A woman befriended a famous serial killer who killed her mother, she says he’s now a father figure to her.
Jennifer Weiss, a New Jersey woman has become great friends with Richard Cottingham, known as the Torso Killer.
In the photo above she’s pretending to strangle him, which is ironic because that was his method of killing his victims.
He’s known as the Torso Killer because of how he used to dismember his victims, decapitate them, and cut off their hands to prevent police from identifying them.
Weiss’ mother also had her head decapitated by Cottingham, and her skull has, till this day, yet to be found.
Cottingham was arrested for a string of murders in the 80s, and claims to have killed up to 100 people.
He was a computer operator, was married, and had 3 children of his own.
Weiss says she became interested in knowing Cottingham after finding out in 2002 that he killed her mother.
Weiss’ mom, Deedeh Goodarzi was found dead in a Time Square motel room beside another unidentified woman in 1979. She had been decapitated, and set on fire.
Weiss says she became friends with him to get some closure, and says it would be great for other victims with similar situations to do the same with people who killed members of their family, saying that it helps heal.
She says that despite the horrible killings, she meets with the Torso Killer many times a month in prison, and that she thinks of him “like a father.”
She told Oxygen “in order to do this (become friends with him), I had to build up actual forgiveness and love.” She said “I could have gone there with anger and had many ways to thrash him” but she decided to take a different path.
“What meant more was that this is a human being. I had to go there with love and respect and I had to respect this whole man because he was put on the planet to do all these tragic things.”
Weiss’ mother’s family had fled from Iran when she (Weiss’ mother) was younger. She became a sex worker. Weiss says she believes her mother turned to sex work because of her difficult beginnings.
Weiss says during her friendship with Cottingham she managed to get him to confess, and officially link him to the murder of 3 teenage girls. This hasn’t yet been confirmed publicly.
She also hopes to one day be able to find out the whereabouts of her mother’s skull.
She told Oxygen:
“I’d love to sort through the mess he made, it’s like, ‘Come on Dad, we gotta pick up these pieces because he’s so old. Sometimes when I talk to him I’ll say, [while snapping her fingers] ‘Hey pops,’ to bring him back to ‘Let’s do this for humanity’ because he has no desire to do anything for humanity.”
She says he has no desire to actually help anyone, but sometimes confesses to her because of their friendship.