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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Son of Sam' serial killer speaks out and decries gun violence 35 years after arrest for terrorizing NYC Read more:

David Berkowitz, one of America’s most notorious serial killers, has said from prison that 'society has to take the glory out of guns.'
The Son of Sam killer spoke to the New York Daily News from the maximum security Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, N.Y, where he's serving 25 years to life for killing six people during a terrifying 13-month shooting spree in the 1970s.
Speaking out exactly 35 years after his reign of terror ended, Berkowitz lamented the recent fatal shootings in Colorado, the mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and gun crime on New York City streets, including the shooting of a 4-year-old boy in the Bronx.

Serial killer: David Berkowitz, the 'Son of Sam' killer, has spoken out from prison lamenting the gun violence America has witnessed this summer including the Colorado and Wisconsin mass shootings
Berkowitz, who was arrested outside his Yonkers home on August 10 1977, said 'young people are losing direction and don't value life.'

    Also known as the ‘.44 Caliber Killer’ after his weapon of choice, Berkowitz said gun control was for legislators to work out. His hope is for young people to realize 'just how terrible this violence is.'
    Said 59-year-old Berkowitz: 'When they use a gun ... they ruin their lives too.'
    ‘I would love to speak bluntly to those gangbanging teens and wanna-bes and tell them prison is nothing like what you think,’ said Berkowitz, who confesses to having enemies behind bars. 
    During the interview, the Son of Sam killer referenced the killing of 4-year-old Lloyd Morgan, who was hit by a stray bullet in the Bronx last month. 
    He said that as time goes by you realise ‘that one moment of uncontrolled impulse leads to loss of life.’ 
    Caught: Detective Ed Zigo, right, leads a smiling Berkowitz from a squad car to a court appearance. Berkowitz was first arrested outside his home 35 years ago today
    Berkowitz, a then 24-year-old postal worker from the Bronx, began his killing spree in July 1976, with the shooting of 18-year-old Donna Lauria and Jody Valenti, 19.
    As the teenagers left their car in Pelham Bay, New York, Berkowitz suddenly appeared, shooting Miss Lauria dead and wounding her friend Miss Valenti.
    He struck again in October 1976, wounding a driver and her passenger as he shot up their car as they drove through Queens.
    His next victims, two friends aged 16 and 18, were shot by Berkowitz as they chatted under a street lamp in Queens.
    He approached the girls, pretending to ask for directions before shooting them at point blank range.
    While both survived, one of the girls - Joanne Lomino - was rendered a paraplegic.
    It was not until his next murder in January 1977 that police acknowledged the killings might be linked.
    In March police set up a 300 strong Operation Omega, headed by Deputy Inspector Timothy J. Dowd, to hunt for the killer.
    Details were hard to come by, but what police knew was that all the victims had been shot with a .44 calibre pistol.
    In April Berkowitz left the first of his notorious hand written letters beside the bodies of two more of his victims.
    Son of Sam: Berkowitz shot 13 people in cold blood - killing six. Seen right is one of several bizarre notes he sent taunting police 
    Calling himself the 'Son of Sam', Berkowitz's letter was a bizarre rant about how his 'father' mistreated him, locking him in an attic all day.
    He signed off with the taunting: 'Police — Let me haunt you with these words; I'll be back! I'll be back! To be interrpreted [sic] as — bang, bang, bang, bank, bang — ugh!! Yours in murder Mr. Monster.'
    In May, New York Post columnist Jimmy Breslin received another letter from 'Son of Sam', and when the menacing contents were made public, panic set in across New York city.
    With the killer only striking those with long black hair, women in the city rushed to cut or dye their hair, causing a shortage of peroxide.
    Such was the sensational media coverage, people stayed indoors and the streets were deserted after dark.
    Berkowitz was eventually caught after one final murder and was sentenced to six life sentences in 1978.
    Vital: A parking ticket on Berkowitz's yellow Ford Galaxie (pictured) led detectives to his Yonkers home. Police said they found a .44 calibre Bulldog revolver under the seat of the car
    While in prison, Berkowitz claimed he was the member of a satanic cult who had directed him to carry out the killings.
    Ten years into his prison sentence, Berkowitz became a born again Christian and now spreads his message with the help of a group of friends who print religious pamphlets telling his life story, including his conversion to Christianity and his warnings to youth. 
    Talking about his killing spree he told the Daily News that he felt as if he was under ‘demonic control’ and says he doesn’t even recognise the ‘Son of Sam’ persona. 
    He also told the paper how he clings to his childhood memories of growing up in the Bronx and fantasizes about what his life would have been like had he not committed crime. 
    Berkowitz is no longer seeking appeals to reduce his sentence saying it is not fair to put his victims through any more pain. 
    'I have regrets about all the people I hurt, about what my life would have been like. I’ve missed out on a lot. But God has given me peace about my situation,’ he said. 

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