Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

David Berkowitz: The Son of Sam

The Letter

Captain Joseph Borrelli of the New York City Police Department was one of the key members of the Omega Group. Operation Omega was the task force headed by Deputy Inspector Timothy Dowd to find the psycho who was killing women in various parts of the city with a .44 caliber handgun.

David Berkowitz
David Berkowitz

The ".44 Caliber Killer" was getting a great deal of press and Borrelli's name had appeared frequently. Now on April 17, 1977, he was looking at a letter addressed to him that had been left at the scene of the latest in this series of murders: With misspellings, it read:

Dear Captain Joseph Borrelli,

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 wavelength then everybody else — programmed too kill.

However, to stop me you must kill me. Attention all police: Shoot me first — shoot to kill or else keep out of my way or you will die!

Papa Sam is old now. He needs some blood to preserve his youth. He has had too many heart attacks. 'Ugh, me hoot, it hurts, sonny boy.'

I miss my pretty princess most of all. She's resting in our ladies house. But I'll see her soon.

First Son of Sam letter
First Son of Sam letter

I am the 'Monster' — 'Beelzebub' — the chubby behemouth.

I love to hunt. Prowling the streets looking for fair game — tasty meat. The wemon of Queens are prettyist of all. It must be the water they drink. I live for the hunt — my life. Blood for papa.

Mr. Borrelli, sir, I don't want to kill anymore. No sur, no more but I must, 'honour thy father.'

I want to make love to the world. I love people. I don't belong on earth. Return me to yahoos.

To the people of Queens, I love you. And I want to wish all of you a happy Easter. May God bless you in this life and in the next.

The letter did not have any useful fingerprints and the envelope had been handled by so many people that if there were any of the murderer's prints, they were lost. This letter was leaked to the press in early June and the world finally heard the name, "Son of Sam."

 

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