‘Torso killer’ Richard Cottingham charged with 1968 murder of woman at New York shopping mall | US News

The death of a female who was observed in the car park of a buying shopping mall 5 many years back in New York’s Very long Island has been joined to the so-called “Torso Killer”.

The suspect, Richard Cottingham, who is thought to be one of America’s most prolific serial killers, was arraigned Wednesday on a second-diploma murder demand in relationship with Diane Cusick’s 1968 killing.

But from a medical center bed in New Jersey, wherever he is now serving a lifestyle sentence for other killings, Cottingham pleaded not responsible.

Authorities believe that Ms Cusick, 23, still left her task at a children’s dance university and then stopped at the Eco-friendly Acres Mall in Nassau County to get a pair of sneakers when Cottingham followed her out.

He is then thought to have pretended to be a protection guard or police officer, accused her of thieving and then overpowered the 7st (98 lbs) woman, Nassau County Law enforcement Detective Captain Stephen Fitzpatrick said.

He included she was “brutally overwhelmed, raped and murdered in that automobile”.

She had defensive wounds on her hands and law enforcement have been ready to gather DNA proof at the scene.

But at the time, there was no DNA screening and the scenario sooner or later went chilly.

Cottingham was doing the job as a computer system programmer for a health coverage organization in New York at the time of Ms Cusick’s demise.

Cottingham (centre) admitted to killing two teenagers in New Jersey in 1974. Pic AP
Cottingham (centre) admitted to killing two teenagers in New Jersey again in 1974

He was convicted of murder in the two New York and New Jersey in the 1980s, although the regulation at the time didn’t involve men and women convicted to submit DNA samples, as it does now.

His DNA was taken and entered into a countrywide database in 2016 when he pleaded responsible to another murder in New Jersey.

Last yr, Cottingham pleaded responsible to killing 17-yr-outdated Mary Ann Pryor and 16-12 months-outdated Lorraine Marie Kelly 47 years back.

In 2021, police in Nassau County received a tip that a suspect who may well be accountable for killings in the county, just east of New York Metropolis, was locked up in New Jersey.

They commenced managing DNA tests again on cold situations and arrived up with a match to Cottingham.

Cottingham also led police to believe that he was responsible for the loss of life by providing some facts about the scenario, together with telling detectives he was close to a drive-in theatre, which was future to the shopping mall at the time.

However, he stopped brief of confessing immediately to Ms Cusick’s demise.

‘He was not usually a feeble older man’

This 7 days, Cottingham asked to be arraigned by video clip feed from the New Jersey healthcare facility for the reason that he was in inadequate wellbeing and bedridden.

Nassau County District Legal professional Anne Donnelly said: “He is a violent predator and no make any difference how he appears these days in a hospital mattress he was not generally a feeble more mature person.

“He was a young 22-calendar year-old when he dedicated the murder of Ms Cusick. He was powerful, stronger than these girls were being, and he was violent.”

Cottingham, who was nicknamed The Torso Killer and The Instances Sq. Killer, has previously claimed he was dependable for up to 100 murders.

But authorities in New York and New Jersey have formally connected him to only a dozen so considerably, together with Ms Cusick’s loss of life.

He has been imprisoned considering that 1980, when he was arrested soon after a motel maid read a female screaming inside of his home.