The story of Richard Cottingham It is one of the most wicked and darkest in American criminal history. East serial killer of women was known as “Killer torso“(The torso killer) because after rape, mutilate and rip off the heads of their victims. He admitted more than 100 crimes, although the justice could only link him to 11 homicides.
His childhood developed in a traditional way, within a suitable family environment and without major mishaps, unlike most of the serial killers. He was born in 1946 in the borough of Bronx, New York. During school he devoted himself to raising pigeons and athletics, his two passions. But in 1958 his family moved to River Vale, New Jersey and something changed forever.
At the age of 12, he was isolated from boys his own age and spent the entire day watching pornography. The sudden change in his roots may have something to do with his future in crime. He finished his studies at Pascack Valley College in 1964 and began working with his father as a computer operator at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.
Richard Cottingham, handcuffed, in the middle of the trial that convicted him of six murders, although he admitted more than 100 crimes.
The first crime
Richard married Janet in 1970 and they had three children. His life up to that point was apparently normal. The computer scientist spent long days working outside his home and when he returned it was quite distant Y reserved in the relationship with your neighbors. They noticed that Cottingham it inspired a certain distrust.
In 1979 his wife decides to divorce, since she believed that her husband liked to have sex with prostitutes, drink until drunk and visit nightly bars daily. However, Cottingham’s dark side went much further.
His first murder it was before he married, in 1967. The victim, Nancy Vogel, a 29-year-old mother to whom sexually abused in his car and the strangled to later abandon her inside the vehicle, where she was discovered by the Police. The young woman had disappeared on the way to the church and despite the investigations, no one knew who the perpetrator of the murder was.
Richard Cottingham, in a photo from his youth.
Torture and murder
In December 1977, Cottingham murdered Mary Ann, a 26-year-old radiologist who was found strangled in a New Jersey hotel parking lot. Prior to kill her, the murderer did all kinds of torture; bites, blows, cuts on the chest and even signs of violation Y slavery.
During 1978 he did not murder any woman, but continued with sexual offenses. He is believed to have kidnapped and raped two women whom he previously drugged, but who were unable to provide details about his assailant. In 1979 he kidnapped Helen Sikes whom hit, raped, mutilated and dismembered and then disposed of his body parts in the borough of Queens.
At the end of that year, the “Torso killer“He would commit two of the most heinous crimes ever known. He hired the services of two sex workers, one of them identified as Deedey Goodarzi, a 22-year-old immigrant from Kuwait, and headed to a hotel near Times Square. Inside he tied them up, cut off their hands and heads, and set their bodies on fire before fleeing.
Richard Cottingham during the trial against him in 1982.
When the firefighters arrived at the scene to fight the fire they ran into two mutilated corpses and totally calcined. The missing parts of the bodies could never be found and one of the victims could not be identified either. But investigators discovered coincidences with another murder, that of Helen Sikes. Now they had a pattern, they were looking for “Killer torso“.
While the name of Richard Cottingham was unknown by investigators, quickly crimes of the past with similar characteristics were brought to the table. Thus they recalled that on Christmas 1977 the body of radiologist Mary Ann Carr had been discovered in a hotel in the same way.
In 1980, Richard Cottingham’s cruel criminal adventure would come to an end. He first murdered two prostitutes, Valerie Ann Street and Jean Reyner, in two different hotels. At first the husband Y tortured until suffocating her, the second was tortured in a similar and fire the room before escaping. By this time, the Police knew the modus operandi and they knew who they were looking for.
Richard Cottingham, today.
On May 22 of that year, Cottingham committed his last crime. The screams of a young woman alerted the police in the same hotel where Valerie Ann had been murdered. Officers entered the room and found “Killer torso“along with one of his victims, Leslie Ann O’Dell, an 18-year-old prostitute, whom Richard tied, bit Y tortured.
“The other girls did it and so did you. You are a whore and you have to be punished ”, the serial killer whispered in the young woman’s ear. Police seized handcuffs, a leather gag, a slave collar, a replica pistol and several sleeping pills. In his home they found belongings of the women he had murdered that he kept as “souvenirs”.
Richard Cottingham, known as “Killer torso“(The torso killer) for the brutality of his crimes, he was sentenced to 200 years in prison in 1982 for six murders. But with the passage of time he was taking charge of other homicides. In May of this year, at 74 years of age, he confessed that he kidnapped, raped and killed two young men aged 16 and 17 in 1974. In this way, he reached 11 recognized victims, despite the fact that he claims to have more than 100 .