By DNA add 12th homicide to “Times Square killer” Richard Cottingham, 54 years later in New York

Nassau Police, Long Island (NY).

Andrew Theodorakis / Getty Images

A DNA test has led to new murder charges against “Times Square Killer” Richard Cottingham, who is already in jail for 11 violent deaths in New York and New Jersey.

Authorities now allege that the 75-year-old serial killer sexually assaulted and strangled Diane Cusick in 1968, an innocent mother from Long Island (NY) whose case had been open for more than half a century.

“That night (Cusick) told his parents that he was going to buy a pair of shoes at the mall Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream,” District Attorney Anne Donnelly recalled. “He never came home.”

The new DNA evidence was recovered from defensive injuries to the victim’s hand during her apparent unsuccessful fight for survival. Apparently Cottingham identified himself as a police officer or mall security and accused Cusick of theft before killing her.

Her distraught father found the body lying in the back seat of his car when he went to the mall after his daughter had not returned.

Darlene Altman, Cusick’s daughter, and other family members attended the Nassau County court hearing on Wednesday, June 22, where Cottingham pleaded “not guilty” via video link into the dance teacher’s brutal strangulation. inside a parked car on February 16, 1968.

“That night he told his parents that he was going to buy a pair of shoes at the mall… He never came home”

Anne Donnellydistrict attorney Nassau

Altman was only 4 years old when his mother was killed. He attended Wednesday’s court hearing with his uncle Jim and his son Mike, he said. Daily News. “I never thought I’d see this day,” she said with a trembling voice after seeing her mother’s alleged killer in court. “It was very overwhelming. He just had this dead look. I thought he was looking directly at me. It was creepy.”

Last year Cottingham admitted to the rape and murder of two New Jersey teenagers. in August 1974. And now he’s a possible suspect in five other Long Island homicides, authorities said, are investigating additional cases over there.

Father of three children in New Jersey, he was already serving a life sentence for the previous murders. “Now (he is) a known serial killer, but then I was an unknown computer programmer in Times Square.” said Nassau District Attorney Jared Rosenblatt, chief of the homicide bureau.

Cottingham, native of the Bronx, He is also known as “The Torso Killer” after executing and dismembering three prostitutes in Times Square at the end of his 13-year killing spree.

He has been in Trenton (NJ) State Prison with a life sentence since 1981, convicted of two murders in New Jersey and three in New York. in the past himself has claimed he was responsible for up to 100 murders in both states and in 2020 he confessed to three more homicides, dating back to the late 1960s.

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