By Saul Roth
The Son of Sam killer David Berkowitz is an American serial murderer who pleaded guilty to eight shootings that began in New York City on July 29, 1976. The .44 Caliber Killer has been called one of America’s most notorious criminals.
Berkowitz, who was born and raised in New York City served during the Vietnam War. He used a .44 Special Bulldog Revolver to kill six people as well wound seven others by July 1977.
Berkowitz was caught on August 10, 1977 and promptly confessed to all eight shooting cases. He initially claimed that an evil spirit had ordered him to commit these crimes.
Berkowitz’s story of being attacked by a dog and devil has been revealed as fiction. He admitted to second-degree murder, but said that it was just an elaborate scheme for attention from authorities.
The case of David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz became one that enlisted the attention and energy from law enforcement agencies across New York. After he released his memoirs about being hunted by reporters, new laws were put into place to stop criminals like him from financially profiting during crime coverage media exposure.
On August 10, 1977 police officers investigating Berkowitz’s car that was parked on the street outside his apartment building at 35 Pine Street in Yonkers discovered a gun hidden within its depths. They discovered ammunition along with maps of reported crime scenes from which he would later attack.
The New York City Police Department decided to wait for Berkowitz in order avoid any violence or legal issues that might arise during their search. They also wanted evidence of the crime scene so they could get a warrant before entering, but since no one knew what would happen at this point – especially with how unpredictable he seemed- there were many risks involved. Detective Sgt. William Gardella approached the driver’s side of Berkowitz’ car while Detective John Falotico pointed his gun close to this suspect’s temple. The warrant still hadn’t arrived, so they were planning on holding him until it did.
When Berkowitz was caught, he told police that they had him because of the .44 caliber Bulldog revolver found next to him in his car. He said it flatly: “You got me”. As described by Lawrence D Klausner in Son Of Sam (1981), Detective Falotico remembered the big smile on the man’s face.
Berkowitz’s confession began with an early morning interrogation that lasted about 30 minutes. He quickly confessed to shooting six people and expressed interest in pleading guilty, claiming his neighbor’s dog was one reason he did so.
The name “Son of Sam” will always be associated with one of America’s most notorious serial killers. The man who took credit for all these crimes, David Berkowitz has expressed remorse in interviews and does not seem too eager to continue living under that moniker if it could help him get out from behind bars where he currently resides.