Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer Trailer: The Netflix True Crime Series Goes Back To The New York Of The '70s And '80s

"The whole world is attracted to Times Square, but in the late 70s, Times Square was considered an atrocity."

Last year, Joe Berlinger's "Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel" anthology docuseries, focused on the mysterious death of Elisa Lam, got the eyes of 45 million households watching on Netflix in its first month. As such, the streaming giant renewed the "Crime Scene" series for three more seasons, and next up is a trip to the other side of the United States to chronicle a predatory killer in New York's Times Square. Over three 45-minute episodes, the Oscar-nominated and Emmy award-winning filmmaker (known for the "Paradise Lost" trilogy and spearheading a fresh, theatrical style of crime documentary storytelling) returns to helm another chronicle of a horrible crime and the forsaken place that could have fomented it, just in time for your holiday vacation with a streaming release on December 29.

The synopsis for "Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer", per Netflix:

Season 2 begins as firemen respond to a call at a seedy hotel in the middle of Times Square in December 1979. What they discover among the smoke and ash shocks even the most seasoned NYC homicide detectives, triggering a hunt for a vicious serial killer who preyed upon sex workers operating within Times Square's then-booming, anything-goes sex industry. The three-part series takes viewers deep into the investigation, detailing the social and systemic forces at play in a near-lawless area in the center of Manhattan that allowed multiple horrific crimes to go unnoticed for too long.

Check out the season 2 trailer below.

Trailer for Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer

The series is singular for it's dual focus both on crimes and the settings that enabled and covered them, in places where the vulnerable can be swallowed whole. Interviewing subjects who were there to bear witness to underbellies and seedy strips, Berlinger profiles crimes scenes themselves as characters in the story, from Times Square locals to cops on the beat, to the daughter of New York's self-proclaimed "porno king," all the way up to a family member of one of the Times Square Killer's victims. 

"Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer" is backed by Imagine Documentaries and RadicalMedia, in association with Third Eye Motion Picture Company. Berlinger executive produces alongside Brian Grazer and Ron Howard under the Imagine Documentaries banner, Sara Bernstein, Justin Wilkes, Jon Kamen, Jon Doran, Jen Isaacson, Samantha Grogin, and Leslie Mattingly.

Berlinger says:

As a lifelong New Yorker, I've watched Times Square become the tourist mecca it is today — but many people have forgotten about the darker era of the late 1970's and early 80's when it was a near-lawless sexual playground that enabled predators to exploit sex workers, or worse. Through the location-focused lens of this series and this particular season, we unpack how this particular time and place, and a confluence of social forces, created an environment that allowed terrible things to happen and a killer to go unnoticed for too long.

"Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer" arrives on Netflix on December 29, 2021.