Daughter gets closure as 'Times Square torso killer' is charged in 1968 Valley Stream murder

The Nassau district attorney and Nassau police announced that new DNA evidence connected Richard Cottingham to the murder of 23-year-old Diane Cusick.

News 12 Staff

Jun 22, 2022, 10:56 AM

Updated 669 days ago

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Investigators say a serial killer known as the Times Square "torso killer" has been charged in a cold case murder in Valley Stream from 1968.
The Nassau district attorney and Nassau police announced that new DNA evidence connected Richard Cottingham to the murder of 23-year-old Diane Cusick.
Cusick's daughter, Darlene Altman, waited over five decades to get some closure after her mother's death.
"I never thought I would see this day, I had given up," Altman says. "But all these people got justice for me and for my mother."
The Nassau District Attorney's Office says Cusick was going to the Green Acres Mall for shoes but never returned.
Detective Capt. Stephen Fitzpatrick says Cusick was brutally beaten, murdered and raped in her car. She was later found lying in the back seat by her father.
Cottingham, now 75 years old, is already in prison in New Jersey for a series of gruesome murders that began in the late '70s. The murders earned him the name 'The Torso Killer' and were featured in a Netflix documentary.
Cottingham was arraigned bedside on Wednesday from the St Francis Medical Center. He pleaded not guilty.
Altman was in court to witness the arraignment.
"It was very overwhelming, he just had this dead stare," Altman says. "I felt like he was looking right at me, it was creepy for lack of a better word."
If convicted, this would be the 12th murder Cottingham is found guilty of.
Police say there are five other cold cases that they submitted DNA on to be tested that could be connected to Cottingham, and they are awaiting those results. Cottingham claims to be connected to up to 100 other homicides.


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