SON OF SAM COP DEAD

Published on: February 22, 2011
SON OF SAM COP DEAD

DETECTIVE EDWARD ZIGO, the hero cop who put an end to the 1977 reign of terror by crazed serial killer SON OF SAM David Berkowitz, has died at 84.

Detective EDWARD ZIGO, the New York City detective who cracked the notorious Son of Sam case in by acting on a hunch about a parking ticket and arrested killer David Berkowitz, has died at age 84

His wife, Eileen Brunelli-Zigo, said Zigo died Saturday of cancer at his Lynbrook, N.Y. home surrounded by his family.

The Son of Sam case gripped the nation as it had terrorized New York City during the sweltering summer of 1977.

The self-proclaimed Son of Sam who menaced the city for over a year between 1976 and 1977 had taken responsibility for a string of handgun assaults that left seven young people dead and seven others critically wounded.

The killer's notoriety increased when he began sending letters to the NY Daily News which published his hand scrawled missives in chilling detail on the front pages of the metro tab.

Detective Zigo had a hunch that a "chump change" lead would lead him to the killer after the .44 killer cops on a wild goose chase through the outer boroughs.

Clues were meager and the Big Apple was festering after a blackout in July incited rioting.

Zigo decided to question a young man named David Berkowitz, whose car, with out-of-city registration, had been ticketed for parking illegally in Brooklyn on the night of the last shooting.

"According to Ed, he walked in and said, 'Hi, David, I'm Detective Zigo,'" his family recounted.

"And Berkowitz said `Hi, Ed. I'm the Son of Sam.'"

In an interview with AP, Zigo said that when he finally confronted Berkowitz, he wasn't what he expected.

"He was this little schlub of a kid, as nice and soft- spoken as could be," he recalled.

Berkowitz's one-room apartment was bare, save for a shotgun and a New York tab showing a composite police sketch of the Son of Sam with a screaming header: "THIS IS THE NEW SON OF SAM."

"He must have howled when he saw the picture," said Zigo.

"It didn't look like him at all."