Where is David Berkowitz now? 'Son of Sam' killer once said he was 'chaplain, counselor and friend' to inmates
Six people were killed and seven others were wounded in a series of shootings that terrorized New Yorkers in 1976 and 1977. The shootings were linked to a serial killer who was known as 'The Son of Sam' in letters to the press and police.
Eventually, 24-year-old David Berkowitz was arrested and convicted of the crimes. But some believe he did not act alone. So where is Berkowitz now? Is he still alive? Here's what you need to know about the '.44 Caliber Killer'.
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Is David Berkowitz still alive?
David Berkowitz was born on June 1, 1953, and grew up in New York City. He is, at present, 67 years old, and has been incarcerated since his arrest. He is serving six consecutive life sentences. Before committing his crimes, the ex-US Army soldier was working as a letter sorter for the US Postal Service. By July 1977, he had killed six people and wounded seven others with a.44 calibre Bulldog revolver.
Psychologists have said Berkowitz' troubled childhood may have been the starting place for his behavior. Elizabeth "Betty" Broder, his mother, grew up in a poor Jewish family and worked as a waitress. In 1936, she married Tony Falco, an Italian American. Tony Falco left her for another woman after just four years of marriage. Eventually, Berkowitz was adopted by a Jewish-American couple, Pearl and Nathan Berkowitz, of the Bronx.
He carried out eight separate handgun attacks, some of which were against amorous couples in parked vehicles, but all of them targeted young women in their teens and 20s, Fortean Times reported. Out of the 13 people attacked, six died of their injuries. They were Donna Lauria, Carl Denaro (a long-haired male mistaken for a woman), Christine Freund, Virginia Voskerichian, Valentina Suriani, and Stacy Moskowitz, the report stated. On May 30, 1977, the shooter sent a handwritten letter to New York Daily News columnist Jimmy Breslin. It was signed "Son of Sam."
Where is David Berkowitz now?
Berkowitz is now 67 and incarcerated in Ulster County, New York's Shawangunk Correctional Facility. For each of the six ‘Son of Sam' murders, he was sentenced to the full prison term of 25 years to life, to be served consecutively, resulting in a total sentence of over 300 years in prison. He was eligible for parole only 25 years after he was convicted in 1978 because he pled guilty to all charges against him, Radio Times reported.
Since 2002, Berkowitz has been considered for parole every two years, but has been rejected each time. He has not requested his release. His most recent parole hearing was supposed to take place in the spring of 2020, but it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I work in the mental health unit,” Berkowitz said, talking about the work he was doing in prison for his fellow inmates in a 2002 interview with CNN's Larry King. “It’s called intermediate care program. And I’m there as like a peer counselor for the men that have emotional problems. Every morning, Monday through Friday, I go over there to work with those guys. And that’s really a challenge, and I enjoy doing that very much.”
“It’s in an unofficial capacity,” he said. “I’m kind of like a combination chaplain, counselor, guidance counselor and just a friend to those guys.”