Real Name: Ricardo Caputo
Aliases: Ricardo Diaz
Wanted For: Murder, Escape
Missing Since: 1977
CaseEditDetails: Richard Caputo is known for attracting and then killing the women he draws into his life. He first murdered his nineteen-year-old girlfriend Natalie Brown on July 31, 1971 in Flower Hill, New York. After stabbing Natalie to death, Caputo called the police to report the crime. He was arrested for the murder, but was sent to a mental asylum when he was not found mentally fit to stand trial. While in the asylum, he met twenty-six-year-old social worker Judith Becker, and the two became friends. In 1973, he was transferred to a minimum security asylum, while allowed Caputo to leave the facility during the day. As a result, Becker and Caputo began spending time together outside of the facility. She even introduced him to her family, but claimed that the two worked together at the facility. Then, on October 21, 1974, Judith's parents went to her home after not hearing from her for several hours. Her parents then found her strangled ot death in her bedroom. After Caputo murdered Judith, he took her car and money and fled the area.
In 1975, he arrived in San Francisco and began dating twenty-eight-year-old book editor Barbara Ann Taylor. Then, on March 31, 1975, she was found beaten to death in her apartment. Caputo's fingerprints were found at the crime scene. By the time Barbara's body was discovered, Caputo had fled the area. Then, just five days later, Caputo was found in El Paso, Texas, by immigration officials; however, he was calling himself Ricardo Diaz. He was held in an immigration detention center and on April 7, 1975, he and two other detainees took a guard hostage. The men stole a car and fled to Mexico. The other men were arrested, but Caputo escaped and fled to Mexico City. In 1977, he tortured and beat twenty-three-year-old college student Laura Marie Gomez to death. At autopsy, it was discovered that Laura was two months pregnant; it is assumed that Caputo was the father.
Although he has not been seen since 1977, some believe that Caputo has killed at least two others. He is suspected in the 1983 murder of Jacqueline Bernard in Manhattan, New York. On January 22, 1985, a private investigator hired by Jacqueline's family received an anonymous phone call claiming that Jacqueline's killer was Caputo. The caller also claimed that Caputo had bragged about killing several other women and some men. The landlord for Jacqueline's apartment identified Caputo as a man seen attempting to break into her apartment. However, authorities have yet to conclusively connect Caputo to Jacqueline's murder.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the December 12, 1990 episode.
Results: Captured. Caputo turned himself in to police in March of 1994, claiming that his victims were haunting him and that he feared he would kill again. During his time on the run, Caputo had married twice and had traveled throughout Central and South America. He pled guilty to two of his admitted murders and was sentenced to 25 years to life. He died of a heart attack in 1997 at the age of forty-eight. Along with the murder of Jacqueline Bernard, Caputo is suspected in the 1981 murder of Devon Green from Los Angeles, California. A coworker of Devon recognized Caputo as a man who had worked with them at a restaurant shortly before Devon's death. However, Caputo was never officially deemed responsible for Devon or Jacquelines' murders.