Son of Sam Killings When Justice changed all


The date is August 10, 1977, 24-year-old David Berkowitz is arrested for being one of the strangest serial killers in New York City history. David Berkowitz a.k.a. the Son of Sam killings had an impact on law and pop-culture.

Where and When

David Berkowitz was born to Betty Broder and Joseph Klienman. on June 1, 1953. His birth parents divorced and he was adopted by Nathan and Pearl Berkowitz. At age 14 his adoptive mother died and his relationship with the rest of his family grew strained. He was involved in rebellious acts such as larceny and pyromania. He joined the army in 1971 at age 18 until 1974. Not many knew him and those that did knew him as a loner. He had mental issues such as paranoia and schizophrenia.


In 1975 Michelle Foreman was a survivor of a knife attack. Brutally stabbed, she and another unidentified women survived David Berkowitz first attempt and murder. The rest he tried with a gun. All in all six people were slaughtered by David Berkowitz, mostly young women with long dark hair. Seven more were wounded and one paralyzed. Yet it took a whole task force of 300 officers and many detectives called the Omega Task Force to track him down. David reveled in the fear that he caused the city, he wrote letters to the police captain, his neighbor, and international columnists, gaining huge press coverage. The letters were strange and misspelled, claiming that he worked for father Sam and coining a name for himself, The Son of Sam. His downfall was a parking ticket, they traced his parking ticket to the apartment in which he lived, found plans to kill more people, semiautomatics and his notorious .44 caliber pistol. During his court case he tried to intimidate others and he willingly confessed to his murders.

Affect on Law and Pop culture

The Son of Sam had a huge influence on pop culture and law. For example any law that is used to eliminate any benefit that a criminal can get from the publicity of their crimes is called a “Son of Sam Law”. The Son of Sam caused a wave of terror in New York. This fear affected pop-culture in many ways. One of those ways is that it caused thousands of women to change their hair color by dieing it and or buying wigs. It also caused a huge media frenzy. It revitalized sensationalism and made the New York Times have a solid foothold in the media world. Another example of the killings affecting pop-culture is that an entire movie was made because of it, called the The Summer of Sam. After a spiritual awakening in the correctional facility he has continued to affect pop-culture in a completely different way. David is now a spiritual advisor to the people in prison with him. He now sells his sermons with the help of outside friends and he has written a book telling people about God and the help and love that he offers. David Now calls himself the Son of Hope, trying to help others in prison.


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