Netflix’s ‘The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness’: Who Is David Berkowitz?

True crime fans have another Netflix docu-series to binge. The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness details the serial killings committed by the “Son of Sam,” David Berkowitz.

But the true-crime series does more than detail Berkowitz’s crimes. It implies Berkowitz didn’t act alone. Find out more about Berkowitz’s killing spree in the 1970s and where the “Son of Sam” is today. 

David Berkowitz AKA the 'Son of Sam' serial killer
David Berkowitz | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

David Berkowitz is the ‘Son of Sam’ serial killer 

In the late 1970s, New York City residents lived in fear of the “Son of Sam.” From July 1976 until July 1977, eight attacks occurred in the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Those targeted were young couples sitting together in cars and young women with shoulder-length hair. The police noticed a pattern in these killings — the culprit used a .44 caliber gun to kill.

Given the weapon, style of killing, and pattern in the victims, police knew they had a serial killer at large. The “Son of Sam’s” victims were Donna Lauria, Christine Freund, Virginia Voskerichian, Valentina Suriani, Alexander Esau, and Stacy Moskowitz. 

Eventually, the authorities discovered Berkowitz by means of a parking ticket. After discovering letters from the “Son of Sam” and a .44 caliber gun in his vehicle, police arrested Berkowitz. “You got me — I’m the ‘Son of Sam,'” he told the cops as they cuffed him. 

What is ‘The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness’ about?

The four-episode Netflix series highlights the story of journalist and author, Maury Terry. He believed Berkowitz wasn’t the only serial killer involved in the “Son of Sam” slayings. After Berkowitz was arrested and convicted, many New Yorker’s minds were at ease. But not Terry’s. 

Convinced Berkowitz did not act alone, The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness explores the evidence Terry found. What Terry discovered might prove there was a group of people acting as the “Sons of Sam” — or even a cult. The series explores this idea through archival news footage, conversations with the people closest to the investigation, and Terry’s case files.

Is David Berkowitz still alive? 

As discussed in Sons of Sam, Berkowitz “couldn’t have been happier to talk about what he’d done and why he’d done it.” According to Berkowitz, a 600-year-old being told him to commit the murders. After confessing to the murders, Berkowitz was sentenced to 25-years-to-life for each of the six murders he committed.

Since the release of Netflix’s true-crime docuseries The Sons of Sam, many viewers wonder where Berkowitz is now. Nearly 10 years after his 1978 sentencing, Berkowitz became a born-again Christian in 1987. He started calling himself the “Son of Hope” and even wrote an apology letter to his victims. 

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“I don’t deserve anything, any goodness from the Lord, but I’m telling you, God has delivered me,” the serial killer told WORLD in 2020. Today, Berkowitz identifies as a Messianic Jew and attributes his survival to his faith.

As of May 2021, Berkowitz is still alive. And as for whether or not Berkowitz acted alone or there are more “Sons of Sam” out there — tune in to the Netflix series to find out.