Blackouts and Black Dogs: The Son of Sam Murders

The Son of Sam Laws


(Alexander Mils/Unsplash)

Because the media are ghouls, Berkowitz fielded many offers to buy his story and even successfully published a book about his inevitable in-prison religious awakening, but this case was so deplorable that the law finally did something about it. Most states now have “Son of Sam laws” preventing criminals from profiting from their crimes by selling books, interviews, weird sculptures, etc.

He Confessed to a Whole Different Crime

A few years after he was arrested, Berkowitz claimed to have been involved with the murder of Arliss Perry, who was killed a year before his first attacks on the other side of the country at Stanford University. When police interviewed him, though, they determined that he didn’t have any real information for them and was “just kind of jerking around.” Perry’s killer was later identified as a university security guard with no known ties to Berkowitz or any satanic cult like the one Berkowitz described.

The Son of Sam Cult


(Denny Müller/Unsplash)

Berkowitz has claimed at various times since his conviction that the “satanic henchmen” weren’t totally a hoax and Perry’s murder was carried out by a supernatural cult whose members he couldn’t name except Wheat Carr’s brothers John and Michael, the real sons of Sam. Though the evidence is flimsy, many believe John and Michael Carr also participated in the Son of Sam murders, accounting for the conflicting descriptions given by eyewitnesses and references to the family in the Son of Sam letters, though the Carr family has steadfastly denied any involvement. John and Michael Carr both soon died in suspicious “accidents.” The whole thing may very well have been an elaborate frame-up job of a family who may have let their dog bark a little too much.

Top image: Mac Gaither/Unsplash

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