Richard Cottingham, better known as the serial “Torso Killer,” pleaded guilty in the 1974 cold case of two teenagers.
Cottingham, 74, admitted to raping and killing 17-year-old Mary Ann Pryor and 16-year-old Lorraine Marie Kelly in August 1974. Cottingham received the nickname “Torso Killer,” because of his particular method of dismembering his victims. He is currently serving a life sentence for murdering nine other victims. The court sentenced him to two more life sentences Tuesday.
According to NBC, Cottingham claimed responsibility for 100 murders. However, authorities only linked him to 11, including Pryor and Kelly. Cottingham admitted to tying both women up in a motel room, raping them and then drowning them in the bathtub.
Pryor and Kelly went missing after leaving home to go to the mall Aug. 9, 1974. Five days later, their bodies were found in the woods. Authorities identified them through items of jewelry left on their bodies.
According to ABC News, Cottingham is “relieved” to have the weight of this crime off his shoulders. Despite claiming the lives of at least 11 people, Cottingham hoped to give the families of his victims “closure.”
Cottingham had a history of playing games with authorities, seeking to trade information for better treatment in prison. However John Bruno, Cottingham’s defense attorney, claimed that he experienced “deep regret” for his crimes. He additionally attributed the confession to their positive relationship.