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Admitted serial killer given the max

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Aug. 16 -- An Argentine man who admitted to romancing and then killing four women has been sentenced to the maximum of 25 years to life in prison for slaying his psychologist girlfriend in 1974. Ricardo Caputo pleaded guilty last month to killing Judith Becker, whom he met while confined to a mental hospital after slaying another girlfriend. Becker, 26, was found dead by her parents in her Yonkers, N.Y., apartment in October 1974. She had been choked to death with a nylon stocking and struck repeatedly on the head. Police said the psychologist had apparently made the mistake of becoming romantically involved with her handsome patient. 'Twenty years after a young woman was brutally, senselessly murdered, her killer has been brought to justice,' said Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro. 'I again urge all law abiding citizens to assist the efforts of law enforcement to bring all criminal suspects to justice before they have the opportunity to victimize someone else.' Caputo apparently killed Becker while on an illegal furlough from the hospital. He then vanished and eluded authorities for two decades until he finally turned himself in to police in 1994. He was arrested after admitting to killing four women in the 1970s during an interview with ABC's 'Prime Time.' Three years before killing Becker, Caputo had stabbed to death his girlfriend, a 19-year-old bank teller, Natalie Brown, in her Long Island home after she tried to break off the relationship. After the slaying, he was committed to the Matewan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where he met Becker.

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After killing Becker, Caputo moved to San Francisco, where he met and had an affair with a woman named Barbara Taylor. Taylor, 28, was found beaten to death in her apartment in 1974 and Caputo admitted killing her when he surrendered. Three years later, Caputo's girlfriend, Laura Gomez, 23, was found dead in her Mexico City apartment. She had been stabbed to death and her teeth pulled out. Caputo also confessed to that slaying. After the 1978 slaying, Caputo stopped killing, his lawyer said. He married twice, had several children, and lived in California, Mexico, the Midwest and Latin America. In a statement issued at the time of his arrest, Caputo's attorneys said that in the early 1990s, 'long-buried memories of his past began to re-emerge in bits and nightmares,' prompting his client to turn himself in. In a statement issued before his arrest last year, Caputo said, 'I feel only remorse for what I've done and sadness for the families of these women.' He has since pleaded guilty to Brown's killing and was sentenced to between eight and 25 years in prison. His new sentence will run consecutively with that prison term.

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