In the film "Boston strangler" Keira Knightley plays a journalist who helped expose the serial killer who for years terrorized Boston.

"It's a love song for investigative journalism", she says.

Keira Knightley at a screening of the 'Boston strangler' in New York. Archive image.
Keira Knightley at a screening of "Boston strangler" in New York. Archive image.

In 1962-1964 13 single women were murdered in the Boston area. They were between 19 and 85 years old and most had been raped and strangled. Police work left much to be desired, not least because several of the murders took place in different locations and communication between different police districts was virtually zero.

But Jean Cole and Loretta McLaughlin, reporters at Boston Record American, suspected that the crimes were connected. In a series of articles, they linked the murders and held the police to account.

"The investigative journalism is so extremely important", says Keira Knightley.

Didn't know anything.

In the film, Knightley McLaughlin and Carrie Coon play Cole. In the US, the case is well known, not least after the 1968 film "Bostonstryparen" with Tony Curtis as the killer. There have been more films and TV-series based on history.

But when Keira Knightley, born and raised in England, was offered one of the leading roles, she had never heard of the case.

"I knew absolutely nothing. When I read the script it was the first time I heard about it. What I fell for was not least that it was portrayed from the point of view of these two journalists."

Carrie Coon and Keira Knightley play investigative journalists in 'Boston strangler' Archive image.
Carrie Coon and Keira Knightley play investigative journalists in "Boston strangler" Archive image.

It's hard to tell

The filming has been instructive, says Knightley.

"When we did the film, it gave me a good insight into how journalists sometimes have to work, how it's about going through papers and digging into archives. That's probably why it's hard to depict everyday journalistic work on film. It's hard to dramatize it", she says.

Carrie Coon takes note of how "Boston strangler" depicts two female pioneers who brought about change.

"It was not least interesting how these two women journalists in the early 60s took the fight against the powerful Boston police. Their job meant that they then started to communicate better between different police districts", she says.

Facts: Keira Knightley

Age: 37

Family: Married to musician James Righton and has two children

Lives: London

Profession: Actors

Previous roles: "Cut it as Beckham", "Love actuslly", "King Arthur", "Stoleness and prejudice", "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, "Reconciliation", "Never let me go", "A dangerous method", "Anna Karenina", "The imitation game", "The aftermath".

Current in the film "Boston strangler" on the Disney+ streaming service