Menu Close

Son of Sam killer now looks to Anne Frank for inspiration, views himself as ‘father figure’ to other inmates

Son of Sam killer now looks to Anne Frank for inspiration, views himself as 'father figure' to other inmates

A demonic dog inspired him to kill, but now he’s driven by a diary.

Son of Sam serial killer David Berkowitz compared his decades behind bars to Anne Frank’s “inspirational” writings – days before the self-proclaimed “father figure” is set to face the parole board.

“My favorite book is the holy Bible. But the most inspirational book for me throughout my years of incarceration is ‘Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl,’” David Berkowitz told The Post this week.

Son of Sam serial killer David Berkowitz is set to face a parole board again. AP Photo/Mike Groll

“Young Anne wrote her diary while in captivity. She shared her heart within its pages,” the 70-year-old wrote from the maximum-security Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Wallkill.

“Little did she know the influence her life and her writings would have in the future,” Berkowitz added about the Jewish teen author, whose dairies detailing life hiding from the Nazis were published around the globe after her death during the Holocaust.

“She impacted the lives of millions,” Berkowitz said. “Little Anne changed the world with a pen. So I ask myself, what can I do with my trusty typewriter? Maybe I can change lives, too, with my message of hope in God?”

Berkowitz told The Post that Anne Frank’s diary has been the biggest inspirational book for him during his incarceration. Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Berkowitz said Frank’s story of hiding from the Nazis made him ask himself about inspiring people with a “message of hope in God.” AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File

The notorious serial killer — whose reign of terror left six dead, seven wounded and a city paralyzed by fear — spoke with The Post as he’s scheduled to appear before the parole board for the 12th time this week for murders in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

His terrifying spree began on July 29, 1976, when the curly-haired Berkowitz, then 23, emerged from the shadows with a .44 caliber Bulldog revolver on a quiet Bronx street and walked up to a car where 19-year-old Jody Valenti sat with her friend Donna Lauria, 18.

He opened fire, killing Lauria and wounding Valenti.

Berkowitz killed six people and injured seven others from 1976 to 1977. New York Post

Less than three months later, Berkowitz struck again — wounding Carl Denaro, 20, as he sat with a date in his Volkswagen Beetle in Flushing, the gunman apparently having mistaken the long-haired victim for a woman.

Over nine months, the deranged killer attacked several more times, with the press dubbing him “The .44 Caliber Killer.”

Then, on April 17, 1977, he left behind a note after killing couple Alexander Esau, 20, and Valentina Suriani, 18.

“I am a monster. I am the Son of Sam,” bragged Berkowitz. 

Berkowitz victim Robert Violante being rushed into a hospital after being shot on July 31, 1977. New York Post

“I love to hunt. Prowling the streets looking for fair game tasty meat,” he said of his prey, who were young women with long, dark hair and couples sitting in cars.

Panic spread through the Big Apple, as women cut their hair and wore wigs while discos were left empty and locals braced for the madman to strike again.

The killer taunted the authorities in the tabloids as the NYPD launched a massive manhunt. 

“Hello from the gutters of NYC, which are filled with dog manure, vomit, stale wine, urine and blood … Sam’s a thirsty lad and he won’t let me stop killing until he gets his fill of blood,” he wrote to Daily News columnist Jimmy Breslin.

Berkowitz called himself the “Son of Sam” in notes and letters to newspapers. New York Post
A note written by Berkowitz was found in his car. AP

Police finally cracked the case after Berkowitz was ticketed for parking his car near a fire hydrant on the night of his last murder, leading cops to his Yonkers home.

When Berkowitz emerged from his building on Aug. 10, 1977, cops swooped in. 

“I am Sam. David Berkowitz,” he told police. 

“What took you so long?” 

Berkowitz’s apartment where he was finally arrested in 1977. New York Post

Berkowitz later told psychiatrists the bloodbath was ordered by neighbor Sam Carr’s black Labrador retriever. 

In June 1978, he was sentenced to 547 years in prison. 

Behind bars, Berkowitz found God.

“Jesus has allowed me to survive and thrive,” he told The Post. 

Berkowitz became a Christian in prison. CBS News via AP

For years, he’s worked as a chaplain’s clerk and preaches “forgiveness, redemption, and hope,” while acting as a “father figure” to wayward inmates.

“Yes, I have a life sentence to do, but I choose to do it well. I always try to help and encourage the younger guys,” he said. 

“Over the years I’ve become something of a father figure or an older brother to the younger men.”

In 2002, Berkowitz became eligible for parole, with a board deciding his fate every two years since.

Berkowitz was sentenced to 547 years in prison. AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey

He’s skipped out on some appointments and knows he has no shot of release, but plans on facing the board this time. 

“To not attend a hearing can be viewed as being defiant towards authority, and that’s not me,” Berkowitz said. 

“Most of all, I attend in order to openly apologize for my past crimes and to express my remorse,” he added. 

“And I also attend so that I may share my faith in God, and how He can forgive, heal and restore even the ‘worst’ of offenders.”

Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *