Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

David Berkowitz: The Son of Sam


On August 3, 1977, several days after the attack on Stacy Moskowitz and Bobby Violante, the two Yonkers cops, Chamberlain and Intervallo, talked about the bizarre letters received by the Carrs and Cassaras and the shooting of the two dogs — Carr's Labrador and the Wicker Street shooting of a German shepherd.

They were concerned that if they started to investigate this David Berkowitz, it would look as though they were trying to do the work of detectives rather than the patrolmen that they were. They proceeded cautiously and queried the state computer network about Berkowitz. The computer gave a brief profile of him from his driver's license. Berkowitz appeared to be approximately the same age, height and build as the Son of Sam, as described by various witnesses.

The patrolmen talked to the rental agent of the building at 35 Pine Street, Berkowitz's place of residence. All she could tell him was that he paid his rent on time and that he wrote on his rental application that he worked at IBI Security in Queens. That sparse information indicated that Berkowitz probably had some knowledge of guns if he worked for a security company.

Next, they called IBI and found out that Berkowitz quit in July of 1976 to go work for some cab company. The first Son of Sam murder was in July of 1976. Between the two of them, they called a couple hundred cab companies based in the Bronx area. None of them employed Berkowitz. However, hundreds of other cab companies operated in the Greater New York area. Calling them all seemed insurmountable.

The two policemen were certain that they were on to something, however, and confided in their boss who was impressed with the information they had collected. He urged them to talk to New York City Detective Richard Salvesen. They showed Salvesen all the letters. The latter was favorably impressed and agreed to pass on the information to the Omega task force.


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