Richard Cottingham, the ‘Torso Killer,’ born this day
Richard Cottingham, a notorious serial killer, was born on November 25th, 1946. Cottingham was arrested at a Hasbrouck Heights motel when a maid heard muffled cries coming from the room. According to Murderpedia, Cottingham was convicted of five murders but claims to have committed up to 80 more. He got the nickname “Torso Killer” because he decapitated his victims, leaving just a torso.
He operated in New York and North Jersey, killing prostitutes primarily, but not exclusively. He was apprehended at the Quality Inn in May of 1980, the same motel where he had committed a murder eighteen days previously; his surviving victim was found handcuffed and beaten and told authorities that Cottingham told her she was a whore and “have to be punished.” Cottingham was tried and convicted over several trials of five murders and three kidnappings and sentenced to over 200 years in prison. He is currently incarcerated at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton.
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