The gruesome story of the murderer who terrorized Times Square has hit Netflix
It is the newest part of the anthology series “Crime Scene” and travels back to the dark years of the famous New Yorker Platz.
Times Square was a completely different place
In the 1970s, New York’s famous Times Square was anything but the touristy and welcoming place we know today. Prostitutes and pimps met locals and perverts in the midst of brothels and peep shows – fertile ground for crime, as it quickly turned out.
The country lived in the shadow of serial killers, and one night in December 1979, New York police discovered they had a serious problem. Authorities were called in to help a fire in the room of the Travel Inn Motor Hotel in Times Square. After the smoke cleared, the bodies of women could be seen partially charred on the floor.
None of the corpses had heads or hands. “That was a sick guy,” remembers Jim Riegel, one of the police officers who were there. His testimony is one of many recorded for the new story anthology documentary series on the crime scene. The Times Square Killer is the newest chapter and premiered on Netflix on Wednesday, December 29th.
The perpetrator, who was responsible for at least eleven gruesome murders and as many assaults, was not discovered until many months later. Only one victim was recorded of this groundbreaking crime in Times Square, 22-year-old Deedeh Goodarzi and a teenager who was never identified. Both prostitutes were reportedly tortured, raped and stabbed to death before being mutilated and burned in a burning room.
Just a few yards from Times Square, 42nd Street was known for the sex industry, adult cinema, and live sex, with prostitution free, albeit prohibited, on the streets. Without modern crime-solving techniques, many murders and rapes would go unpunished.
New York police were concerned when murders of a similar nature began to recur after this first crime. Five months later, the body of a 19-year-old girl with visible torture and bite marks was found in another hotel, this time in New Jersey.
Ten days later, another fire in a hotel room and a new victim, Jean Reyner, tortured, raped and murdered. Her breasts were mutilated and placed on a shelf. The murderer was not so lucky with his next victim, whose muffled screams were loud enough to alert the hotel staff, who alerted the police and brought about the dramatic events covered in the new documentary series.
The series, created by Oscar winner Joe Berlinger, focuses on this killer, but also on the dangerous environment sex workers experience in New York and New Jersey.
“As a New Yorker, I saw Times Square become a tourist mecca, but many forget the dark surroundings of the late 70s and early 80s, where it was a kind of lawless sex park where predators could exploit sex workers or even worse,” explains the director and executive producer.
The three-part documentary series reveals testimony from police officers and workers in Times Square, as well as New Yorkers who helped solve the crime. One of them is Jennifer Weiss, the daughter of one of the victims of the Times Square killer.
Click the gallery to discover the 14 new must-see shows (and seasons) this December.