Mindhunter’s BTK killer actor in phenomenal performance - who is he?

Mindhunter

Mindhunter has firmly solidified itself as the Netflix crime show to watch.

Mindhunter is the kind of show which you want to vigorously shower after watching, and we really do mean that as a compliment. 

Netflix has delivered some excellent content so far this year, from Orange Is the New Black to Stranger Things, but the return of the acclaimed series based on John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker's non-fiction book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit has stolen our attention as of late. 

Season 1 reached audiences on Friday, October 13th 2017, plunging them into the landscape of 1977, navigated by FBI agents Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) and Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff). Along with psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), they work to enter and understand the most dangerous minds imprisoned, interviewing serial killers and hoping their words will help them understand those they must catch. 

Finally, season 2 arrived on Friday, August 16th 2019, plunging us headfirst into encounters with some of the most notorious names in criminal history. 

Mindhunter

Season 2 of Netflix's Mindhunter is here!

Three years on from the events of season 1, we are thrust into the eighties - but certainly not as we know it. This is far from the nostalgia-laden celebrations of Stranger Things, but instead, an investigation into a time when catching the killer was far more laborious. 

The main narrative this time around centres upon the Atlanta Murders of 1979-1981. Sadly, the deaths of at least twenty-eight people were linked with the case, of which mainly saw children fall victim. Wayne Williams was eventually charged, but only with certain murders, and the case was actually opened up again recently in the hopes that new technology will help clarify things further.

However, numerous killers are depicted throughout the season, most notably Charles Manson. He's played by Damon Herriman, who also portrayed the infamous cult leader briefly in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood only recently. Again, we see snippets and appearances from ADT Serviceman, or as we know, the BTK Killer. The actor does a truly haunting job, but who is he?

Mindhunter: BTK actor

The character of the ADT Serviceman was first shrouded in mystery; we seemingly watch on as the camera lingers on him, suggesting that he's a far more forceful presence than once anticipated. 

Well, that's because he's Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer, who according to Wikipedia, wasn't caught until 2005. The name derives from his method of murder, which was to bind, torture and kill - lending him a title which has been cemented in American history, sending a chill down the spine of whoever recognises it. 

He reportedly killed ten people between 1974 and 1991 and was known for sending letters to the authorities and papers, detailing the disturbing nature of his atrocities. These ceased for many years, but when he began sending them again in 2004, it led to his capture, which in turn resulted in ten life sentences. 

Because his identity was discovered so late, we imagine that his peripheral presence within the narrative is unlikely to change anytime soon, as it'd be bold to assume we're in for a drastic jump in time for season 3. However, knowing he was at large during the time suggests there'll be more from him yet, especially considering actor Sonny Valicenti is so intriguing in the role. 

The work of Sonny Valicenti

He's absolutely phenomenal in Mindhunter, so it's definitely worth checking out his previous work. 

Sonny played Tony Russo in Steven Spielberg's The Post, cast alongside the likes of Tom Hanks and Mery Streep. Then, there are a number of TV roles across the likes of One Mississipi (Josh), Platonic (FNG), In Reality (Manny) and more. Also, if you've seen the 2016 comedy Office Christmas Party, you may recognise him as Dean. 

His role on the Netflix crime-thriller is definitely his best so far, and we definitely look forward to seeing him in a forthcoming drama film called How to Deter a Robber - he'll play Patrick Lindner. 

You can also give him a follow on Instagram at @sonnyvalicenti.

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