|Also known as:||Torso Killer|
|Born:||November 25, 1946
Bronx, New York
|Number of victims:||5|
|Span of killings:||1977–1980|
|State(s):||New York, New Jersey|
|Date apprehended:||May 22, 1980|
Richard Cottingham was a serial killer from New Jersey operating in New York between 1977 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 2 prostitutes in a seedy hotel room, taking the hands and heads with him before setting the room on fire. He was eventually convicted of murder in 1981 after being apprehended during an attempted murder. Several books have been written about him including The Torso Killer and "The Prostitute Murders" (ISBN 1-55817-518-0) both authored by Rod Leith, a newspaper writer and local historian who had covered Cottingham's case from the beginning. Officially Cottingham killed 5 people but he claims between 85 and 100 murders.