David Berkowitz Back Round

Topics: David Berkowitz, Summer of Sam Pages: 8 (3225 words) Published: March 11, 2012
“All victims were strangers to him, all murders had been done in the middle of the night except for one. While he was nervous and fearful at the first shooting; he took great pleasure in it. He alone knew who killer was. He was omnipotent. The “demons” had transformed the unassuming and quite ordinary David Berkowitz into one of the most sought-after killers of modern times” (Abrahamsen, 1985). During childhood an individual goes through phases, events, emotions that shape his or her adulthood, David Berkowitz was not an exception like many other murders he was the product of his formative years. Notorious for the spree of killings committed in 1976-77 in New York City of young women, whom he stalked, and preyed on after dark. For one year the “.44 caliber killer,” or self proclaimed “Son of Sam,” created terror in the heart of New Yorkers leading to the largest manhunt ever mobilized by the New York Police, despite that fact David Berkowitz murderous rampage was not stopped until a year after the first event (Abrahamsen, 1985).

In March 1979, Dr. David Abrahamsen was chosen by the Brooklyn district attorney as the sole psychiatrist to examine David Berkowitz and to make a decision on whether or not he was mentally capable of going through trial. Dr. David Abrahamsen, a forensic scientist his field with many years of experience concluded that David Berkowitz was competent of standing trial. Dr. Abrahamsen was not fooled by David Berkowitz’s “demon” stories in which he used to attempt to fake insanity. Ironically, the individual who made the decision on his mental state for trial was chosen to be the guy who he revealed information to. The following information was retrieved from the book, Confessions of Son of Sam by David Abrahamsen, M.D., in which David Berkowitz gave first hand account of his life from child to adulthood.

The notorious slaying of young women by David Berkowitz began on July 29, 1976. At about 1 in the morning Donna Lauria, 18, was sitting in a car with her friend Jody Valente when a individual approached the car and shot several rounds in the car resulting in Donna Lauria’s death but Jody Valente miraculously survived although with injuries.

On November 27, four months after the first incident Donna DiMasi and Joanne Lomino were having a normal conversation on the porch of Lominos’ house when an individual approached from nowhere and opened fire. Joanne Lomino, 18, survived the brutal attack but was left paralyzed from the waist down. Media coverage of these two first incidents terrorized New York; parents did not feel their daughters were safe as the killer was still roaming the streets.

On January 30, 1977, a couple parked their car on Forest Hills Street when suddenly an individual approached and the car and opened fire killing Christine Freund. Two months later, in March, a half a block away from the third incident Virginia Voskerichian was walking down the street when an individual shot her to death. All four incidents were interrelated, the victims were young women and the same .44 caliber gun was used for all the shootings.

One month after the fourth incident Valentina Sauriani and Alexander Esau were gunned down while they were in their car parked in the Bronx. This time the murderer left a note for the police: “Come and get me.” signed “Son of Sam.” It was clear the murderer wanted to be known to the public by the name he signed, and the mass media coverage did a great job in spreading the fear of “Son of Sam.”

That summer after the couple was shot in the Bronx, “Son of Sam,” attacked again at a couple leaving a disco. An unknown individual shot at Judy Placido and Salvatore Lupo from a blindside, both were lucky in that they survived without any serious injury or death.

One month later Stacy Moskowitz, 20 was shot to death when she and her boyfriend Robert Biolante where sitting in their parked car after leaving the movie theater when an individual opened fire. Two shots pierced...
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