Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer is a TV miniseries directed by Joe Berlinger. The series has three episodes, each around 50 minutes long.
Netflix describes the series as:
In 1970s NYC, the “Torso Killer” preys on women to fulfill his grotesque fantasies while eluding police. A docuseries dive into crime’s darkest places.
– Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer review does not have spoilers –
– Extreme NSFW content –
Like most other Netflix true-crime documentaries, Crime Scene: The Time Square Killer is a combination of interviews, crime scene footage, and road footage of Times Square from that era. But, it goes so well with this story somehow. The 1970s-80s city looks beautiful and vibrant, with the background score providing an eerie, oftentimes fun, feel to the city.
As the people close to the massacre discuss the story, from the cultural background to the murder and the details of both, the video provides such a great context and the audio and video go hand-in-hand with each other. The grainy, shaky footage of the past with the colour rich, shallow background-ed footage of the present look great. Another thing that I must add is that the interviewees’ backgrounds go so well with what is going on and who is talking. You’d think this is a weird thing to mention, but you’d be surprised as to how distracting bad backgrounds can be.
Anyway, The Times Square Killer Netflix does a wonderful job at describing the porn boom in Times Square. It is such an interesting story and the way the business flourished from just a few XXX bookstores to full-fledged sex work is shocking and will keep you hooked. Sure, the actual story is about a horrendous crime, but it is also important to understand its background and the cultural context of the times. The interviewee’s do an excellent job at describing the nitty-gritties while the editing is done superbly so that the different stories mesh together to form one coherent, engaging flow.
Moving on to the crime, The Times Square Killer Netflix describes the murders in excruciating detail. The series is extremely NSFW, so be aware that it’s not going to be an easy watch. However, for true-crime enthusiasts, the in-depth description of the whys and hows is going to be extremely satisfying to understand the various angles behind a series of violent and grotesque crimes. The series does not rush through the specifics, neither does it try to half-heart its way through it.
The most interesting and goosebump-inducing part is Dominick Volpe’s account of his co-worker. I won’t go too deep into it because you must watch it to believe what he says. Another horrible encounter is that of Barbara Amaya’s. You can see the fear on her face, even though it happened so long ago. Same with Volpe’s – the disbelief on his face will make you rethink going out of the house. There’s also another part where female voiceovers describe first-person accounts of victims who luckily got away with their lives – extremely uncomfortable and very scary.
The Time Square Killer Story
Richard Cottingham was a New Jersey serial killer who prowled the New Jersey/New York region. His most well-known (and shocking) victims, due to which he came to be known as the Torso Killer, took place on December 2, 1979, in Hell’s Kitchen when the bodies of Deedeh Goodarzi and an unidentified Jane Doe were found burnt in twin beds. The bodies had their heads and hands missing, making identification extremely difficult.
His first victim was Nancy Schiava Vogel, who was found murdered in her car in 1967. After several other dead bodies turning up, along with sexual assault, robbery and kidnappings, he was apprehended in 1980 in a motel while he was torturing a teenage sex worker. Previously, he was apprehended by the police for other petty crimes such as traffic violations and shoplifting but the authorities could not connect him to the murders at the time.
He was convicted and he plead guilty to murdering several women under immunity, but the rest of the women who fell victim to his violent crimes remain a mystery.
Cottingham worked an average, decent job at Blue Cross Blue Shield Association in New York at the time of his arrest and was married with three children. He was, by all means, normal to the general public and no one would have suspected him of perpetuating the violent crimes that he was convicted of.
Summing up: Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer
I didn’t enjoy Crime Scene’s previous entry – The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel. However, The Time Square Killer is extremely shocking, enjoyable and tightly knit. From the sex boom in New York to the horrible murder of innocent women trying to make a living – the show encompasses it all in a very interesting narrative. You won’t be able to look away.
Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer is streaming on Netflix.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.