On January 30, 1977 Christine Freund, 26, and her fiancé John Diel, 30, had just enjoyed an evening showing of Rocky and were sitting in John’s car planning the rest of their night when out of nowhere, a stranger fired a .44 caliber through the closed passenger-side window. Christine was shot in the head and, although she didn’t immediately succumb to her injuries, she was pronounced dead at St. John’s Hospital several hours later. John survived the shooting, perhaps physically intact, but almost certainly not emotionally.
Nearly two months later, on March 8, 1977, 19-year-old college student Virginia Voskerichian was walking home when she was also shot at point-blank range with a .44 caliber. The site of Virginia’s murder was less than half a block from where Christine and John were shot and ballistics tests showed that the same weapon killed both Christine and Virginia. It was at this point that New Yorkers began to realize their city was being ravaged by a serial killer.