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David Berkowitz life was never easy for him. Being raised not by his real parents, but of the ones that adopted him. His life slowly became harder and harder until her broke. With no help David slowly began losing a sense of what was going on and that s when his killings began.
David is currently serving numerous amounts of life sentences. His life is to believe to have completely changed around, once a satanic follower to now a believer in Christ. There are many theories on what made one man go around killing all the innocent people that he did. Was it the satanic cult? Was he the only one to do the killings? Was David Berkowitz crazy when he committed the crimes?
In this project I plan on putting out the info that I know about pertaining to the crimes committed. I also plan on proving that it David was not insane and that is was the life that he lived that made him into the Son of Sam. David s story begins with his birth on June 1, 1953. David s original name was Richard David Falco. He was adopted by Nat and Pearl Berkowitz, they had adopted him because they could not produce kids and wanted one. David s original parents, Betty Broder and Tony Falco had a difficult story.
Betty married Tony, but was having an affair with Joseph Kleinman. Betty soon became impregnated and Kleinman told Betty in order for them to continue that she had to put David up for adoption as soon as he was born. David attended his first school at P. S. 77 in the Bronx, but isn t really remembered there. A third grade student remembered him as being shy, quiet and quick to weep when reprimanded. David may have been chubby and a loner in school but he was smart.
David scored a 118 (a superior level) on an IQ test in 1960, proving that he couldn t have killed people because of his IQ. David s life began to become even more messed up when he found out that he was adopted at the age of three. He was told that his mother died at birth, which left him with a feel of guilt. He believed that he had caused his mothers death and that his natural father hated him. Perhaps he learned too young that he was adopted, or maybe the knowledge brought out some inborn flaw that was the true cause of his homicidal nature. David began a hatred for women at a young age.
At the age of five, a group of girls poured sand in his hair, and his mother, unsympathetic, blamed him for the trouble and slapped him. Around that time it was believed that David once hit a girl with a toy gun and split her scalp. Even though student s remember him as being quite, David remember himself as being wild, unruly, undisciplined child- I was the worst in school. That could never hold up because he was never bad enough for anyone to really remember him. By the sixth grade David had lost all thirst for learning and often was in trouble for not doing his homework. In junior high school he engaged in petty vandalism, breaking car windows, and many other little things.
He was also soon on his way to becoming a pyromaniac, setting dozens of tiny fires, only to extinguish them. According to psychologists, this signals deep-seated anger and aggression. Not only did David start setting fires; he also began torturing and killing little animals, among those, his mother s pet parakeet. The parakeet was fed small amounts of cleaning powder over a period of weeks. David was remembered by neighbors as a nice looking boy with a violent streak, a bully who assaulted neighborhood kids for no apparent reason. When David was in his early teens, his parents tried to flee their changing neighborhood the middle-class safety of the enormous sprawling high-rise development of Co-Op City.
David was already slipping in life and things didn t get much better for him. His adopted mother Pearl had suffered from breast cancer before he was born. When it reoccurred in 1965 and 1967, David was shocked because no one had told him about it. By the time the new apartment was ready, Pearl had died. David was fourteen at the time and was completely devastated. Pearl s death had made David s isolation even more pronounced, and every aspect of life suffered as a result.
After the funeral, his grades and his school attendance took a nosedive. Pear s death brought out increasing aimlessness and resentment. David began to think that her death was part of some plan out to destroy him. In 1971 Nat remarried a woman that did not get along with David. They moved to a retirement area in Florida, leaving David to drift, absent of a purpose or a goal. The same year that David was left all alone, he decided to join the army, where he became an excellent marksman.
It was said that David s only sexual encounter occurred during his stay in the army. While in the army his general rating declared him an outstanding and dependable soldier. David even entered an educational program to better himself and improve his military performance. The encounter would not be a good one; the woman was a Korean prostitute that resulted in David contracting a venereal disease. In June of 1974, David was given an honorable discharge from the army. David begins to go back to his pyromania of his childhood.
Between May 13, 1974 and his arrest in 1977, he set about 1, 411 fires in the city of New York and kept a diary of each one. He was acting out a control fantasy. Robert Ressler in his book Whoever Fights Monsters explains: Most arsonists like the feeling that they are responsible for the excitement and violence of a fire. With the simple act of lighting matches, they control events in society that are not normally controlled; they orchestrate the fire, the screaming arrival and deployment of the fire trucks and fire fighters, the gathering of crowds, the destruction of property and sometimes people. In the diaries that were written by Berkowitz, grids that included the dates and times of the fires, the streets and boroughs in which they occurred, the numbers of local fireboxes, and the fire department codes indicating the types of apparatus. Some of the fires were in empty lots; others were in cars, a few resulted in major blazes that destroyed buildings.
David began driving a taxi for a living, and in the spring of 1975 he enrolled at Bronx Community College. Still not knowing what to do with his life Berkowitz skipped school often and sat in the back of the room. After a little while, David found a new project to take care of, finding his real parents. David join an organization called ALMA, the Adoptee s Liberty Movement Association, which gives counsel and emotional support to adopted searching for their birth parents.
At and ALMA meeting he told the story of his mother s death. Many of the other adopted, who was informed, heard a similar story. His mother was more than likely alive. David finally began pressing Nat for the truth and got it. The son was jolted to learn that he was an accident, a mistake, never meant to be born-unwanted. The bittersweet tragedy of innocently killing his mother by being born was supplanted by a more brutal truth, that hi birth mother had cast him aside.
He set about the task to find her. His other compulsions were put on hold. Even his obsessions with starting fires. David began by getting an original copy of his birth certificate, discovering that he was born in Brooklyn to a woman named Betty Falco, and began calling every Falco in Brooklyn telephone directory. He came up empty, but, acting on a tip from ALMA, he went to a library and began coming through out-of-date phone books.
Digging all the way back to 1965, he found a betty Falco. Berkowitz called an information operator and asked for the Betty Falco at the 1965 address. She was still there; her number wasn t in the current phone because obviously she was unlisted. It was May 1975, close to Mother s Day and Berkowitz bought a greeting card with a little poem on it. He signed the card with R. F.
for his birth name and added his telephone number, then carried it to her apartment and put it in her mailbox. A few days later, the phone rang and he had found her. They arranged for a meeting at the apartment of Betty s daughter, David s half sister, whose name was Roslyn. The Encounter was one of the most emotional moments in David Berkowitz s life. His mother apologized for giving him up for adoption and told him the circumstance surrounding his birth and even told him that his father did not hate him. As a matter of fact he did not hate, nor blame or even care about him in one way or another.
David began visiting his mom and half sister regularly on weekends for the next year. But finding his family still did not fill the void. On June 6, 1975, Berkowitz started lighting fires again. During the time he was looking for his family, Berkowitz s attendance at Bronx Community College dried up entirely.
He took a job as a security guard near John F. Kennedy Airport, working midnight to 8 a. m. His main company during these lonely hours was the guard dogs that went with him on rounds. His isolation from the rest of humanity was now nearly complete.
Sometime during this period is when he is believed to start hearing voices and over time they believably, in his mind became demons, urging him to violence. Berkowitz was not leading a very good life, he would go to work then come home, live on a diet of TV dinners, soda, and milk. Dirty dishes stacked up in the apartment, and the floor was littered with trash. In place of a shade on his window was a dull gray blanket, nailed in place to permanently block the sun. His bed was a bare mattress on the floor.
After a while Berkowitz left his security job and became a duct worker for an air-conditioning company. His foreman remember his as quiet and a loner, so despondent on some occasions that he would break into tears. He was profoundly depressed and, increasingly, dangerously paranoid. Everything had caught up with David and he didn t go crazy, but he let out his anger on the world and on women.
Berkowitz applied for a New York State rifle permit, it was granted early the following year. On March 2, 1975, Berkowitz slipped out with his newly acquired 12 -gauge shotgun. He spotted what he later described as a muzzled German shepherd, surrounded by a pack of other canines. Drawing a head on the shepherd, he shot it.
The killing somehow fit into the demonic fantasy world that was now Berkowitz s mental terrain. He left races of its beginnings in his apartment on Barnes Avenue. Scrawled graffiti defaced the walls: Kill for my master and I turn children into Killers! This could have easily been related to the cult that he was in. It was now that Berkowitz would begin to strike his victims. It was the night of Christmas Eve, 1975 and Berkowitz was ready to take out some of his anger on the world that did not accept him in the way he wanted to be accepted.
Early in the evening he tucked a hunting knife into the waist of his blue jeans and covered it with a jacket and drove to Co-op City. Berkowitz spied on woman leaving a supermarket store. It wasn t until he saw her, about thirty feet from a streetlight, when he attacked. Coming up from behind and stabbing her in her back, the lady didn t say anything, she just looked back at David.
Then as Berkowitz raised the knife again, the woman began to wail. The woman dropped her groceries and, still wailing, began grappling with Berkowitz. He stabbed her repeatedly, but to no apparent effect. Finally he panicked and bolted away from both his intended victim and his car.
If David Berkowitz was really crazy, would of he waited? Would of he ran from a crime? This is where the cult would come in. It was said that he was in a satanic cult, which would explain all of the demons that he spoke of. The first time out on a killing spree would scare just about anyone and David was surprised by the reaction from the lady, unlike the helpless little animals that he had killed when he was smaller. The second chance to kill would come around his father s old apartment, where anger would overcome him.
The victim was Michelle Forman, 15, and a sophomore at a nearby high school. As she walked across a bridge, David pursued her and stabbed at her head from behind. He took three more thrusts at her upper body, then two more at the girl s face. She then fell to the ground. Berkowitz again not knowing what to do began to run, but Michelle tried to stop him by grabbing his legs. As he vanished, she staggered toward her parents apartment building, hit the lobby buzzer and collapsed.
She was found lying in her own blood: One of the six thrusts that Berkowitz had given had collapsed on of her lungs. Michelle Forman survived, but there was little in her account to authorities that could lead them to David. Berkowitz had fled to a diner close to the crime scene so he could listen to the police sirens as he compulsively ate a huge meal. In February 1976 Berkowitz moved out of his apartment on Barnes Avenue. He left New York City and rented a place over the garage of a married couple in the nearby suburb of New Rochelle. He was hoping to make a new start.
That summer he had taken the U. S. Civil Service examination and applied for a job with the post office. Berkowitz s new landlords, Name and Jack Cassara, accepted a $ 200 deposit and gave him a two-year lease. Around this time David claims that hallucinations of evil dogs howling for blood became more intense. The dog that would be doing the howling would be Cassara s pet German shepherd.
The dog s nocturnal barking made David s life miserable. Others soon joined the one canine. One Sunday morning the noise became so unendurable that Berkowitz rushed screaming out onto the driveway below his apartment. During his stay in New Rochelle, Berkowitz became convinced that some of his demons-the most important ones- lived in the dog s owners. In his imagination, Jack Cassara was really General Jack Cosmo, commander of the dog-demon army.
Cosmo controlled the tormenting voiced; he was the Lucifer of Berkowitz s private Hell. In April Berkowitz could take it no more, so he moved and left his $ 200 behind. He moved into thirty-five Pine Street, an apartment building in a quiet area of Yonkers. David now had a supposed another demon leader in his mind, Sam Car, 63, the semi-retired owner of a local telephone answering system. Car s home was visible from Berkowitz s new apartment. David had gotten aquatinted with Sam.
Sam had three children and a black Labrador retriever. The dog horrified Berkowitz with hideous psychic noises. According to Berkowitz, Sam Car worked for Jack Cosmo and was high official of the devil s legion. More demons came into the mind of David, Robert Neto soon became known as Join, or the Joker. It gets better Sam Car had now taken power from Jack Cosmo. Joker shared a house with another prince of darkness known only as the Duke of Death.
Next door lived John Wheaties, who ran a hotel of sorts for the demons who, tortured Berkowitz. David believed that demons from all around the world would stay at Wheaties hotel. After picking up a Charter Arms Bulldog revolver and. 44 caliber ammo in Houston, David traveled back to New York to take care of business. For the remainder the time and the next thirteen months New York would be terrorized by the serial killer known as the Son of Sam. In this period of time, David Berkowitz shot to death six people, five of them young women, and wounded seven others. He fired a total of thirty-one bullets in eight separate attacks.
He struck at random, often on weekends, searching out young couples in lovers lanes. In each shooting he used a. 44 -caliber revolver, which earned him his first nickname. The 44 -caliber killer. It wasn t till after he killed a young couple in a parked car off the Hutchinson River Parkway in the Bronx, that he left the first letter, addressed to the detective heading the case, Captain Joseph Borelli.
At the bottom of the letter David Berkowitz wrote the Son of Sam. From there out he was known as the Son of Sam and the time would be known as the Summer of Sam. The capture of David Berkowitz was rather amusing. The task force that was on the case was known as the Omega force. The force was searching through unpaid parking tickets, because at the last killing that happened, a cop was giving parking tickets and Berkowitz was a receiver of one. They searched through many parking tickets until they came upon David.
They then put his apartment and car under surveillance. It was about 1 p. m. on August 10, when Berkowitz stumbled out of bed got dressed and stashed his arsenal of weapons in the back of his car. While the team waited for a search warrant they saw the weapons in the back seat of Berkowitz car. A flood of New York police headed north to Yonkers, and many officers were on the scene by early evening.
While they waited, Craig Glassman walked out of thirty-five Pine Street and peered in Berkowitz s car. He was instantly surrounded and searched, but when he identified himself as a deputy sheriff he was invited to join in the arrest. It was a little before 10 p. m. Berkowitz walked out of the apartment building and slid into the drivers seat of the Galaxie. Detectives Bill Gardella and John Falotico were the first to approach him.
Pointing his gun through the partially open passenger-side window, Gardella shouted: Police! Don t Move! Freeze! Berkowitz slowly turned his head and smiled. Falotico opened the door on the driver s side. Berkowitz then stepped out of the car, and Falotico handcuffed him.
Well, you got me, said David, and mumbled something else that wasn t heard very well. Now that I ve got you, Falotico said, who have I got? You know, David replied. No I don t, You tell me. Falotico countered.
Still smiling, he answered, I m Sam. David Berkowitz. David Berkowitz freely confessed to all the murders, giving accurate details that only the real killer would of have known. He seemed fascinated and pleased with all the attention he was receiving and offered no remorse for his crimes. David was found guilty and sentenced to 364 years in prison at the Attica Correctional Facility. The unit that brought down the Son of Sam consisted of 300 officers and it questioned 3, 000 suspects.
It handled 215 calls a day, and include an attempt to check each of the 28, 000. 44 caliber Bulldog revolvers manufactured in the United States. The over cost of all this was about 90, 000 dollars a day. Now Berkowitz is serving his sentences and is believed to be a changed man. He has his own website has a book and proclaims the word of God. How can someone who plead insanity to a crime of murder, suddenly be sane enough to follow the complete opposite of what he followed before. How can someone who scored extremely high on an IQ test plainly be insane?
It is believed that Berkowitz may have been in a satanic cult, which wouldn t make him crazy. It was also believed that Berkowitz wasn t the only killer and that the cult was part of that, simply because the descriptions of the Son of Sam differed. It is also true that two shrinks questioned David and they believed him to be fine and not insane, but would later change their mind. In conclusion, how can a man be so smart, want to kill besides losing his mind? Well, David Berkowitz was tossed aside when he was small, he had a hatred for women, which where his prime victims, he was always known as a loner and he never had any real friends.
That may lead someone to insanity, but not David Berkowitz. He led a life that would suggest that insanity could not be part of the killings. A man that was in the army and was known as being very dependable is now insane? Would anyone in his or her right mind ever find an insane person as being dependable? A man that could get jobs, but was lost on what his purpose in life was.
After doing much research my conclusion is that insanity is not the reason that David Berkowitz killed. The reason for his killings was his childhood. He wanted revenge on everyone and wanted to take it out on women. He never lost his mind, but he was more than likely part of a satanic cult.
David Berkowitz is believed to have changed his religion and follows the word of God. That s about the only insane thing I think Berkowitz has said or believably done.
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