David Richard Berkowitz (born Richard David Falco; June 1, 1953), also known as the Son of Sam and the .44 Caliber Killer, is an American serial killer convicted of a series of shooting attacks that began in the summer of 1976. Perpetrated with a .44 caliber Bulldog revolver, the shootings continued for over a year, leaving six victims dead and seven others wounded. As the toll mounted, Berkowitz eluded a massive police manhunt while leaving brazen letters which promised further murders. Highly publicized in the press, the killings terrorized the people of New York City and achieved worldwide notoriety. After his arrest by New York police in August 1977, Berkowitz was indicted for eight shooting incidents. Berkowitz confessed to all of them and claimed that he was commanded to kill by a demon that possessed his neighbor`s dog. In the course of the police investigation, Berkowitz was also implicated in a vast number of acts of arson in the city, all previously unidentified with him. Intense coverage of the case by the media lent a kind of celebrity status to Berkowitz, and observers noted indignantly that he appeared to enjoy it. In response, the New York legislature enacted new legal statutes, known popularly as "Son of Sam laws", designed to keep criminals from profiting financially from the publicity surrounding their crimes. Despite various amendments and legal challenges, the statutes have remained law in New York, and similar laws have been enacted in several other states. Berkowitz has been imprisoned since his arrest and is serving six life sentences consecutively. In the mid-1990s, he amended his confession to claim that he had been a member of a murderous Satanic cult that orchestrated the incidents as ritual murder. Though he remains the only person ever charged with the shootings, some law enforcement authorities have argued that Berkowitz`s claims are credible. A new investigation into the murders was launched in 1996 but suspended indefinitely after inconclusive findings.
David Berkowitz (Son of Sam) - Serial Killer Documentary