Keeping The Spotlight On The Journalists And Not The Killer | Boston Strangler

Photo by Claire Folger. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

This past weekend, 20th Century Studios released their new feature film, “Boston Strangler”. The story behind two female journalists Loretta McLaughlin and Jean Cole didn’t just need to track down the story behind a dangerous murderer but also had to navigate through an era when sexism went on unchecked in the workplace.

In “Boston Strangler”, Loretta and Jean are played by Keira Knightley and Carrie Coon. The name of the film focuses on the killer in the investigative pieces. But director Matt Ruskin wanted to make sure that the spotlight was kept on the reporters and not the murderer.

Boston Strangler

During a recent press event attended by LRMOnline for “Boston Strangler”, Ruskin talked about why it was important to keep the killer a mystery as it served multiple purposes.

First off a simple reason is that part of the report’s journey in the film was to find figure out the identity of the killer. Something the audiences would be able to take part in as they watched the film.

“A big piece of the film is about identity and who is this killer or killers. So it was important to leave that as this unknown, as this gray area,” said Ruskin.

The second reason, Ruskin felt strongly about what was shown on screen.

“I felt strongly about not depicting violence in a way that was gratuitous. So much of the violence, many of the attacks, happen offscreen for that reason as well,” continued Ruskin.

Photo by Claire Folger. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.


Currently, in pop culture, audiences seem to be hooked on true crime. It’s such an obsession that some of these newer series even follow cases that are still active or in court. While the events in “Boston Stranger” are tragic, the story’s focus is on the struggle and perseverance of two incredible journalists.

“I think that’s part of why I felt compelled to make the film from the perspective of Loretta and Jean’s perspective. Rather than, what we’ve all seen either from the perspective of the killer himself. Or from the sort of hard-boiled detective story. I felt like this was a really, you know, worthwhile way to revisit this series of horrific events,” said Ruskin.

Between 1962 and 1964 over 12 women ranging from 12 to 85 were killed by the Boston Strangler. Despite the confession of sex offender Alberto DeSalvo to the crimes, there was no physical evidence that tied him to the victims, but he still received a life sentence for other crimes. This film and the story of the events are all possible thanks to Loretta and Jean.

“Boston Strangler” is now available to stream exclusively on Hulu.

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