A New Jersey inmate, dubbed the “Torso Killer” pleaded responsible to a 1968 slaying close to New York Metropolis, and admitted to 4 different homicides, prosecutors mentioned Monday.
Richard Cottingham — believed to be one in every of America’s most prolific serial killers — admitted to strangling 23-year-old Diane Cusick on Feb. 15, 1968, on the Inexperienced Acres Mall in Nassau County, officers mentioned.
Along with Cusick’s case, he additionally confessed to 4 different Lengthy Island slayings, officers mentioned.
“Immediately is one is one essentially the most emotional days we have ever had the Nassau County District Lawyer’s Workplace,” District Attorney Anne Donnelly told reporters in Mineola.
Cusick had left her job at a kids’s dance college after which stopped on the mall to purchase a pair of dance footwear when the New Hyde Park lady was strangled by Cottingham, authorities mentioned.
“Within the case of Diane Cusick, her household has waited practically 55 years for somebody to be held accountable for her demise,” mentioned Donnelly, who fought again tears at factors of a 40-minute assembly with reporters.
Cottingham is sick and dwelling out his days in a New Jersey jail, serving a number of life sentences on different murders, officers mentioned.
Nassau County investigators mentioned Cottingham could possibly be answerable for as many as 13 homicides of their jurisdiction, however these slayings are the one ones they will positively hyperlink him to now.
He is been dubbed the “Torso Killer” because of the savage method he maimed a few of his victims. Cottingham had additionally been known as the “Occasions Sq. Killer” for murders he dedicated in New York Metropolis.
“These are the 5 we may make certain that he dedicated,” Donnelly mentioned.
The opposite 4 slayings now related to Cottingham, prosecutors mentioned, embrace:
- The strangulation of Mary Beth Heinz, 21, who went lacking on Could 5, 1972. Her physique was discovered ear a creek in Rockville Centre. “Immediately we have fun justice for Mary Beth and my coronary heart is full,” sister Jeanne Heinz instructed reporters. “Truthfully I by no means imagined her case could be resolved.”
- The physique of Laverne Moy, 23, was discovered on July 20, 1972, and her strangulation haunted family members for many years. However son John Moy mentioned Monday: “There’s been some darkish days behind us however at this time the solar shines brightly as a result of justice has been served.”
- Police and prosecutors appealed for the general public’s assist in discovering kinfolk of Marita Rosado Nieves, a 18-year-old Puerto Rican immigrant strangled on or about Dec. 27, 1973. Her physique was discovered on Jones Seashore. Authorities have not been capable of find dwelling family members to share this information.
- The husband of 33-year-old Sheila Hyman was out procuring and their kids away for summer season camp when she was discovered crushed to demise on July 20, 1973, in North Woodmere. The sufferer’s husband, who died in 2004, had lengthy been considered a doable suspect. “He was a form and beneficiant man who cherished our mom deeply and who spent too a few years dwelling within the shadow of his homicide,” the sufferer’s daughter Randi Childs. “There is no purpose why he ought to have been suspected. My poor dad lived with that till the day he died.”
Matthew Johnson contributed.