Notorious serial killer tells long-time crime victim advocate what life has been like behind bars for 40 years
"I’m as hardball as you can get. I’ve been to 8 executions with victims’ families," said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers. "There’s no wavering on where I stand on the issue of punishment."
Kahan would be the first to admit Serial Killer David Berkowitz was a huge ally in his fight against murderabilia, an industry where high-profile killers, like Berkowitz and others, could make big bucks off of headline-grabbing crimes.
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"People are fascinated by certain types of crimes, that’s part of our culture," Berkowitz said.
Berkowitz became a household name for killing six people and wounding seven others in a year-long crime spree that terrorized New York City in the 1970s.
He garnered the nickname Son Of Sam.
"You’re not going to have serial killers like David Berkowitz, you’re not going to have catchy nicknames like Son of Sam anymore. They’re a dying breed," Kahn said.
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Berkowitz began his 40-plus years in prison at Attica, once one of the most notorious prisons in the country.
"One of the things that was the most interesting to me was to see his giant scar that cut right there on his neck from an altercation he had at Attica," said Sydney Zuiker, Safe Community Program Manager with Crime Stoppers.
Another inmate wanted to make a name for himself by killing Berkowitz.
"I was very fortunate," Berkowitz said. "He missed a main artery by just a hair’s breadth. If he struck that, I wouldn’t be here today."
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"I think he’s found a way to thrive in a very controlled environment," Zuiker said.
Berkowitz recalled when another inmate said to him, God loves you.
"There’s no way God loves someone like me, I’ve done too much evil. I’ve done too many bad things," he said. "I doubt God will ever want to forgive me or even want to have anything to do with me."
Berkowitz says he’s turned his life over to God.
"I’m sorry I hurt my parents. I’m sorry I hurt innocent people. I regret it with all my heart," he said.
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Now, Berkowitz is an elder in the prisons church.
"And I also work as a mobility assistant, which means handicapped guys that need assistance getting around, I work in that unit with them," Berkowitz said. "I get a lot of joy out of that a lot of satisfaction."
Kahn and Zuiker recorded their meeting with Berkowitz for their Balanced Voice Podcast produced by Crime Stoppers.
If you’d like to listen to the podcast:
Apple Podcast: - The Balanced Voice Podcast