The disturbing true story behind new Netflix true crime series The Sons of Sam: A descent into darkness’

Posted on 10 May 2021
By Heidi Hewlings
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If you enjoy slipping into a gritty documentary series on Netflix, then you’ve probably already binged this gripping story.

But if you are yet to indulge, here is an overview of the thrilling four-part series based on the serial killer David Berkowitz.

In the summer of 1976, David Berkowitz was a serial murderer, on the loose in New York.

In July 1976 he shot at two young women in their car, killing one of them instantly.

In October of that year, Berkowitz shot another couple in a car, injuring them both.

By July the following year, he had killed six people and wounded seven others.

After showing no signs of stopping, his number of victims were increasing rapidly.

Berkowitz’s killing spree soon gained worldwide notoriety and signalled the start of the biggest police manhunt in the history of New York City.

While on the run, he left letters that taunted and insulted the police, alluding to plans of future murders.

Witness statements to the offenses were contradictory, with some saying the person behind the incidents was blonde and others claiming he had dark hair.

The only thing that linked the crimes together was the 44 caliber Bulldog revolver that was used to commit the murders.

On the night of August 10, police found David Berkowitz after a witness to one of his shootings tipped off police.

Berkowitz was arrested and charged over eight shooting incidents committed that night.

After confessing to all attacks, he claimed to have been obeying the orders of a demon manifested in the form of a dog, belonging to his neighbour.

In spite of his wild statements, Berkowitz was judged mentally capable to stand trial in which he pled guilty to second-degree murder and was detained in state prison.

This, however, was not the end of the case, and new Netflix true crime series ‘The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness’ looks deeper into the full story.

During the mid 1990’s, Berkowitz amended his confession to the murders, claiming that he had been a member of a violent satanic cult that orchestrated the killings as ritual murder.

The evidence in the case didn’t all add up, and with the revelation that Berkowitz was not acting alone, further police investigation was underway.

Unfortunately, nothing came from the investigation and no one else has ever been charged in the case.

The four-part series follows journalist Maury Terry who is convinced that Berkowitz’s murders were linked to the satanic cult.

The series uses archival news footage and conversations with the people closest to the investigation.

Looking back at the case, Terry uses his own words and case files to tell the bizarre tale of a man who remains a mystery.