Nancy Schiava Vogel
Case Closed in August of 2010
Killer: Richard Francis Cottingham
Nancy Schiava Vogel was a 29 year old mother of two in 1967 when she went missing. She was last seen leaving her home to play bingo with her friends at the local church in Little Ferry, NJ. Instead, Nancy ended up shopping at Valley Fair Department Store. (known by receipt and purchases that were found in her car.) At some point, Cottingham approached Nancy and abducted her, taking her to Ridgefield Park, where three days later her body would be found nude, bound and strangled in her own vehicle. Nancy had been beaten severely on the ride side of her face, she had a black eye and a large bruise on the back of her head. Her hands were tied in front of her with a thin cord, and she was strangled with a rope. Her naked body had an army blanket or seat cover draped over her that was originally on the floor of her vehicle at the time. Nancy’s clothes were found “folded neatly under her,” on the backseat. It is believed that he killed her inside her vehicle.
This had turned out to be Richard Francis Cottingham (AKA the Torso Killer)’s first known murder of his killing spree that took place from 1967-1980. Cottingham and Nancy Vogel were both residents of Little Ferry, and they were acquainted with each other. Richard worked as a computer operator at the downtown Manhattan Blue Cross Blue-shield, and was very well liked by his company and co-workers. He was married with three children, and seemed to be an upstanding family man.
Richard Cottingham first drew attention to the police in May of 1980, when he was arrested for the attempted murder and rape of an 18 year old prostitute at a Hasbrouck Heights motel. A maid heard screams coming from a room, where police found a woman with handcuffs on her ankles, bite marks on one breast and a knife wound below it. This investigation linked Cottingham to other attacks in North Jersey and New York City in the past few years. He was eventually convicted of two murders and the kidnappings and assaults of three other women in Bergen county and the murders of three prostitutes in New York, two of which he dismembered, cutting off their heads, hands feet and breasts.
Richard Cottingham is in the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, and he received a life term for Nancy’s murder, totaling his sentences to more than 200 years for the 6 other killings he was convicted of.
Cottingham has boasted of killing 85 to 100 people. He officially pleaded guilty to 6 murders, but he confessed to killing 9. Their names are: Nancy Schiava Vogel, Jacalyn Harp, Irene Blase, Denise Falasca, Maryann Carr, Deedeh Goodarzi and a Jane Doe that was found next to Deedeh that is still unidentified, Valerie Ann Street, and Jean Reyner. I urge you to click the links I’ve posted, there is a huge amount of information on each gruesome murder.