Today, Times Square is adorned with dazzling neon lights and giant digital billboards. It's big, bright, and unforgettable. But in the 1970s, "the heart of the world" was a hunting ground for the American Jack the Ripper, Richard Cottingham.

Investigators retrieve Cottingham's victim from the Travel Inn Motel
Ambulance attendants prepare to remove the bodies of two young women from the Travel Inn Motel on New York’s west side, Dec. 2, 1979. Police said the women’s heads and hands were removed and the torsos doused with flammable liquid and set ablaze.

Between 1967 and 1980, Cottingham brutally murdered and dismembered at least 6 women, and claimed to have killed at least 80 more.

Investigators retrieve the body of one of Cottingham's victims
The body of a slain teenage girl is removed from a wooded area of the Garden Apartments parking lot in Montvale, N.J., in 1974.

Cottingham meticulously planned each of his killings and maintained a “murder kit” containing a range of props, including handcuffs and tape he used to restrain his victims with.

A female victim of Richard Cottingham found beneath a bed in a New Jersey motel
A female victim found beneath a bed in a New Jersey motel. This victim had been tortured and sexually abused. There is breast assault as well as bondage activity (handcuffs) in the crime scene. Note the linear lines of torture on the body.

One of the most distinctive aspects of the case was Cottingham's modus operandi. The killer would either pick up a prostitute or drug a woman in a bar, then bring her back to a hotel for a prolonged torture session.

Throughout his "career," Cottingham constantly refined his MO and took measures to avoid apprehension. He used fire to destroy the crime scenes in the New York City cases, while in the New Jersey cases, he either dumped his victims or left their bodies in motels.

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