Netflix and the Son of Sam

Wess Haubrich

Did David Berkowitz act alone?

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David Berkowitz mugshot.History.com

The Son of Sam Killings terrified an entire metropolis in the 1970s. Couples being gunned down on dates for no apparent reason will do that.

In Netflix’s new documentary The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness, the hypothesis is a conspiracy theory (at best): that the Son of Sam (or .44 Calibre) killer, David Berkowitz did not act alone is explored. But is there even a bit of veracity to these claims?

While a group of serial killers running around and acting in concert certainly makes for a good thriller story, it is exceedingly rare. There are case histories of dual serial killers, Fred and Rose West come immediately to mind; as do Ian Brady and Myra Hindley – the Moors Murderers of Great Britain. On the American continent, Henry Lee Lucas and Otis Toole come to mind, as do – of course – the Manson family.

Serial killers tend to be solitary by nature. The narcissism inherent in what they do tends to produce that solitary quality.

Which gets us to what we actually know about “the Son of Sam” David Berkowitz. We know he is a consummate liar, ever since he claimed that his neighbor’s dog was the one giving him the orders to kill. He was not psychologically disturbed, he was a bullshit artist, plain and simple. The author suspects that that trend has only continued with him “finding God” in prison.

Alas, some people buy the musings of people like David Berkowitz. You thus get another big lie in Netflix’s documentary: Satanism as a driving force in the murders.

Check out the Real Monsters podcasts on the Son of Sam, Charles Manson, and Henry Lee Lucas below:

Readers should be aware of “the Satanic Panic” that was just getting started around the time Berkowitz’s murders started in the late 1970’s. You might remember the Satanic Panic as when concerned Christian parents thought their kids worshipped the devil because they played games like Dungeons and Dragons or listened to heavy metal music like AC/DC or Ozzy Osbourne.

The problem? There existed zero evidence to support any mass satanic worship of any real consequence. Yes, on occasion some kids would kill poor defenseless animals in their misguided attempts at “satanic ritual” but none of these incidents were organized and none stretched beyond animal cruelty to dyed-in-the-wool, no kidding sadistic ritual against humans – let alone murder,

The rumors had such a hold on society that the FBI had to release a paper refuting organized Satanic ritual abuse in 1992. You can read it in its entirety embedded below.

All the Netflix Berkowitz documentary is is another cry for attention from a compulsive liar and murderer. Don’t buy what it’s selling.

Journalist and dogged student of all things forensic, Wess Haubrich, examines the nitty, gritty details you didn’t know about famous (and not so famous but equally weird) crimes and their unseen motivations. Thanks for reading!

You can also support the Real Monsters’ podcast Wess does to get even deeper into these cases. Find it wherever you get your podcasts or here:

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Former editor, now dogged-maverick journalist and researcher covering the crime beat. I examine the weird, absurd, and downright infamous in American crime both here and at Real Monsters podcast. Contact: wess@realmonsters.live

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