David Berkowitz, better known as Son of Sam, is an infamous 1970s New York City serial killer who killed six people and wounded several others. His crimes became legendary because of the bizarre content in the letters that he wrote to the police and the media and his reasons for committing the attacks. With the police feeling the pressure to catch the killer, An investigation team was made using over 200 detectives.
Childhood <ul><li>Berkowitz was born Richard David Malco in Brooklyn, New York. His mother, Betty Broder, was married to Anthony Malco, with whom she had a daughter before the couple separated without legally divorcing. After this, she had an affair with the married Joseph Kleinman, who fathered a son. Kleinman suggested she abort the child, but she gave birth to a boy and listed Malco as the father. </li></ul><ul><li>Before he was a week old, the baby was adopted by hardware store owners Nathan and Pearl Berkowitz, who reversed the order of his first and middle names in addition to giving him their own surname. </li></ul><ul><li>Berkowitz's childhood was somewhat troubled. Although of above-average intelligence, he lost interest in learning at an early age and began an infatuation with petty larceny and pyromania. </li></ul><ul><li>Berkowitz's adoptive mother died of breast cancer when he was thirteen, and his home life became strained in later years, particularly because he disliked his adoptive father's second wife. He later claimed his new step-sister was interested in witchcraft, sparking an interest in the occult he would later pursue more actively. </li></ul><ul><li>He joined the United States Army in 1971, and served on active duty until his honourable discharge in 1974. He avoided service in the Vietnam War , instead serving in both the United States and South Korea. </li></ul>
Was His Childhood an influence on his behaviour? <ul><li>It is already evident that Berkowitz’s childhood was horrible and could well have played a part to the crimes he committed in later life. So maybe if he had a good childhood then he would not have turned out to be a serial killer. So chances are, that he was born a normal baby but because of his corrupt childhood he was driven to a life of obsessive murders. Berkowitz believed that his birth mother was killed giving birth to him which was the source of his intense guilt and anger which many people believed was the reason for his anti-social behaviour and aggression as a child. However his life was still in the middle of getting messed with. He left the army after a disastrous 3 years, in that time he had only one sexual experience which was with a prostitute in which he caught a venereal disease. Once he had returned home he found out that his birth mother was still alive and that he had a sister. Now Berkowitz’s fantasies and paranoid delusions were in full force and his attacks began. </li></ul>
Driven By Demons On Christmas Eve 1975, Berkowitz’s “demons” drove him out into the streets with a hunting knife to find a victim to kill. Later he confessed to plunging his knife into two women, one which could not be confirmed. The second victim, 15-year-old Michelle Forman, survived the attack and was treated for six knife wounds. Soon after the attacks, Berkowitz moved out of the Bronx to a two-family home in Yonkers. It was in this home that the Son of Sam would be created. After this he started his spree with 44 calibre handgun in which it seemed this man killed for the sake of it, innocent people. He believed his next door neighbour dog was telling him to commit these murders of innocent people. Clearly demented he started writing letters to the police which were seen as extremely bizarre and which made people realise his insanity.
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 am a little brat. 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 attic window and watch the world go by. I feel like an outsider. I am on a different wavelength then [sic] everybody else — programmed too [sic] kill. However, to stop me you must kill me. Attention all police: Shoot me first — shoot to kill or else keep out of my way or you will die! Papa Sam is old now. He needs some blood to preserve his youth. He has had too many heart attacks. "Ugh, me hoot, it hurts, sonny boy." I miss my pretty princess most of all. She's resting in our ladies house. But I'll see her soon. I am the "Monster" — "Beelzebub" — the chubby behemouth. I love to hunt. Prowling the streets looking for fair game — tasty meat. The wemon of Queens are prettyist of all. It must be the water they drink. I live for the hunt — my life. Blood for papa. Mr. Borrelli, sir, I don't want to kill anymore. No sur, no more but I must, 'honor thy father.' I want to make love to the world. I love people. I don't belong on earth. Return me to yahoos. To the people of Queens, I love you. And I want to wish all of you a happy Easter. May God bless you in this life and in the next. And for now I say goodbye and goodnight. Police: Let me haunt you with these words: I'll be back! I'll be back! To be interpreted as — bang bang bang, bank, bang — ugh!! Yours in murder, Mr. Monster 
Donna Lauria and Jody Valenti shooting <ul><li>At about 1:10 a.m. on July 29, 1976, Donna, 18, and her friend Jody Valenti, 19, were sitting in a car parked outside their apartment, discussing their evening . As Valenti was about to leave, Lauria noticed a man sleeping in a yellow compact car parked across the street and about sixty feet behind their own car. Neighbours would report to police that an unfamiliar yellow compact car had been cruising the area for hours before the shooting.  </li></ul><ul><li>After her parents were inside, Donna Lauria opened the car door to depart, noticing a man quickly approaching them. Startled and angered by the man's sudden appearance, Lauria said, "Now what is this…" From the paper sack he carried, the man produced a handgun and, crouching as he aimed, fired three shots. Lauria was struck in her chest by one bullet that killed her almost instantly, Valenti took a bullet in her thigh, and the third missed both girls. The shooter turned and quickly walked away. </li></ul><ul><li>The shooter was identified as man in the car. </li></ul>
Cult <ul><li>Berkowitz claims he was part of a cult who helped with the killings and acted as lookouts. He claims he joined the cult and it seemed harmless but then they started taking drug and making sadistic porn as well as killing animals. Police found a dozen mutilated dogs near the area Berkowitz claimed they met. He claims members of the cult acted were rapists and stranglers and two people he accused later died in suspicious circumstances which he claims was down to the cult. </li></ul>
Now <ul><li>He claims to now be a born again christian and is writing a book which he says will raise money for victims of crime. </li></ul><ul><li>http://ariseandshine.org/ </li></ul>