At the beginning of last year, a popular podcast called Atlanta Monster took an in-depth look at a string of disturbing murders in Georgia that happened almost exactly 40 years ago. Now, the new Mindhunter season two trailer has arrived, and it promises to spotlight that very same topic: the Atlanta Child Murders. The new full-length trailer, released on Monday, Aug. 5, also mentions infamous criminals like Charles Manson and Son of Sam, and teases that the season will tackle how the public responded to a new awareness of serial killers.
According to the FBI, "approximately 29 African-American children, teens, and young adults—mostly boys—were kidnapped and murdered" in and around Atlanta, Georgia, between the years of 1979 and 1981. These horrific crimes became known as the Atlanta Child Murders. Towards the end of the Atlanta Child Murders investigation, the FBI was called in to help local law enforcement put the case to rest and convict a killer once and for all. This is where the second season of Netflix's true crime-inspired show will kick off, as director David Fincher recently discussed at-length on KCRW's The Treatment podcast.
"[The FBI] are the last guys in, they’re trying to help out something that has its own momentum and politics," he told The Treatment in July. "It’s a divided battlefield. They’re coming in to throw this federal umbrella over everything to make everyone feel OK about sharing information."
Fincher then went on to discuss how the term "serial killer" was only just starting to become known and understood by the public at the time, which is what makes the focus of the second season such a pivotal point in criminal history. "In the '70s, post-Manson, post-Son of Sam, post-Zodiac, there really was ... definitely the feeling that the notion of this has gotten away from us."
The director continued,
"There was this transition. I remember it happening with Son of Sam. When I left the Bay Area in the mid 1970s and our parents moved to Oregon, you go 300 miles north and nobody talked about Zodiac. It had been this festering thing that had never been brought to any kind of closure but no one cared about it [outside of the Bay Area]. Then Son of Sam came, and it was Newsweek and Time, the cover."
The trailer for the second season of Mindhunter shows FBI agent Holden Ford (played by Jonathan Groff) trying to convince his colleagues that the Atlanta Child Murders were committed by one single serial killer — not a violently-known racist group like the Ku Klux Klan. Based on a few key moments, it looks like it'll undoubtedly be an uphill battle for Holden to prove his hypothesis. However, "Big Ed" Kemper, aka "the Co-Ed Killer" (played by Cameron Britton) will be back, yet again, so perhaps he'll be able to give Holden the insight he needs.
At the end of the last season, the stress and despair from Holden's job had seemingly started to break him. Will he be able to endure it all again for the duration of his cases this time around? For now, that remains unclear. The second season of Mindhunter hits Netflix on Aug. 16.