Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

David Berkowitz: The Son of Sam


At 3 A.M. June 26, 1977, attractive young Judy Placido turned to Sal Lupo, the young man she was talking with, and suggested that it was time for him to take her home from the the Elephas, a disco in Queens. The disco was almost empty. The Son of Sam had thinned out crowds all across the city.

"This Son of Sam is really scary," she told Sal. "The way that guy comes out of nowhere. You never know where he'll hit next."

Then as if she had just predicted the future, she later recounted: "All of a sudden, I heard echoing in the car. There wasn't any pain, just ringing in my ears. I looked at Sal, and his eyes were open wide, just like his mouth. There were no screams. I don't know why I didn't scream.

"All the windows had been closed. I couldn't understand what this pounding noise was. After that, I felt disoriented, dazed."

Sal's first impression was that someone had thrown rocks at the car, so he ran back to the disco for help.

Judy looked in the mirror and found herself covered with blood. Her right arm was immobile. She collapsed when she tried to run back to the disco. Sal had also been hit in the forearm. Both victims were very lucky. Although Judy had been shot three times, she had avoided serious injury and death.

Ironically, Detective Coffey had been outside the Elephas about 15 minutes before the shooting. Once the news came over the radio, he returned to the scene in a flash, but there was nothing to learn from either Judy or Sal about the identity of the assailant.


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