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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

His next victims, two friends aged 16 and 18, were shot by Berkowitz as they chatted under a street lamp in Queens.

He approached the girls, pretending to ask for directions before shooting them at point blank range.

While both survived, one of the girls – Joanne Lomino – was rendered a paraplegic.

It was not until his next murder in January 1977 that police acknowledged the killings might be linked.

In March police set up a 300 strong Operation Omega, headed by Deputy Inspector Timothy J. Dowd, to hunt for the killer.

Details were hard to come by, but what police knew was that all the victims had been shot with a .44 calibre pistol.

In April Berkowitz left the first of his notorious hand written letters beside the bodies of two more of his victims.

Calling himself the ‘Son of Sam’, Berkowitz’s letter was a bizarre rant about how his ‘father’ mistreated him, locking him in an attic all day.


Ed Zigo leads a smiling Berkowitz from a squad car to a court appearance

He signed off with the taunting: ‘Police — Let me haunt you with these words; I’ll be back! I’ll be back! To be interrpreted [sic] as — bang, bang, bang, bank, bang — ugh!! Yours in murder Mr. Monster.’

In May, New York Post columnist Jimmy Breslin received another letter from ‘Son of Sam’, and when the menacing contents were made public, panic set in across New York city.

With the killer only striking those with long black hair, women in the city rushed to cut or dye their hair, causing a shortage of peroxide.

Such was the sensational media coverage, people stayed indoors and the streets were deserted after dark.

Berkowitz was eventually caught after one final murder and was sentenced to six life sentences in 1978.

While in prison, Berkowitz claimed he was the member of a satanic cult who had directed him to carry out the killings.

Despite years of investigations and the case being re-opened, discrepancies remain in the original investigation, with some members of the police and prosecutors convinced others were involved in the killings.

Berkowitz, who is still interned in Fallsberg New York, is currently up for a parole hearing in May 2012.

The Son of Sam case was the subject of several books and films, with Charlie Sheen famously playing detective Zigo in a 1985 CBS televised film.

  • 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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