Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

David Berkowitz: The Son of Sam

The Lost Son of Sam Letters

Book cover: Every Move You Make
Book cover: Every Move You Make

On David Berkowitz's official home page, the convicted serial killer explains how he has been locked up for the past two decades. "My criminal case," Berkowitz says, "is well known and was called the Son of Sam shootings."

Eleven years prior to penning these opening Web lines, Berkowitz adds, while he was "living in a cold and lonely prison cell," God grabbed hold of his life and set him on the righteous path. He says his story — or, rather, his path toward righteousness — is an example of "hope."

This letter to his readers was written in 1999. The date is important to what you are about to read — because my book, Every Move You Make, where I first published excerpts from the lost Son of Sam letters, was published five years later, in 2005.

Today, Son of Sam claims to be "free" from the confines of prison. He claims Jesus Christ has led him to the light of a new way. He calls his Web page, "Forgiven for Life."

This story is about the real Son of Sam, not the façade Mr. Berkowitz wishes to display in his Web writings. It is about the person who murdered six people and tormented and terrorized a city. As for prison life, Berkowitz says his days and nights behind bars are a constant "struggle," and that he's had his "share of problems, hassles and fights." He claims another inmate cut his throat once and he almost died.

M. William Phelps
M. William Phelps

"Yet all through this — and I did not realize it until later — God had His loving hands on me," he writes.

Further along on his Website, Berkowitz says that while he was "reading Psalm 34" one night, he "began to pour out [his] heart to God." He says this moment of clarity, when God entered his soul, took place in 1987; he gives no specific date, just the year. "Everything seemed to hit me at once," Berkowitz claims. "The guilt from what I did... the disgust at what I had become..." And then, he says, he "got down on [his] knees and... began to cry out to Jesus Christ."

This revelation by Mr. Berkowitz is a complete fabrication. Pay close attention to the date he gives us — 1987 — as you read this story. For when you get to the lost Son of Sam letter excerpts I quote, you'll have a hard time believing God's hands were resting on the shoulders of Mr. Berkowitz as he wrote them.

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