The Mentalist follows Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, an independent consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) based in Sacramento, California. Although not an officer of the law of any sort, he uses skills and knowledge from his former career as a successful psychic medium (this was a ruse; he does not believe anyone actually has psychic abilities) to help a team of CBI agents solve various crimes, with the hope of one day bringing his wife and daughter's murderer to justice. It is revealed that Jane used to be a con man with a lucrative career pretending to be a psychic medium and enjoyed near-celebrity status. He appeared on television to claim that his paranormal abilities helped the police profile a serial killer named Red John. This angered Red John, who then murdered Jane's wife and young daughter as revenge. Consequently, Jane abandoned his career as a psychic with the singular pursuit of bringing Red John to justice, by teaming up with the CBI to help them solve various crimes, some including those involving Red John. He openly admits that he feigned the supernatural aspects of his skills, often explaining that "there's no such things as psychics"; however, he has genuine talents in cold reading, hypnotism, pickpocketing, powerful skills of observation and a deep insight into the human psyche and human behavior. These skills come in handy in every episode, and his unorthodox and bizarre techniques to solve crimes often clash with the agents he helps, because they often involve elaborate ruses and mind games to trick the culprit into revealing himself. Ultimately, his input to the team's work is almost always instrumental in closing the case.