David was born on June 1, 1953, in Brooklyn, New York. He was giving up for adoption and was adopted by Jewish-American hardware store retailers named Nathan and Pearl Berkowitz when he was just days old. He went to school but he was always absent , because he was chubby , his classmates would tease him for that.
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For kindergarten , he went to P.S. 77 and he was absent for 46 days of kindergarten and also in 4th grade, he was absent from school for 28 days and for junior high school , he went to P.S. 123. He also graduate from high school with a GPA of 3.3. He got hit by a car and suffered head injuries. Few months later, he ran into the wall and suffered head injuries again. On 1960, at the age of 7, his parents told David that he was adopted. At the age of 8, he got hit on the head with a pipe and received a 4 in. gash in the forehead and he also saw a girl die after being hit by a car. On 1963, at the age of 10, he saw another girl and his mom die instantly after being hit by a car.
On 1963, he got bit by a dog and he also would get bullied by his classmates because he was chubby.On 1967, he saw a boy die from falling the side of the school bus. He was a loner at school and he said that he felt different and less attractive from the others. He was described by neighbors as assaultive to other kids. Berkowitz didn’t really have friends, growing up because David didn’t know how to react with other children due to the fact he didn’t have no brothers or sisters. His teachers would describe him as a moody child and he can do a good job if he wanted to, he would easily get upset. At the age of 11, he claimed that monsters were bothering him and he slept with the lights on or with his parents which it annoyed and angered them. At the age of 12, he began to set hundreds of fires and he also said the monsters stopped bothering him just before his 13th birthday and then the monsters re-appeared at a later age. At 13 year old, he begins to kill and torture animals, he killed his mother’s parakeet named Pudgy by giving it small doses of cleaning fluid for 3 weeks and he also killed thousands of bugs by burning and gluing them with rubber cement. At 17, he engaged in a petty vandalism, breaking car windows, setting fires and also started to torture animals. When he was in the army, he started to set fires again and was responsible for starting over 1,411 fires which he kept a detailed journal of them.
After he was discharge of the army, he once again begins to set a series of fires in New York. He sets more fires at 22 and he got hired as a security guard at JFK airport, he claimed to hear voices from the dogs that accompanied him during his shifts. On December 23, he set the last 1,488 fires and he kept a log of the fires he set in 3 notebooks. As a young child, he was never diagnosed with a mental disorder but after his arrest he was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenic. On October 23,1976 , at 2:30 am, he fired 5 shots into a parked car, wounding Rosemary keenan and Carl Denaro but Carl underwent major head surgery and survived the surgery. On Christmas Eve 1975,he started his killing rampage and attempted to kill 2 young women with a knife, his first victim was unidentified but she wasn’t seriously hurt and was able to fight back. His second victim was Michelle Forman and he attacked her as she was crossing a bridge and she survived the attack. On July 29, 1976, at 1am, he fired 5 shots into a parked car, killing 18 year old Donna Lauria with a shot to the neck and 19 year old Jody Valenti was shot in the hip and she survived. On November 27, 1976 , he shot Donna Demasi and Joanne Lamino while pretending that he needed directions, both of them survived but Joanna was paralyzed from the waist down and her spine shattered when the bullet hit it.
On January 30,1977, he shot John Deil and Christine Freund she dies after being shot in the head at the hospital and John survived and ran for help.On July 29, 1976, he killed 2 teenage girls, named Jody Valenti and Donna Lauria in the Bronx, he shot them while they were in Valenti’s car in front of Lauria’s house, he killed Lauria and injured Valenti.. On March 8,1977, David shot Virginia Voskerichian in the face as she was returning home from her classes, she died instantly. His serial killing lasted until 1977. He would kill his victims with the same gun a .44-caliber and after several killings he started leaving numerous letters near his victim’s bodies, taunting the police , the first letter he wrote , it was addressed to NYPD Captain Joseph Borrelli, in the letter, he called himself Son of Sam for the very first time. He would kill attractive young women with long brown hair. He got caught on August 10, 1977. He got caught by a witness that saw a man getting away in a car that had a parking ticket on it, a handful of parking tickets were given out but one of them was given to David. That same day, authorities arrested him and when the police took him into custody, he said , Well, you’ve got me.
He’s still alive and he’s being held at Attica Correctional Facility, an Upstate New York supermax prison.During his questioning, David told the officer that he had been commanded to do all those murders by his neighbor Sam Carr, who was sending messages to him through Carr’s dog, a demon-possessed Labrador retriever. Because of David’s outrageous claims, he underwent numerous psychological evaluations, but it was declared, he was competent to stand trial. In his trial, he pled guilty to the six killings, also the nearly 1,500 fires he had set in and around New York and he was sentence to 25 years to life for each of the murder. His sentencing hearing was dramatic because he tried jumping out of the window in the seventh floor courtroom when he heard the judge’s decision. I feel like the reason why he became a serial killer was because he didn’t grew up with his biological parents and he didn’t have the love of them, his adoptive mom would hit him just because he would come home with sand in his head and he was bullied at school for being chubby.
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