"Son of Sam," was
a 1970s New York City serial killer who killed six people and wounded
several others. David Falco Berkowitz was born June 1, 1953. It bothered
David that his birth mother did not want him. His murders began after
a three-year enlistment in the Army. The first murder took place July
29, 1976, when he fired into a car killing Donna Lauria and wounding
Son of Sam was coined by Sam Carr. According to
David, Carr was a "high demon" who sent his "evil" labrador
dog to tell David to kill. He targeted adolescent girls
with long, dark hair and young couples.
David Berkowitz wrote a letter to police while he terrorized the city with a handgun
me haunt you with these words: I'll be back! I'll be back!
To be interpreted as bang, bang, bang, bang, bang - ugh!!"
Because he had a parking citation near the crime scene, an investigation led police to David. He immediately confessed, and was arrested on August 10, 1977.
"Throughout the past year, the people of this city had seen many faces of the "44 Caliber Killer" in a series of police composite sketches. Not one of his victims saw the "Son of Sam" smile.
But as David Berkowitz was led into police headquarters early
this evening, he broke into a macabre grin."
June 12, 1978, he was sentenced to 365 years in prison.
He first claimed he received orders to kill from a barking dog. Later he retracted that statement as false and said he was a Satanist. He asked a former priest turned exorcist, Malachi Martin, to visit him. In 1987 he became a born-again Christian and is now a prison chaplain.
The Son of Sam Meets The Holy Spirit
in the mental health unit. It's called intermediate care
program. And I'm there as like a peer counselor for the men
that have emotional problems. Every morning, Monday through
Friday, I go over there to work with those guys. And that's
really a challenge, and I enjoy doing that very much ... I'm kind of like a combination chaplain, counselor, guidance counselor and just a friend to those guys."
In March 2002, he wrote a letter to New York governor George Pataki requesting that his parole hearing be cancelled.
things that happened in the past that I deeply regret with
all of my heart, but I know that I can't change those things
and I have to accept the punishment that was meted out to
me. And God has just given me the strength to endure from
day to day."
"Son of Sam laws" were
enacted in New York out of the fear publishers would offer the killer
money for his story. In 1991 the Supreme Court declared such laws unconstitutional.
Individual states can still legislate Son of Sam laws.
David Berkowitz's victims:
29 July 1976 - Donna Lauria, 18
30 Jan 1977 - Christina Freund, 26
8 Mar 1977 - Virginia Voskerichian, 19
17 Apr 1977 - Alexander Esau, 20,
17 Apr 1977 -Valentina Suriani, 18
31 July 1977 -Stacy Moskowitz, 20
Calling himself "the Son of Sam" in
a letter left at one of the crime scenes, Berkowitz claimed voices
were ordering him to kill.
am the Son of Sam, I am a little brat."
Berkowitz is regularly interviewed on US television and continues to make front page news in The Big Apple. His victims are forgotten by all except their close relatives.
were others who knew about them and urged me on.
But I carried out the killings. I take full responsibility
for my actions."
Berkowitz was jailed for 365 years in 1977, he does not want freedom. Every June he is entitled to a parole hearing but, in a letter to New York Governor George Pataki that is posted on his website,
Berkowitz writes that he is disappointed there is going
to be a hearing and adds: "I have absolutely no interest