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Det. Responsible for 'Son of Sam' Arrest Dies at Age 84

Det. Responsible for 'Son of Sam' Arrest Dies at Age 84

Taken in 1977, the picture shows Ed Zigo holding up the .44 calibre revolver used by David Berkowitz in the Son of Sam murders. Zigo caught Berkowitz after tracing a parking ticket back to him

The Daily Mail

February 23, 2011

The detective who caught one of America’s most notorious serial killers has died aged 84.

Ed Zigo caught David Berkowitz – aka ‘Son of Sam’ – after tracing him to his New York home through a parking ticket issued to the killer around the time of his last murder.

Berkowitz had killed six people and injured seven more by the time Mr Zigo caught him in 1977.

In 1976 and 1977, New York city was in the grip of panic after a year of indiscriminate and brutal shootings by a killer who identified himself only as ‘Son of Sam’.

After a year police were getting no closer to catching the killer until a witness to one of the ‘Son of Sam’ murders turned up a vital lead.

Speaking to police two days after the murder of 20-year-old Stacy Moskowitz, Cacilia Davis said she had seen a suspicious looking man lurking around the murder scene only hours before.

Crucially she remembered the man ripping a parking ticket off of his car.

Ed Zigo and other detectives then trawled through every parking ticket issued in the area around the time of the murder.


Rambling: One of several bizarre notes sent by Berkowitz taunting poice.

Eventually police stumbled upon a ticket issued to a yellow Ford Galaxie, and followed it straight back to 24-year-old Berkowitz’s home on August 10 1977.

Speaking to the New York Post, Ed Zigo’s son, Ed Zigo III, said it was old fashioned detective work that led his father directly to Berkowitz.

He said: ‘My father’s deductive reasoning was: ‘What is a Jewish guy from Yonkers doing parked in an Italian neighbourhood at two in the morning.’’

The next day, detectives surrounded Berkowitz at his Yonkers home, arresting him as he tried to start his car.

Mr Zigo added: ‘According to my father, he introduced himself and said, ’Hi, David. I’m Detective Zigo.

‘Berkowitz said to him, ’Hi, Ed I’m the Son of Sam’.’

Ed Zigo died of cancer at his home in Lynbrook, Long Island on Saturday.

Berkowitz, a postal worker, began his killing spree in July 1976, with the shooting of 18-year-old Donna Lauria and Jody Valenti, 19.

As the teenagers left their car in Pelham Bay, New York, Berkowitz suddenly appeared, shooting Miss Lauria dead and wounding her friend Miss Valenti.

He struck again in October 1976, wounding a driver and her passenger as he shot up their car as they drove through Queens.

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  • Picture_204_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Condolances to the family and members of the NYPD.
    those years in brooklyn, that nut job held the city at bay. located just blocks from my school , along the belt parkway was where anyone that had a car and was under 20 wound up on a friday and saturday night with their woman. so it wasnt uncommon for the jewish guy to be there , and it was quite a while after the parking ticket was issued , that the S of S was arrested. Quality detective work as well as the city wide search for that S-bag finally proved fruitful when he was arrested coming out of his apartment to his car which had ammo and his famous bull dog revolver. for a good read ,including the S of S, try 'Ladies and gentlemen, the bronx is burning" about all the crazy events in NYC at the time.

  • Hpim0324_max50


    over 3 years ago



  • K9-wallpaper_max50


    over 3 years ago


    RIP Brother.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Nice job, Detective Zigo.

  • John_groh_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Well said esu I give you a great big BUMP on this one.

  • Thin_blue_line_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rip Brother.

  • Policelinkbadge_max160_max50_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Bump esu. RIP Brothers.

  • Esu_patch_max50


    over 3 years ago


    ALGOMAS, what do you own stock in the Times or what? I've never known a paper, any paper to be 100%accurate especially when it comes to police reporting, why let the truth interfere with a good story is their motto. You are correct to a certain degree, Det Zigo rode the wave and capitalized on the whole incident. However as one who dealt with the press for many years in the NYPD I can tell you that the press rarely wants to glorify more than 1 individual. Its a lot simpler and cleaner in their opinion to make one person the standout. As a teen who lived through the Son of Sam era in Bensonhurst, who dated girls who wore wigs, who indireclty knew some of the victims I can tell you it was a terrible time and I for one was glad when the collar was made regardless to who made it. RIP to both Det Zigo and Det Falotico.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    There is a much needed clarification regarding the capture of the notorious Son of Sam killer, David Berkowitz.

    Recent obituaries of Detective Edward Zigo seem to credit him as the arresting officer, even using phrases such as "slapped the cuffs" on the killer. Det. Zigo was NOT the arresting officer of the Son of Sam. In fact, the detective officially credited by the New York Police Department as the arresting officer was Detective John Falotico. Moreover, Detective Zigo was not even present at the arrest of David Berkowitz. REPEAT: Mr. Zigo was not even present at the arrest of the Son of Sam. Mr. Zigo was out getting a search warrant. Mr. Zigo was assigned to work with Detective John Falotico.

    May I tactfully suggest that everyone read the obituaries for both John Falotico and Ed Zigo from the true "journal of record" the newspaper, The New York Times. Trust the New York Times to accurately describe the facts. If you would just take the time to read The New York Times obituary for Ed Zigo you would instantly realized how limited was his role. He entered into a parked car without a search warrant. Ed Zigo was not even present during the arrest. The TV movie with Martin Sheen was, in my Constitutionally protected opinion, was grandstanding and puffery.

    See the obituary for John Falotico from the New York Times here:

    And the obituary for Ed Zigo from the New York Times here:

    Again, trust the New York Times to get the facts right. That's why the New York Times is the "journal of record" and why it is a great newspaper. Don't trust just any report: stick with the best, The New York Times. Everyone should read the New York Times obituaries for both John Falotico and Ed Zigo in order to learn the true story. The New York Times gets its facts right!

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50


    over 3 years ago


    Irregardless of exactly who caught Berkowitz, rest in peace to both detectives.

  • Cjett__1__max50


    over 3 years ago


    In addition to the comment below, the article credits Charlie Sheen as playing detective Zigo. Can't they get any facts right? Charlie Sheen was only 20 years old. It was Martin Sheen, his father. But let's not let accuracy get in the way of a good story.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    What a long and great life you had Sir,you are an inspiration to us all,thanks.

  • Eagle_and_flag_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace, Detective Zigo!!

  • Topcat3_max50


    over 3 years ago


    RIP Brother.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Rest with God Det. Zigo. Awesome yet simple police work.

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