See Keira Knightley Hunt A Real-Life Serial Killer

Kiera Knightley stars as Loretta McLaughlin, the real reporter that broke the story of The Boston Strangler in a Hulu upcoming original film.

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

Today’s fascination with true crime and serial killers all over the media isn’t new; ever since Jack the Ripper terrorized London, the public consumes every tidbit, every nugget of information; the more gruesome, the better. Keira Knightley’s new movie shows what was going on behind the scenes of the paper’s covering one of the most prolific American serial killers of all time, the Boston Strangler. While it’s a dramatization, Knightley plays the real reporter, Loretta McLaughlin, that broke the story and helped end two years of terror.

Boston Strangler is a Hulu original film arriving March 17th, that, in addition to Kiera Knightley, stars Carrie Coon, Chris Cooper, Alessandro Nivola, Morgan Spector, Robert John Burke, and David Dastmalchian. Produced by legendary Hollywood icon Ridley Scott, the film explores the barriers McLaughlin overcame to report the story, including sexism, police corruption, and political beauacarcy. The true story is an amazing saga of American journalism that happens to be at the dawn of the “Golden Age of Serial Killers.”

Starting in June 1962, multiple women in Boston were found strangled inside their own homes with no signs of forced entry. In today’s world, it’s easy to look at just that information and think, “someone is working a service job and getting let in,” but it’s because of people like The Boston Strangler that we now think that way. What McLaughlin did, and why an esteemed actress like Kiera Knightley taking on the role works so well, is she found the connection between the women that the Boston Police overlooked.

Boston Strangler dives into the effort to downplay the killer’s severity, even insisting that more than one person was involved, a theory that the general public never really bought into. Though Boston doesn’t have the national reputation that Chicago or New York has for widespread corruption, that was partly why the killer went for so long without being caught. Even after someone was charged with the crimes, it took a very long time for DNA evidence to come along and help prove which theory was correct.

keira knightley
Carrie Coons and Kiera Knightley in The Boston Strangler

This isn’t the first time the Boston Strangler has been depicted in media; while the case was still ongoing in 1964, a film called The Strangler was made, followed just four years later by The Boston Strangler, starring Tony Curtis and Henry Fonda. Unlike those other films, Hulu’s version puts Kiera Knightley at the forefront, exploring the reporter’s point of view compared to the traditional detectives investigating the case.

Though Kiera Knightley has been acting steadily since 1999, The Boston Strangler is her most high-profile project since either being part of the ensemble in Berlin, I Love You or The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, depending on how much you like independent cinema. After the trailer’s release and initial buzz on social media, Knightly seems to have another hit on her hands.

This is good, as it’s not looking likely that Kiera Knightley will have a major part in her largest franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean, moving forward. The last time she appeared as Elizabeth Swan, former Queen of the Pirates, was a cameo in Dead Men Tell No Tales. If Jerry Bruckheimer wants to move in a different direction in the future, that frees up Knightley to appear in other projects, and if they all look as good as The Boston Strangler, we’re here for it.

The Boston Strangler debuts on Hulu on March 17th.