Boston Strangler by 20th Century Studios is now available for Malaysian viewers on Disney+.
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The retelling of serial killer stories are not uncommon. It makes good television, some say.
While some stories focus on the killers, 20th Century Studios’ latest offering, Boston Strangler, tells the story of the journalist who first made the connection between the seemingly random murders, and her colleague.
At a time female journalists were mostly tasked with advice columns, or fashion and recipes, Loretta McLaughlin wanted to do more. She was not the type to be satisfied with merely reviewing toasters.
McLaughlin was the first reporter to have made the connection between the murders of women living alone which led her to believe there was a serial killer lose in Boston.
It was the early 60s and she initially had trouble selling it to her editor that there was a story worth pursuing.
Taking on the role of McLaughlin is Keira Knightley. She successfully embodied McLaughlin’s persistence and perseverance as a reporter, while juggling her home life of a husband and three children.
When McLaughlin’s editor finally relented and agreed there was a strong enough reason for her to pursue the story, she was paired with senior journalist Jean Cole, portrayed by Carrie Coon.
The two make quite a formidable pair, the professional chemistry that soon developed between them were captured rather accurately by both Knightley and Coon.
This was the story of two women struggling to find their footing in a world dominated by men and the friendship that followed was well-portrayed.
When asked during the press conference what drew her to the movie, Knightley said she thought it was a really interesting way of telling the story of a serial killer through the point-of-view of the two female journalists.
While the cast, which included Chris Cooper who played the editor of the Record American where McLaughlin and Cole worked, did a good job, the storytelling was not as fast-paced as one would expect of a serial killer movie.
This could be due to the fact that the killer wasn’t the focus.
The movie’s writer and director Matt Ruskin, when asked at the press conference if he was concerned about packaging up brutal real-life material as entertainment”, said this was part of why he felt compelled to tell the story from the perspectives of McLaughlin and Cole.
“I felt like this was a really, you know, worthwhile way to revisit this series of horrific events,” Ruskin said.
The movie is now available exclusively on Disney+. Boston Strangler also stars Alessandro Nivola, David Dastmalchian, Morgan Spectro and Bill Camp.
The Terror That Rocked Boston
Boston is the capital of the US state of Massachusetts and is mostly known around the world for its prestigious universities; Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT.
However in June 1962, the town was rocked by what would later be a string of murders involving elderly women who lived alone.
Working off the premise that these women were over 50 and the similarities in the staging of their bodies, Boston PD initially believed this was the work of one person.
However, the victimology later changed as two victims in December of 1962 were 20 and 22 years old.
There were 13 victims and Albert DeSalvo who later confessed was charged. In later years, theories began to emerge of multiple killers and that it wasn’t just one strangler at work. This theory has never been proven in a court of law.