Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer (2021) s01e03 Episode Script

End of an Era

1 In 1980, I was a beat reporter in Bergen County with The Record, covering Hasbrouck Heights, covering Lodi, New Jersey.
The call came that there was an incident at the Quality Inn in Hasbrouck Heights.
And of course, it was my responsibility to respond to it.
A woman screamed loud enough for the hotel personnel, uh, to hear it and to, uh, come to the room and knock on the door.
She managed to make a hand signal to whoever was there in the hallway.
The hotel staff realized that she was in trouble.
And so, right away, they call the police.
At this point, he's in a panic.
He knows the jig is up.
He's gotta get out of there.
He attempts to make a run for it down the hallway.
All of a sudden, a Hasbrouck Heights police officer came in, threw him down told him to stop, raise his hands, said, "If you don't stop, I'm gonna blow you away.
" He did stop, and he dropped everything in the hallway.
When they grabbed this perpetrator, in his possession, he's got tape.
He's got handcuffs.
He's got bondage restraints.
He's got sedatives.
Police question Leslie Ann O'Dell, and she told the police everything that he was doing to her.
She accused him of sexual assault and said it was when he put handcuffs on her and threatened her that she was afraid she was gonna be killed.
But when police question the suspect, he made it sound like he wasn't really at fault.
He said that she was there willingly, so there was no crime that had been committed.
But for the police in New Jersey, right away, alarm bells are ringing.
This is the same hotel.
Two women, they were killed there earlier.
This has gotta be the same guy.
So the police put him under arrest, and they took him to police headquarters and learned that his name was Richard Cottingham.
In New York City, with the Midtown torso case, the case was basically stalled in the water.
There was no further information because the investigation didn't lead to any any suspects.
Now, you gotta remember something.
It's the early '80s.
There wasn't any communication between agencies.
And so just a few days after the murder of Jean Ann Reyner, authorities in New York City, they had no idea that a suspect with the same MO as the Torso Killer had been arrested for assaulting a prostitute across the river in New Jersey.
Richard Cottingham had been locked up in Bergen County for the attack against, uh, Leslie Ann O'Dell.
And Jersey police thought that he might be the serial killer they had been looking for, who murdered Valerie Street and Maryann Carr at the Quality Inn.
So Bergen County began building their case, connecting him with earlier crimes.
They learned that Richard Cottingham was living in nearby Lodi, New Jersey, which is adjacent to Hasbrouck Heights, where the Quality Inn was located.
Police had also learned that Maryann Carr was abducted from the same apartment complex where Richard Cottingham lived about five years earlier before her abduction.
In all these cases, there's the use of handcuffs, two victims with strangulation, two victims with adhesive remains around their mouths.
So we're having a pattern here.
And they felt very confident this guy might be related.
But there's a lot of things working against the investigators.
They didn't have enough evidence to support the prosecutor's case.
'Cause you not only wanna arrest this guy, you need to convict him.
You have to build a solid case of credible information using evidence and statements from surviving victims, like Leslie Ann O'Dell.
Because this is a serial killer case, in particular, detectives are looking into if something similar happened to someone else.
Because if you have other survivors, then you have more witnesses, which would help determine a pattern of what this guy does and how he does it.
How did he approach her? What did he say? How did the evening progress? When did it go bad? These little details can link different crimes together.
It can make or break the case.
The Bergen County investigators found a lot of unsolved rape-assault cases where they were picked up from New York City, brought to New Jersey, and almost killed.
When I became conscious, I was lying naked in a sewer at an apartment complex.
The night before, she was approached at a bar in New York City.
He started talking to me, and he asked me what I was doing there alone.
He offered to buy her a drink.
He asked me if I was a working girl.
I told him that I was a waitress.
The drink was loaded, and she began to feel ill.
She left the bar, he followed her, offered her a ride home.
She got into the car, and before you know it, they were driving into New Jersey.
I kept passing out.
When she came conscious, she had been severely, uh, bitten on the breast.
She had been beaten and sexually assaulted.
I woke up in a dark area, and he told me, "Don't worry, I used to live here.
" When I came to, my attacker was gone.
He took my jewelry.
I could barely move.
I hurt all over.
The night before, a female prostitute named Susan Geiger was approached near Broadway in Manhattan.
He asked me if I was a working girl.
I told him I was.
I needed the money.
This individual asked her to come with him, and she was busy.
Gets her to agree to meet him the next night, and she does.
She comes.
He says, "Let's go have a couple drinks.
" He knew of a nice place, Flanagans.
He said he worked with computers, lived in New Jersey.
And once he had her, he drugged her.
He drugged her, and he brought her to New Jersey I started feeling drowsy, tired, sleepy.
where the assailant bit her breasts and caused horrendous injuries.
She'd been sexually assaulted.
Susan Geiger was left for dead, and by the grace of God, she lived.
I woke up in a parking lot and had no idea what had happened.
The night before, the offender spotted her on the street in Times Square.
He had a big fat bankroll.
He told me it was $3,000, and he said, "I want to spend the whole night with you.
" This guy was waving these wads of cash, asking for sex acts.
In the bar, he kept insisting that I drink with him.
He kept touching my breasts the whole time.
He was rough.
And then he drugged her, and he brought her to New Jersey, where she reported a horrific beating and sexual assault.
All of these cases had several parallels.
The victims found in New Jersey were abducted from an area in New York City where Richard Cottingham worked at Blue Cross.
Karen Schilt, she was found in the parking lot of the Ledgewood apartments in Little Ferry, which was Maryann Carr's apartment, where Cottingham used to live.
The attack of Pamela Weisenfeld was a couple days before the assault of Leslie O'Dell.
Also, this perpetrator, he was drugging them.
And Richard Cottingham had sedatives in his possession.
And all the injuries were so similar.
Now, Bergen County investigators need each new victim to try to identify Richard Cottingham as their attacker and rapist.
But it's sometimes difficult.
Previously, in the 1970s, many women would be wary to come forward because rape victims were treated horribly by the law.
New York law was particularly onerous.
Even if a woman could identify the rapist, if you did not have a witness to your rape who was willing to get on the stand and say, "Yes, I saw this person raped," then they could not get a conviction.
But also, if you're a sex worker, the police officer would arrest you for having said you were a sex worker.
And at the time in New York, they were cracking down on the sex industry.
The main focus of the Office of Midtown Enforcement in Times Square is the elimination of prostitution.
For so long, only women were arrested for the crime of prostitution.
Men would not be, even though the law said that soliciting was a non-gendered offense.
The girl is taking the brunt of the entire bust.
Double standard? Absolutely.
I was arrested all these dozens of times in New York City.
The men, the clients, the johns, the tricks, whatever you wanna call them, they were never rounded up.
The traffickers or pimps, they were never rounded up.
In most cases, a summons was issued, and the violator was on his way.
But in the late 1970s, early 1980s the feminist movement was getting bigger.
Today's marchers were celebrating the growth of the women's movement from a small band of dedicated feminists into a full-scale movement involving women of all kinds.
And so, as a result, there were lots of new developments in the way of policing, and what began to happen was let's catch the men who are doing all of this.
By the new law, it is now a misdemeanor.
When arrested, a so-called john will be fingerprinted, photographed, and held in a cell until his arraignment.
- What do you think of that law? - Well, uh, it's fair, but being a man, I'm a little biased as to how I feel about it.
But, uh, definitely fair if you wanna cut down the traffic in Times Square.
Well, there should be equity under the law.
What goes for the woman ought to go for the man.
One of the things that happened with the women's movement was that women now were feeling that they could and should determine sexual consent.
Rape laws began to be changed, and women understood now that what was happening to them was not right, and they began to advocate for themselves.
And rape crimes could no longer be swept under the rug, forgotten.
And so in Bergen County these other victims who were also attacked by Richard Cottingham now feel it is the right time to come forward and give their story as to what happened to them, that they will be listened to.
And so, uh, they came forward to try and identify the guy who attacked them.
However, by the time it came time for the lineup, Cottingham shaved off his mustache and looks like a completely different person.
He was trying to prevent identification.
Tell you the truth, if I wasn't a cop, I'd have trouble ID'ing him in the lineup.
He looked completely different.
But Susan Geiger, Pamela Weisenfeld, and Karen Schilt were able to identify Richard Cottingham.
And now in New Jersey, the media was reporting on Richard Cottingham as the suspect with the victims found in Bergen County.
Very quickly, the NYPD sees Richard Cottingham being written about.
They discover similarities between the two cases and start thinking maybe Richard Cottingham's the Times Square Torso Killer.
This is what broke the case.
Now these detectives are working together.
They're talking, cooperating, examining everything, comparing everything, putting the cases together.
So the Bergen County prosecutor's office executed a search warrant on the home of Richard Cottingham.
When they entered his house in Lodi, New Jersey, the investigators uncovered a private room in his house, and that was a big, big find.
It was a room that was down in the basement of the house.
He could go there.
He he could lock the door and be alone, away from his wife, who had filed for divorce.
And what they found made everybody's head spin.
He had pornographic artwork, adhesive tape, books about S&M.
They find all these women's clothing, purses Inside that room, he had a vault.
A lockbox, uh, that he kept things in.
They found what turned out to be the actual key for Maryann Carr's apartment, which he wouldn't have had access to unless he had gotten access to Maryann Carr.
They found a little koala bear.
It belonged to Valerie Ann Street.
The police had discovered what became known as the trophy room.
A trophy is evidence of a successful hunt.
And lo and behold, there was a necklace of Jean Ann Reyner, the victim found at the Hotel Seville.
The same necklace from her arrest photograph is right there.
All of a sudden, they had evidence linking this guy who was torturing and killing women in Bergen County, New Jersey, to the famous Torso Killer of New York.
And now, for Richard Cottingham, his house of cards began to collapse.
Last winter, we told you about several especially brutal murders of alleged prostitutes here in New York, And so far, the murders have gone unsolved.
But now there may be a major break in that case.
The man they want is 33-year-old Richard Cottingham, a Lodi, New Jersey computer operator.
And right now, Cottingham is being held on $350,000 bail in connection with the murder of an alleged prostitute at the Quality Inn in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey.
When I came to work, and we found out that Richie was arrested in New Jersey, we were all shocked.
And we just kept learning about more killings and more killings.
Not just the murders, but the taking apart the body and and things like that.
I It was horrific.
Thinking back to all the stories about the prostitutes and how he would lure them to New Jersey, we didn't hear of him hurting them.
Nobody reported him on any We didn't know what was going on with him.
All we know is what he told us.
As days went by, when the shock wore off, after I was questioned by the police, then the bell went off in my head.
This diagram that he drew for me, I cannot explain why I kept it.
It was just there, laying with a bunch of crap in a drawer.
And I gave it to them.
I wanted to get him bad.
There are 19 charges pending against Richard Cottingham, a 34-year-old computer programmer from Lodi, New Jersey.
The major charge is murder.
The murder of Valerie Ann Street, a 19-year-old prostitute, who Cottingham allegedly picked up in New York City on May 4th of 1980.
The charges are as long as your arm, you know.
In New Jersey, there was administrating noxious substances.
There was possession of illegal prescriptions, pharmaceuticals.
There was possession of, um a knife.
And, of course, there was the rape, abduction, and assault of Leslie O'Dell, Susan Geiger, Karen Schilt, and the abduction of Pamela Weisenfeld, and the murder of Valerie Street.
At the risk of sounding vain, my reputation was I was the best lawyer, not only in Bergen County, but North Jersey for sure.
Every time a newspaper article would refer to a significant crime in the county, I was waiting for my phone to ring.
I remember the initial contact that Mrs.
Cottingham made with me.
She said right at the outset, "Mr.
Conway, I've been referred to you to represent my son.
" "My son did not do anything wrong.
" Mr.
Cottingham was so determined to prove that he's innocent, he insisted on going to trial.
What makes this historically an interesting trial, it's one of the first trials that I know of where signature evidence was presented.
Um Dennis Calo, the prosecutor at that time, was arguing that Cottingham's signature was the abduction, the handcuffing, the taping of his victims, the mutilation.
He would run that knife along the body of the women, um in order to, uh, bring, uh, them into a state of fear.
You know, the signature is the same even though the MO is different.
One victim is stabbed, another one is strangled.
Some were found outside.
Other victims are found inside.
He may commit these crimes in different ways, but the signature is the same.
And that was very advanced at that time.
And then the prosecutor brought out a number of victims who lived to testify.
And and their testimony was crucial.
I have the vague memory of, like, being burnt on my breast.
Like, really hurting.
I felt like I was dead.
He said I was going to pay for being a whore, like the others.
And if I did anything he didn't want me to, he would kill me.
I remember being in a hotel room and waking up to him beating me with a hose and biting me.
He said his name was Jim.
The name didn't mean a damn thing.
The prosecutor would say, "Do you see, uh, the man who attacked you?" "Yes.
There he is.
" And then the prosecutor entered forensic evidence, such as the jewelry that was taken from victims and was in his possession, and the fingerprints.
In the case in the murder of Valerie Street, the perpetrator had left a print on the ratchet of the handcuff.
They never found a match for that print until, of course, they arrested Richard Cottingham.
Richard Cottingham actually took the stand in his own defense.
Richard Cottingham's defense was, "I didn't do it.
" Most of the stuff never happened that way.
See, the police, they're the most corrupt people in the world.
They will plant evidence on you.
They will hide evidence that's in your favor.
Later, he said, "You guys put my fingerprint on that handcuff when you were cuffing my hands up behind my back, and that's how you got that, uh, print.
" When police found the room, they made it out to be like they were mementos from victims.
He also said, "The jewelry that you found, you could buy on Canal Street.
It's a coincidence.
" He says he wasn't getting along with his wife, so he frequented with ladies of the night.
I was a lousy husband.
I was into that nightlife, and I went out with women every night.
He said they would like some unusual kind of sex.
That's what he enjoyed, and that's what he was paying for.
He said Leslie Ann O'Dell permitted him to do the things that he did to her.
Look at her crime scene photos.
You're not gonna see a beat-up person.
He said, well, "She misunderstood his intentions.
" "She's supposed to take pain because I paid her for a bondage session.
" In terms of the other women who had identified him, he said the women were lying.
Hookers will say anything to the police that the police want them to say.
No hooker is gonna remember a person two years before, but she'll come and say, "Oh, that's the man," 'cause that's what the police want them to say.
His defense was that he was at work at the time of these, uh, crimes, and that he has time sheets.
I went to work every day.
I ne I worked sometimes 200 days straight.
I worked all kinds of overtime.
But it turned out that some of his co-workers at Blue Cross Blue Shield were willing to come forward and testify.
Other guys in the office were afraid to testify against Richie because they were in fear that Richie might do something to them or their family.
But I wanted to hang him by his balls, and that and that's the reason that, uh, I I wasn't afraid to testify.
His alibi for a lot of these murders was, "I was working.
" "I was working.
" And then I told the prosecutors, I said, "Look, I can tell you why he wasn't there.
" He was cheating the clock, and I told them how he did it.
Richard and I knew how to change the internal clock on the computer.
As soon as you start the job, you move the clock ten hours ahead, and when the job prints out on the log, it prints that time.
So ten minutes was ten hours.
I had no idea what he was doing when he was cheating the clock.
Murder would have been the last thing on my on the list.
Nothing more I wanted to do than to put this man away.
I didn't care what happened to me.
At this point, prosecution had overwhelming evidence against him.
The jury came back and, of course, found him guilty of the several charges.
I think people really feared to let him out.
This guy was a menace, um, that he had to be taken off the street, and I think the jury were persuaded of that.
When the jury returned a verdict, Cottingham didn't, uh, cry out.
He didn't, uh, show any emotion at all.
His mother certainly did, and his sister, oh yes.
She was upset, like I It was all my fault.
After that trial, they brought up a homicide committed to a former neighbor of his in Little Ferry, Maryann Carr, who was not abducted from New York.
Sure enough, he was found guilty of killing her too.
Richard Cottingham, he faces another murder trial here in New York.
That case involves three prostitutes who were killed.
During the New York trial, my mother's pimp, James Thomas, was waiting for court to be in session again in the hallway.
I guess Cottingham was in the hallway at the same time.
They get into a physical altercation where James is just pummeling Cottingham and punching him repeatedly saying, "Let me punch him one more time.
" Richard was sentenced to almost 200 years total in Trenton State.
In 1984, I went down to Trenton to ask him to identify the Jane Doe from the Travel Inn homicide.
It's very important to bring closure to the families.
They have nothing else.
When I was there, he was real arrogant.
And he had a kind of smirk on his face like he was he was playing with me.
Bottom line, he wasn't giving anything up.
Cottingham sat in prison for 30 years.
Not a letter, not a word, not a single comment to anybody until 2009.
I'm Nadia Fezzani.
I'm a journalist.
I interview serial killers to discover the deeper side of them, the psychological aspect.
Richard Cottingham had never confessed before.
So when I asked him about the reason why he had killed so many women, I was surprised that he actually told me.
It was a game to me.
It was It was mainly psychological.
Uh I was able to get almost any woman to do whatever I wanted them to do psychologically.
You know, or through the the threat, or the implied threat uh of being hurt, of being killed sometimes.
It's godlike, almost.
It's I mean, you're you're in complete control of somebody's destiny.
Cottingham claims that one reason why he chose to kill was when he believed that some of the women would report him to the police.
The murders were 99% of the time just to protect myself.
The Maryann Carr case, she wanted to leave, and I wouldn't let her leave at some point.
And then she said the fatal sentence, "I'll talk to the cops in the morning.
" Just that sentence.
If she didn't say that sentence, she'd be alive.
But by her saying that, I knew she had to die.
Before I interviewed him, Richard Cottingham had never confessed to the two murders he had committed in the Travel Inn Lodge in Times Square.
He revealed to Nadia that he knew Deedeh Goodarzi and that he had severed her head and both her hands because he had been seen with her, and he was worried that he would've been connected to her.
He said that he left the hotel at 3:30 in the morning, and he was just walking in Times Square.
He was carrying the heads in a bag.
And two police officers stopped him, said, "Hey, where are you going this late?" He said, "I'm just going to get something to eat.
" And they let him go, so he just continued walking.
I would keep pushing the limit of the law, keep pushing what I could get away with.
The more you get away, the more you wanna get away with.
Cottingham claimed later that he put them in the trunk of his car, then returned back to that hotel room and then set the torsos on fire.
What was happening was always gonna happen.
That was the separate life I lived.
Today, do you feel any remorse? Of course.
If, uh, I had to do it over, probably none none of it would ever happen.
I never thought I would get caught.
We've been discussing only basically the ones I was caught for.
How many people did you really kill? I mean, they talk about there's no such thing as a perfect murder.
Well, I had over 80 perfect murders they never even knew about.
Cottingham said that he killed more people than he was found guilty of.
He said he was killing women every other week for 13 years.
Altogether, that's 85 up to 100.
It was just a constant type of thing.
While Mr.
Cottingham's claims seem outlandish, it's entirely possible.
I flew under the radar.
Nobody knew.
I think Richard Cottingham was gonna kill anywhere, but Times Square in the '70s did not help for someone like Richard, who's a sexual sadist, to walk through and see sex workers and peep shows and all sorts of dark, erotic, sexual stuff.
There was too much temptation.
With every step, the opportunity was there.
It gave him a kind of almost immunity.
Everybody is doing this.
Everybody is using everybody else.
Everyone is degraded in the sex industry part of Times Square.
Pornography is not frowned upon, you could say, like it was a few years ago.
Today, it's, uh, it's looked upon, um you know, as perfectly normal.
Pornography is considered to be normal.
I mean, there are judges and lawyers and media figures in this town who thought Deep Throat was terrific.
It was humiliating, disgusting, sick, sadistic.
Shut it down! Shut it down! Thousands of angry women marched down Broadway to Times Square today.
The heart of the billion-dollar porn industry.
They say it promotes violence against women.
They've made porn a feminist target.
In the late '70s, Women Against Pornography was a campaign of reform in trying to combat the rise of porn, not only in Times Square, but throughout the country.
What we're objecting to in pornography is the use and abuse of women.
It's the violent images of women.
Uh, images of women being bound, beaten, raped, tortured, and murdered for stimulation, entertainment, or profit.
And so Women Against Pornography joined the ranks of people who wanted to clean up Times Square and 42nd Street.
The Midtown Enforcement Project, and the work that we did over the years, I think made a big difference.
But what I think did more to stop the sex business in Times Square was AIDS.
For months now, we've been telling you about the disease called A.
, or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and about half of all the cases happened here in New York.
The AIDS epidemic, we became aware of it around 1981.
It was, uh, like a science-fiction scenario of death.
There was a lot of concern about the sex businesses and the sex workers in Times Square.
The live sex acts stopped onstage.
You didn't see that anymore, because that was just too too dangerous.
In an overwhelming vote, members of the New York State Public Health Council today gave local authorities the power to close any establishment catering to the public that allows what it calls "dangerous sex.
" Places such as gay bathhouses, adult bookstores, and heterosexual sex clubs.
On a Friday night at 11 p.
, there are usually 50 heterosexual couples inside Plato's Retreat, but tonight at 8:40, just 20 minutes before their usual opening time, the city shut down this sexual playpen.
So the sex businesses and the sex workers on the street were getting kicked out, and AIDS was pushing that along.
A cleanup of Times Square has been one of City Hall's promises over the years, and New Yorkers might be forgiven some healthy skepticism by this time.
But if you've taken a stroll through the area lately, you might have known that, uh, some real change has taken place there.
The number of peep shows, massage parlors, and porno shops has been cut almost in half in the past seven years.
Crime in the Times Square area is down too, the report said.
We learned tonight the Koch administration is considering a plan to turn the center of the Times Square porno district into a kind of amusement park.
New development began in the early 1980s with major office towers, hotels, legitimate theaters.
The city condemned a very large swath of territory.
But some historic theaters on 42nd Street were preserved.
The New Amsterdam Theater, where the Ziegfeld Follies opened in 1903, was going to be torn down.
Somehow, between Disney and the city of New York, for 30 or 40 million dollars, they were able to renovate that into what it is today.
The New Amsterdam is where you first saw The Lion King.
It's gorgeous.
Times Square is now Disneyfied, so it has really had quite an evolution over the last 20, 30 years.
Crime has come down so much, and tourism has exploded.
I think something like 85% of people who visit New York from elsewhere come to Times Square.
Tourists love it, but it sanitized the area.
Times Square became just like every other city.
It's so generic.
The old Times Square was extraordinary.
There's nothing like it.
And yet, I understand why it's gone.
The old Times Square was not a good place.
It really ruined a lot of people's lives.
I was out in the street being trafficked for 13 years.
I've seen one study that said the average lifespan of someone that's experienced what I have is seven years.
I've never met anyone that was out in the street of New York when I was that's alive today.
I never have.
So the whole time I was in New York City, I had no identification, no Social Security number, uh, no birth certificate, nothing.
No identifying anything.
If I died, nobody would have ever known who I was.
I just would have been a Jane Doe.
In the 1970s and into the 1980s, many sex workers' bodies who have been found were listed as NHI, and that is "No Human Involved.
" In other words, they lacked so little respect and status in society, according to the police, that it was not worth pursuing the crime that had been committed against them.
The police wouldn't go after the perpetrator.
I find it appalling.
I think it's awful when a killer kills someone and thinks they're gonna get away with it.
And if there's up to a hundred women and children that Richard killed, he was gonna go to the grave with all these cold-case stories, and I just can't fathom that.
So I wanted to learn more, and I knew I could only find out more from Richard himself.
That's how my relationship started with him.
We aren't friends.
He is a real sick individual.
And as I began to visit him more, he revealed details about really traumatic experiences with young girls.
Deaths he's responsible for.
It kind of snowballed into working with police officers to help close some cold cases.
Investigators have now started multi-jurisdictional efforts looking into other cases that this guy could be responsible for.
But in 2010, Cottingham confessed to the murder of Nancy Vogel.
October in 1967, Nancy Vogel, a young mother, she went to go play bingo and disappeared in suburban New Jersey.
Three days later, she's naked, found dead in her car.
She'd been strangled, sexually assaulted.
Her clothes were neatly folded.
He pled guilty to that and took another life sentence on that case.
Cottingham, you did commit the offenses you're pleading guilty to today? Yes.
Cottingham confessed to other killings.
Five murders in Bergen County that have been unsolved since 1968, 1969, and 1974.
They were schoolgirls in their teenage years.
It looks like he started out with young women and girls in the suburbs, not far away from him, and that's how he started out.
Maryann Carr, Nancy Vogel, and the schoolgirls, did not match his original profile because they weren't sex workers.
Traditionally, most serial killers, the first killings are usually close to home.
But when they see the extent of the investigation and they realize the possibility of being caught, they distance themselves.
For him, it was a progression to targeting prostitutes in Times Square.
Serial killers often tend to target those people that society devalues.
And so sex workers, of course, are are universally devalued by society.
Times Square aided and abetted Richard Cottingham in the sense that it gave him a victim pool.
The problem that sex workers identify as the most problematic is the illegality of their trade.
That is why sex workers call for decriminalization as a first step towards creating regulations of on their own terms, by themselves, in conditions that provide safety, paving the way eventually for the stigma of being a sex worker to erode.
The biggest takeaway from this case is maybe as many as a hundred people were murdered, and we don't know about it.
All of the women that Richard killed left this world in a horrific way.
It always weighs heavily over me.
A dark cloud.
So I maintain a re relationship with Richard now because I want the names of the unidentified victims whose lives he took.
Lives that never came to fruition.
I think we need to remember them because they deserve justice.

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