Netflix Reveals ‘Torso Killer’ The Prostitute Hunter in Times Square

No more nostalgia for the colorful, gritty New York City of the late 70s and early 80s in Crime Scene: Times Square Murder, manager Joe Berlinger three-part documentary (second part in Crime scene series, after Disappearance at Hotel Cecil) about the city’s ugly past. Describing Manhattan’s epicenter as a hotbed of sex, drugs, crime and more, Berlinger’s latest Netflix production (December 29) suggests venturing into Times Square in the modern era. That age isn’t a nightmare for most — and especially for women, who are seen as easy prey by street stalkers in search of their most basic impulses. .

Of those predators, perhaps none is more deadly than Richard Cottingham, who through a series of grisly murders and sexual assaults has earned himself the nickname “The Torso Killer.” Cottingham’s reign of terror on both sides of the Hudson was the subject of Crime Scene: Times Square Murder, the story begins on December 2, 1979, with New York City police and the fire department dealing with a hell of a lot in room 417 of the Travel Inn Motor hotel. Inside, the officers were greeted with a startling surprise: two charred bodies without heads and arms. Sherlock Holmes need not deduce that this fire was part of the killer’s attempt to cover his tracks, although it is harder to figure out who these victims are – in the end, one will be identified as 22-year-old prostitute Deedeh Goodarzi, while the other will forever be Jane Doe — and who did this to them.

With virtually no physical evidence of any value, police must rely on the budding field of criminal records to get an idea of ​​their suspect, whom murder commander Vernon Geberth labels as being “psychic sexual sadist” for the pleasure that the individual clearly enjoys. tortured, raped and mutilated these women. Five months later, on May 15, 1980, the villain attacked again, this time at the Seville Hotel near Madison Avenue and 29th Street, setting fire to a room containing the assaulted and mutilated body of a man. Another prostitute: Jean Reyner, who was strangled to death. If the madman’s mode of operation is clear, his name and whereabouts are difficult to determine, and it’s not long before his trail begins to cool.

As with Disappearance at Hotel Cecil, Berlinger combines interviews and sure-footed archives with unnecessary dramatic entertainment and clumsy narrative readings of authentic statements and testimonies. By modern true crime standards, Crime Scene: Times Square Murder is a mixed aesthetic bag, function is valued more than liveliness art. Better, at least initially, that its historical setting is the historical setting of these crimes, which take place in the early 1980s in NYC rife with passers-by, pimps, porn shops. and the police are powerless to deal with anything – thus leaving them, in many cases, back to arresting prostitutes rather than attempting to counter the fundamental forces that have taken advantage of them. Berlinger radically conveys Times Square’s function as a veritable playground of nefarious thrills, with sex as the primary commodity and money as the engine for all evil.

The relationship between prostitution, drugs, organized crime, drugs and the terror of the outcasts is clear to everyone. Crime Scene: Times Square Murder. Author Melinda Chateauvert discusses moving away from “shameful” terms like “prostitute” and blaming sex workers for the illegality of the profession. However, Berlinger’s archives show that these various factors were all inevitable, and Cottingham’s murder was not long in coming because of widespread negative attitudes towards sex workers — from the police or the public — in general — rather than because of more fundamental systemic problems: lack of interstate communication between police, rudimentary crime databases, and lack of DNA technology. To be sure, Cottingham intentionally terrorized and killed prostitutes because they were fringe targets who wouldn’t be missed most of the time. However, the fundamental key to his success in evading capture is an ancient investigative machine ill-equipped to capture such a madman.

“However, the fundamental key to his success in evading capture is an ancient investigative machine ill-equipped to capture such a madman.”

The case came from an unlikely source: Bergen County, New Jersey, where a murdered woman was found at the Quality Inn Motel, and another woman was discovered at a nearby apartment complex. When another victim would have escaped the clutches of an attacker at the Quality Inn, police finally found their man: Cottingham, a Lodi, New Jersey resident who worked as a computer operator at the Quality Inn. Blue Cross Blue Shield right near Times Square. Despite claiming innocence, the evidence found in the “cup room” of his home cleared all doubts of his guilt.

In Crime Scene: Times Square Murder, Cottingham’s colleague Dominick Volpe provided many anecdotes about Cottingham voicing his debauchery to anyone who would listen. In the process, he offers a window into the cold, unfounded arrogance and entitlement that led Cottingham to commit his heinous acts, including multiple rapes and – according to Cottingham himself – a total of 105 murders over the course of his murderous career.

In a recent video interview with journalist Nadia Fezzani, 75-year-old Cottingham (who looks like the ugliest Santa ever) explained: “For me it was a game. Mainly psychological. I can get almost any woman to do whatever I want them to do, psychologically. Either through the threat, or the implied threat, of being hurt, of being hurt sometimes. It’s like God, almost. You are in complete control of someone’s fate. “

As prolific as he claims to be, Cottingham is a monster that takes advantage of Times Square’s anything-anything atmosphere to hunt, deceive, and corrupt its heart’s content. , and he rightfully earned every 200 years he got behind bars (through many trials). Crime Scene: Times Square Murder sometimes buffering its runtime with sociological detours, though related, could have been handled in a faster way; As with many other themed endeavors, the series is one volume in length. With great precision, however, it treats Cottingham’s story as a case study of both the cruelty of sociopathy and the ways in which a culture of misperception has allowed it to flourish. Netflix Reveals ‘Torso Killer’ The Prostitute Hunter in Times Square


ClareFora is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button