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NEW JERSEY — A notorious serial killer was responsible for the murders of three New Jersey teenagers during the 1960s, a spokesperson for the Bergen County Prosecutor told PIX11 Friday.

Richard Cottingham, knows as the “Torso Killer,” was tied to the deaths of Jacalyn Harp, 13, of Midland Park, in 1968 when she was walking home from band practice; Irene Blase, of Bogota, who was abducted in Hackensack in 1969; and Denise Falasco, 15, of Closter, who was abducted in Emerson, according to officials.

Blase was 18 at the time of her death, according to

Each of them died by strangulation, officials said.

The prosecutor’s office said families of the victims were immediately and confidentially notified.

According to, Cottingham admitted to killing the three Bergen County teenagers.

Cottingham was responsible for a spree of killings between 1967 and 1980, and was later convicted of two murders and three kidnappings in New Jersey and three murders in New York.

He has been in prison since July 1981 and is eligible for parole 2025, according to prison records, said.