'Times Square killer' pleads guilty to 1 woman's murder and admits killing 4 others
By Mark Morales, CNNUpdated: Mon, 05 Dec 2022 18:26:31 GMTSource: CNNA man known as the "Times Square Killer" -- already serving life for murder -- admitted five additional cold-case killings Monday iBy Mark Morales, CNN
Updated: Mon, 05 Dec 2022 18:26:31 GMT
A man known as the "Times Square Killer" -- already serving life for murder -- admitted five additional cold-case killings Monday in a New York court.
Richard Cottingham, 76, pleaded guilty to one count of murder in the second degree for the 1968 killing of Diane Cusick, and told the court he caused the deaths of four other women decades ago: Mary Beth Heinz, Laverne Moye, Sheila Heiman and Maria Emerita Rosado Nieves.
The Nassau County DA agreed not to prosecute for those four deaths as Cottingham will be incarcerated for the rest of his life due to other multi-state murder convictions.
Cottingham has been serving a life sentence for murder since 1981 in New Jersey state prison, CNN affiliate WABC reported, and is now accused of murdering more than a dozen young women and girls in New York and New Jersey between 1967 and 1980, according to affiliate and CNN reporting.
The admission brings closure to the Long Island murders that went unsolved for decades, the Nassau County District Attorney's office said.
"For more than 50 years these five families waited, hoped and wondered if they would ever find out who killed their loved one," said Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Jared Rosenblatt, his voice breaking and in tears.
Cottingham only spoke to say "yes" in court when he was asked to acknowledge his role in the killings.
Cottingham would die in prison, Rosenblatt said.
"I hope there is some justice for the families in knowing that he will live and take every breath in a prison cell," said Rosenblatt.
"This defendant took from these women whatever dreams and goals these women had," Rosenblatt said.
The assistant district attorney implored Cottingham to ask for forgiveness.
"For the sake of whatever little soul you have, this is your moment and your opportunity," Rosenblatt said.
Cottingham simply replied "no" when asked by Judge Caryn Fink if he wanted to do so. "There are no words to describe how purely evil you are," said Fink before sentencing him to 25 years to life in prison Monday. The sentence is expected to run consecutively to his current life sentence.