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New book profiles Bergen County 'charmer'

A new book by two local authors examines the life and crimes of a Bergen County man convicted of rape and murder.

"The Charmer" tells the story of the two women the man was convicted of raping and murdering. One author was the prosecutor in the sexual assault and homicide case, while the other is the former mayor of Ramsey, New Jersey.

The crimes took place in the 1970s, and the defendant was sentenced to life in prison. He is now 72 and remains in New Jersey State Prison today, four decades later. The book claims he seemed like an ordinary boy in his youth, but that his criminal history started when he was 16, with him assaulting a number of women before the crimes which resulted in his incarceration.

The two women that he raped and killed by strangulation were both named Susan, resulting in the media calling the killings "the Susan strangulations." Prosecutors said he abducted each of the women within several days, taking the first victim, a nurse, from her house in Haworth, and the second, who had just graduated college, as she exited a bus in Demarest.

The bodies of both women were later found in New York.

In both cases, the women's pantyhose had been used to strangle them. The book claims that the defendant made efforts while in custody prior to trial to hire a contract killer to murder his well-to-do aunt, thinking that he could inherit her money and use it to put on an excellent defense. The alleged scheme was foiled when a prisoner in the jail informed on him.

Source: Patch.com, "Local Authors Recount Story Of Bergen County Rapist, Murderer," June 1, 2012

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