David Berkowitz – 1976-1977

By | January 3, 2017

“I am deeply hurt by your calling me a wemon [sic] hater. I am not. I am the ‘Son of Sam”

david-berkowitz

A note written by the “Son of Sam”

THE CRIME:

The first attack happened on Christmas Eve 1975 when two girls were assaulted with a knife. The first murders occurred at 1.10am on 29 July 1976. Donna Lauria, 18, and Jody Valenti, 19, were in a car outside 2860 Buhre Avenue, Bronx, discussing a visit to a disco when a man approached and shot them, killing Donna and wounding Jody.

At 1.30am on 23 October 1976 Carl Denaro, 20, and Rosemary Keenan, 18, were shot as they sat in a car at Flushing, Queens. At 12.40am on 27 November Joanne Lomino, 18, and Donna DeMasi, 16, were shot as they chatted outside Donna’s home on 262nd Street, Queens. Joanne was left disabled. At 12.40am on 30 January 1977 Christine Freund, 26, and her fiancé John Diel, 30, were shot in their Pontiac Firebird in Queens. Freund died at 4.10am in St John’s Hospital.

At 7.30pm on 8 March 1977 Virginia Voskerichian became the next victim. She was shot in the head as she walked home from Barnard College, Columbia University. At 3am on 17 April 1977 Valentina Suriani, 18, and Alexander Esau, 20, were each shot twice as they kissed in Esau’s car near the Hutchinson River in the Bronx area (a block away from where Donna Laurie had been shot).

The media and police believed that the killer was a misogynist and called him the .44 Calibre Killer after the type of gun he used. In the street near the shooting a policeman found a letter addressed to Captain Joseph Borrelli. It read, “…I am deeply hurt by your calling me a wemon [sic] hater. I am not. But I am a monster. I am the ‘Son of Sam’ … I’ll be back, I’ll be back! … Yours in murder — Mr Monster”.

At 3.20am on 26 June 1977 Judy Placido, 17, and Salvatore Lupo, 20, were shot in a car outside 45-39 211th Street, Queens. The last attack occurred at 1.45am on 31 July 1977. Stacy Moskowitz and Bobby Violante were parked at Gravesend Bay in Brooklyn. Stacy died at 5.22pm on 1 August at the Coney Island Hospital. Bobby survived but was left blind after losing his left eye and 80 per cent of the sight in his right. A witness had seen the car that the killer escaped in and noticed that it had a parking ticket. There had been just four tickets issued that morning — one to David Berkowitz of 35 Pine Street, Yonkers. At 10.15pm on 10 August 1977 he was arrested.

WHERE:

Bronx; Queens, New York, USA

WHEN:

Thursday 29 July 1976—Sunday 31 July 1977

THE AFTERMATH:

Arraigned on 23 August 1977, Berkowitz was sentenced to 365 years in prison. The name Sam came from the dog of a neighbour, Sam Carr, that Berkowitz claimed kept him up all night so he shot it.

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