Mindhunter's storyline about Bill Tench's son Brian was based on a disturbing true story

21 August 2019, 16:52

Emma Clarke

By Emma Clarke

Mindhunter's harrowing story about FBI agent Bill Tench's son Brian is actually based on a tragic true story.

After a two-year hiatus, Netflix's Mindhunter has finally returned for a second season - as FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench coming face-to-face with some of the most infamous serial killers of our time, in order to better understand the behavioural traits of repeat offenders.

While the pair are interviewing a new batch of multiple murderers in the latest series - including Charles Manson, Wayne Williams and 'Son of Sam' - it is the harrowing storyline involving Tench and his adopted son Brian that has viewers shocked to the core.

READ MORE: The terrifying true story behind the BTK killer in Mindhunter

In the latest season of Mindhunter, Bill Tench and his wife Nancy are visited by a local investigator who informs them a body has been found in the house Nancy (who is an estate agent) is selling. Bill then visits the crime scene in a bid to help with the case. It is there that he learns the victim was a toddler, who was tied to a wooden cross.

Later, when Tench is visiting Georgia to investigate the Atlanta child murders with his partner Holden, he receives a call from Nancy, urging him to come home. Upon his return, Bill learns of his adopted son Brian's involvement in the horrific murder of the two-year-old child.

Bill and Nancy's custody of their son Brian then holds in the balance, as social services and authorities weigh up their parenting abilities.

While this storyline is distressing in itself, it is the fact that the murder of the small child is based on true events that has viewers disturbed.

Mindhunter season 2 explores the disturbing murder of a toddler through Bill Tench and his son Brian
Mindhunter season 2 explores the disturbing murder of a toddler through Bill Tench and his son Brian. Picture: Netflix

What happened to Noah Alba?

In 1971, two brother aged 7 and 10 were playing in San Francisco's Alta Plaza Park, when they found 20-month-old Noah Alba wandering.

They then led the infant to a basement, before slapping the child and hitting him with a brick. It wasn't until five days later that Noah's body was discovered by police, attached to a makeshift cross. It is believed the children attempted to 'resurrect' the child after they realised he had died.

Were the boys charged with the murder?

While the boys weren't charged, the older brother did spend two months in juvenile detention. The judge then placed them both in foster care, during which time they received intense therapy.

Noah's mother Melanie and her husband Lawrence split after the murder, and their other child (who was aged three at the time) was reportedly sent to live with her aunt and uncle in Georgia. Lawrence has since remarried.

What has actor Holt McCallany said about his character's son?

Speaking to Vulture back in 2017, Holt revealed that the writers of Mindhunter had "kicked around" the idea of making his character's son Brian a bit of a psychopath.

He said: "The kid is troubled, and I have great difficulty communicating with him [in the show]. And you have to remember, in 1978, fatherhood was different for many of these men."

Mindhunter season 2 is now available to stream on Netflix.