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Well-Known Case Files of the 70’s in New York

Neil Patrick

It is a fact that wherever we are, crime is inevitable. In the past, New York was one of America’s state that has a very high crime rate. The state became one of the most dangerous place in America due to the However, crime started dropping in the late 80’s and early 90’s when NYPD learned new combat skills. Since then, New York became one of the world’s safest major cities. Now, lets take a look on a terrifying decade where New Yorkers would not like reminisce. Allow me to present the 70’s.


Greenwich Village Townhouse Explosion (March 6, 1970) 

Greenwich Village townhouse explosion


Firefighters gather outside the area of explosion along with debris and clutter and what’s left of the building. This was the aftermath of an explosion on 18 West 11th Street in New York on March 6, 1970. The terrorist group “Weatherman” allegedly built an improvised bomb which accidentally exploded in the basement of the building.


The Ambush of Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini (May 21, 1971)

The incident happened in 1971. Two NYPD officers, namely Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini, were killed in an ambush made by members of the Black Liberation Army. This happened in Harlem. The perpetrators, Herman Bell and Anthony Bottom were caught and imprisoned in connection to a killing of a San Francisco police officer.



waverly jones funeral


The said police officers belong to the 32nd precinct. They were gunned down suffering fatal multiple gunshots at the back after responding to a call near Macombs Dam Bridge in Manhttan.

Joseph Piagentini funeral


Eight months after the killing of the two NYPD Officers in 1971, two other police officers, Gregory Foster and Rocco Laurie, were gunned down in Lower East Side the same manner.


The Murder of Joseph “Crazy Joe” Gallo (April 7, 1972)

In 1972, known mobster Joe Gallo was reportedly gunned down at famous Umberto’s Clam House in Little Italy. In 1975, Bob Dylan featured the incident in “Joey”.



Little Italy was said to be spared from bloodshed due to an unwritten agreement among mobsters and gangsters. Gallo sought refuge at Umberto’s thinking he would be safe there. JoeGallo Funeral


The funeral of gangster Joey “Crazy Joe” Gallo in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.


Harlem Mosque Incident (April 14, 1972)



April of 1972, two NYPD officers answered a call for assistance from a detective. The police officers found themselves responding to a scene outside a Harlem mosque. The two officers were beaten and one, Philip Cardillo, suffered a gunshot wound. He died six days later. Due to political tensions, Mayor John Lindsay made a compromise. The incident was not fully investigated. Worst, the mayor was nowhere near the funeral of the dead officer. This sparked protest among many high-ranking police officers.


Lewis Dupree (left) was charged with the killing of Cardillo. However, the sole suspect was acquitted.


Chase Manhattan Bank Robbery in Brooklyn (August 22, 1972)

John Wojtowicz and Salvatore Natuarale held up a Brooklyn Bank for 14 hours. The cash was intended to pay for Wojtowicz’s gay lover’s sex change operation. However, the robbery was foiled. The pair stood off for 14 hous and even escaped to JFK Airport. There, Natuarale was killed by a police officer. The film Dog Day Afternoon was made after the incident.

John Wojtowicz

John Wojtowicz  [Via]

Salvatore Antonio "Sal" Naturale

A mugshsot of Salvatore Naturale [Via]


NYPD Cop Killed a 10 Year Old Kid (April 28, 1973)

thomas shea


Police Officer Thomas Shea was charged with the killing of Clifford Glover, 10 years old and an African-American resident of Jamaica Queens. The police officer thought the boy was attempting to rob an unmarked car. He also claimed to have seen the boy with a gun. Shea was the first ever NYPD officer charged with murder and killing in the line of duty in 50 years. The case was controversial. He was acquitted and riots resulted in protest of his acquittal.


The Bombing of Faunces Tavern (January 24, 1975)

Fraunces Tavern was bombed by the group FALN in January of 1975 claiming 4 lives and injuring more than 50. FALN or Fuerzas Armadas de Liveracion Nacional Puertorriquena (Armed Forces of Puerto Rican National Liberation) is said to be a Puerto Rican extremist group responsible for bombings in New York in the 70’s.

faunces tavern bombing


faunces tavern after bombing


victim bombing


barricade after the bombing at fauncecs tavern



LaGuardia Airport Bombing (December 29, 1975)

Another bombing claimed 11 lives and wounded 75 others when dynamites expoded in the main terminal of LaGuardia Airport in 1975. It was then recorded as the deadliest bombing in New York City since the bombing of Wall Street in 1920. The groups allegedly suspected for the bombing include the FALN, The Jewish Defense League, Palestinian Liberation Organization and Croatian Nationalist Zvonko Busic.

TWA baggage terminal bombed

TWA baggage terminal bombed


The Rise of “Son of Sam” (David Richard Berkowitz Serial Killing) (July 29, 1976 – 1977)

David Richard Berkowitz (a.k.a Son of Sam)David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz [Via]

No one suspected at first that the serial killer dubbed as “Son of Sam” or “.44 Caliber Killer” was a mail sorter, David Berkowitz. His first victims were Donna Luaria and Jody Valenti. Most of his victims were at their teens and early 20’s. The killer was known and feared. He sowed fear and panic among New Yorkers.

Victims of david berkowitz

The victims of David Berkowitz, also known as the “Son of Sam” and the “.44 Caliber Killer”. [Via]

son of sam arrested


44 caliber


Detective John Falotico


The Murder of Randolph Evans (November 25, 1976)

Randolph Evans, 15, was an African-American shot dead by a police officer on an unfateful Thanksgiving Day of 1976. The NYPD officer, Robert Torsney, was arrested for the killing facing charges of second-degree murder by the grand jury. He was found “not guilty” for insanity reasons. He was treated in Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in 1978 was released after the hospital found him no longer a threat to society.

robert torsney

Robert Torsney’s  [Via]

Dr. Daniel Schwartz

The chief of Kings County Medical Center (Dr. Daniel Schwartz) who served as witness to Torsney’s mental condition [Via]

edward rappaport

Tornsey’s defense attorney, Edward Rappaport. [Via]




Neil Patrick

Neil Patrick is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News