Son Of Sam: What David Berkowitz's Life In Prison Is Really Like

On August 10, 1977, David Berkowitz, commonly referred to as "Son of Sam," was arrested and charged with murdering six people and seriously wounding seven others in New York City. Although his crime spree lasted just over a year, the "Son of Sam" remains one of the United States' most prolific serial killers.

Between July 1976 and July 1977, Berkowitz led the New York Police Department on one of the biggest manhunts in the agency's history. As reported by Biography, the serial killer primarily preyed on couples who were sitting in parked cars or walking down the street together. In addition to committing the murders, Berkowitz taunted authorities with a number of letters and notes, in which he identified himself as "Son of Sam." The letters only fueled the media frenzy surrounding the murders and ultimately gave Berkowitz the attention he craved. They also prompted the NYPD to intensify their manhunt.

The Son of Sam was ultimately apprehended due to a parking ticket. Biography reports a witness of the serial killer's last shooting saw a man flee the scene in a car with a parking ticket on the windshield. Authorities consulted their records and determined only a few parking tickets were issued on that particular day. When they approached Berkowitz to question him about the crimes, he simply said, "Well, you've got me."

David Berkowitz became a Christian in prison, and insists he is no longer a threat

Berkowitz ultimately confessed to all of the Son of Sam killings, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of murder, and was sentenced to six terms of life in prison. He is currently housed in the Shawangunk Correctional Facility.

Following his incarceration, the Son of Sam remained in the spotlight, as he accepts full responsibility for what he did and has been more than willing to discuss his behavior with mental health professionals and the media. As reported by Biography, he also shared portions of his personal diaries in a book titled "Son of Hope: The Prison Journals of David Berkowitz," and maintains a website with help from his supporters.

Berkowitz says he is now an evangelical Christian, who is focusing on his faith and repentance for his crimes. As reported by Salon in 2016, Berkowitz said, "I continue to pray for the victims of my crimes. I do wish them the best in life. But I'm sure the pain will never end for them. I regret that." In addition to apologizing to his victims and their families, he participates in programs with students of criminology and psychology to help them learn more about how and why he became a serial killer.

Although he has been described as a "model prisoner," and he insists he is "no risk, whatsoever," Berkowitz will likely spend the rest of his natural life in prison.

Where is David Berkowitz now?

Berkowitz has applied for, and been denied, parole on numerous occasions. However, he plans to continue pleading for his release. As reported by Salon, the "Son of Sam" said he has spent decades serving as a caregiver and a spiritual advisor to his fellow inmates, and he believes that is his "calling in life."

As reported by Biography, Berkowitz has been diagnosed with a number of health issues throughout his incarceration. Most recently, he had a heart attack in 2017, which required at least one surgery and led to another hospitalization in 2018.

Berkowitz is now 68 years old, and he is back in the spotlight amid the release of a Netflix documentary series titled "The Sons of Sam" (the trailer is posted on YouTube). Men's Health reports the series, which was produced by investigative reporter Maurey Terry, suggests Berkowitz had at least two accomplices. Terry claims John and Michael Carr, who were Berkowitz's neighbors at the time of the killings, participated in at least some of the murders. Terry refers to the three men, collectively, as the "Sons of Sam."

As reported by Men's Health, authorities are not convinced Terry's theory has any validity, and they have refused to reopen the case. Berkowitz initially claimed he was possessed by "demons" when he committed the crimes. However, he later recanted the story. He has not commented on Terry's theory, other than to say, "why should I go fishing and pull those things up?"