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David Berkowitz Aka .44 Caliber Killer: The Biggest Crimes

David Berkowitz aka Son Of Sam
David Berkowitz aka Son Of Sam

David Richard Berkowitz, also widely recognized as the Son of Sam and the.44 Caliber Killer was born Richard David Falco on June 1, 1953. He is an American serial killer who admitted to being responsible for 8 shooting deaths that started in New York City on July 29, 1976. Berkowitz was a member of the American Army and grew up in New York City.

By July 1977, he had shot dead 6 people and injured 7 others with a .44 Special caliber Bulldog revolver, terrorizing New Yorkers and fast-growing fame. While releasing letters that made fun of the police and threatened additional crimes, which were widely reported by the press, Berkowitz managed to escape the largest police search operation in the city’s history. 

On August 10, 1977, Berkowitz was taken into custody and later charged with 8 shootings. When he first actually admitted to them all, he said that he had been following the commands of a devil who had taken the shape of Sam’s neighbor’s dog. He was given 6 successive life sentences in state prison with the option of parole after 25 years because of being discovered to be mentally fit to stand trial and confess to his murder conviction.

Later, he acknowledged that the tale of the dog and the devil was a fabrication. As a result of additional police inquiries, Berkowitz was also connected to numerous unanswered arson cases in the city.

Son Of Sam arrested

Son Of Sam arrested

Berkowitz was given stardom as a result of the case’s media attention, which several spectators mentioned that he appeared to enjoy. In reply, the New York State Legislature passed new laws, also referred to as “Son of Sam laws,” that were intended to prevent criminals from financially benefiting from the attention their crimes generated. Despite multiple court challenges, the laws have survived in New York State, and comparable laws have been passed in a number of other states.

Also Read: Memories of Murder Ending Explained: The Killer is Apprehended!

Initial Life Of Son Of  Sam

Betty Broder, who was engaged in a relationship with married person Joseph Kleinman, gave birth to Berkowitz on June 1, 1953. At the time, Broder was wed to a man named Anthony Falco. Berkowitz was given away for adoption before he had even reached the age of a week. He was given to Nathan and Pearl Berkowitz, landlords of a hardware store, who provided him with a normal childhood and renamed him David Richard Berkowitz. Berkowitz, who was tall for his age, frequently felt odd and ugly. His adoptive family struggled to control his irritability, and he loved baseball.

When he was 5, he occasionally had to share Nathan’s shower, and in the succeeding year, he became aware of the influence men have over women after witnessing a person enter the women’s side of a bathhouse and startle the inhabitants. Berkowitz sustained head injuries in 2 distinct incidents in 1960: first, when he was struck by a car; second, when he did run into a ceiling. He was struck on the head with a pipe the very next year, resulting in a 4-inch  gash on his forehead.

After starting 100s of fires when he was 12 years old, Berkowitz began torturing and murdering living creatures the following year. He typically killed insects by burning and gluing them with super glue. The Berkowitz family eventually relocated to escape the shifting neighborhood they were living in, but Pearl passed away from breast cancer on October 5, 1967. After that, Berkowitz’s health declined, his academic performance dropped, and his religious convictions grew weak. He was also teased because of his weight, which made him uncomfortable in social situations.

old Berkowitz

old Berkowitz

The Killings Of Berkowitz

According to Berkowitz, his 1st crimes were a knife attack on 2 women in mid-1975, one day when he had put out his final fire. One of the attacks—the one on Michelle Foreman—was proven to have taken place, but both the people are said to have lived. He was never held accountable for these assaults, and in the summer of 1976, he started the murderous rampage that would make him well-known. He fired Donna Lauria and Jody Valenti on July 29, 1976. When they were shot, they were seated in a parked vehicle in front of Donna Lauria’s residence. Jody Valenti miraculously survived, which received little media coverage.

Later, on October 23, 1976, Berkowitz traveled to Queens and assaulted a different couple who were seated in a stopped vehicle. This minute, Carl Denaro withstood a head wound, but his friend was unharmed. He gunned down teen girls Donna DeMasi and Joanne Lomino as they were returning home from the movies just over a month ago, on November 26, 1976. While Lomino was left paralyzed after the shooting, DeMasi managed to recover. After pausing for a few months, Berkowitz resumed taking shots on January 30, 1977. Christine Freund and John Diel, a committed couple, were the targets of this strike.

Berkowitz giving Interview

Also Read: Clutter Family Murders: What Happened That Day?

While Freund passed away from her harm, Diel did not. Police discovered that the gun used in the shooting incidents was a.44 caliber Charter Arms Bulldog following this attack. On March 10, 1977, the police made an announcement to the public revealing the same.44 caliber gun was involved in a series of shootings. In an effort to make their stories more dramatic, the media became enraged and started looking into every little precision.

Mode Of Operation

A 5-round, close-quarters combat-specific.44 Special Charter Arms Bulldog revolver was Berkowitz’s choice of gun. The majority of the shooting incidents were stunning attacks, but he occasionally employed deceptions to cover up his true motives, as in the shootings of Lauria and Valenti when he hid the weapon in a paper bag and DeMasi and Lomino when he confronted them and requested directions.

His victims were diverse in age, race, and social class, but they were typically seated in cars as lovers in their teenage years. He also made attacks on Saturdays and Sundays in the early hours. After the killings, Berkowitz would also engage in masturbation at the scene of the crime.

Also Read: Mystery Of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon Disappearance

Written By

Hi, My Name Is Vishal & I am from Mumbai. As I am a movie enthusiast I love watching movies. Apart from this, I am an Air NCC cadet and Fitness lover. I am here to express my love for writing.

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