‘Torso killer’ Richard Cottingham charged with 1968 homicide of lady at New York shopping center | US Information

The loss of life of a lady who was discovered within the automobile park of a shopping center 5 a long time in the past in New York’s Lengthy Island has been linked to the so-called “Torso Killer”.

The suspect, Richard Cottingham, who’s believed to be one among America’s most prolific serial killers, was arraigned Wednesday on a second-degree homicide cost in reference to Diane Cusick’s 1968 killing.

However from a hospital mattress in New Jersey, the place he is already serving a life sentence for different killings, Cottingham pleaded not responsible.

Authorities imagine Ms Cusick, 23, left her job at a kids’s dance college after which stopped on the Inexperienced Acres Mall in Nassau County to purchase a pair of footwear when Cottingham adopted her out.

He’s then thought to have pretended to be a safety guard or police officer, accused her of stealing after which overpowered the 7st (98 lbs) lady, Nassau County Police Detective Captain Stephen Fitzpatrick mentioned.

He added she was “brutally crushed, raped and murdered in that automobile”.

She had defensive wounds on her palms and police had been capable of acquire DNA proof on the scene.

However on the time, there was no DNA testing and the case ultimately went chilly.

Cottingham was working as a pc programmer for a medical health insurance firm in New York on the time of Ms Cusick’s loss of life.

Cottingham (centre) admitted to killing two youngsters in New Jersey again in 1974

He was convicted of homicide in each New York and New Jersey within the Nineteen Eighties, although the regulation on the time did not require individuals convicted to submit DNA samples, because it does now.

His DNA was taken and entered right into a nationwide database in 2016 when he pleaded responsible to a different homicide in New Jersey.

Final 12 months, Cottingham pleaded responsible to killing 17-year-old Mary Ann Pryor and 16-year-old Lorraine Marie Kelly 47 years in the past.

In 2021, police in Nassau County obtained a tip {that a} suspect who is perhaps answerable for killings within the county, simply east of New York Metropolis, was locked up in New Jersey.

They started working DNA exams once more on chilly circumstances and got here up with a match to Cottingham.

Cottingham additionally led police to imagine he was answerable for the loss of life by offering some details about the case, together with telling detectives he was close to a drive-in theatre, which was subsequent to the mall on the time.

Nevertheless, he stopped wanting confessing on to Ms Cusick’s loss of life.

‘He was not all the time a feeble older man’

This week, Cottingham requested to be arraigned by video feed from the New Jersey hospital as a result of he was unwell and bedridden.

Nassau County District Legal professional Anne Donnelly mentioned: “He’s a violent predator and regardless of how he appears to be like right now in a hospital mattress he was not all the time a feeble older man.

“He was a younger 22-year-old when he dedicated the homicide of Ms Cusick. He was robust, stronger than these ladies had been, and he was violent.”

Cottingham, who was nicknamed The Torso Killer and The Occasions Sq. Killer, has beforehand claimed he was answerable for as much as 100 murders.

However authorities in New York and New Jersey have formally linked him to solely a dozen to this point, together with Ms Cusick’s loss of life.

He has been imprisoned since 1980, when he was arrested after a motel maid heard a lady screaming inside his room.

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