'Boston Strangler' director wanted to make journalist focal point of 'very dark story'
Boston native Matt Ruskin was always familiar with the Boston Strangler. However it was only a few years ago that he decided to make it the subject of his latest film.
Ruskin wanted to narrate the Boston Strangler with a different focus, he told Deadline.
“When I started reading about the case, I realized I didn’t know anything about it. And I discovered this really layered, fascinating murder mystery. There was a much bigger story both about the city and the time with a lot of twists and turns that I found to be so compelling that I thought would make for a really great film.”
“I just could never really get excited about doing a hard-boiled detective version of this story. There are a lot of aspects to it that are critical of the police and so it just didn’t really add up.”
He continued, “And then I heard an interview with this reporter named Loretta McLaughlin who broke the story of the Boston Strangler; she was one of the first journalists to connect the murders. During the course of her reporting, she gave the Boston Strangler his name. I love journalism stories and journalism movies and I have tremendous respect for good journalism, which is as important now as ever. So I thought that would be a really interesting way to revisit this story.”
It was important to Ruskin not to glamorize the Boston Strangler.
“I love true crime stories. I consider myself a fan but as a filmmaker, I really did not want to make a film that was gratuitous in any way,” he said.
“It was really important to be respectful of these victims, and just not glorify violence or create gratuitous depictions of violence. I’ve always gravitated towards character-driven stories, so finding this human-centric element, that anchor is what I look for. I was so inspired by Loretta’s work and her passion for what she did, that it felt like a really meaningful way into this otherwise very dark story.”
Based on the infamous Boston Strangler murders, the film follows Loretta McLaughlin, the first reporter to link the murders and break the story of the Strangler.