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New Jersey serial killer indicted in 1968 Nassau County murder

Diane Cusick
Nassau District Attorney's Office
23-year-old Diane Cusick was found dead in the backseat of her car in 1968. The New Jersey serial killer Richard Cottingham was indicted in her murder in 2022.

A New Jersey serial killer has been indicted in the 1968 killing of a Long Island woman.

23-year-old Diane Cusick of Valley Stream went to the Green Acres mall to buy some clothes. When she didn’t come home, her father went searching and found her body in the backseat of her Plymouth Valiant.

Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said advances in DNA technology now make it possible for smaller amounts of DNA to be matched with suspects.

“We believe this may be the oldest DNA hit that led to a prosecution in the United States,” Donnelly said.

Richard Cottingham pleaded not guilty in the second degree murder of Cusick. He is already serving a life sentence in New Jersey. He has admitted to at least 11 other murders there.

Nassau County homicide officials said they are awaiting results from five other DNA samples.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.