David Berkowitz: The Son Of Sam

David Berkowitz, more famously known as the “Son of Sam” killer, is one of the most infamous serial killers in history. He terrorized New York City with a string of shootings that left six people dead and seven injured between 1976 and 1977. Berkowitz grew up in the Bronx with an adoptive mother and father. From a young age, Berkowitz felt neglected and isolated from his peers. It is believed that this lack of connection to those around him contributed to his later killings. On July 29, 1976, Berkowitz began his killing spree when he shot two women who were sitting in a parked car. Shortly after, he shot three other individuals in separate incidents. After each shooting, he would leave behind a note for police containing clues about his identity. It was in one of these notes that he first introduced himself as the “Son of Sam”. Despite the fact that police questioned nearly 1,500 people, they were unable to identify the shooter until the summer of 1977. By then, Berkowitz had shot several more victims and even sent letters to columns in newspapers. It was through one of these letters that police were able to trace the letter back to Berkowitz. When he was eventually taken into custody, Berkowitz confessed to all of the shootings. It was at this time that it was revealed that he had been targeting victims based on their hair color, in particular brunettes. He also revealed that he had been hearing voices, which had told him to kill the victims. After his confession, Berkowitz pled guilty to all of his charges and was sentenced to 365 years in prison. In 1987 he converted to Christianity and began speaking out against the occult and satanic activities with which he had once been involved. Today, David Berkowitz is still serving out his sentence at the Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, New York. He remains one of the most notorious serial killers of all time and a reminder of the lengths to which people can go when consumed by hatred and isolation.