Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer: A docuseries on Netflix about Richard Cottingham

A new Netflix docuseries called Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer looks at a prolific criminal Richard Cottingham. He was called “The Times Square Killer” or “The Torso Killer.” He was convicted for less than a dozen murders but claimed to have raped, killed or maimed over 100 women. He said that he operated between 1967 and 1980.

The docuseries shows the discovery of two women on two twin beds in a room at the Travel Inn Motor Hotel in Times Square. Police responded to a report of a fire in Room 417, on December 2,1979. When they attempted to conduct CPR they realized that the bodies were missing heads and hands.

The investigators attempt to recreate the women using mannequins dressed in the victims’ clothes. One woman was identified as Deedeh Goodarzi, a 22 year-old Iranian prostitute as she had a cesarean scar. The second woman remains a Jane Doe to date.

Early May 1980, the sadistic killer called “The Torso Killer” struck again. He strangled 25-year old Jean Reyner. The single mother was working as a prostitute as she needed money for a custody battle.

Richard Cottingham was arrested by police on May 22, 1980. Staff from a New Jersey Quality Inn alerted police after they heard muffled screams from a room. The killer was in the process of torturing 19-year old Leslie Anne O’Dell, She testified against him, as she survived the horrendous attack.

Richard Cottingham was married and had three children. He was from Lodi, New Jersey and worked as a computer operator for BlueCross BlueShield. He said that he had murdered a woman every other week for 13 years. Although he was officially charged for committing 11 murders and received a 200 year prison term, he said that he had killed over 100 women.
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