Richard Cottingham was a successful computer operator. He was married and father to three kids. In April 1979, his wife Janet filed for divorce, due to her husband's extra-marital affairs, and his known sightings at local gay bars. In June 1980, after Richard's arrest, Janet resubmitted her divorce claim
A college friend recalls he was into SM early. He had a fascination with bondage. “He liked the slave thing, to be in control”. Also that if he talked about women it wasn`t positive. He had an obsession with large breasts (which became a paraphilia = needed for sexual arousal)
A colleague remembers he talked openly about visiting SM-Clubs, gambling and using prostitutes on the “Minnesota Strip” (Times Square, New York City)
For his murders he often used the Airport Motel, which psychologists analyze as a trait of narcisisst behaviour since it shows he felt superior to everyone else (“You won`t catch me”)
In his basement he had a locked room, where neither his wife nor his kids had access to. It was his “trophy room”, where he collected souvenirs, memorabilia, to relive the moments of his killings.
Psychologists say sadistic murderers start 15-20 years before their first murder with fantasties in their head. Cottingham started his murder career with using pornography.
Cottingham showed a sadistic ritual in cutting of breats of some of his victims
Twisted: Red Light Regular (Documentary)