Case #: MP18331
Murdered by Richard Cottingham
Jacalyn (Jackie) Harp, was 13 years old, living at 150 Birch Street, Midland Park, Bergen County, New Jersey with her parents and four sisters when she went missing on July 17 of 1968, failing to return home after she had band practice at Midland School field. She was a flag twirler for her school’s “All-Girls Drum and Bugle Corps” band. Practice ended at 9 PM, and she was last seen at approximately 9:50 PM walking home along Godwin Street near the corner of Cross Street. Her mother reported her missing at 1 am.
Her body was found the next morning, July 18th. She was found along Goffle Creek only about 100 feet away from a house on a dead-end street called Morrow Road, beaten in the face and strangled with the leather strap of her flag sling. Her clothes were described as being in “disarray” and police thought the attack was sexually motivated, although she was not raped.
The “Torso Killer” aka Richard Cottingham confessed to Jackie’s murder. He is a known serial killer in the areas of New York and New Jersey, operating in 1967-1980. He also confessed to the murders of Irene Blase and Denise Falasca. He is currently incarcerated in Trenton with a sentence of over 200 years. As of April 27, 2021, he has also confessed to kidnapping, raping and drowning 17 year old Mary Ann Pryer and her friend, 16 year old Lorraine Kelly, in a motel bathtub in August of 1974. (link below) https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/2021/04/27/nj-serial-killer-richard-cottingham-admits-drowning-north-bergen-girls/7391371002/
More info on the killer:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Cottingham