David Berkowitz, born Richard David Falco; June 1, 1953, also known as Son of Sam and the .44 Caliber Killer, is an American serial killer and arsonist who terrorized New York City from July 1976 until August 1977. At the time of his arrest, he was employed by the U.S. Postal Service. He has been imprisoned for these crimes since 1977. Berkowitz subsequently claimed that he was commanded to kill by a demon who possessed his neighbor’s dog. Berkowitz later confessed he was the shooter in only two incidents, personally killing three people and wounding a fourth. The other victims were killed, Berkowitz claimed, by members of a violent satanic cult. The Son of Sam case was reopened in 1996 and, as of 2004, and is still considered open. watch David Berkowitz: Son of Sam Killer 1/3
Before he was a week old, the baby was adopted by Pearl and Nathan Jay Berkowitz. The Berkowitzs’ were advised by the adoption agency to tell Sam his mother was dead. Berkowitz’s childhood was troubled. Although of above-average intelligence, he lost interest in learning at an early age and began an infatuation with petty larceny and pyromania. Berkowitz’s adoptive mother died of breast cancer when he was thirteen, and his home life became strained; he disliked his father’s second wife. Later in Berkowitzs’ life, his father admitted his birth mother was still alive, alleviating Berkowitz from a lifetime of guilt. In 1974 Berkowitz located his birth mother, now Betty Falco. She disclosed secrets of her own: the details of his illegitimate conception and birth. Berkowitz was devastated: her story confirmed that he was never wanted. He became obsessed with killing women, believing women were the cause of his unhappiness. Listen to Elliott Smith Son of Sam.
His first attacks occurred in late 1975, when he attacked two women with a knife on Christmas Eve. One alleged victim was never identified, but the other victim, Michelle Forman, was put in the hospital. Not long afterward, Berkowitz moved to an apartment in Yonkers. At about 1:10 a.m. on July 29, 1976, Donna Lauria, 18, and her friend Jody Valenti, 19, were sitting in Valenti’s car, parked outside her apartment. Berkowitz produced a handgun and Lauria was struck in her chest by one bullet that killed her almost instantly, Valenti took a bullet in her thigh. In the early morning of the October 23, 1976, a shooting occurred in Queens. Carl Denaro, 25, and Rosemary Keenan, 38, were parked in a residential area. Keenan was driving her car and Denaro was in the passenger seat. At about 1:30 a.m., the car’s windows seemed to explode, and several bullets struck the car. Keenan had superficial injuries from the broken glass, but Denaro eventually needed a metal plate to replace a portion of his skull. Watch Most Evil: Attention Seekers 1/4
Berkowitz sent a series of letters to police and in one he wrote: “I am Son of Sam. 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 window and watch the world go by. I feel like an outsider.”
Cacilia Davis, who lived near one crime scene saw Berkowitz in her neighborhood after a double murder. She contacted police and Berkowitz police arrested him on August 10, 1977. His first words upon arrest were, “You got me. What took you so long?” During his sentencing, Berkowitz repeatedly chanted “Stacy was a whore” at a low yet audible volume. He was referring, presumably, to Stacy Moskowitz, who died in the final .44 caliber shooting. His behavior caused an uproar, and the courtroom was adjourned. Watch Deranged – Son of Sam: In Court – deranged
On June 12, 1978, he was sentenced to 25 years-to-life in prison for the murders, making his maximum term 365 years. watch A & E Biography David Berkowitz/The Son of Sam 2/4