Davod Berkowitz is better known as the Son Of Sam who terrorised New York City over a year period that saw six people killed and seven wounded. This serial killer had a habit where he would walk up to a vehicle parked on various lover’ lane and opened fire with a high powered gun, aka .44 Calibre Killer. Berkowitz who experienced and enjoyed a bit of celebrity attention during his killing spree would write letters to various newspaper bragging about the murders and his desire to kill as many people as possible. David Berkowitz was eventually captured and sentenced to multiple life terms.
David Berkowitz 2019 Information
Inmate Name BERKOWITZ, DAVID
Date of Birth 06/01/1953
Race / EthnicityWHITE
Custody Status IN CUSTODY
Housing / Releasing Facility SHAWANGUNK
Date Received (Original) 06/13/1978
Date Received (Current) 11/13/1978
David Berkowitz Note To Press
I am deeply hurt by your calling me a women hater. I am not. But I am a monster. I am the “Son of Sam.” I am a little “brat”. When father Sam gets drunk he gets mean. He beats his family. Sometimes he ties me up to the back of the house. Other times he locks me in the garage. Sam loves to drink blood. “Go out and kill” commands father Sam. Behind our house some rest. Mostly young—raped and slaughtered—their blood drained—just bones now. Papa Sam keeps me locked in the attic, too. I can’t get out but I look out the attic window and watch the world go by. I feel like an outsider. I am on a different wave length then everybody else—programmed too kill. However, to stop me you must kill me. Attention all police: Shoot me first—shoot to kill or else. Keep out of my way or you will die! Papa Sam is old now. He needs some blood to preserve his youth. He has had too many heart attacks. Too many heart attacks. “Ugh, me hoot it hurts sonny boy.” I miss my pretty princess most of all. She’s resting in our ladies house but I’ll see her soon. I am the “Monster”—”Beelzebub”—the “Chubby Behemouth.” I love to hunt. Prowling the streets looking for fair game—tasty meat. The wemon of Queens are z prettyist of all. I must be the water they drink. I live for the hunt—my life. Blood for papa. Mr. Borrelli, sir, I dont want to kill anymore no sir, no more but I must, “honour thy father.” I want to make love to the world. I love people. I don’t belong on Earth. Return me to yahoos. To the people of Queens, I love you. And I wa want to wish all of you a happy Easter. May God bless you in this life and in the next and for now I say goodbye and goodnight. Police—Let me haunt you with these words; I’ll be back! I’ll be back! To be interrpreted as—bang, bang, bang, bank, bang—ugh!! Yours in murder Mr. Monster
David Berkowitz Other News
On August 10, 1977, 11 days after his last murder, David Berkowitz, known as Son of Sam, was arrested and later sentenced to six consecutive 25-years-to-life terms. More than 40 years later, this serial killer, who murdered six people in New York City from 1976 to 1977, remains one of the most notorious murderers in America.
Throughout his murderous rampage, Berkowitz taunted and insulted the police in the hand written letters he left at his crime scenes in the New York boroughs of the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. These letters were widely publicized in media accounts and struck fear into the lives of New Yorkers. In a letter he left near the bodies of Alexander Esau, 20, and Valentina Suriani, 18, addressed to NYPD Captain Joseph Borrelli, Berkowitz called himself “Son of Sam” for the first time. Later in his confessions, Berkowitz revealed that he was obeying orders to kill from a demon, manifested in the form of a black Labrador retriever “Harvey” who belonged to his neighbor “Sam” Carr. During questioning Berkowitz stated, “He told me to kill. Sam is the devil.” Demons, murder, and terror led to intense media coverage of the case and Berkowitz relished the spotlight. He was able to elude one of the strongest police forces in the world until NYPD homicide detectives detained him on suspicion of eight shooting incidents on August 10, 1977.
On May 8, 1978, Berkowitz pleaded guilty and confessed to his crimes, including six murders as well as nearly 1,500 fires he had set in and around New York City, and was sentenced to six consecutive 25-years-to-life terms on June 12, 1978. Berkowitz’s sentencing hearing was dramatic—he tried to jump out of a window of the seventh-floor courtroom upon hearing the judge’s decision.
Despite his story of devils, demons, and possession, numerous psychological evaluations declared Berkowitz “competent.” In the 40 years since his arrest, Berkowitz has retracted his possessed dog “Son of Sam” story—claiming, ““It was all a hoax, a silly hoax” as seen in his March 20, 1979 letter to his psychiatrist, Dr. David Abrahamsen. He has also made statements that he was a member of a violent satanic cult that orchestrated the murders along with fellow cult members John and Michael Carr (the sons of the demon-dog’s owner Sam Carr). Berkowitz has also become an evangelical Christian. Instead of “Son of Sam” he now prefers “Son of Hope” as seen in his book, Son of Hope: The Prison Journals of David Berkowitz (2006) and featured on his website (run by his supporters because he is not allowed access to the Internet) On the website, he provides an apology to his victims and their families and claims: “I was once a prisoner, but now I am free.”
Forty years later, the Son of Sam case continues to draw significant attention due to the extreme nature of Berkowitz’s crimes, his claims of demonic possession, and his ability to taunt and elude the NYPD. As a result, Berkowitz has been offered large sums of money for his story. However, nearly all states—including New York—have since passed laws, sometimes known as “Son of Sam laws,” that prevent convicted criminals from financially profiting from books, movies, or other enterprises related to their crimes. Although there are numerous media renditions of the Son of Sam case, Berkowitz does not receive any royalties or profit from any sales of his works or the works of others.
In 1996, Yonkers police reopened Berkowitz’s case. Due to a lack of significant findings, the investigation has been suspended, but remains unclosed. In prison, Berkowitz continues to write journal essays on faith and repentance as well as contribute to school-based projects for students in psychology, criminology, and sociology who want to learn more about the criminal mind and the criminal justice system. Although he has been up for parole on numerous occasions, he has been consistently denied release. Berkowitz is currently serving his time in a maximum security prison in New York.