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AP/Press Association Images

Kerryman who led Son of Sam manhunt dies in New York

The detective led a team of 300 officers who worked to track down the serial killer in the late 70s.

TIMOTHY DOWD, THE New York police detective who led the manhunt for the Son of Sam serial killer, has died.

Dowd was born in Co Kerry, in 1915, but his family moved to the United States during the Depression. He joined the New York police force in 1940 and worked as a detective in the narcotics and homicide squads. The New York Times reports the 99-year-old man died on Friday in New York.

Dowd was a deputy inspector in the police force at the time of the Son of Sam shootings and was placed in charge of the case. The killer, later discovered to be David Berkowitz, first shot and killed Donna Lauria, an 18-year-old woman from the Bronx, in June 1976. He also wounded her friend Jody Valenti.

Before he was captured, Berkowitz had murdered six people and wounded seven in attacks in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

Son of Sam 1977 Authorities rope off area around car as they search for evidence in New York. AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Son of Sam 1977 The funeral of Stacy Moskowitz - the killer's final victim. Her companion Robert Violante was also seriously injured in the shooting. AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

When Dowd was put in charge of the investigation, he launched a massive manhunt, which eventually had 300 officers looking for the notorious Son of Sam. The detective had told reporters that his job was to “prepare to be lucky” and this was later proven true when Berkowitz was traced by a parking ticket issued to him near the site of the last shooting.

BERKOWITZ ATTICA PRISON David Berkowitz, known as Son of Sam. AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

In an interview with Dowd’s daughter, the New York Times reports the detective once told her while watching Columbo: “That’s how it’s done”. It was the one police drama he thought was somewhat realistic.

Read: Golden era Hollywood actress Luise Rainer dies aged 104>

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