NEW YORK – Edward Zigo, the New York City detective who cracked the notorious Son of Sam case in the 1970s by acting on a hunch about a parking ticket and arrested killer David Berkowitz, has died. He was 84.

Zigo died Saturday of cancer at his Lynbrook, N.Y., home surrounded by his family, his wife, Eileen Brunelli-Zigo, said Tuesday.

Zigo retired from the NYPD in 1982, and his career became the stuff of legend. His family recalls tales of his detective work with awe and pride. He parlayed his knowledge into a second career working on TV and film projects about the story and other crime tales. He even had bit parts in some movies.

“My father was a sort of reluctant hero,” said his son, Edward Zigo III. “He never wanted to grab the headlines. And more than a police hero, he was really just a person who inspired young people to want to do good things. And inspire them for all the right reasons.”

Over 13 months in 1976 and 1977, the self-proclaimed Son of Sam had taken responsibility for a string of handgun assaults that left seven young people dead and seven others critically wounded. Berkowitz was convicted in 1978, when he was 24.

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