One of America’s worst serial killers is now speaking out against gun violence.
David Berkowitz, known as the “Son of Sam” killer during a 13-month shooting spree in New York City in the mid-1970’s, told the New York Daily News young people have “no business” handling a gun when asked about the recent shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
“Society has to take the glory out of guns,” said Berkowitz, now 59 years old and serving six consecutive 25 years-to-life sentences. “I would love to speak bluntly to those gangbanging teens and wanna-bes and tell them prison is nothing like what you think. If you’re packing a gun, you’re making a big mistake, and you’ll regret it.”
Authorities believe the Colorado and Wisconsin massacres were carried out not by “gangbangers” – usually coded language for black teenagers – but by two white men.
Berkowitz’s reign of terror over New York City began in July 1976, when he shot and killed one Bronx woman and wounded another at close range. He would go on to kill five more people and wound 12 others, while engaging in a correspondence with Daily News columnist Jimmy Breslin.
“Please inform all the detectives working the case that I wish them the best of luck,” Berkowitz wrote in one letter. “Upon my capture I promise to buy all the guys working on the case a new pair of shoes if I can get up the money.”
Berkowitz would be captured outside his home August 10, 1977. During his sixth failed parole application in May, he told authorities he had turned toward Christianity in prison.
“I spoke to God and I told him how sorry I am,” Berkowitz said at the time.
[2003 David Berkowitz State Department of Corrections mugshot via Wikipedia Commons]