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Who is the Times Square Killer Richard Cottingham?

Everything you need to know about Richard Cottingham, who is the focus of Netflix's new documentary Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer.

Who is Times Square Killer Richard Cottingham
Published: Wednesday, 29th December 2021 at 11:18 am

True crime fans are in for a creepy Xmas this year, with Netflix’s latest docuseries, Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer.


Created by Joe Berlinger, and following on from Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, the three-part series will look at the crimes of Richard Cottingham – who murdered 11 people in New York and New Jersey over 13 years.

Cottingham was eventually apprehended in 1980, and has claimed responsibility for as many as 100 murders.So, who is he? And where is he now?

Here’s everything you need to know about Richard Cottingham, as the documentary arrives on Netflix.

Who is Richard Cottingham?

Richard Cottingham is an American serial killer from New Jersey, who committed crimes in New York and New Jersey between 1967 and 1980.

He worked for his father from 1964 to 1966 as a computer operator. In October 1966, he went to work elsewhere as a computer operator in New York until his arrest in 1980.

After the dismemberment and decapitation of two victims on 2nd December 1979 in a Hell's Kitchen hotel on W 42nd Street and Tenth Avenue in the vicinity of Times Square, he was nicknamed The Torso Killer and Times Square Torso Ripper.

He tortured and murdered sex worker Deedeh Goodarzi, aged 22, and a still-unidentified teenage victim.

He was eventually apprehended on 22nd May 1980 in a New Jersey motel in the act of torturing a teenage sex worker he had lured and driven to the location from New York City.

In 2010, Cottingham pleaded guilty to the 1967 murder of Nancy Vogel. Under immunity, he confessed to the murders of New Jersey school girls Jackie Harp, Irene Blase, and Denise Falasca in 1968–1969 in Bergen County, New Jersey.

In 2021, he confessed and pleaded guilty in the double abduction rape/murders of Lorraine Marie Kelly, 16, and Mary Ann Pryor, 17.

Officially, Cottingham killed 11 people, but he claims to have committed between 85 and 100 murders.

He had a working knowledge of forensics, and in the 13-year period in which he is known to have committed 11 murders, only one fingerprint belonging to him was recovered.

Where is Richard Cottingham now?

Cottingham is currently incarcerated in New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, New Jersey.

He has claimed he was responsible for up to 100 murders, and authorities in New York and New Jersey have linked him to 11 so far, but it's believed the death toll is higher.

Cottingham has been in prison since 1981 but confessed to three of the murders, dating back to the late 1960s, in 2020.

Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer is available to stream on Netflix now.


You can also check out the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix to keep you entertained or visit to our TV guide for more to watch.


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