Will 'Mindhunter' address the 'satanic daycare panic' that was sparked by Dr. Wendy Carr's real-life inspiration Dr. Ann Wolbert Burgess?
Carr's character is based on academic Dr. Ann Wolbert Burgess who is accused of sowing of the seeds that led to the allegation of 'satanic ritual abuse' and the infamous daycare prosecutions in the 1980s and early ’90s
The new season of Netflix's 'Mindhunter' is set to make its debut on Friday, August 16 as FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) step back into the dark corners of the minds of serial killers.
Assisting them is psychologist Dr. Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) who uses her intellectual and research prowess to make sure the buddy agents get the right person behind bars.
Carr's character, just like that of the two agents, is based on a real person.
Carr is based on academic Dr. Ann Wolbert Burgess.
While the show's swanky, nailbiting storylines have taken their liberties with the real-life Burgess' personality and career, it will be worth seeing if this season will address everything that is known about her.
For those who find themselves on the edge of their seats watching cops catch the bad guys, here's a different kind of story for you.
The real-life Burgess is an accomplished academic.
She teaches at the William F. Connell School of Nursing at Boston College and she co-founded one of the first hospital-based crisis counseling programs at Boston City Hospital with Boston College sociologist Lynda Lytle Holmstrom.
She also did consult with FBI agents John E. Douglas and Robert Ressler at the Behavioral Science Unit to develop crime-fighting behavioral profiles to nab the bad guys.
Her contributions to the world of forensic science have been chronicled widely.
A press release from Connell School of Nursing at Boston College says "(her) research and books cover topics such as serial killers and rapists, kidnapping, sexual victimization and exploitation of children, cyber crimes, sexual abuse, and elder abuse …"
The release has since become inaccessible. Allegedly, Burgess' contributions to forensic science also has a sinister side.
Her claim to fame, as the report credits, was allegedly the sowing of the seeds that led to the allegation of "satanic ritual abuse" and the infamous daycare prosecutions in the 1980s and early ’90s.
A barrage of false sexual molestation allegations was made against daycare centers, including the defendants of the Little Rascal daycare center, and it is said that its roots were in a conference where Burgess was a speaker.
It was allegedly a three-day conference in Kill Devil Hills that took place "just months before" Bob Kelly, one of the defendants in the case, was accused of ritual abuse in January 1989.
He was charged with various sexual offenses and torture. The agenda of the conference was allegedly "learning how to spot child molesters operating day-care facilities."
Kelly's trial was eight-months long and he was convicted of 99 of the 100 charges laid on him.
He was slapped with 12 life sentences.
It was only in 1995 that all of the sentences were reversed.
There was no DNA or physical evidence but the country was just finding out about the occult culture, Satanism (their Bible had just come out), serial killers just prowling away looking undefeatable.
The fear was palpable, making the existence of the satanic panic possible.
Coming back to Burgess, the decorated academic has also been mentioned in 'Satan’s Silence: Ritual Abuse and the Making of a Modern American Witch Hunt', a book by Debbie Nathan and Michael Snedeker that came out in 2001, as a "promoter of the use of children’s drawings to diagnose sexual abuse, developer of the idea of the sex ring, [and a] participant in developing the case that imprisoned the Amirault family."
The family was another one the law came crashing on during the panic along with many others.
Ann Burgess, however, doesn't appear to be revolted by Dr. Carr—so far.
In an interview with Pacific Standard, she said, "It's not quite exactly the way it happened, which is fun. I always have been an academic, but they take her (Carr) down to [the FBI headquarters at] Quantico. I never moved down there like she did."
She also noted, "I have children, and they've been a little bit nervous about the fact that they have me as a lesbian. That's been interesting. That's their right to portray it however they want."