted, the drama will return to tackle a new round of unsettling crimes in the heat of summer. Netflix announced in July that Mindhunter Season 2 premieres Friday, Aug. 16.

It will cover the Atlanta Child Murders. Mindhunter's first season was set in 1977, as agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) teamed up with Professor Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) to form the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit in a dank basement of Quantico. The trio found some success by interviewing certain serial killers who helped identify potential patterns and behavioral markers that might help the Bureau with other unsolved crimes.

Season 2, however, will flash ahead a bit to cover 1979-81, a time when child abductions and murders were rampant in Atlanta, Ga. That means fans are likely to see a Ford and Tench profile Wayne Williams, who was convicted of slaying two men and was connected by police to most of the child murders as well.

Score composer Jason Hill said the change of scenery will also inform the series' new sound, telling Billboard, "Next year we're looking at the Atlanta child murders, 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."

Charles Manson will come into the picture. Actor Damon Herriman was tapped to portray the Manson Family cult leader for Season 2, shortly before he was hired to once again embody the infamous felon in Quentin Tarantino's upcoming film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which centers on the murders of Sharon Tate and her friends in 1969. Manson was already behind bars by the time Mindhunter picked up, but he was mentioned several times by Ford as a potential interview subject in the first season.

Ed Kemper may not be back. Mindhunter's take on Ed Kemper -- a serial killer and necrophiliac who murdered his own mother -- was a big part of what made the first series so compelling. But we don't yet know whether the character will return to creep everyone out again in Season 2. Cameron Britton told TVGuide, "I have absolutely no idea whether or not I am in it because there are so many serial killers that the guys at the FBI have to interview."

It's unclear what role the BTK Killer will play in Season 2. One of the most unnerving subplots of Mindhunter's first season was the gradual acceleration of one tertiary character from a simple ADT Security employee in Park City, Kansas into a deranged psychopath who is seen burning drawings of dead women in the very last shot of the season. That character, it turned out, is Dennis Rader (played by Sonny Valicenti), aka the BTK Killer.

The BTK Killer murdered 10 people from 1974-91 and often sent letters to the police and media to taunt them with details of his heinous crimes. What's really terrifying is that he wasn't apprehended until 2005, after he started sending more letters to the authorities after a decade of silence.

It's unclear if and how Season 2 will incorporate the character, but what we do know is that John Douglas, the FBI profiler upon whom the Holden Ford character is based, was highly intrigued by the case and even wrote a book called Inside the Mind of BTK. Jonathan Groff, for one, has indicated his prediction that Rader's portrayal will remain a factor in the season to come, telling TV Guide, "I feel like with TV shows, you can sense when they're playing it safe, that they're building up to something that they'll pay off in the next season. ... They just went balls-out on our show and ended with such a climax, with so many things that are open."

The Son of Sam may be coming, too. Rumored casting breakdowns surrounding Season 2 have hinted at a whole slew of new names that might be added to the serial killer roll, including David Berkowitz, aka the Son of Sam, who shot and killed at least six people in the summer of 1976. Holt McCallany hinted that Berkowitz would be a factor in the second season in an interview with Vulture, as he described whose cases and mindsets he'd need to be familiar with to prepare for his role "going forward."

Other serial killers who are rumored for potential inclusion in the new season are Elmer Wayne Henley, William Pierce, Jr., William Henry Hance, and Paul Bateson, although none have been confirmed as of yet.

It'll be eight episodes long. Season 1 of Mindhunter ran for 10 episodes, but according to IndieWire, the new season will feature two fewer segments. These eight episodes will be directed by David Fincher, Andrew Dominik and Carl Franklin.

Mindhunter Season 2 premiers Aug. 16 on Netflix.