The year 1977 was a dark time. Rock-n-Roll bands like The Rolling Stones and Black Sabbath were putting out satanical-inspired music. Fantasy and Arthurian legend with dark plots from authors such as J.R.R. Tolkein and Arthur Machen were widely popular as were films like The Omen, Carrie, Rosemary’s Baby , and the Exorcist. Judeo-Christian ethics were being questioned, and an interest in Satanism took off. However, one of the most real fears that was present from the summer of 1976 to the summer of 1977 was the serial killer on the loose in New York City named The Son of Sam.

Over this year, the Son of Sam was involved in 8 separate shootings involving 13 victims. Six of these victims were killed. He mostly targeted young women, usually in parked cars. These victims included Donna Lauria, Carl Denaro (a long-haired male mistaken for a woman), Christine Freund, Virginia Voskerichian, Valentina Suriani, and Stacy Moskowitz. His first victim who survived, 18-year-old Jody Valente, described the shooter as a white male in his thirties with curly hair. In 1977, “Operation Omega” was launched by police to find the killer which included 300 police officers. David Berowitz was arrested in front of his house on August 10, 1977, ending the summer of fear that had swept the city. His first words upon being caught were “What took you so long?” He then confessed to six killings and wounding seven, though police believe he may have killed many more.

David Berkowitz was born Richard David Falco in 1953 and was given up for adoption due to the fact that he had been conceived by Joseph Klienman, the man that his mother Betty Broder had been having an affair with while she was married to Tony Falco. His new parents named him David Berkowitz. When his adopted mother died of breast cancer in 1967, his father remarried, and Berkowitz no longer got along with his father or his new wife. In 1971, David joined the U.S. Army and served in South Korea. He then became a born again Christian, but by then he was mentally disturbed. Upon returning home, he took on the name of his neighbor, Sam Carr, who had a black Lab that David thought had been possessed by a demon that was ordering him to kill people. When he tried to kill the dog, he claimed a supernatural occurrence stopped this from happening. In 1975, he attacked two women and killed one of them. He later shot two women point blank while sitting in a car. In October 1976, he shot a 19-year-old girl in Queens. He then shot two women who were walking home from a movie in Queens a month later. Both survived but one was paralyzed. In 1977, a man and woman were sitting in a car. The man survived, but the woman died. Another girl was shot and killed on a road in Queens.
When he was caught, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 365 years in prison in 1978. He is now a reformed Christian and is happy that he must stay in prison for the rest of his life. He exhibits shame of his crimes, but at the same time, he is still disturbed.

Since then, there have been other serial killers on the loose, but he is one of the most notorious.
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