2 Men Murdered In July 1960
The Queens Gazette
As the Independence Day holiday came to an end, two elderly Astoria
men, Frederick Sess and John Rescigno were found dead—one with his
throat cut, the other with his head bashed in—in the beer bottle-littered
basement apartment they shared on Hoyt Avenue.
Two macabre notes were found there. One said, "How do you like these
two murders? O-O-O. I’m sorry." The other said "The people in the parole
board are intel eat"(intelligent?). The case was listed as a possible
homicide or murder-suicide.
On July 6, the Star-Journal reported that
Frederick Wood, a convicted murderer who had been paroled only a
month earlier and then arrested in Manhattan for parole violation,
had confessed to the Astoria murders. Wood was paroled in June after
serving 17 years of a 20-years-to-life sentence for the murder of
John E. Lowman in Elmira in 1942.
Wood bashed in Lowman’s head with a broken bottle,
mutilated the body with a knife and then tried to hide the remains under
a divan in the home of his girlfriend, where the attack occurred.
Similarities between Wood’s crime and the Astoria murders led the
authorities to Wood as a suspect. Wood was arraigned on first-degree
murder charges on July 26.
Why was Frederick Wood paroled? Governor Nelson
Rockefeller ordered the state Parole Board Chairman Russell G. Oswald to
submit a complete report on the handling of Wood’s case. Oswald admitted
that "I guess you’d just have to say we made a mistake on this one. I
say that with a lot of heartbreak." The state Parole Board put a
temporary ban on parole for prisoners convicted of homicide or serious
sex crimes until parole procedures could be revised.
SEX: M RACE: W TYPE: T MOTIVE:
MO: Beat male victims to death
in personal confrontations.
DISPOSITION: Life term on one
count, 1942 (paroled 1960); condemned on two counts, 1962 (executed
by electrocution, 1963).
Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia
of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans