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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.

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