Fighting to find the truth. In Hulu’s true crime drama Boston Strangler, Keira Knightley plays Loretta McLaughlin, a journalist who wants to find out why so many local women are being murdered — only to be told she can’t cover homicide stories.
In Us Weekly‘s exclusive look at the 1960s-set film, Loretta goes to her newspaper editor (Chris Cooper) to pitch him the story. “Jack, I think I found something,” she says in the clip. “Three women were strangled over the last two weeks.”
Jack doesn’t seem to care about random murders. Boston has plenty of crime to cover connected to high-profile people. “These are nobodies,” he says.
“Who do you think our readers are?” Loretta retorts.
She wants to profile the victims to find a connection, but Jack claims she can’t cover homicide because she doesn’t have experience covering other killings. “Well, how am I supposed to get any experience if you won’t give me a shot?” Loretta asks. She offers to do the story on her own time, and Jack gives in — quickly reminding her that she still has to cover her usual lifestyle stories.
Based on a true story, Boston Strangler follows the first journalist to publish a story connecting the murders of three elderly women, proving there was a serial killer on the loose in 1962.
When the movie starts, Loretta just wants a more serious topic to write about. “She wants to be doing really important, big stories and isn’t allowed when we first meet her,” Knightley, 37, said in the film’s production notes. “She feels the frustration of not doing what you want to do.”
Her boss’ reluctance to let her cover a homicide is just the beginning of the sexism Loretta faces on the job. Plus, she finds herself struggling to balance her investigation with her life as a wife and mother of three children. However, she is determined to find justice for the victims.
As more dead bodies surface, Loretta brings colleague and confidant Jean Cole (Carrie Coon) into her investigation, which soon takes a dangerous turn that puts their lives at risk.
“This is a horrific story of the brutality of the male psyche and how disturbed and awful it can be through the eyes of two women,” Knightley added. “It’s a fast-paced story, and it’s a very tricky story to tell because there are many different twists and turns in it.”
Boston Strangler will premiere on Hulu Friday, March 17.