As a documentary series that lives up to its title in every way imaginable, A&E’s ‘The Torso Killer Confessions’ can only be described as equal parts dark, twisted, bewildering, and haunting. That’s because it delves deep into the tale of convicted serial rapist-killer Richard Cottingham with the help of not just archival footage as well as his taped confessions but also first-hand accounts. Amongst those to thus feature in this original to really underscore his depravity is victim Jacalyn Harp’s sister, Suzan Mulder — so now, if you wish to learn more about her, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Suzan Mulder?
Born to Myra and LeRoy Harp as one of their five daughters in Bergen County, New Jersey, Suzan still remembers she grew up in a truly happy home, that is, until July 17, 1987, rolled around. After all, this Friday evening was when her youngest sibling, 13-year-old Jacalyn Leah “Jackie” Harp, suddenly disappeared while on her way home from band practice on school grounds. “I went out that night looking for [her], calling out her name,” the then-teen said in the production before somberly adding, “We did go right on past [the alley] where she was found [the next morning].”
Unfortunately, though, despite the officials’ best efforts at the time, not even a likely suspect in connection to the matter could be identified due to the fact the young victim had no known enemies. In fact, per her loved ones, she was a bright, brilliant, charming teenager who was incredibly close to her entire family, especially her four elder sisters since she deemed them her role models. “It was all about family [for us],” Suzan stated in the A&E docuseries, but alas, most of them had sadly passed away without any closure by the time Richard Cottingham finally confessed in 2017.
It was November when two Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Detectives contacted Suzan to ask whether they could drive up to her residence and speak to her about something important. “We sat at the kitchen table, and [they] returned my sister’s possessions; what was on her when she was found,” she recalled prior to revealing they also described Richard’s admission to her in full. Nevertheless, she maintains that even though the news these investigators were delivering was utterly horrific, they were “very professional, very polite, very considerate” at every step of the way.
Jackie had been wearing her glasses, a ring, as well as a necklace on that fateful evening, all of which Suzane has kept safe in a small wooden box belonging to their late mother (April 26, 2013). This box even contains some beautiful dried flowers from around the latter’s demise, yet the surviving daughter hasn’t opened it in a long time owing to the painful, grieving memories it carries.
Where is Suzan Mulder Now?
The truth is Suzan had almost immediately agreed not to divulge the truth of Jakie’s murder to anyone except close family because she understood there was a bigger picture when it came to Richard. If her silence meant he could confess to other similar cold cases, she said, if it could maybe get him talking and bring a sense of closure to bereaved families like hers, she was okay with it. “If he can confess to those, that right there would be — I don’t know the right word to say.”
Coming to Suzan’s personal standing, according to the last reports, the mid-70-year-old currently resides in Reading, Vermont, alongside her husband, James “Jim” Mulder, and their loving family. That’s where the couple seemingly also runs Liberty Hill Antiques, an exhibit store comprising everything from home decor to luxe furniture to crockery to paintings, amongst much, much more.
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