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Old 09-22-2014, 06:16 PM   #31
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This case doesn't get a lot of attention, but I've always been intrigued by this unsolved murder in 1981. A Manhattan couple is murdered in their apartment on Halloween and have their place ransacked. A prison informant comes forward, claiming that weeks beforehand, Berkowitz had told him that a couple would be killed by his cult in a ritual murder on Halloween and their home would be ransacked. Berkowitz then states that the victim, Ronald Sisman, had snuff footage of one of the Son of Sam murders and was planning to blow the case wide open by handing it over to the authorities to beat some drug charges.
http://books.google.ca/books?id=gijG...crimes&f=false

It sounds pretty absurd, but apparently, Berkowitz did provide some accurate details about the crime and Sisman's apartment.
I've heard of this before. Fairly good chance the film still exists, if there is in fact a snuff film floating around somewhere. From my own research snuff film footage is very hard to obtain. There are rumored Charles Manson tapes and footage floating around underground.
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Old 07-16-2015, 09:44 AM   #32
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I read Terry's book years ago when it came out and even visited the crime scenes (actually only the last one) in NYC the last time I was wandering through that city. I found an e-book version of the Ultimate Evil recently and dumped it in the Kindle version on my iPad to reread this summer.

i almost never believe in conspiracy theories since they defy humsan nature (someone will talk and not 50 years later!-- in this case it was Berjkowitz as the actual sons of Sam were dead by then...). While Terry may havetaken things to extremes, it seems he was on to something here. Recommend reading the book ifyouhaven't already.

Serendipitous Irony: Several of my co-workers went to a two-week course at Stanford a few years back and they brought back various postcards of Stanford. The one I got was the chapel where Arlis Perry was murdered, the only place I knew at Stanford as it is the chilling opening to Terry's book.

Odd Facts:

1. While some of the murders were random, at least one and probably two were targetted. The Austrian lady who was killed in Queens seems to have been one as her date recorded odd events before they went to their movie (like a car pulling into the lot next to them looking at them then driving away)...

2. It seems the very next murder which was the only daylight one where a lady walking home from the subway only blocks away from the previous one was done to make the other crime seem random.

3. While Berkowitz is very unique looking, in many of the cases the suspect looks completely different (several different guys). But Berkowitz was seen lurking around as a guard nearby in the cases where he seemingly was not the shooter.

4. The last murder was the most complicated one and several witnesses (a van, a VW) disappeared after the murder. The presence of the van is why some believe there was a snuff film made as it was parked with a perfect view of the murder scene and had been there a while. The victims were parked under a street light next to a playground. Berkowitz got his ticket several blocks away which apparently made him the fall guy. He seemingly was too far away to have been the shooter.

5. The Manson II guy mentioned by Terry, who has been in prison since the 1980s (for a murder detailed in the book), was several years ago considered a prime Zodiac suspect in a SF newspaper article that made a stir for a time. The DNA did not match.

6. I was at ROTC summer camp at Fort Bragg, NC, in the summer of 1977 when Berkowitz was caught. We had a sizeable NYC contingent and they were all very fearful before the capture.
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:57 PM   #33
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David Bertkowitz has been in prison for 35+ years. He is serving 6 life sentences for his crimes. I'll bet a lot of people don't know this, but he has become a devout Christian during that time. His interviews are pretty fascinating actually. When I say he has become a Christian, I think it is pretty genuine coming from him. He isn't getting out, he isn't a guy with a 10 year sentence that can use religion to show he is a changed man and get out in 6. He has nothing to gain from saying this.

I just find it unusual that he made this sort of transformation. He is almost like a prison preacher in jail now. He understands he has to be punished for his crimes though, he says he prays for the families he hurt every day. Anyway, that might not mean a lot to people, and it doesn't change the fact he murdered people, but you don't often hear that from a serial killer.
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Old 07-17-2015, 12:35 AM   #34
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Doesn't he still get parole hearings? Probably just a gimmick to get out-knowing how religion is pandered to/given special treatment.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/05/...-the-ministry/
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Old 05-06-2021, 10:36 PM   #35
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Anyone watching "Sons of Sam" on Netflix right now?

Interesting that a 2021 documentary is kind of...taking the satanic panic angle seriously(?)

Love the footage of young New Yorkers in the late 1970s
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Old 05-06-2021, 11:07 PM   #36
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Anyone watching "Sons of Sam" on Netflix right now?

Interesting that a 2021 documentary is kind of...taking the satanic panic angle seriously(?)

Love the footage of young New Yorkers in the late 1970s
Why wouldn’t they take it seriously?

I watched it last night and it makes a compelling case that a Satanic cult is responsible for the murders. The ending really clinched it for me.

Some of you are too eager to dismiss the “outlandish” elements of a case because it doesn’t fit your world view.

I’ve dealt with this time and time again as a Cindy James aficionado who believes she was murdered by an unknown culprit.
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Old 05-07-2021, 01:20 AM   #37
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Anyone watching "Sons of Sam" on Netflix right now?

Interesting that a 2021 documentary is kind of...taking the satanic panic angle seriously(?)

Love the footage of young New Yorkers in the late 1970s
Maury Terry was a halfwit who bought into DB's bs & fed his ego by giving him so much attention & this guy who apparently was given all his files when Terry died seems to buy into it. Can remember reading the book & he was tying in the Roy Radin murder into some Satanic Cult associated with DB-the reality was it was a financial issue regarding the Cotton Club film between him & some female drug lord.
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Old 05-07-2021, 04:14 PM   #38
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Finished the Netflix documentary last night.

Whether you believe the satanic angle or not, this was a very well-produced and thorough piece. I thought the very end of the doc was extremely well put-together and, like a good horror movie, it finished on an ambiguous note.

I think the doc makes a very good case for BOTH of the following:

1. Berkowitz was involved in some sort of cult-like activity and it's not unreasonable that there was more than one "Son of Sam" shooter

2. Maury Terry became obsessed with this case and his mental health might have deteriorated a bit to the point where he was trying to prove more and more outlandish scenarios
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Old 05-07-2021, 10:25 PM   #39
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I think basing anything off what Berkowitz claims is a problem. His story was so varied and changeable within the first fifteen or so years after his incarceration, you don't know what to believe. "A demon dog told me to do it." And then it's, "I killed them all myself." Then later it's "a satanic cult helped me do it." So no matter what version is the truth, he wasn't doing himself any favors when it comes to believability.

I remember at one point in the book, even Berkowitz makes this statement to Terry in a letter he has written him, that if he is quoted or attributed to something, there is zero credibility to it in the eyes of the authorities and the public.
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Old 05-08-2021, 08:29 AM   #40
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Thank goodness for the ignore list.

Last edited by alistaircranium; 05-08-2021 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 05-08-2021, 09:45 AM   #41
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It’s not based off his statements. Maury Terry did a thorough investigation into the Satanic cult. It’s all there in the docuseries that you didn’t watch.
Terry started out with a theory about Satanic Cults & then fitted the events to that narrative-because you know, a mental inferior like DB couldn't have just got a gun & done it all himself, just like those Egyptians couldn't have built those pyramids without the help of ancient aliens. Satanic Cult hysteria was all the rage in the 1980's. He saw what he wanted to-Nazi & possibly Devil related Graffiti suddenly isn't right wing fascists & idiot kids trying to be edgy while drunk on a Friday night, but a Satanic cult doing sacrifices.

He believes people who take him to see Satanic graffiti in a park actually saw a cult meeting & didn't just paint it themselves to get on television.
People come while UM are filming & claim they saw 15 people doing Satanic stuff & he just believes it & doesn't even countenance the possibility that they just want to be on television. Roy Radin is murdered so it has to be cult related-well that was proved incorrect. Kids go missing so they must be Satanic sacrifices, nothing to do with paedophiles etc.
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:11 AM   #42
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Finished the Netflix documentary last night.

Whether you believe the satanic angle or not, this was a very well-produced and thorough piece. I thought the very end of the doc was extremely well put-together and, like a good horror movie, it finished on an ambiguous note.

I think the doc makes a very good case for BOTH of the following:

1. Berkowitz was involved in some sort of cult-like activity and it's not unreasonable that there was more than one "Son of Sam" shooter

2. Maury Terry became obsessed with this case and his mental health might have deteriorated a bit to the point where he was trying to prove more and more outlandish scenarios
I lean towards a cult being involved, but I can see your second point. His second interview with Berkowitz felt off, like a crusade.

That being said, the ending told me that he was definitely on to something.
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:04 PM   #43
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Thank goodness for the ignore list.
Sweet lord, this guy seems to just block everybody who disagrees with him-how ridiculous.
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:37 PM   #44
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Sweet lord, this guy seems to just block everybody who disagrees with him-how ridiculous.
Ignore list is going to be so full, that the only person they can reply to is themselves
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Old 05-09-2021, 01:59 AM   #45
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Recently finished watching The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness Netflix 4-part documentary. Very well-done, thoroughly researched, and extremely gripping/compelling/intriguing. Also liked the Season of the Witch (Donovan, 1966) "theme" song for the series - very appropriate. I still think DB almost certainly acted alone re: the SOS killings. But, this does present an "alternate take" on this, even though I don't believe that it happened this way.

Some thoughts:

-This panic about cults, etc. that came up in the '70's/'80's was ridiculous & IMHO had little to no veracity. Specifically, the idea that the roleplaying game "Dungeons & Dragons" and the innocent cartoon "The Smurfs" were sinister/malevolent & had hidden meanings, etc. is patently ludicrous.

-I can see how MT could have made the connections between DB & the alleged "cult" due to the close proximity of DB's apartment to the house of the Carr brother (JC & MC), Untermeyer park, etc.

-Yes, there may have been some kind of "cults" that existed in this area where DB lived that "sacrificed" animals, etc. But, I don't necessarily think that DB knew these people and/or associated with them. And, I don't think that they had anything to do with the SOS killings; though they may have been involved in other killings.

-I have concerns about the veracity of what DB is telling MT during the two interviews we saw portions of in the doc. (1993 & 1997). It seems to me that MT is "feeding" DB info. & DB is telling him what he wants to hear. I.e., instead of MT asking DB exactly what happened (which is what he should have done), I see DB picking up on what MT is asking/telling & then forming the narrative around this info.

-I definitely do not believe DB when he says he didn't do all/most of the killings.

-I don't see the "eyewitness accounts" as describing someone who didn't look like DB as being too much of an issue. These types of accounts are notoriously unreliable; most of these happened at night/early evening when it was either dark or getting dark and it would have been hard to make out facial/body details, etc.; and, they all happened relatively quickly.

-The final SOS murder was the killing of SM & the blinding of her bf, RV. This is the one that the doc. claims couldn't have been done by DB because he got a parking ticket a distance away. But, he still could have walked several blocks, done the killings, and then walked back to his car.

-After DB was arrested, the killings stopped - which strongly indicated that he was the sole SOS killer. Yes, I know those that believe a cult existed will argue that the Carr Bros. were also SOS killers & the reason the killings stopped (after DB's arrest) was because they both died under 'mysterious' circumstances. However, if this truly was a "cult" that was doing the killings, an organization like this (with multiple people) would have had others that should have continued these. Also, John Carr died six months after DB's arrest, and Michael Carr died two years after the arrest. Why weren't there any more killings after the arrest & before they passed?! Again, this strongly points to DB acting alone.

-I agree that MT unfortunately became obsessed with proving that DB didn't act alone. And, apparently trying to prove this took over his life & ruined his health. Sad.

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