Where Is Richard Cottingham’s Family Now?

Image Credit: The Courtroom Sketches of Ida Libby Dengrove, University of Virginia Law Library

`Richard Cottingham’s arrest in May 1980 closed the doors on one of the most violent crime sprees to have ever occurred. He killed several women over five months and injured many more. Netflix’s ‘Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer’ as well as A&E’s ‘The Torso Killer Confessions’ are both docuseries’ profiling a bit of Richard’s seemingly normal life and the secrets he kept from his family. Before his arrest, Richard had a relatively normal childhood and was married with children, living in New Jersey.

Who Is Richard Cottingham’s Family?

Although Richard Francis Cottingham was born as the first of four children in New York in 1946, the family relocated to River Vale, New Jersey, when he was about 12 years old. He actually had a close relationship with his mother growing up, but he reportedly had some difficulty making friends as a teenager. Around this time is when he became obsessed with bondage pornography, which didn’t waver even when he undertook long-distance running while attending high school.

Eventually, Richard began working as a computer operator with his father’s insurance company. And then, from 1966, he was employed at Blue Cross Blue Shield Association in New York. He murdered his first known victim sometime in 1967 and was seemingly on a spree until he married a local woman named Janet on May 3, 1970, in Queens Village, New York. The couple then settled down in New Jersey and had three kids together; Blair (1973), Scott (1975), and Jenny (1976). Though we should mention Richard was arrested for robbery, sexual assault, and unlawful imprisonment in the early 1970s, only for the cases to soon be dismissed.

During his marriage, Richard reportedly had an apartment in Midtown in New York City, New York, and would stay there, telling Janet he worked the night shift. However, he spent a lot of his time looking for sex workers in Times Square. Over time, their relationship began to crumble, and she stated that he stopped having sex with her following the birth of their youngest child. According to Janet, her husband spent a lot of time in a room in the basement, wherein she was not allowed. It later came to light that this was his trophy room; full of female clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and other things he kept as souvenirs from his homicide victims.

Furthermore, Richard also had several extramarital affairs. Janet thus filed for divorce in April 1979 and even accused him of frequenting gay bars. However, she withdrew her suit in 1980. At her husband’s trial, she claimed he was at home from 5 AM to 1:30 PM on the day Valerie Street was murdered, but there was sometime after that which was not accounted for, leading the authorities to believe he killed Valerie then. Plus, his mother and sister claimed the mafia framed him for each murder because of his loan sharking.

Richard Cottingham’s Family Relocated to Poughkeepsie in mid-1980

While in his thirties, Richard was convicted of murdering five women in New York and New Jersey, bringing to an end his double life. He has since been convicted of several more following his own confessions. As for his family, it’s unclear where his mother is at the moment, but given that Richard himself is 76 years old, it’s likely that she has passed on. On the other hand, it was once reported that Janet and the three children relocated to Poughkeepsie, New York, in mid-1980, and we believe they are still alive today.

The couple’s divorce was seemingly finalized in 1981, and all of them have preferred to maintain a low profile since then. There are no concrete records of either Janet or their kids regarding what they’ve been up to since Richard’s original trial, yet from the A&E original, we do know the serial killer likely still keeps in touch with the latter. After all, he initially did not want to confess to any offense because he did not wish his three children to view him in a monstrous light despite the fact he was already behind bars.

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