'Mindhunter' Season 2 Takes on Charles Manson, Other Killers. Here's Everything We Know

David Fincher's serial-killer drama series Mindhunter returns to Netflix August 16, and the second season trailer reveals a lot about what's to come. Killers Charles Manson, the "Son of Sam" David Berkowitz and the Atlanta Child Murders are just some of the ripped-from-the-headlines stories the dark series will cover this season.

The coed killer Ed Kemper, played by Cameron Britton, will return for the second season to assist FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) from the Behavioral Science Unit on their mission to understand serial killers and solve ongoing crimes.

‘Mindhunter’ Season 2 Takes on Charles Manson, Other Killers. Here’s Everything We Know
Damon Herriman as Charles Manson in 'Mindhunter.' Netflix

"He has an overwhelming fantasy life, fantasies of what he's done, what he wants to do," Kemper says in the trailer. "His dreams will consume him. Soon the real world won't even compare."

"How do we catch a fantasy, Ed?" Tench asks.

"If he's any good, you can't," Kemper replies.

The first season took place in the late 1970s and focused on the birth of the criminal psychology and criminal profiling division of the FBI. Ford and Tench's work was initially seen as unnecessary. The second season dives into the 1980s with an increased interest in serial killers and their motives, making Ford and Tench's work more valuable.

"In the 70s, post-Manson, post-Son of Sam, post-Zodiac, there really was, I don't think you can say it was an epidemic, but there was definitely the feeling that the notion of this has gotten away from us," Fincher told Elvis Mitchell of KCRW's The Treatment podcast about season 2 and the shift in the public's reaction to serial killers. "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."

"I remember conversations at the family dinner table about Son of Sam. We didn't have those conversations about Zodiac, granted I was in the second grade and it was probably too distressing to talk about this stuff. But when I was a teenager these conversations were had out in the open," Fincher said.

‘Mindhunter’ Season 2 Takes on Charles Manson, Other Killers. Here’s Everything We Know
“Son of Sam” David Berkowitz portrayed in 'Mindhunter.' Netflix

Fincher also spoke about season 2's focus on the Atlanta Child Murders, when 28 African-American people, mostly children, were murdered in a series of attacks in the Atlanta area between 1979 and 1981.

"You could probably do three seasons on the Atlanta Child Murders. It's a huge and sweeping and tragic story. We couldn't do it justice in the background of our nine hours. We had to choose to dramatize. ... [The FBI] are the last guys in, they're trying to help out something that has its own momentum and politics. It's a divided battlefield. They're coming in to throw this federal umbrella over everything to make everyone feel OK about sharing information."

The trailer for the new season also revealed a noted coincidence, the actor who portrays Charles Manson in Mindhunter, Damon Herriman, also played Manson in Quinton Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Mindhunter premiered on Netflix in October 2017 and became an instant hit. Mindhunter season 2 premieres August 16 on Netflix.