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Son Of Sam' David Berkowitz's Life In Prison And Chances For Parole

In a series of shootings that happened in New York City from July 1976 to July 1977, six people were murdered, and seven were injured.

Vincent Bloodworth
Vincent Bloodworth
Feb 18, 202445 Shares836 Views
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  1. Sites Of Berkowitz's Incarceration
  2. Faith And Berkowitz's Time Behind Bars
  3. Perceptions Of Parole By Berkowitz
  4. Does Berkowitz Have A Chance Of Getting Parole?
Son Of Sam' David Berkowitz's Life In Prison And Chances For Parole

In a series of shootings that happened in New York City from July 1976 to July 1977, six people were murdered, and seven were injured.

The serial murderer started leaving threatening notes at the locations of his crimes. At the same time, police hunted him around the terrified city. One of them had him identified as the "Son of Sam."

A parking ticket that put David Berkowitz, a postal worker from Yonkers, New York, in the vicinity of his last shooting on July 31, 1977, helped authorities connect him to the killings that occurred in August 1977. He claimed to the police after his arrest that a neighbor's barking Labrador had guided him on a murdering rampage.

Pledging guilty to six charges of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted second-degree murder, Berkowitz avoided a trial. His six life sentences were handed down in June 1978.

After 25 years behind bars, Berkowitz was granted release in 2002. Every two years, he has a parole hearing; the next one is in May 2024.

Sites Of Berkowitz's Incarceration

The court-appointed psychiatrists who examined Berkowitz after his arrest determined that he was experiencing delusions and paranoia; nonetheless, they still judged him able to stand trial. A courtroom tantrum in which he declared, "I'd kill them all again," postponed his punishment.

A court remanded Berkowitz to the care of the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene as his sentence commenced. But the serial murderer was transferred to a state jail just a few months later.

One of Berkowitz's fellow inmates at the Attica Correctional Facility nearly killed him in 1979 by cutting his throat. Over fifty sutures were necessary for him.

It is standard procedure for the New York State Department of Correctional Services to transfer long-term offenders like Berkowitz to other institutions while he does his time. Upstate New York's Sullivan Correctional Facility was Berkowitz's home for many years. He assisted mentally ill inmates there, according to The New York Times.

In the Hudson Valley of New York, the Shawangunk Correctional Facility is where Berkowitz is presently serving his time.

Faith And Berkowitz's Time Behind Bars

According to Berkowitz, he became a Christian after discovering God in 1987. He has changed his name to "Son of Hope." In jail, his religious practices have become second nature. According to a 2020 WORLD story, he works as a clerk in Shawangunk, assisting the prison chaplain.

The ordained clergyman and musician Reverend Tony Loeffler has been acquainted with Berkowitz for over twenty years. Loeffler oversees the prison ministry International Solid Rock.

On top of our frequent email correspondence, I have regular phone conversations with him. He pays him a personal visit and emphasizes that he means it when he says this is a genuine conversion. I've played for more than a million convicts, so I've seen the genuine ones and the ones who are hoping to gain some grace by proclaiming their Christian faith. I am well-versed in the distinction between the two. There is no one quite like David.

A testimonial tract written by Berkowitz has been widely disseminated by Loeffler.

Perceptions Of Parole By Berkowitz

"I can give you no good reason why I should be considered for parole," Berkowitz wrote to George Pataki, who was New York's governor at the time, in 2002. Nevertheless, several arguments suggest I shouldn't be. The truth is that I am more than deserving of a life sentence behind bars. I have long since accepted my fate and sentence with God's grace.

Loeffler agrees that Berkowitz was hesitant to seek parole at first. "David's desire was to spare as many people as possible the anguish and misery that he had inflicted upon them,"

Loeffler claims that Berkowitz's views have changed recently.

He's okay anyway, but he'd be ready to be released now if the Lord offered him the chance after serving a long time. That's novel since nobody cared about that for twenty years, if not longer. He's not gotten a handle on things until recently.

Does Berkowitz Have A Chance Of Getting Parole?

Adjunct professor Dr. Kimora from John Jay College of Criminal Justice said that Berkowitz's release is doubtful "because he's such a high-profile case" and "he doesn't show enough remorse."

If one thing sets the Son of Sam apart, he reveled in murder, as Kimora puts it. Additionally, she claims that psychologists at the time saw it in that light and that he enjoyed the spotlight. Along with other folks, he was playing a game. Things like that are remembered by the parole board.

In his role as Son of Sam, Berkowitz is still referenced in many media, including songs and cartoons, as pointed out by Kimora. She explains that the parole board can see that Son of Sam is still being discussed when new songs or cartoons are made. "The parole board will consider the situation pragmatically and ask, 'What will happen if this individual is released?'"

As the Osborne Association's education director for treatment programs, Kimora typically aims to have "a great deal of empathy and the willingness to give somebody another opportunity."

This program provides re-entry, family assistance, and jail services in New York state. Nonetheless, I would not touch this man. Too risky to be around. He needs to be more aligned.

A parole hearing for David Berkowitz is "essentially nil," according to Kimora.

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