CRIME SCENE: THE TIMES SQUARE KILLER on Netflix is the second season in the “Crime Scene” true-crime documentary series. This time, with one episode less and a muddled focus. Read our full Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer review here!
CRIME SCENE: THE TIMES SQUARE KILLER is a new Netflix docu-series. Actually, it’s season 2 of the “Crime Scene” true-crime documentary series that began earlier this year.
CHECK OUT THE FIRST SEASON
Read our review of Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel here >
This time around, there is one episode less and the focus is less on a place (or crime scene) and more on a specific serial killer who was (among other things) called “The Times Square Killer”. That’s fine by me, but it does mean it isn’t exactly a “crime scene”-focused documentary series anymore.
Continue reading our Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer docu-series review below. We’ve watched all three episodes in the season for this review.
From Crime Scene to Serial Killer focus
The second season of the Crime Scene docu-series is described as: “being a documentary series that unpacks the ways in which certain locations aid and abet criminal activity”. This is absolutely very appropriate in terms of describing Times Square in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Season 2 begins with firemen responding to a call at a seedy hotel in the middle of Times Square in December 1979. There, they discover two female bodies. Both without their head and hands, which makes identification very difficult.
It also marks the beginning of the hunt for a serial killer who preyed upon sex workers operating within Times Square’s then-booming sex industry. Or actually, that’s not true at all, but it’s what it’s supposedly about. Really, it’s about a serial killer who goes after sex workers and other women.
And not just in Times Square. Actually not even “just” in New York, but rather, mostly in New Jersey.
The story of Times Square
For anyone, who has ever been to New York and spent many times in the Times Square area within the past three decades, it is very interesting to watch this docu-series. I first visited New York in this millennium and had no idea just how seedy the Times Square area was earlier.
That’s why I really did enjoy episode 1 of Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer. It focused a lot on the story of Times Square. Much more than the actual murders, in fact.
Just like with season 1 of Crime Scene, we yet again hear from many people who weren’t part of these cases. And really, I couldn’t care less. I do like hearing from the many people who were involved. And from the woman who wrote about sex workers and knew a lot about this.
We also hear from the daughter of New York’s self-proclaimed “porno king” and she’s a perfect subject to interview regarding this era. Plus, hearing from Jennifer Weiss, the daughter of one of the victims, is also very relevant.
Especially since it creates a focus around her own efforts to identify victims who have remained Jane Does. Both are due to very real difficulties to identify them as well as a lack of desire to do so. Mostly due to an assumption that these murder victims were sex workers.
Which is just plain wrong and sad. Everyone deserves justice!
Watch Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer on Netflix!
Season 2 of the Crime Scene documentary series is, yet again, directed and executive produced by the Oscar-nominated and Emmy award-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger. Also, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are still on board as executive producers as well.
Unlike season 1, which had four episodes, Crime Scene season 2 only has three episodes. And it’s plenty to tell the story. Though really, this docu-series is actually about a specific serial killer and not Times Square as a crime scene.
While I still enjoy the true-crime aspect, it does water down the concept of this docu-series being “crime scene” specific. It really is not. And sure, you can say that it’s there in the title. However, since most of the murders took place in New Jersey, it’s hardly with Times Square as the main focus.
Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer is out on Netflix from December 29, 2021.
Seemingly random acts of brutality shock even the most seasoned NYC homicide detectives, stoking fears of an elusive serial killer operating within 1970’s era Times Square, a near-lawless sexual playground where forbidden fantasies were fulfilled, including murder.
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