David Berkowitz was born in 1953. Rejected and adopted as a child, he concealed his low self-esteem by compulsive lying and bragging. And his extreme shyness toward women by assailing them, starting when he was in his early twenties. His courage bolstered by several non-fatal stabbing attacks. Berkowitz bought a gun in 1976 and began a series of impulse killings that paralyzed New York City. Approaching male and female victims randomly selected as they sat on stoops or in cars.
He shot them at point-blank range. This reign of terror lasted 13 months, resulting in six deaths and seven serious injuries Police had no witnesses. no suspect. and no motive until the discovery of a letter at a crime scene. It read in part, ' I am a monster. I am the Son of Sam love to hunt' and claimed that his father.
'Sam', ordered him to kill, after abusing him violently. A second 'Son of Sam' note was received by newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin. Luck led police to the killer. After a double murder in July 1977 a witness spotted a man jumping into a nearby car that had just received a parking ticket. Police located the car and noticed a gun and a letter on the front seat, written in 'Son of Sam's' handwriting. They arrested Berkowitz, a quiet, smiling man, who lived alone in a filthy apartment covered in trash and mad graft ti.
Berkowitz told police he had taken his alias not from his adoptive father whom he hated, but from the owner or a Labrador dog whose barking kept him awake nights. Pleading insanity, he said he heard voices and that the dog had told him to kill. Judged sane he was convicted of murder and sentenced to 365 years in prison.