Facts About David Berkowitz, AKA: the Son of Sam

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Following on from David Berkowitz: The Lowdown on the Son of Sam, here’s some expanded information about the New York Based serial killer.

David Berkowitz, better known as the Son of Sam, is one of America’s most notorious serial killers. Between 1976 and 1977, Berkowitz terrorised New York City with a series of shootings, targeting young couples parked in their cars late at night.

His crimes were especially chilling due to his bizarre letters to the police and media, in which he claimed to be possessed by a demonic dog.

He was eventually caught and sentenced to six consecutive life sentences in prison. Despite his notoriety, many aspects of his life and crimes remain shrouded in mystery, including his possible involvement in a satanic cult.

Facts About David Berkowitz, AKA: the Son of Sam

The Dark Side of a Charming City

The vibrant, bustling streets of New York City in the 1970s were marred by an unprecedented crime wave that left its residents in a perpetual state of fear.

At the epicentre of this chaos was David Berkowitz. His gruesome acts of violence terrorised New York City and left a scar on its history.

Here, we look at some of the facts of David Berkowitz’s life and crimes along with his current whereabouts and a bullet-point rundown.

A Tumultuous Upbringing

David Richard Berkowitz was born on 1st June 1953, in Brooklyn, New York, as Richard David Falco. Adopted by Nathan and Pearl Berkowitz at a tender age, David’s childhood was riddled with emotional turbulence.

While his adoptive parents showered him with love and care, he struggled with feelings of abandonment, anger and frustration.

Despite his troubled upbringing, Berkowitz demonstrated above-average intelligence and was known to be an avid reader.

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Birth of a Killer

The year 1975 marked the beginning of Berkowitz’s descent into a life of crime. It started with petty arson and quickly escalated to murder.

On 29th July 1976, the Son of Sam claimed his first murder victims, Donna Lauria and Jody Valenti. Over the next year, Berkowitz would go on to kill six people and wound seven others in a terrifying series of shootings.

Taunting Letters

Berkowitz’s choice of weapon was a .44 calibre Charter Arms Bulldog revolver. His preference for attacking young women with long, dark hair became a chilling hallmark of his crimes.

However, it wasn’t just the murders that shook the residents of New York City; it was the taunting letters he sent to police and journalists, gleefully detailing his crimes and taunting the authorities for their inability to catch him.

In those letters, and in another he left near one of the crime scenes, he referred to himself as the Son of Sam, in a way given himself the moniker he would later become known by.

The End of a Reign of Terror

As the Son of Sam continued his murderous spree, the city remained gripped with fear. A massive manhunt ensued, involving over 300 detectives and FBI agents.

It was a simple parking ticket that eventually led the police to the doorstep of David Berkowitz on 10th August 1977.

Upon his arrest, Berkowitz confessed to all the murders and was charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder.

Facts About David Berkowitz, AKA: the Son of Sam

A Life Behind Bars

David Berkowitz was handed down six consecutive life sentences in prison, with no possibility of parole.

In the years that followed, he claimed that he was driven to kill by demonic forces and that he belonged to a satanic cult. However, these claims have been largely debunked by investigators.

Berkowitz, now a born-again Christian, has spent his time in prison expressing remorse for his actions and advocating against violence.

Rundown of David Berkowitz Facts

  1. The Son of Sam is a convicted American serial killer who terrorised New York City in the late 1970s.
  2. He committed a total of 13 shootings, killing six people and injuring seven others, between 1976 and 1977.
  3. He targeted young couples parked in their cars late at night, using a .44 caliber revolver.
  4. His first known murder occurred on July 29, 1976, in the Bronx.
  5. He sent taunting letters to the police and media, signing them ‘Son of Sam’ and claiming to be possessed by a demonic dog.
  6. The police eventually caught him in August 1977, after he parked his car illegally and a ticket was issued, leading to a search of his vehicle and discovery of the murder weapon.
  7. Berkowitz confessed to the shootings and was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences in prison.
  8. He later claimed that he was part of a satanic cult and that other members were involved in the murders, but there is no evidence to support this.
  9. In prison, he became a born-again Christian and changed his name to Son of Hope.
  10. His current whereabouts as of 2023: Berkowitz is still alive and serving his sentence at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility in New York.

READ NEXT: Serial Killer Robert Black, AKA: Smelly Bob

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