When he finally got caught, David Berkowitz explained why he calls himself as ‘the Son of Sam’. He explained to the authorities that his killing sprees were a result of the orders of his neighbor, Sam Carr. Berkowitz mentioned that Carr never directly told him of these brutal murders, but that the messages were transmitted through Carr’s black Labrador, ‘the demon dog’, Harvey. Harvey was shot and wounded by Berkowitz with his . 44 Bulldog. There were reports that the Son of Sam killings could be possibly influenced by the Process Church, a cult where Sam Carr and his brother Michael, were involved in.
This cult was deemed Satanist, and they habitually used hallucinogens and cocaine in combination, in which Berkowitz allegedly participated. Berkowitz confessed to the Son of Sam killings, and was a willing suspect. He described in detail the killings he conducted, starting with Donna Lauria and ending with Stacy Moskowitz. This confession didn’t leave any doubts to the detectives that David Berkowitz was indeed the prime suspect of the serial killings. In August 1977, David “Son of Sam’ Berkowitz pleaded guilty to six counts of murder, and eight counts of attempted murder.
He no longer had a trial, and he was sentenced to a total of 365 years of prison with no possibility of parole. Although there wasn’t any definite analysis of David Berkowitz’ unstable mental state, he remained to be one of the most notorious serial killers of all time. Whether David Berkowitz was a sane or an insane man remains to be a question. Conclusion The motives of serial killers cannot really be attributed to any one factor. The cause of the actions could have been products of an unstable mind or of a distorted sense of morality.
Traits and personalities of serial killers vary, from the anti-social to the deceptive kind. Motivations of the killings range from a number of perversions, ranging from the sexual to violent fantasies to mere hatred. However, serial killers have personalities that make them seem normal on the outside. Majority of them had a traumatic childhood or experiences in the past that could have led to the frustrations and their urge to kill. They have also been known to be intelligent beings who can calculate their attacks and reason with the consequences. Common traits put most of them for the mere need to fulfill the desire to kill.
Their motivations remain to be simple: to end a victim’s life for their self-gratification. And in the minds of serial killers, acting out perversions may be the only way to define who they really are and fill a void that has haunted them for the rest of their lives.
Cawthorne, Nigel. Sex Killers. London: Boxtree, 1994. “David Berkowitz – Son of Sam”. About. com. 19 November 2006. <http://crime. about. com/od/murder/p/sonofsam. htm> Egger, Stephen A. Serial Murder: An Elusive Phenomenon. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1990. Fox, James Alan. Mass Murder and Serial Killing Exposed. New York: Plenum Press, 1994.