tz.acetonemagazine.org
New recipes

Hunter & Gatti Talk Fashion, Celebrities, and What Makes True Art

Hunter & Gatti Talk Fashion, Celebrities, and What Makes True Art


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.


At 10 o’clock at night in Spain, photographer Cristian Borillo, half of the creative duo Hunter & Gatti, sat down to talk with JustLuxe about their work in the fashion industry. For a man that’s had such a long and successful career he’s surprisingly modest, and more passionate about photography as an art form than the list of famous clientele he’s shot, or the designer labels he’s worked with. Despite the late hour he's extremely animated and enthusiastic to talk about his images, his favorite spreads and what it’s like working with some of the biggest names in the business.

HG Issue With Alla K & Shaun De Wet

Cristian Borillo and Martin Cespedes, better known as the photographer team Hunter & Gatti, started off over 10 years ago as art directors in New York, working for some of the top advertising agencies in the city. Dedicated to offering some of the best campaigns to brands like Burberry and Diesel, they spent their time creating artistic visions that they saw continuously picked apart by photographers during every shoot. “That’s why we switched to photography,” Borillo explained. “To do exactly what we were thinking about.” Noting that advertisers, producers and brands have a large influence in direction, in the end the photographers are the ones making the final creative decisions. While it might sound like a power trip, he assures us they only want to be true to their artistry. “More than control it’s to be sure that all the ideas you made before arriving to the shoot are done."

Identity With Bill Gentle

With all that creative energy and a clear passion for their work, a functional partnership might sound impossible or even detrimental to flourishing talent, but Borillo assures us that it’s quite the opposite. They’re so in sync that they’ll edit the same images, make similar changes and delete the same content before consolidating their ideas. “We know each other perfectly—looking at each other we know exactly what we’re thinking about. And that helps a lot,” he said. And they never hit a set without the other; they are a complete team. “It’s very organic. We’re both always there. For example Martin might be taking care of the lights while I’m talking to the model. We’re changing roles all the time.”

Flaunt Magazine With Viktoriya Sasonkina

Photographers might have the most creative pull, but they still need to show restraint, and some labels, he suggests, are a little more stringent on how inventive they can actually be. Without suggesting anyone in particular, he alludes that some high-fashion designers are unwilling to be flexible. “A really commercial work, usually something more classy, these people don’t want to take risks,” he explained. While reigning in their ideas can be frustrating, he explains that in the end it will always balance out. “Sometimes really commercial works at the end are amazing works, no? And sometimes editorial works with a magazine—it’s crap.”

Jenson Buton For Hugo Boss

When given control over a campaign’s films or photography, they prefer to try something new and different, and design a piece that will be as impactful as it is innovative. Borillo explained that they had recently finished filming a short for a brand that left them at the helm. “Instead of trying to do a fashion movie, we tried to make like a short movie, usually fashion movies are boring, but we tried to make something close to a suspense movie in the middle of the desert,” he said. As he excitedly explained the details of the fake rain, the extensive crew and direction of the shoot it became clear that this was a man that had found his true passion.

Gertrud Hegelund in Series N2-03

Hunter & Gatti are not limited to glittery images and stylized shoots—as much love as they have for the world of fashion there’s almost an underlying backlash against everything that’s it has come to represent. The pretentiousness and commercialism of the industry led them to try their hand in a more artistic direction, and make paintings from their photography. A selection of the series was introduced last weekend during Art Basel, and gave a new life to the fleeting imagery of fashion spreads. “What we are doing now with this exhibition with painting over, is to sometimes try to get something that the original picture doesn’t have,” Borillo explained. “We’re working for fashion, everyone’s trying to sell clothes, no? That’s why when you’re shooting nice, but commercial pictures—they’re boring as commercial pictures! What we’re trying right now [is] to get them a second life, try to make them more emotional, try to make you feel something.” When asked what the restructured images were meant to convey he responded that it was not a definitive interpretation they were after. “We’re not looking for a specific meaning; it’s just looking to make you feel something. That’s enough for us. If you can make someone stop there and feel something it’s enough—that’s a great job.

Flaunt Magazine With Ziyi Zhang

But finding this creativity on set is easier said than done. “Sometimes it’s not important if it’s a commercial work, if it’s an editorial—in the end it’s about the idea, about the feedback that you have with the people that will be involved in the project,” he said. “Maybe we have a bad hairdresser and at the end the campaign is nothing, you know?” Not naming any names, of course. While a crew member may have rocked the boat on a few occasions, other times things fall magically into place. Shooting Chinese actress Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Memoirs of a Geisha fame), was one of those perfect moments. “With a hour and a half that we were not expecting anything [to come from], we made great pictures. Some of them are really special for us and in fact one of the paint series that we’ve done we made with these pictures.”

Flaunt Magazine With Douglas Booth

Working with supermodels, movie stars and recording artists doesn’t seem to faze the duo, and Borillo is adamant that a bigger name does not make a better picture. “We have great shoots with people that are not really important, and we have shoots that are okay with people that are really important. At the end it’s come with the idea and if the spark is good it doesn’t matter.” But that begs the question, who would be the dream model to photograph? Most people in the fashion industry immediately reply their fantasy client is this A-lister, or that trendsetter, and it seems more than a few people love Anne Hathaway, but the guys of Hunter & Gatti are not so star-struck. “I can tell you Lady Gaga now because she’s everywhere and [in] one year and a half, Lady Gaga is nobody, you know? For us it has no sense to think about names—enjoy and challenge yourself; it’s more about what will happen next than this name or that name,” he said.

Vogue Spain Jewelry

But even with all that raw talent, inspiration for these spreads and campaigns has to come from somewhere. “It’s amazing, as soon as we start thinking about editorial, commercial work or a video, if you’re in front of the computer trying to find something it’s difficult,” Borillo explained. “In the end inspiration can arrive from a movie, from a book that you have at home, or taking a walk down the street and looking at someone, no? At the end you need to be open.” And it’s this observation and appreciation for the things around them that allow the team to come up with such artistic and powerful images. He adds, “We are watching, no? We are voyeurs of life—inspiration comes from there. A spark can inspire a whole idea.”

Esquire Spain With Andres Velencoso

With over a decade in the industry and displaying such a tight hold on their own creativity in the field, one would assume they hope their visions make some type of impression. But for Borillo and Cespedes it’s not so much about the notoriety as it is about their own self-discovery. “We’re not trying to influence any point of view. We’re trying to improve ourselves with every single shot,” he said. “More than being influential, try to enjoy what you’re doing […] and that’s the way to try to find your own way—and who knows if we will influence [fashion].” He described each shoot as a learning experience, as a way to draw from the people around him and to be open to new ideas. Each model has something that is special and meaningful about them, and their job is to capture that spark on film. He adds, “Time will tell if someone is really influential in some way. We’re not trying to be pretentious—we’re trying to enjoy what we’re doing.”

Bruno Mars, a Portrait


The real Mindhunters: why ‘serial killer whisperers’ do more harm than good

Uncork the chianti, serve up the fava beans, have an old friend for dinner: the second season of Mindhunter has returned to Netflix, allowing us to chill with history’s worst serial killers.

Plenty of true crime dramas claim that the misdeeds they depict actually happened, just so. But Mindhunter, which stars Jonathan Groff as special agent Holden Ford and Holt McCallany as his partner, Bill Tench, goes further. David Fincher’s series is based on the theories and career of John Douglas, founder of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit and so-called “serial killer whisperer”.

Douglas’s 1995 book Mindhunter, from which the show is adapted, is full of claims that the innovative methods he established in the basement of the FBI’s Quantico base were critical in establishing modern-day thinking in criminal and investigative psychology. “If you want to learn about violent crime, talk to the experts,” he writes. And who, Douglas argues, could better understand the most debased crimes than the deviants we have already incarcerated? Under the guise of psychological research, he began to create mental “profiles” of murderers on the loose, based on interviews with the US’s worst serial killers.

In season one of the Netflix series, Douglas is depicted (in the guise of Holden Ford) interviewing serial killers and rapists Edmund Kemper, Jerry Brudos and Richard Speck. In season two, the Dictaphone rolls as we hear the insights of Charles Manson and “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz.

Long before Fincher’s series, the FBI profiler became a trope of airport literature, Hollywood movies and serialised TV series a mythology was created around the “mindhunter” theories Douglas developed. But are these theories really all he claims? Can you hunt a mind?

Some of Britain’s top forensic psychologists think not. “To put it bluntly, Douglas’s writings should be in the fiction section,” says David Canter, emeritus professor at the University of Liverpool, who is credited with establishing the new scientific discipline of investigative psychology in the UK. “Speculations about the mind of a criminal have never helped a real-life investigation,” Canter says.

Instead, modern forensic investigators are more interested in trying to ascertain the everyday aspects of a potential murderer’s life – where they might live, who they might know, where they might work, what access they might have to transport links – rather than trying to understand the dark recesses of their mind. “You can’t knock on someone’s door and ask: ‘Where were you last Thursday and what are your masturbatory fantasies?’” Canter says. “That’s not how investigations work.”

Can you hunt a mind? Mindhunter season two. Photograph: Courtesy of Netflix

The Freudian-based theories Douglas espouses might be fascinating to viewers, but they are rarely useful, Canter says. “It is very often of no use at all to the police how the killer got on with their mother. Many forensic pathologists wouldn’t let profilers anywhere near investigations they’re involved in, because they’re often so unhelpful.”

Dr Christopher Clark, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at Rampton high-security psychiatric hospital, who was responsible for ascertaining whether the Soham murderer Ian Huntley was fit to stand trial, is similarly unpersuaded by the effectiveness of “mindhunting”.

“I’ve learned from 30 years in psychiatry that, however much psychologists theorise about it, our motivations are largely unknowable,” Clark says. “I am more convinced than ever we will never know the motivations for that person doing that thing in that way on that day to that person.”

The idea that an investigator could stroll into a maximum security ward and quickly glean a unique insight into one serial killer by talking to another is beset with issues, says Clark. “These people have a very poor understanding of their own motivations, and they’re very poor at reading their own emotions,” he says. “If they were able to do that, they would likely be like the rest of us. They feel a great sense of tension and have sometimes killed or raped someone to ease that tension. But they’re not going to clearly tell you why they have done those things.”

Beyond the usefulness of the information available to police from talking to serial offenders, the ethics of doing so is also deeply questionable. “Those interviews [held by Douglas] were never properly conducted. Only a very small number of volunteers were interviewed. It is a very distorted sample, not carefully selected and representative. And no proper research was conducted or published on the basis of the interviews.”

The second season of Mindhunter focuses on the Atlanta murders, a string of 28 murders between 1979 and 1981 that culminated in the arrest of 23-year-old African American man Wayne Williams. Douglas was censured after stating to local media that Williams was “looking pretty good for a good percentage of the killings”. He made the statements before a court case found Williams guilty. In March of this year, Atlanta police announced evidence from the murders would be retested to be definitively sure of the now 61-year-old Williams’s guilt.

‘John Douglas has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods similar to his.’ Photograph: Slaven Vlašić/Getty Images

Douglas himself has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods like his. “The television and the internet is full of men and women calling themselves profilers, most of whom have no discernible credentials or actual experience,” he writes in Mindhunter. “Often they do more harm than good, and we’ve seen a number of cases where academic-orientated profiles have misinterpreted evidence and sent either the investigation or the defence’s strategy off in a completely wrong direction.”

This is a pretty rich statement, Canter suggests. “Douglas actively turned criminal investigations into a media event. He spotted a market opportunity and started pushing it. It was a public relations strategy for the FBI.”

The gambit has worked. Douglas is invariably celebrated as the man who revolutionised criminal psychology. The author Patricia Cornwell, for example, credits Douglas as the “FBI’s pioneer” and “a master of investigative profiling”.

Douglas’s willingness to share the grisly details of his work have made him a Hollywood celebrity. The author Thomas Harris consulted with him extensively when writing Red Dragon and its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, both of which depict FBI agents who use incarcerated murderer Hannibal Lecter as a way to better understand the mind of the killer in their midst.

Harris has said both The Silence of the Lambs character Jack Crawford, who pushes his ingenue profiler Clarice Starling to visit Lecter, and Red Dragon’s Will Graham, the detective who hunts serial killers by tapping into a dark internal intuition, are based on Douglas. Both books were adapted into successful feature films, while Graham became the hero of Bryan Fuller’s NBC series Hannibal. Of course, Canter notes: “People forget that Hannibal Lecter doesn’t actually ever solve a crime.”

In his book, Douglas writes of developing an ability to think like the criminals he hunted. His peers claim he is more interested in his own sixth sense than in engaging in accepted clinical practice. “When I met him, he said he didn’t support research in this area because it interfered with his intuition,” Canter says.

Douglas also identifies a so-called “homicidal triangle”. Evident in the childhood of virtually all serial killers, Douglas theorises, is persistent bedwetting beyond a normal age, a fascination with fire and – the big tell – a persistent willingness to torture animals.


The real Mindhunters: why ‘serial killer whisperers’ do more harm than good

Uncork the chianti, serve up the fava beans, have an old friend for dinner: the second season of Mindhunter has returned to Netflix, allowing us to chill with history’s worst serial killers.

Plenty of true crime dramas claim that the misdeeds they depict actually happened, just so. But Mindhunter, which stars Jonathan Groff as special agent Holden Ford and Holt McCallany as his partner, Bill Tench, goes further. David Fincher’s series is based on the theories and career of John Douglas, founder of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit and so-called “serial killer whisperer”.

Douglas’s 1995 book Mindhunter, from which the show is adapted, is full of claims that the innovative methods he established in the basement of the FBI’s Quantico base were critical in establishing modern-day thinking in criminal and investigative psychology. “If you want to learn about violent crime, talk to the experts,” he writes. And who, Douglas argues, could better understand the most debased crimes than the deviants we have already incarcerated? Under the guise of psychological research, he began to create mental “profiles” of murderers on the loose, based on interviews with the US’s worst serial killers.

In season one of the Netflix series, Douglas is depicted (in the guise of Holden Ford) interviewing serial killers and rapists Edmund Kemper, Jerry Brudos and Richard Speck. In season two, the Dictaphone rolls as we hear the insights of Charles Manson and “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz.

Long before Fincher’s series, the FBI profiler became a trope of airport literature, Hollywood movies and serialised TV series a mythology was created around the “mindhunter” theories Douglas developed. But are these theories really all he claims? Can you hunt a mind?

Some of Britain’s top forensic psychologists think not. “To put it bluntly, Douglas’s writings should be in the fiction section,” says David Canter, emeritus professor at the University of Liverpool, who is credited with establishing the new scientific discipline of investigative psychology in the UK. “Speculations about the mind of a criminal have never helped a real-life investigation,” Canter says.

Instead, modern forensic investigators are more interested in trying to ascertain the everyday aspects of a potential murderer’s life – where they might live, who they might know, where they might work, what access they might have to transport links – rather than trying to understand the dark recesses of their mind. “You can’t knock on someone’s door and ask: ‘Where were you last Thursday and what are your masturbatory fantasies?’” Canter says. “That’s not how investigations work.”

Can you hunt a mind? Mindhunter season two. Photograph: Courtesy of Netflix

The Freudian-based theories Douglas espouses might be fascinating to viewers, but they are rarely useful, Canter says. “It is very often of no use at all to the police how the killer got on with their mother. Many forensic pathologists wouldn’t let profilers anywhere near investigations they’re involved in, because they’re often so unhelpful.”

Dr Christopher Clark, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at Rampton high-security psychiatric hospital, who was responsible for ascertaining whether the Soham murderer Ian Huntley was fit to stand trial, is similarly unpersuaded by the effectiveness of “mindhunting”.

“I’ve learned from 30 years in psychiatry that, however much psychologists theorise about it, our motivations are largely unknowable,” Clark says. “I am more convinced than ever we will never know the motivations for that person doing that thing in that way on that day to that person.”

The idea that an investigator could stroll into a maximum security ward and quickly glean a unique insight into one serial killer by talking to another is beset with issues, says Clark. “These people have a very poor understanding of their own motivations, and they’re very poor at reading their own emotions,” he says. “If they were able to do that, they would likely be like the rest of us. They feel a great sense of tension and have sometimes killed or raped someone to ease that tension. But they’re not going to clearly tell you why they have done those things.”

Beyond the usefulness of the information available to police from talking to serial offenders, the ethics of doing so is also deeply questionable. “Those interviews [held by Douglas] were never properly conducted. Only a very small number of volunteers were interviewed. It is a very distorted sample, not carefully selected and representative. And no proper research was conducted or published on the basis of the interviews.”

The second season of Mindhunter focuses on the Atlanta murders, a string of 28 murders between 1979 and 1981 that culminated in the arrest of 23-year-old African American man Wayne Williams. Douglas was censured after stating to local media that Williams was “looking pretty good for a good percentage of the killings”. He made the statements before a court case found Williams guilty. In March of this year, Atlanta police announced evidence from the murders would be retested to be definitively sure of the now 61-year-old Williams’s guilt.

‘John Douglas has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods similar to his.’ Photograph: Slaven Vlašić/Getty Images

Douglas himself has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods like his. “The television and the internet is full of men and women calling themselves profilers, most of whom have no discernible credentials or actual experience,” he writes in Mindhunter. “Often they do more harm than good, and we’ve seen a number of cases where academic-orientated profiles have misinterpreted evidence and sent either the investigation or the defence’s strategy off in a completely wrong direction.”

This is a pretty rich statement, Canter suggests. “Douglas actively turned criminal investigations into a media event. He spotted a market opportunity and started pushing it. It was a public relations strategy for the FBI.”

The gambit has worked. Douglas is invariably celebrated as the man who revolutionised criminal psychology. The author Patricia Cornwell, for example, credits Douglas as the “FBI’s pioneer” and “a master of investigative profiling”.

Douglas’s willingness to share the grisly details of his work have made him a Hollywood celebrity. The author Thomas Harris consulted with him extensively when writing Red Dragon and its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, both of which depict FBI agents who use incarcerated murderer Hannibal Lecter as a way to better understand the mind of the killer in their midst.

Harris has said both The Silence of the Lambs character Jack Crawford, who pushes his ingenue profiler Clarice Starling to visit Lecter, and Red Dragon’s Will Graham, the detective who hunts serial killers by tapping into a dark internal intuition, are based on Douglas. Both books were adapted into successful feature films, while Graham became the hero of Bryan Fuller’s NBC series Hannibal. Of course, Canter notes: “People forget that Hannibal Lecter doesn’t actually ever solve a crime.”

In his book, Douglas writes of developing an ability to think like the criminals he hunted. His peers claim he is more interested in his own sixth sense than in engaging in accepted clinical practice. “When I met him, he said he didn’t support research in this area because it interfered with his intuition,” Canter says.

Douglas also identifies a so-called “homicidal triangle”. Evident in the childhood of virtually all serial killers, Douglas theorises, is persistent bedwetting beyond a normal age, a fascination with fire and – the big tell – a persistent willingness to torture animals.


The real Mindhunters: why ‘serial killer whisperers’ do more harm than good

Uncork the chianti, serve up the fava beans, have an old friend for dinner: the second season of Mindhunter has returned to Netflix, allowing us to chill with history’s worst serial killers.

Plenty of true crime dramas claim that the misdeeds they depict actually happened, just so. But Mindhunter, which stars Jonathan Groff as special agent Holden Ford and Holt McCallany as his partner, Bill Tench, goes further. David Fincher’s series is based on the theories and career of John Douglas, founder of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit and so-called “serial killer whisperer”.

Douglas’s 1995 book Mindhunter, from which the show is adapted, is full of claims that the innovative methods he established in the basement of the FBI’s Quantico base were critical in establishing modern-day thinking in criminal and investigative psychology. “If you want to learn about violent crime, talk to the experts,” he writes. And who, Douglas argues, could better understand the most debased crimes than the deviants we have already incarcerated? Under the guise of psychological research, he began to create mental “profiles” of murderers on the loose, based on interviews with the US’s worst serial killers.

In season one of the Netflix series, Douglas is depicted (in the guise of Holden Ford) interviewing serial killers and rapists Edmund Kemper, Jerry Brudos and Richard Speck. In season two, the Dictaphone rolls as we hear the insights of Charles Manson and “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz.

Long before Fincher’s series, the FBI profiler became a trope of airport literature, Hollywood movies and serialised TV series a mythology was created around the “mindhunter” theories Douglas developed. But are these theories really all he claims? Can you hunt a mind?

Some of Britain’s top forensic psychologists think not. “To put it bluntly, Douglas’s writings should be in the fiction section,” says David Canter, emeritus professor at the University of Liverpool, who is credited with establishing the new scientific discipline of investigative psychology in the UK. “Speculations about the mind of a criminal have never helped a real-life investigation,” Canter says.

Instead, modern forensic investigators are more interested in trying to ascertain the everyday aspects of a potential murderer’s life – where they might live, who they might know, where they might work, what access they might have to transport links – rather than trying to understand the dark recesses of their mind. “You can’t knock on someone’s door and ask: ‘Where were you last Thursday and what are your masturbatory fantasies?’” Canter says. “That’s not how investigations work.”

Can you hunt a mind? Mindhunter season two. Photograph: Courtesy of Netflix

The Freudian-based theories Douglas espouses might be fascinating to viewers, but they are rarely useful, Canter says. “It is very often of no use at all to the police how the killer got on with their mother. Many forensic pathologists wouldn’t let profilers anywhere near investigations they’re involved in, because they’re often so unhelpful.”

Dr Christopher Clark, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at Rampton high-security psychiatric hospital, who was responsible for ascertaining whether the Soham murderer Ian Huntley was fit to stand trial, is similarly unpersuaded by the effectiveness of “mindhunting”.

“I’ve learned from 30 years in psychiatry that, however much psychologists theorise about it, our motivations are largely unknowable,” Clark says. “I am more convinced than ever we will never know the motivations for that person doing that thing in that way on that day to that person.”

The idea that an investigator could stroll into a maximum security ward and quickly glean a unique insight into one serial killer by talking to another is beset with issues, says Clark. “These people have a very poor understanding of their own motivations, and they’re very poor at reading their own emotions,” he says. “If they were able to do that, they would likely be like the rest of us. They feel a great sense of tension and have sometimes killed or raped someone to ease that tension. But they’re not going to clearly tell you why they have done those things.”

Beyond the usefulness of the information available to police from talking to serial offenders, the ethics of doing so is also deeply questionable. “Those interviews [held by Douglas] were never properly conducted. Only a very small number of volunteers were interviewed. It is a very distorted sample, not carefully selected and representative. And no proper research was conducted or published on the basis of the interviews.”

The second season of Mindhunter focuses on the Atlanta murders, a string of 28 murders between 1979 and 1981 that culminated in the arrest of 23-year-old African American man Wayne Williams. Douglas was censured after stating to local media that Williams was “looking pretty good for a good percentage of the killings”. He made the statements before a court case found Williams guilty. In March of this year, Atlanta police announced evidence from the murders would be retested to be definitively sure of the now 61-year-old Williams’s guilt.

‘John Douglas has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods similar to his.’ Photograph: Slaven Vlašić/Getty Images

Douglas himself has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods like his. “The television and the internet is full of men and women calling themselves profilers, most of whom have no discernible credentials or actual experience,” he writes in Mindhunter. “Often they do more harm than good, and we’ve seen a number of cases where academic-orientated profiles have misinterpreted evidence and sent either the investigation or the defence’s strategy off in a completely wrong direction.”

This is a pretty rich statement, Canter suggests. “Douglas actively turned criminal investigations into a media event. He spotted a market opportunity and started pushing it. It was a public relations strategy for the FBI.”

The gambit has worked. Douglas is invariably celebrated as the man who revolutionised criminal psychology. The author Patricia Cornwell, for example, credits Douglas as the “FBI’s pioneer” and “a master of investigative profiling”.

Douglas’s willingness to share the grisly details of his work have made him a Hollywood celebrity. The author Thomas Harris consulted with him extensively when writing Red Dragon and its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, both of which depict FBI agents who use incarcerated murderer Hannibal Lecter as a way to better understand the mind of the killer in their midst.

Harris has said both The Silence of the Lambs character Jack Crawford, who pushes his ingenue profiler Clarice Starling to visit Lecter, and Red Dragon’s Will Graham, the detective who hunts serial killers by tapping into a dark internal intuition, are based on Douglas. Both books were adapted into successful feature films, while Graham became the hero of Bryan Fuller’s NBC series Hannibal. Of course, Canter notes: “People forget that Hannibal Lecter doesn’t actually ever solve a crime.”

In his book, Douglas writes of developing an ability to think like the criminals he hunted. His peers claim he is more interested in his own sixth sense than in engaging in accepted clinical practice. “When I met him, he said he didn’t support research in this area because it interfered with his intuition,” Canter says.

Douglas also identifies a so-called “homicidal triangle”. Evident in the childhood of virtually all serial killers, Douglas theorises, is persistent bedwetting beyond a normal age, a fascination with fire and – the big tell – a persistent willingness to torture animals.


The real Mindhunters: why ‘serial killer whisperers’ do more harm than good

Uncork the chianti, serve up the fava beans, have an old friend for dinner: the second season of Mindhunter has returned to Netflix, allowing us to chill with history’s worst serial killers.

Plenty of true crime dramas claim that the misdeeds they depict actually happened, just so. But Mindhunter, which stars Jonathan Groff as special agent Holden Ford and Holt McCallany as his partner, Bill Tench, goes further. David Fincher’s series is based on the theories and career of John Douglas, founder of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit and so-called “serial killer whisperer”.

Douglas’s 1995 book Mindhunter, from which the show is adapted, is full of claims that the innovative methods he established in the basement of the FBI’s Quantico base were critical in establishing modern-day thinking in criminal and investigative psychology. “If you want to learn about violent crime, talk to the experts,” he writes. And who, Douglas argues, could better understand the most debased crimes than the deviants we have already incarcerated? Under the guise of psychological research, he began to create mental “profiles” of murderers on the loose, based on interviews with the US’s worst serial killers.

In season one of the Netflix series, Douglas is depicted (in the guise of Holden Ford) interviewing serial killers and rapists Edmund Kemper, Jerry Brudos and Richard Speck. In season two, the Dictaphone rolls as we hear the insights of Charles Manson and “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz.

Long before Fincher’s series, the FBI profiler became a trope of airport literature, Hollywood movies and serialised TV series a mythology was created around the “mindhunter” theories Douglas developed. But are these theories really all he claims? Can you hunt a mind?

Some of Britain’s top forensic psychologists think not. “To put it bluntly, Douglas’s writings should be in the fiction section,” says David Canter, emeritus professor at the University of Liverpool, who is credited with establishing the new scientific discipline of investigative psychology in the UK. “Speculations about the mind of a criminal have never helped a real-life investigation,” Canter says.

Instead, modern forensic investigators are more interested in trying to ascertain the everyday aspects of a potential murderer’s life – where they might live, who they might know, where they might work, what access they might have to transport links – rather than trying to understand the dark recesses of their mind. “You can’t knock on someone’s door and ask: ‘Where were you last Thursday and what are your masturbatory fantasies?’” Canter says. “That’s not how investigations work.”

Can you hunt a mind? Mindhunter season two. Photograph: Courtesy of Netflix

The Freudian-based theories Douglas espouses might be fascinating to viewers, but they are rarely useful, Canter says. “It is very often of no use at all to the police how the killer got on with their mother. Many forensic pathologists wouldn’t let profilers anywhere near investigations they’re involved in, because they’re often so unhelpful.”

Dr Christopher Clark, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at Rampton high-security psychiatric hospital, who was responsible for ascertaining whether the Soham murderer Ian Huntley was fit to stand trial, is similarly unpersuaded by the effectiveness of “mindhunting”.

“I’ve learned from 30 years in psychiatry that, however much psychologists theorise about it, our motivations are largely unknowable,” Clark says. “I am more convinced than ever we will never know the motivations for that person doing that thing in that way on that day to that person.”

The idea that an investigator could stroll into a maximum security ward and quickly glean a unique insight into one serial killer by talking to another is beset with issues, says Clark. “These people have a very poor understanding of their own motivations, and they’re very poor at reading their own emotions,” he says. “If they were able to do that, they would likely be like the rest of us. They feel a great sense of tension and have sometimes killed or raped someone to ease that tension. But they’re not going to clearly tell you why they have done those things.”

Beyond the usefulness of the information available to police from talking to serial offenders, the ethics of doing so is also deeply questionable. “Those interviews [held by Douglas] were never properly conducted. Only a very small number of volunteers were interviewed. It is a very distorted sample, not carefully selected and representative. And no proper research was conducted or published on the basis of the interviews.”

The second season of Mindhunter focuses on the Atlanta murders, a string of 28 murders between 1979 and 1981 that culminated in the arrest of 23-year-old African American man Wayne Williams. Douglas was censured after stating to local media that Williams was “looking pretty good for a good percentage of the killings”. He made the statements before a court case found Williams guilty. In March of this year, Atlanta police announced evidence from the murders would be retested to be definitively sure of the now 61-year-old Williams’s guilt.

‘John Douglas has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods similar to his.’ Photograph: Slaven Vlašić/Getty Images

Douglas himself has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods like his. “The television and the internet is full of men and women calling themselves profilers, most of whom have no discernible credentials or actual experience,” he writes in Mindhunter. “Often they do more harm than good, and we’ve seen a number of cases where academic-orientated profiles have misinterpreted evidence and sent either the investigation or the defence’s strategy off in a completely wrong direction.”

This is a pretty rich statement, Canter suggests. “Douglas actively turned criminal investigations into a media event. He spotted a market opportunity and started pushing it. It was a public relations strategy for the FBI.”

The gambit has worked. Douglas is invariably celebrated as the man who revolutionised criminal psychology. The author Patricia Cornwell, for example, credits Douglas as the “FBI’s pioneer” and “a master of investigative profiling”.

Douglas’s willingness to share the grisly details of his work have made him a Hollywood celebrity. The author Thomas Harris consulted with him extensively when writing Red Dragon and its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, both of which depict FBI agents who use incarcerated murderer Hannibal Lecter as a way to better understand the mind of the killer in their midst.

Harris has said both The Silence of the Lambs character Jack Crawford, who pushes his ingenue profiler Clarice Starling to visit Lecter, and Red Dragon’s Will Graham, the detective who hunts serial killers by tapping into a dark internal intuition, are based on Douglas. Both books were adapted into successful feature films, while Graham became the hero of Bryan Fuller’s NBC series Hannibal. Of course, Canter notes: “People forget that Hannibal Lecter doesn’t actually ever solve a crime.”

In his book, Douglas writes of developing an ability to think like the criminals he hunted. His peers claim he is more interested in his own sixth sense than in engaging in accepted clinical practice. “When I met him, he said he didn’t support research in this area because it interfered with his intuition,” Canter says.

Douglas also identifies a so-called “homicidal triangle”. Evident in the childhood of virtually all serial killers, Douglas theorises, is persistent bedwetting beyond a normal age, a fascination with fire and – the big tell – a persistent willingness to torture animals.


The real Mindhunters: why ‘serial killer whisperers’ do more harm than good

Uncork the chianti, serve up the fava beans, have an old friend for dinner: the second season of Mindhunter has returned to Netflix, allowing us to chill with history’s worst serial killers.

Plenty of true crime dramas claim that the misdeeds they depict actually happened, just so. But Mindhunter, which stars Jonathan Groff as special agent Holden Ford and Holt McCallany as his partner, Bill Tench, goes further. David Fincher’s series is based on the theories and career of John Douglas, founder of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit and so-called “serial killer whisperer”.

Douglas’s 1995 book Mindhunter, from which the show is adapted, is full of claims that the innovative methods he established in the basement of the FBI’s Quantico base were critical in establishing modern-day thinking in criminal and investigative psychology. “If you want to learn about violent crime, talk to the experts,” he writes. And who, Douglas argues, could better understand the most debased crimes than the deviants we have already incarcerated? Under the guise of psychological research, he began to create mental “profiles” of murderers on the loose, based on interviews with the US’s worst serial killers.

In season one of the Netflix series, Douglas is depicted (in the guise of Holden Ford) interviewing serial killers and rapists Edmund Kemper, Jerry Brudos and Richard Speck. In season two, the Dictaphone rolls as we hear the insights of Charles Manson and “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz.

Long before Fincher’s series, the FBI profiler became a trope of airport literature, Hollywood movies and serialised TV series a mythology was created around the “mindhunter” theories Douglas developed. But are these theories really all he claims? Can you hunt a mind?

Some of Britain’s top forensic psychologists think not. “To put it bluntly, Douglas’s writings should be in the fiction section,” says David Canter, emeritus professor at the University of Liverpool, who is credited with establishing the new scientific discipline of investigative psychology in the UK. “Speculations about the mind of a criminal have never helped a real-life investigation,” Canter says.

Instead, modern forensic investigators are more interested in trying to ascertain the everyday aspects of a potential murderer’s life – where they might live, who they might know, where they might work, what access they might have to transport links – rather than trying to understand the dark recesses of their mind. “You can’t knock on someone’s door and ask: ‘Where were you last Thursday and what are your masturbatory fantasies?’” Canter says. “That’s not how investigations work.”

Can you hunt a mind? Mindhunter season two. Photograph: Courtesy of Netflix

The Freudian-based theories Douglas espouses might be fascinating to viewers, but they are rarely useful, Canter says. “It is very often of no use at all to the police how the killer got on with their mother. Many forensic pathologists wouldn’t let profilers anywhere near investigations they’re involved in, because they’re often so unhelpful.”

Dr Christopher Clark, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at Rampton high-security psychiatric hospital, who was responsible for ascertaining whether the Soham murderer Ian Huntley was fit to stand trial, is similarly unpersuaded by the effectiveness of “mindhunting”.

“I’ve learned from 30 years in psychiatry that, however much psychologists theorise about it, our motivations are largely unknowable,” Clark says. “I am more convinced than ever we will never know the motivations for that person doing that thing in that way on that day to that person.”

The idea that an investigator could stroll into a maximum security ward and quickly glean a unique insight into one serial killer by talking to another is beset with issues, says Clark. “These people have a very poor understanding of their own motivations, and they’re very poor at reading their own emotions,” he says. “If they were able to do that, they would likely be like the rest of us. They feel a great sense of tension and have sometimes killed or raped someone to ease that tension. But they’re not going to clearly tell you why they have done those things.”

Beyond the usefulness of the information available to police from talking to serial offenders, the ethics of doing so is also deeply questionable. “Those interviews [held by Douglas] were never properly conducted. Only a very small number of volunteers were interviewed. It is a very distorted sample, not carefully selected and representative. And no proper research was conducted or published on the basis of the interviews.”

The second season of Mindhunter focuses on the Atlanta murders, a string of 28 murders between 1979 and 1981 that culminated in the arrest of 23-year-old African American man Wayne Williams. Douglas was censured after stating to local media that Williams was “looking pretty good for a good percentage of the killings”. He made the statements before a court case found Williams guilty. In March of this year, Atlanta police announced evidence from the murders would be retested to be definitively sure of the now 61-year-old Williams’s guilt.

‘John Douglas has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods similar to his.’ Photograph: Slaven Vlašić/Getty Images

Douglas himself has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods like his. “The television and the internet is full of men and women calling themselves profilers, most of whom have no discernible credentials or actual experience,” he writes in Mindhunter. “Often they do more harm than good, and we’ve seen a number of cases where academic-orientated profiles have misinterpreted evidence and sent either the investigation or the defence’s strategy off in a completely wrong direction.”

This is a pretty rich statement, Canter suggests. “Douglas actively turned criminal investigations into a media event. He spotted a market opportunity and started pushing it. It was a public relations strategy for the FBI.”

The gambit has worked. Douglas is invariably celebrated as the man who revolutionised criminal psychology. The author Patricia Cornwell, for example, credits Douglas as the “FBI’s pioneer” and “a master of investigative profiling”.

Douglas’s willingness to share the grisly details of his work have made him a Hollywood celebrity. The author Thomas Harris consulted with him extensively when writing Red Dragon and its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, both of which depict FBI agents who use incarcerated murderer Hannibal Lecter as a way to better understand the mind of the killer in their midst.

Harris has said both The Silence of the Lambs character Jack Crawford, who pushes his ingenue profiler Clarice Starling to visit Lecter, and Red Dragon’s Will Graham, the detective who hunts serial killers by tapping into a dark internal intuition, are based on Douglas. Both books were adapted into successful feature films, while Graham became the hero of Bryan Fuller’s NBC series Hannibal. Of course, Canter notes: “People forget that Hannibal Lecter doesn’t actually ever solve a crime.”

In his book, Douglas writes of developing an ability to think like the criminals he hunted. His peers claim he is more interested in his own sixth sense than in engaging in accepted clinical practice. “When I met him, he said he didn’t support research in this area because it interfered with his intuition,” Canter says.

Douglas also identifies a so-called “homicidal triangle”. Evident in the childhood of virtually all serial killers, Douglas theorises, is persistent bedwetting beyond a normal age, a fascination with fire and – the big tell – a persistent willingness to torture animals.


The real Mindhunters: why ‘serial killer whisperers’ do more harm than good

Uncork the chianti, serve up the fava beans, have an old friend for dinner: the second season of Mindhunter has returned to Netflix, allowing us to chill with history’s worst serial killers.

Plenty of true crime dramas claim that the misdeeds they depict actually happened, just so. But Mindhunter, which stars Jonathan Groff as special agent Holden Ford and Holt McCallany as his partner, Bill Tench, goes further. David Fincher’s series is based on the theories and career of John Douglas, founder of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit and so-called “serial killer whisperer”.

Douglas’s 1995 book Mindhunter, from which the show is adapted, is full of claims that the innovative methods he established in the basement of the FBI’s Quantico base were critical in establishing modern-day thinking in criminal and investigative psychology. “If you want to learn about violent crime, talk to the experts,” he writes. And who, Douglas argues, could better understand the most debased crimes than the deviants we have already incarcerated? Under the guise of psychological research, he began to create mental “profiles” of murderers on the loose, based on interviews with the US’s worst serial killers.

In season one of the Netflix series, Douglas is depicted (in the guise of Holden Ford) interviewing serial killers and rapists Edmund Kemper, Jerry Brudos and Richard Speck. In season two, the Dictaphone rolls as we hear the insights of Charles Manson and “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz.

Long before Fincher’s series, the FBI profiler became a trope of airport literature, Hollywood movies and serialised TV series a mythology was created around the “mindhunter” theories Douglas developed. But are these theories really all he claims? Can you hunt a mind?

Some of Britain’s top forensic psychologists think not. “To put it bluntly, Douglas’s writings should be in the fiction section,” says David Canter, emeritus professor at the University of Liverpool, who is credited with establishing the new scientific discipline of investigative psychology in the UK. “Speculations about the mind of a criminal have never helped a real-life investigation,” Canter says.

Instead, modern forensic investigators are more interested in trying to ascertain the everyday aspects of a potential murderer’s life – where they might live, who they might know, where they might work, what access they might have to transport links – rather than trying to understand the dark recesses of their mind. “You can’t knock on someone’s door and ask: ‘Where were you last Thursday and what are your masturbatory fantasies?’” Canter says. “That’s not how investigations work.”

Can you hunt a mind? Mindhunter season two. Photograph: Courtesy of Netflix

The Freudian-based theories Douglas espouses might be fascinating to viewers, but they are rarely useful, Canter says. “It is very often of no use at all to the police how the killer got on with their mother. Many forensic pathologists wouldn’t let profilers anywhere near investigations they’re involved in, because they’re often so unhelpful.”

Dr Christopher Clark, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at Rampton high-security psychiatric hospital, who was responsible for ascertaining whether the Soham murderer Ian Huntley was fit to stand trial, is similarly unpersuaded by the effectiveness of “mindhunting”.

“I’ve learned from 30 years in psychiatry that, however much psychologists theorise about it, our motivations are largely unknowable,” Clark says. “I am more convinced than ever we will never know the motivations for that person doing that thing in that way on that day to that person.”

The idea that an investigator could stroll into a maximum security ward and quickly glean a unique insight into one serial killer by talking to another is beset with issues, says Clark. “These people have a very poor understanding of their own motivations, and they’re very poor at reading their own emotions,” he says. “If they were able to do that, they would likely be like the rest of us. They feel a great sense of tension and have sometimes killed or raped someone to ease that tension. But they’re not going to clearly tell you why they have done those things.”

Beyond the usefulness of the information available to police from talking to serial offenders, the ethics of doing so is also deeply questionable. “Those interviews [held by Douglas] were never properly conducted. Only a very small number of volunteers were interviewed. It is a very distorted sample, not carefully selected and representative. And no proper research was conducted or published on the basis of the interviews.”

The second season of Mindhunter focuses on the Atlanta murders, a string of 28 murders between 1979 and 1981 that culminated in the arrest of 23-year-old African American man Wayne Williams. Douglas was censured after stating to local media that Williams was “looking pretty good for a good percentage of the killings”. He made the statements before a court case found Williams guilty. In March of this year, Atlanta police announced evidence from the murders would be retested to be definitively sure of the now 61-year-old Williams’s guilt.

‘John Douglas has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods similar to his.’ Photograph: Slaven Vlašić/Getty Images

Douglas himself has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods like his. “The television and the internet is full of men and women calling themselves profilers, most of whom have no discernible credentials or actual experience,” he writes in Mindhunter. “Often they do more harm than good, and we’ve seen a number of cases where academic-orientated profiles have misinterpreted evidence and sent either the investigation or the defence’s strategy off in a completely wrong direction.”

This is a pretty rich statement, Canter suggests. “Douglas actively turned criminal investigations into a media event. He spotted a market opportunity and started pushing it. It was a public relations strategy for the FBI.”

The gambit has worked. Douglas is invariably celebrated as the man who revolutionised criminal psychology. The author Patricia Cornwell, for example, credits Douglas as the “FBI’s pioneer” and “a master of investigative profiling”.

Douglas’s willingness to share the grisly details of his work have made him a Hollywood celebrity. The author Thomas Harris consulted with him extensively when writing Red Dragon and its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, both of which depict FBI agents who use incarcerated murderer Hannibal Lecter as a way to better understand the mind of the killer in their midst.

Harris has said both The Silence of the Lambs character Jack Crawford, who pushes his ingenue profiler Clarice Starling to visit Lecter, and Red Dragon’s Will Graham, the detective who hunts serial killers by tapping into a dark internal intuition, are based on Douglas. Both books were adapted into successful feature films, while Graham became the hero of Bryan Fuller’s NBC series Hannibal. Of course, Canter notes: “People forget that Hannibal Lecter doesn’t actually ever solve a crime.”

In his book, Douglas writes of developing an ability to think like the criminals he hunted. His peers claim he is more interested in his own sixth sense than in engaging in accepted clinical practice. “When I met him, he said he didn’t support research in this area because it interfered with his intuition,” Canter says.

Douglas also identifies a so-called “homicidal triangle”. Evident in the childhood of virtually all serial killers, Douglas theorises, is persistent bedwetting beyond a normal age, a fascination with fire and – the big tell – a persistent willingness to torture animals.


The real Mindhunters: why ‘serial killer whisperers’ do more harm than good

Uncork the chianti, serve up the fava beans, have an old friend for dinner: the second season of Mindhunter has returned to Netflix, allowing us to chill with history’s worst serial killers.

Plenty of true crime dramas claim that the misdeeds they depict actually happened, just so. But Mindhunter, which stars Jonathan Groff as special agent Holden Ford and Holt McCallany as his partner, Bill Tench, goes further. David Fincher’s series is based on the theories and career of John Douglas, founder of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit and so-called “serial killer whisperer”.

Douglas’s 1995 book Mindhunter, from which the show is adapted, is full of claims that the innovative methods he established in the basement of the FBI’s Quantico base were critical in establishing modern-day thinking in criminal and investigative psychology. “If you want to learn about violent crime, talk to the experts,” he writes. And who, Douglas argues, could better understand the most debased crimes than the deviants we have already incarcerated? Under the guise of psychological research, he began to create mental “profiles” of murderers on the loose, based on interviews with the US’s worst serial killers.

In season one of the Netflix series, Douglas is depicted (in the guise of Holden Ford) interviewing serial killers and rapists Edmund Kemper, Jerry Brudos and Richard Speck. In season two, the Dictaphone rolls as we hear the insights of Charles Manson and “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz.

Long before Fincher’s series, the FBI profiler became a trope of airport literature, Hollywood movies and serialised TV series a mythology was created around the “mindhunter” theories Douglas developed. But are these theories really all he claims? Can you hunt a mind?

Some of Britain’s top forensic psychologists think not. “To put it bluntly, Douglas’s writings should be in the fiction section,” says David Canter, emeritus professor at the University of Liverpool, who is credited with establishing the new scientific discipline of investigative psychology in the UK. “Speculations about the mind of a criminal have never helped a real-life investigation,” Canter says.

Instead, modern forensic investigators are more interested in trying to ascertain the everyday aspects of a potential murderer’s life – where they might live, who they might know, where they might work, what access they might have to transport links – rather than trying to understand the dark recesses of their mind. “You can’t knock on someone’s door and ask: ‘Where were you last Thursday and what are your masturbatory fantasies?’” Canter says. “That’s not how investigations work.”

Can you hunt a mind? Mindhunter season two. Photograph: Courtesy of Netflix

The Freudian-based theories Douglas espouses might be fascinating to viewers, but they are rarely useful, Canter says. “It is very often of no use at all to the police how the killer got on with their mother. Many forensic pathologists wouldn’t let profilers anywhere near investigations they’re involved in, because they’re often so unhelpful.”

Dr Christopher Clark, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at Rampton high-security psychiatric hospital, who was responsible for ascertaining whether the Soham murderer Ian Huntley was fit to stand trial, is similarly unpersuaded by the effectiveness of “mindhunting”.

“I’ve learned from 30 years in psychiatry that, however much psychologists theorise about it, our motivations are largely unknowable,” Clark says. “I am more convinced than ever we will never know the motivations for that person doing that thing in that way on that day to that person.”

The idea that an investigator could stroll into a maximum security ward and quickly glean a unique insight into one serial killer by talking to another is beset with issues, says Clark. “These people have a very poor understanding of their own motivations, and they’re very poor at reading their own emotions,” he says. “If they were able to do that, they would likely be like the rest of us. They feel a great sense of tension and have sometimes killed or raped someone to ease that tension. But they’re not going to clearly tell you why they have done those things.”

Beyond the usefulness of the information available to police from talking to serial offenders, the ethics of doing so is also deeply questionable. “Those interviews [held by Douglas] were never properly conducted. Only a very small number of volunteers were interviewed. It is a very distorted sample, not carefully selected and representative. And no proper research was conducted or published on the basis of the interviews.”

The second season of Mindhunter focuses on the Atlanta murders, a string of 28 murders between 1979 and 1981 that culminated in the arrest of 23-year-old African American man Wayne Williams. Douglas was censured after stating to local media that Williams was “looking pretty good for a good percentage of the killings”. He made the statements before a court case found Williams guilty. In March of this year, Atlanta police announced evidence from the murders would be retested to be definitively sure of the now 61-year-old Williams’s guilt.

‘John Douglas has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods similar to his.’ Photograph: Slaven Vlašić/Getty Images

Douglas himself has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods like his. “The television and the internet is full of men and women calling themselves profilers, most of whom have no discernible credentials or actual experience,” he writes in Mindhunter. “Often they do more harm than good, and we’ve seen a number of cases where academic-orientated profiles have misinterpreted evidence and sent either the investigation or the defence’s strategy off in a completely wrong direction.”

This is a pretty rich statement, Canter suggests. “Douglas actively turned criminal investigations into a media event. He spotted a market opportunity and started pushing it. It was a public relations strategy for the FBI.”

The gambit has worked. Douglas is invariably celebrated as the man who revolutionised criminal psychology. The author Patricia Cornwell, for example, credits Douglas as the “FBI’s pioneer” and “a master of investigative profiling”.

Douglas’s willingness to share the grisly details of his work have made him a Hollywood celebrity. The author Thomas Harris consulted with him extensively when writing Red Dragon and its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, both of which depict FBI agents who use incarcerated murderer Hannibal Lecter as a way to better understand the mind of the killer in their midst.

Harris has said both The Silence of the Lambs character Jack Crawford, who pushes his ingenue profiler Clarice Starling to visit Lecter, and Red Dragon’s Will Graham, the detective who hunts serial killers by tapping into a dark internal intuition, are based on Douglas. Both books were adapted into successful feature films, while Graham became the hero of Bryan Fuller’s NBC series Hannibal. Of course, Canter notes: “People forget that Hannibal Lecter doesn’t actually ever solve a crime.”

In his book, Douglas writes of developing an ability to think like the criminals he hunted. His peers claim he is more interested in his own sixth sense than in engaging in accepted clinical practice. “When I met him, he said he didn’t support research in this area because it interfered with his intuition,” Canter says.

Douglas also identifies a so-called “homicidal triangle”. Evident in the childhood of virtually all serial killers, Douglas theorises, is persistent bedwetting beyond a normal age, a fascination with fire and – the big tell – a persistent willingness to torture animals.


The real Mindhunters: why ‘serial killer whisperers’ do more harm than good

Uncork the chianti, serve up the fava beans, have an old friend for dinner: the second season of Mindhunter has returned to Netflix, allowing us to chill with history’s worst serial killers.

Plenty of true crime dramas claim that the misdeeds they depict actually happened, just so. But Mindhunter, which stars Jonathan Groff as special agent Holden Ford and Holt McCallany as his partner, Bill Tench, goes further. David Fincher’s series is based on the theories and career of John Douglas, founder of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit and so-called “serial killer whisperer”.

Douglas’s 1995 book Mindhunter, from which the show is adapted, is full of claims that the innovative methods he established in the basement of the FBI’s Quantico base were critical in establishing modern-day thinking in criminal and investigative psychology. “If you want to learn about violent crime, talk to the experts,” he writes. And who, Douglas argues, could better understand the most debased crimes than the deviants we have already incarcerated? Under the guise of psychological research, he began to create mental “profiles” of murderers on the loose, based on interviews with the US’s worst serial killers.

In season one of the Netflix series, Douglas is depicted (in the guise of Holden Ford) interviewing serial killers and rapists Edmund Kemper, Jerry Brudos and Richard Speck. In season two, the Dictaphone rolls as we hear the insights of Charles Manson and “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz.

Long before Fincher’s series, the FBI profiler became a trope of airport literature, Hollywood movies and serialised TV series a mythology was created around the “mindhunter” theories Douglas developed. But are these theories really all he claims? Can you hunt a mind?

Some of Britain’s top forensic psychologists think not. “To put it bluntly, Douglas’s writings should be in the fiction section,” says David Canter, emeritus professor at the University of Liverpool, who is credited with establishing the new scientific discipline of investigative psychology in the UK. “Speculations about the mind of a criminal have never helped a real-life investigation,” Canter says.

Instead, modern forensic investigators are more interested in trying to ascertain the everyday aspects of a potential murderer’s life – where they might live, who they might know, where they might work, what access they might have to transport links – rather than trying to understand the dark recesses of their mind. “You can’t knock on someone’s door and ask: ‘Where were you last Thursday and what are your masturbatory fantasies?’” Canter says. “That’s not how investigations work.”

Can you hunt a mind? Mindhunter season two. Photograph: Courtesy of Netflix

The Freudian-based theories Douglas espouses might be fascinating to viewers, but they are rarely useful, Canter says. “It is very often of no use at all to the police how the killer got on with their mother. Many forensic pathologists wouldn’t let profilers anywhere near investigations they’re involved in, because they’re often so unhelpful.”

Dr Christopher Clark, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at Rampton high-security psychiatric hospital, who was responsible for ascertaining whether the Soham murderer Ian Huntley was fit to stand trial, is similarly unpersuaded by the effectiveness of “mindhunting”.

“I’ve learned from 30 years in psychiatry that, however much psychologists theorise about it, our motivations are largely unknowable,” Clark says. “I am more convinced than ever we will never know the motivations for that person doing that thing in that way on that day to that person.”

The idea that an investigator could stroll into a maximum security ward and quickly glean a unique insight into one serial killer by talking to another is beset with issues, says Clark. “These people have a very poor understanding of their own motivations, and they’re very poor at reading their own emotions,” he says. “If they were able to do that, they would likely be like the rest of us. They feel a great sense of tension and have sometimes killed or raped someone to ease that tension. But they’re not going to clearly tell you why they have done those things.”

Beyond the usefulness of the information available to police from talking to serial offenders, the ethics of doing so is also deeply questionable. “Those interviews [held by Douglas] were never properly conducted. Only a very small number of volunteers were interviewed. It is a very distorted sample, not carefully selected and representative. And no proper research was conducted or published on the basis of the interviews.”

The second season of Mindhunter focuses on the Atlanta murders, a string of 28 murders between 1979 and 1981 that culminated in the arrest of 23-year-old African American man Wayne Williams. Douglas was censured after stating to local media that Williams was “looking pretty good for a good percentage of the killings”. He made the statements before a court case found Williams guilty. In March of this year, Atlanta police announced evidence from the murders would be retested to be definitively sure of the now 61-year-old Williams’s guilt.

‘John Douglas has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods similar to his.’ Photograph: Slaven Vlašić/Getty Images

Douglas himself has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods like his. “The television and the internet is full of men and women calling themselves profilers, most of whom have no discernible credentials or actual experience,” he writes in Mindhunter. “Often they do more harm than good, and we’ve seen a number of cases where academic-orientated profiles have misinterpreted evidence and sent either the investigation or the defence’s strategy off in a completely wrong direction.”

This is a pretty rich statement, Canter suggests. “Douglas actively turned criminal investigations into a media event. He spotted a market opportunity and started pushing it. It was a public relations strategy for the FBI.”

The gambit has worked. Douglas is invariably celebrated as the man who revolutionised criminal psychology. The author Patricia Cornwell, for example, credits Douglas as the “FBI’s pioneer” and “a master of investigative profiling”.

Douglas’s willingness to share the grisly details of his work have made him a Hollywood celebrity. The author Thomas Harris consulted with him extensively when writing Red Dragon and its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, both of which depict FBI agents who use incarcerated murderer Hannibal Lecter as a way to better understand the mind of the killer in their midst.

Harris has said both The Silence of the Lambs character Jack Crawford, who pushes his ingenue profiler Clarice Starling to visit Lecter, and Red Dragon’s Will Graham, the detective who hunts serial killers by tapping into a dark internal intuition, are based on Douglas. Both books were adapted into successful feature films, while Graham became the hero of Bryan Fuller’s NBC series Hannibal. Of course, Canter notes: “People forget that Hannibal Lecter doesn’t actually ever solve a crime.”

In his book, Douglas writes of developing an ability to think like the criminals he hunted. His peers claim he is more interested in his own sixth sense than in engaging in accepted clinical practice. “When I met him, he said he didn’t support research in this area because it interfered with his intuition,” Canter says.

Douglas also identifies a so-called “homicidal triangle”. Evident in the childhood of virtually all serial killers, Douglas theorises, is persistent bedwetting beyond a normal age, a fascination with fire and – the big tell – a persistent willingness to torture animals.


The real Mindhunters: why ‘serial killer whisperers’ do more harm than good

Uncork the chianti, serve up the fava beans, have an old friend for dinner: the second season of Mindhunter has returned to Netflix, allowing us to chill with history’s worst serial killers.

Plenty of true crime dramas claim that the misdeeds they depict actually happened, just so. But Mindhunter, which stars Jonathan Groff as special agent Holden Ford and Holt McCallany as his partner, Bill Tench, goes further. David Fincher’s series is based on the theories and career of John Douglas, founder of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit and so-called “serial killer whisperer”.

Douglas’s 1995 book Mindhunter, from which the show is adapted, is full of claims that the innovative methods he established in the basement of the FBI’s Quantico base were critical in establishing modern-day thinking in criminal and investigative psychology. “If you want to learn about violent crime, talk to the experts,” he writes. And who, Douglas argues, could better understand the most debased crimes than the deviants we have already incarcerated? Under the guise of psychological research, he began to create mental “profiles” of murderers on the loose, based on interviews with the US’s worst serial killers.

In season one of the Netflix series, Douglas is depicted (in the guise of Holden Ford) interviewing serial killers and rapists Edmund Kemper, Jerry Brudos and Richard Speck. In season two, the Dictaphone rolls as we hear the insights of Charles Manson and “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz.

Long before Fincher’s series, the FBI profiler became a trope of airport literature, Hollywood movies and serialised TV series a mythology was created around the “mindhunter” theories Douglas developed. But are these theories really all he claims? Can you hunt a mind?

Some of Britain’s top forensic psychologists think not. “To put it bluntly, Douglas’s writings should be in the fiction section,” says David Canter, emeritus professor at the University of Liverpool, who is credited with establishing the new scientific discipline of investigative psychology in the UK. “Speculations about the mind of a criminal have never helped a real-life investigation,” Canter says.

Instead, modern forensic investigators are more interested in trying to ascertain the everyday aspects of a potential murderer’s life – where they might live, who they might know, where they might work, what access they might have to transport links – rather than trying to understand the dark recesses of their mind. “You can’t knock on someone’s door and ask: ‘Where were you last Thursday and what are your masturbatory fantasies?’” Canter says. “That’s not how investigations work.”

Can you hunt a mind? Mindhunter season two. Photograph: Courtesy of Netflix

The Freudian-based theories Douglas espouses might be fascinating to viewers, but they are rarely useful, Canter says. “It is very often of no use at all to the police how the killer got on with their mother. Many forensic pathologists wouldn’t let profilers anywhere near investigations they’re involved in, because they’re often so unhelpful.”

Dr Christopher Clark, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at Rampton high-security psychiatric hospital, who was responsible for ascertaining whether the Soham murderer Ian Huntley was fit to stand trial, is similarly unpersuaded by the effectiveness of “mindhunting”.

“I’ve learned from 30 years in psychiatry that, however much psychologists theorise about it, our motivations are largely unknowable,” Clark says. “I am more convinced than ever we will never know the motivations for that person doing that thing in that way on that day to that person.”

The idea that an investigator could stroll into a maximum security ward and quickly glean a unique insight into one serial killer by talking to another is beset with issues, says Clark. “These people have a very poor understanding of their own motivations, and they’re very poor at reading their own emotions,” he says. “If they were able to do that, they would likely be like the rest of us. They feel a great sense of tension and have sometimes killed or raped someone to ease that tension. But they’re not going to clearly tell you why they have done those things.”

Beyond the usefulness of the information available to police from talking to serial offenders, the ethics of doing so is also deeply questionable. “Those interviews [held by Douglas] were never properly conducted. Only a very small number of volunteers were interviewed. It is a very distorted sample, not carefully selected and representative. And no proper research was conducted or published on the basis of the interviews.”

The second season of Mindhunter focuses on the Atlanta murders, a string of 28 murders between 1979 and 1981 that culminated in the arrest of 23-year-old African American man Wayne Williams. Douglas was censured after stating to local media that Williams was “looking pretty good for a good percentage of the killings”. He made the statements before a court case found Williams guilty. In March of this year, Atlanta police announced evidence from the murders would be retested to be definitively sure of the now 61-year-old Williams’s guilt.

‘John Douglas has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods similar to his.’ Photograph: Slaven Vlašić/Getty Images

Douglas himself has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods like his. “The television and the internet is full of men and women calling themselves profilers, most of whom have no discernible credentials or actual experience,” he writes in Mindhunter. “Often they do more harm than good, and we’ve seen a number of cases where academic-orientated profiles have misinterpreted evidence and sent either the investigation or the defence’s strategy off in a completely wrong direction.”

This is a pretty rich statement, Canter suggests. “Douglas actively turned criminal investigations into a media event. He spotted a market opportunity and started pushing it. It was a public relations strategy for the FBI.”

The gambit has worked. Douglas is invariably celebrated as the man who revolutionised criminal psychology. The author Patricia Cornwell, for example, credits Douglas as the “FBI’s pioneer” and “a master of investigative profiling”.

Douglas’s willingness to share the grisly details of his work have made him a Hollywood celebrity. The author Thomas Harris consulted with him extensively when writing Red Dragon and its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, both of which depict FBI agents who use incarcerated murderer Hannibal Lecter as a way to better understand the mind of the killer in their midst.

Harris has said both The Silence of the Lambs character Jack Crawford, who pushes his ingenue profiler Clarice Starling to visit Lecter, and Red Dragon’s Will Graham, the detective who hunts serial killers by tapping into a dark internal intuition, are based on Douglas. Both books were adapted into successful feature films, while Graham became the hero of Bryan Fuller’s NBC series Hannibal. Of course, Canter notes: “People forget that Hannibal Lecter doesn’t actually ever solve a crime.”

In his book, Douglas writes of developing an ability to think like the criminals he hunted. His peers claim he is more interested in his own sixth sense than in engaging in accepted clinical practice. “When I met him, he said he didn’t support research in this area because it interfered with his intuition,” Canter says.

Douglas also identifies a so-called “homicidal triangle”. Evident in the childhood of virtually all serial killers, Douglas theorises, is persistent bedwetting beyond a normal age, a fascination with fire and – the big tell – a persistent willingness to torture animals.


The real Mindhunters: why ‘serial killer whisperers’ do more harm than good

Uncork the chianti, serve up the fava beans, have an old friend for dinner: the second season of Mindhunter has returned to Netflix, allowing us to chill with history’s worst serial killers.

Plenty of true crime dramas claim that the misdeeds they depict actually happened, just so. But Mindhunter, which stars Jonathan Groff as special agent Holden Ford and Holt McCallany as his partner, Bill Tench, goes further. David Fincher’s series is based on the theories and career of John Douglas, founder of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit and so-called “serial killer whisperer”.

Douglas’s 1995 book Mindhunter, from which the show is adapted, is full of claims that the innovative methods he established in the basement of the FBI’s Quantico base were critical in establishing modern-day thinking in criminal and investigative psychology. “If you want to learn about violent crime, talk to the experts,” he writes. And who, Douglas argues, could better understand the most debased crimes than the deviants we have already incarcerated? Under the guise of psychological research, he began to create mental “profiles” of murderers on the loose, based on interviews with the US’s worst serial killers.

In season one of the Netflix series, Douglas is depicted (in the guise of Holden Ford) interviewing serial killers and rapists Edmund Kemper, Jerry Brudos and Richard Speck. In season two, the Dictaphone rolls as we hear the insights of Charles Manson and “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz.

Long before Fincher’s series, the FBI profiler became a trope of airport literature, Hollywood movies and serialised TV series a mythology was created around the “mindhunter” theories Douglas developed. But are these theories really all he claims? Can you hunt a mind?

Some of Britain’s top forensic psychologists think not. “To put it bluntly, Douglas’s writings should be in the fiction section,” says David Canter, emeritus professor at the University of Liverpool, who is credited with establishing the new scientific discipline of investigative psychology in the UK. “Speculations about the mind of a criminal have never helped a real-life investigation,” Canter says.

Instead, modern forensic investigators are more interested in trying to ascertain the everyday aspects of a potential murderer’s life – where they might live, who they might know, where they might work, what access they might have to transport links – rather than trying to understand the dark recesses of their mind. “You can’t knock on someone’s door and ask: ‘Where were you last Thursday and what are your masturbatory fantasies?’” Canter says. “That’s not how investigations work.”

Can you hunt a mind? Mindhunter season two. Photograph: Courtesy of Netflix

The Freudian-based theories Douglas espouses might be fascinating to viewers, but they are rarely useful, Canter says. “It is very often of no use at all to the police how the killer got on with their mother. Many forensic pathologists wouldn’t let profilers anywhere near investigations they’re involved in, because they’re often so unhelpful.”

Dr Christopher Clark, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at Rampton high-security psychiatric hospital, who was responsible for ascertaining whether the Soham murderer Ian Huntley was fit to stand trial, is similarly unpersuaded by the effectiveness of “mindhunting”.

“I’ve learned from 30 years in psychiatry that, however much psychologists theorise about it, our motivations are largely unknowable,” Clark says. “I am more convinced than ever we will never know the motivations for that person doing that thing in that way on that day to that person.”

The idea that an investigator could stroll into a maximum security ward and quickly glean a unique insight into one serial killer by talking to another is beset with issues, says Clark. “These people have a very poor understanding of their own motivations, and they’re very poor at reading their own emotions,” he says. “If they were able to do that, they would likely be like the rest of us. They feel a great sense of tension and have sometimes killed or raped someone to ease that tension. But they’re not going to clearly tell you why they have done those things.”

Beyond the usefulness of the information available to police from talking to serial offenders, the ethics of doing so is also deeply questionable. “Those interviews [held by Douglas] were never properly conducted. Only a very small number of volunteers were interviewed. It is a very distorted sample, not carefully selected and representative. And no proper research was conducted or published on the basis of the interviews.”

The second season of Mindhunter focuses on the Atlanta murders, a string of 28 murders between 1979 and 1981 that culminated in the arrest of 23-year-old African American man Wayne Williams. Douglas was censured after stating to local media that Williams was “looking pretty good for a good percentage of the killings”. He made the statements before a court case found Williams guilty. In March of this year, Atlanta police announced evidence from the murders would be retested to be definitively sure of the now 61-year-old Williams’s guilt.

‘John Douglas has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods similar to his.’ Photograph: Slaven Vlašić/Getty Images

Douglas himself has been critical of the glut of individuals using methods like his. “The television and the internet is full of men and women calling themselves profilers, most of whom have no discernible credentials or actual experience,” he writes in Mindhunter. “Often they do more harm than good, and we’ve seen a number of cases where academic-orientated profiles have misinterpreted evidence and sent either the investigation or the defence’s strategy off in a completely wrong direction.”

This is a pretty rich statement, Canter suggests. “Douglas actively turned criminal investigations into a media event. He spotted a market opportunity and started pushing it. It was a public relations strategy for the FBI.”

The gambit has worked. Douglas is invariably celebrated as the man who revolutionised criminal psychology. The author Patricia Cornwell, for example, credits Douglas as the “FBI’s pioneer” and “a master of investigative profiling”.

Douglas’s willingness to share the grisly details of his work have made him a Hollywood celebrity. The author Thomas Harris consulted with him extensively when writing Red Dragon and its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, both of which depict FBI agents who use incarcerated murderer Hannibal Lecter as a way to better understand the mind of the killer in their midst.

Harris has said both The Silence of the Lambs character Jack Crawford, who pushes his ingenue profiler Clarice Starling to visit Lecter, and Red Dragon’s Will Graham, the detective who hunts serial killers by tapping into a dark internal intuition, are based on Douglas. Both books were adapted into successful feature films, while Graham became the hero of Bryan Fuller’s NBC series Hannibal. Of course, Canter notes: “People forget that Hannibal Lecter doesn’t actually ever solve a crime.”

In his book, Douglas writes of developing an ability to think like the criminals he hunted. His peers claim he is more interested in his own sixth sense than in engaging in accepted clinical practice. “When I met him, he said he didn’t support research in this area because it interfered with his intuition,” Canter says.

Douglas also identifies a so-called “homicidal triangle”. Evident in the childhood of virtually all serial killers, Douglas theorises, is persistent bedwetting beyond a normal age, a fascination with fire and – the big tell – a persistent willingness to torture animals.


Watch the video: WitcherCon Stream 1. The Witcher. Netflix


Comments:

  1. Kagashakar

    For everything there is something to write, in general it is not yet clear what to take and ge, tell me pliz, thanks to the author for the stat.

  2. Nijas

    In my opinion, you are wrong. I'm sure. Let's discuss this. Email me at PM.

  3. Lamar

    I am sorry, that has interfered... I understand this question. It is possible to discuss. Write here or in PM.

  4. Gole

    In my opinion you are wrong. Enter we'll discuss it. Write to me in PM.

  5. Gordan

    I congratulate, your idea is very good



Write a message