Richard Cottingham, 76, just confessed to killing more women between 1972 and 1973. He is known as the “torso killer,” and was already found guilty of killing six young women.
One of the women that Cottingham recently confessed to murdering was a 23-year-old dance teacher named Diane Cusick. She was murdered in a parking lot, strangled to death in her own car.
District Attorney Jared Rosenblatt said members of Cusick’s family were present for the hearing, in addition to Jim Morton, Cusick’s brother, and Darlene Altman, Cusick’s daughter. Morton called Cottingham a “beast” who turned his family’s life “upside down.”
The family gave their victim impact statements to the killer while they were all present in court. Sibling Jim Morton said his parents found Cusick in the back seat of her car, unsure if she was dead or alive. It was shared that they fell to their knees as her casket closed out of total devastation.
District Attorney Jared Rosenblatt became choked up as he spoke after the victim impact statements. He was moved by the way that the families of Cottingham’s victims never gave up hope that their loved ones’ killer would be found.
Roseblatt said Cottingham has no remorse and took from these women whatever dreams and goals they once had. He ensured the families that the murderer would die in prison.
However, despite his plea of guilt, no additional sentencing is being added to Cottingham as punishment.
The DA agreed not to prosecute Richard Cottingham for the murders of the four other victims because he will already live out the rest of his days behind bars. Cottingham was already sentenced to life in prison for drowning two teens in a motel bathtub in 1974.