'Mindhunter' season 2: David Berkowitz's letters signed as 'Son of Sam' could help FBI agents decode the notorious killer
While Charles Manson and Atlanta Child Murders suspect Wayne Williams are expected to be seen in season two, David Richard Berkowitz—known as Son of Sam and the .44 Caliber Killer—might also play a major role.
David Fincher's 'Mindhunter' on Netflix is an insight into the series of horrendous crimes committed by savage serial killers. If the conversation between Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and infamous murderer Ed Kemper (Cameron Britton) hasn't already scared the living daylights out of you, there are multiple other criminals making their way to season two. While Charles Manson and Atlanta Child Murders suspect Wayne Williams are expected to be seen, David Richard Berkowitz—known as Son of Sam and the .44 Caliber Killer—might also play a major role.
As we await season two to bring more mayhem and bloodcurdling cases to our screens, the first bunch of new stills hinted at Berkowitz's case being studied. It will be quite riveting to see why FBI agents Holden and Bill seek them to understand their psyche and we feel his handwritten letters signed as 'Son of Sam' could be a great fit to unlock his mindset in the show.
On April 17, 1977, cops found a letter mostly penned down in block letters near the bodies of two adolescents. Addressed to NYPD Captain Joseph Borrelli, it was the first time Berkowitz confessed his crimes and made the name 'Son of Sam' public.
The first few lines in the letter read: "I am deeply hurt by your calling me a wemon 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 wave length then everybody else—programmed too kill."
In the letter, the phrase "me hoot it urts sonny boy" was taken as a Scottish-accented version of "my heart, it hurts, sonny boy". The police sketched out a connection between the shooter blaming a dark-haired nurse for his father's death due to the "too many heart attacks". "Papa Sam is old now. He needs some blood to preserve his youth. He has had too many heart attacks. Too many heart attacks. "Ugh, me hoot it urts 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," his letter read.
That was not the only letter posted by Berkowitz. Daily News columnist Jimmy Breslin received a handwritten letter from a man who said he was the .44 caliber shooter. On the reverse side, four neat centered and printed lines read: "Blood and Family – Darkness and Death – Absolute Depravity – .44." The letter inside read: "Hello from the gutters of N.Y.C. which are filled with dog manure, vomit, stale wine, urine and blood."
After a few lines, he referred to the columnist, saying, "J.B., I'm just dropping you a line to let you know that I appreciate your interest in those recent and horrendous .44 killings. I also want to tell you that I read your column daily and I find it quite informative. Tell me Jim, what will you have for July twenty-ninth? You can forget about me if you like because I don't care for publicity. However you must not forget Donna Lauria and you cannot let the people forget her either. She was a very, very sweet girl but Sam's a thirsty lad and he won't let me stop killing until he gets his fill of blood."
Compared to the first one, the second letter was more sophisticated and the unusual writing started a string of speculations about whether the killer was a comic letterer. The New York Daily News published the letter a week later, urging the killer to surrender himself. Thanks to the article, the newspaper sold more than 1.1 million copies to become the highest-selling edition.
Finally, Son of Sam was taken into custody on August 10, 1977. Detective John Falotico approached the driver's side of the car and pointed his gun to Berkowitz's temple, while Detective William Gardella pointed his gun from the passenger's side. Detective Falotico recalled a big smile on his face and their conversation that started as:
Sam: "Well, you got me. How come it took you such a long time?"
Detective Falotico: "Now that I've got you", Detective Falotico said to the suspect, "who have I got?"
Sam: "You know."
Detective Falotico: "No I don't. You tell me."
Sam: "I'm Sam."
Detective Falotico: "You're Sam? Sam who?"
Sam: "Sam. David Berkowitz."
Berkowitz confessed to his crimes and even tried to plead guilty on the morning of August 11, 1977. He also hinted at satanic influences and demon possession and on September 19, he wrote to the New York Post, "There are other Sons out there, God help the world." However, he later dismissed that he was possessed by satan or needed psychiatry help. He was sentenced to 25-years-to-life in prison for each murder, to be served consecutively.