Richard Francis Cottingham is a serial killer from New Jersey operating in New York between 1967 and 1980. He was nicknamed 'the torso killer', due to his habit of dismembering his victims, usually leaving nothing but a torso behind. In one case, he dismembered two prostitutes in a motel room, taking the hands and heads with him before setting the room on fire. He was eventually convicted of murder in 1981 after being caught fleeing an attempted murder. Several books have been written about him including The Torso Killer and 'The Prostitute Murders' (ISBN 1-55817-518-0) both written by Rod Leith, a newspaper writer and local historian who had covered Cottingham's case from the beginning. Officially Cottingham killed six people but he claims between 85 and 100 murders.
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