Months before his killing spree, David Berkowitz, also known as the Son of Sam, went outside his Bronx building in Yonkers, where he ran into his neighbor Michael Carr who invited Berkowitz to a nearby park. An alleged meeting place for a Satanic cult called the Children, a suspected offshoot of the Process Church of the Final Judgment.
David began attending meetings with other Process members in the woods who later confessed to the investigative author, Terry Maury, who said, “Before long, he was cutting prints in his finger and pledging to Lucifer.”
Shortly after meeting his new group of so-called friends, on Christmas Eve 1975, Berkowitz said the demons in his head commanded that they find a female victim. So he drove around the city for hours that night until he located a lone woman leaving a grocery store. “She has to be sacrificed,” they told him.
Plunging his hunting knife into her back once, he was shocked at her reaction. “I stabbed her, and she didn’t do anything,” he said. “She just turned looking at me and began to scream, and he ran away.”
Prowling for his next victim, he saw fifteen-year-old Michelle Forman. Approaching her from behind, hiding his large hunting knife, he began stabbing her in the head and in other locations on her body. Seriously wounded, the tough 15-year-old fought back, scaring Berkowitz, who took off running. She was able to make it to a nearby apartment, where she got help.
Berkowitz’s demons were pacified for the time being. He called it a night and went out for a burger and some fries.
After the attacks, he returned to his life as a security guard living in a tiny Bronx apartment owned by Jack and Nann Cassara. Cassara’s German shepherd would howl, causing the other neighborhood dogs to howl back. In Berkowitz’s mind, demons lived within the dogs ordering him to go hunting for the blood of pretty young women.
Berkowitz was driven to the edge: “I’d come home to Coligni avenue like at six-thirty in the morning. It would begin then, the howling. On my days, off, I heard it all night, too. It made me scream. I used to scream out begging for the noise to stop. It never did.
“The demons never stopped. I couldn’t sleep. I had no strength to fight. I could barely drive. Coming home from work one night, I almost killed myself in the car. I needed to sleep….The demons wouldn’t give me any peace.”
During his murder spree, Berkowitz was compelled to write to the New York Post, “I am still here like a spirit roaming the night. Thirsty, hungry, seldom stopping to rest.”
The letter was initially withheld from the public, but some of its contents were revealed to the press, and the name “Son of Sam” quickly replaced the old name.
In the letter, he states that he loves to drink blood, he is on a different wavelength than everybody else – programmed too kill. He says, I am the “Monster”—” Beelzebub”—the “Chubby Behemouth.” I love to hunt. Prowling the streets looking for fair game—tasty meat.
The letter sent chills across the country. A real-life demon was on the loose.
It is interesting that Berkowitz had chosen to call himself by the name Beelzebub.
In Christianity, Beelzebub is known as a high-ranking demon in Hell’s hierarchy. 17th-century exorcist Sebastien Michaelis, in his Admirable History (1612), placed Beelzebub among the three most prominent fallen angels, the other two being Lucifer and Leviathan. In 1667, John Milton featured Beelzebub as the second-ranking of the many fallen angels in his epic poem Paradise Lost. Milton wrote of Beelzebub, “than whom, Satan except, none higher sat.” More recently, the demon Beelzebub has been accused of causing demon possession during the Salem witch trials, and then we here have Berkowitz invoking Beelzebub.
In the end, using a .44 Special caliber Bulldog revolver, he murdered six people in cold blood and wounded seven others by July 1977 before he would be arrested by police. There is more to the story about his crimes and victims, but I suggest reading the many books detailing those facts. My focus is on the mental, spiritual, and Satanic cult aspects of this case.
A few weeks after his arrest, Berkowitz wrote a letter to the New York Post dated September 19, 1977, Berkowitz alluded to his original claim of demonic possession. He said, “It was a mysterious force working against me and that he was under the control of a demon named “Harvey” who inhabited his neighbor’s dog and implored him to kill people. He also made the claim that there may be more criminal accomplices saying, “There are other Sons out there, God help the world.” Berkowitz had previously used terms like “I’m on a different wavelength” and “I was programmed to kill” to identify this peculiar force or spirit realm that he was allegedly tapping into.
This mysterious force is a common theme amongst killers.
In his prison diaries, David tells a tale of madness and demons who spoke through dogs. He reported that a dog talked to him, channeling a 6,000-year-old man named Sam whom he sometimes identified with John Carr, a neighbor and a dog owner. Sam Carr was the father of John and Michael Carr, who lived across the street from Berkowitz. “He told me [to kill] through his dog, as he usually does,” David wrote.
He worried that his condition would worsen. “I may, one day, evolve into a humanoid or demon in a more complete state,” he said.
Soon after David’s arrest in a bizarre chain of events, both John and Michael Carr would die, one an unsolved murder, the other, suicide.
Later in 1993, a computer scientist for IBM turned author, Maury Terry interviewed Berkowitz in prison for Inside Edition and his book The Ultimate Evil.
He became obsessed with the crimes until his death. He said the Carr brothers were Berkowitz’s accomplices and were responsible for some of the murders. Berkowitz told Terry he only committed three of the six shootings and was present during all the crimes. Also, various police sketches show men who do not look anything like Berkowits, but they appear to match John Carr like the one below.
Terry linked the Son of Sam murders to other ritual crimes committed around the U.S., arguing that it was a Satanic Culture thriving in the country. Even the Queens, NY district attorney at the time of the murders believed Berkowitz didn’t act alone.
In the book, Terry also claims that he has witnesses placing Berkowitz and Michael Carr at Process Church meetings during the 1970s. Berkowitz confessed to Terry in prison that they were Soldiers of Satan and made pacts with each other. However, in the end, his fellow Satanic comrades, who he now calls “scumbags,” abandoned him to rot in prison as they always do. David said to Terry about his murder spree.
“We made a pact, maybe with the devil, but also with each other … We were going to go all the way with this thing. We’re soldiers of Satan now. I was just too far in, too loyal, too much playing the role of the soldier and trying to please people (in the cult), Berkowits claimed.”
“I was expecting to go to hell,” That didn’t put him off. “I’ll be with my friends,” he thought. But then, after his arrest, he learned that their friendship only went so far. “They completely abandoned me,” he said.
“The killings were another sacrifice to our gods, a bunch of scumbags that they were.” Later, he explained, “We made a pact, maybe with the devil, but also with each other … We were going to go all the way with this thing. We’re soldiers of Satan now. I was just too far in, too loyal, too much playing the role of the soldier and trying to please people.”
In prison, David Berkowitz would spill the beans about his accomplices and involvement with the Process Church of Final Judgement.
Terry had written about their connection to the Process Church;
“By 1997, we had accumulated much new data about the British cult’s activities in the United States and its immersion in the .44 shootings. It is not possible to explore the depths of that investigation here, but I will list a few highlights. For example, an admitted former Process member named Linda Harrison came forward to say she saw Michael Carr at a 1970s Process meeting in Chicago. ‘It was definitely Michael,’ she said. ‘And knowing what I came to know about the Process’ real purpose, I also believe Berkowitz was nothing more than one of their hitmen.”
“In addition, Berkowitz verified a report that had languished in NYPD’s files since the days following his arrest — when a witness stated she saw him with one ‘Father Lars’ at the Process’ Manhattan headquarters. ‘It’s true. I was there with him,’ Berkowitz said of the report, which was ignored by the NYPD.
“Berkowitz said he had a reason to visit the group’s headquarters: ‘They had a big role in all of it.’ Specifically, he charged that the overall plan for a series of shootings was brainstormed during a surreal meeting at Moloch’s White Plains-area home in the spring of 1976. Present at the meeting, Berkowitz said, were at least eight Process leaders and members, along with ‘some friends of theirs’ and ‘at least two’ lower-ranked members of the Westchester cult — including himself.” (The Ultimate Evil, Maury Terry, pg. 533)
Looking further at Berkowitz’s claims, Terry found an abandoned pump house in Untermeyer Park in Yonkers, N.Y., called the Devil’s Cave, where he believed Berkowitz was initiated into the cult. Neighbors reported that groups of people with dark hoods and lit torches would gather in the woods near the structure. Berkowitz and many other people who lived in the area had said cult initiations involving the sacrifice of dogs and then drinking their blood.
While investigating Devil’s Cave, Terry discovered that it was mere steps from Berkowitz’s single-room apartment. He also found satanic symbols covering the walls of the cave and German Shepherd carcasses in the nearby woods. Terry associated the dead dogs with The Process because they were known to keep German Shepherds. More evidence of an organized Satanic cult.
Decorated former NYPD Detectives Jim Rothstein and Michael Cordella have claimed that the Process Church ordered the killings. Both ex-cops state that they came to this conclusion after being involved in the investigation of the Son of Sam case in the early 1990s. Codella says that, in America, the Process Church established ties with outlaw biker gangs, primarily to make money by running drugs, but also for human trafficking and other unsavory criminal activities.
Michael Cordella was interviewed in 2016 by Ed Opperman, of The Opperman Report.Codella said in the interview that his informant was a prominent member of the Rat Pack biker-gang, which ran a business providing security to anyone and was hired by cult members to maintain a perimeter outside of houses where satanic rituals would take place. The cult was the Process Church of the Final Judgement. The informant and other bikers were reported to have initiated themselves into the Process Church and were introduced to Satanic criminal activities, including pedophilia, and even kidnapping for specific purposes of ritual sacrifice.
The new Netflix documentary, “The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness,” directed by Josh Zeman, focuses on Maury Terry’s lifelong obsession with the murders. What is shocking to Josh Zeman and many researchers like myself is that the police didn’t even bother to interview the Carr brothers. Even after Berkowitz included them in his confessions. This is odd because they would have been the first people most good detectives would question in most major criminal cases like this. But for some reason, they chose not to, which raises red flags of a possible cover-up of something more sinister.
A Son of Sam survivor, Carl Denaro who was shot in the head also believed there was more than one person. Denaro said, “In all, there are probably between 150 and 250 pieces of circumstantial evidence that point toward there being more than one shooter.”
In regards to the Process Church, Zeeman stated in a foreword of Terry’s book “The Ultimate Evil,” which was recently republished; “To some, they were a doomsday cult responsible for a series of ritualistic murders that spanned the country. To others, they were nothing more than an oft-maligned church whose bizarre theatrics led to their scapegoating,” he said. He further wrote that as “hard as it is to fully accept Terry’s allegations, it’s just as difficult to completely dismiss them.”
The “Sons of Sam” director Zeman said, “There’s a preponderance of evidence to suggest that Berkowitz didn’t act alone, I have been told the names of those individuals, some of whom are still alive. So I think there’s obviously enough doubt to suggest that it’s worth looking into reopening the case.”
Zeeman recently told TheWrap, “My mouth just literally dropped to the floor… when I heard that [the police] didn’t interview John or Michael Carr. It’s insane. How could you not?”
“There was a preponderance of evidence to show that the case was not closed properly,” he said. “That’s what happens when you have original narratives that aren’t transparent. If the police were transparent in the beginning, then I think he wouldn’t have gone there. Transparency is what allows people not to go down rabbit holes,” said Zeman.
In the end, the Son of Sam was sentenced to 365 years in prison. But in prison, an act of God occurred. The infamous serial killer became a born-again Christian on a mission. Instead of being seen as a demon spawn incarnate, his fellow Christians look to him as a holy man sending him hundreds of letters as they pray for him and get his advice and spiritual insight. He now works as a prison pastor walking the prison corridors with his Bible to call on God.
Berkowitz says that he is battling his old friend, Satan.
“I’m heaven-bound and shouting victory,” he tells his Christian followers.
In my opinion, I believe that David Berkowitz was a mentally unstable young man who found out that his birth mother had given him up for adoption when he was an infant after having an affair with a married man. Journalist John Vincent Sanders wrote that Berkowitz’s childhood was “somewhat troubled,” and he became infatuated with petty larceny and starting fires at an early age. His adoptive mother died of breast cancer when he was 14 years old, and his home life became strained during later years, mainly because he disliked his adoptive father’s second wife.
When Berkowitz was 17, he joined the United States Army in 1971 and served at Fort Knox. After an honorable discharge in June 1974, he located his birth mother. After a few visits, she disclosed the details of his birth. The news greatly disturbed Berkowitz, and he was particularly distraught by the array of reluctant father figures. Forensic anthropologist Elliott Leyton described Berkowitz’s discovery of his adoption and birth details as the “primary crisis” of his life, a revelation that shattered his sense of identity.
Another common theme amongst Satanists and killers. They have rough childhoods with harmful or abusive parents who abandon them physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The perfect unholy recipe to create a person with mental issues that can quickly morph into a degenerate with a burning hate for the world. A world they seek to destroy and find others like them to help do so.
This is why Berkowitz ventured into the dark world of the occult and Satanism. But he had no idea what he was getting into.
This is a common thread amongst people who ignorantly think it is no big deal or can handle it. Unfortunately, with no real male role models or people looking out for his best interests, he became under the spell of black magick and insane after his short involvement with the Carr Brothers and the Process Church, thus making him the perfect scapegoat to commit Satanic crimes and murder for their evil cause.
While in prison, Berkowitz found what wits he had left, and God realized that he was duped into committing the crimes and abandoned. Feeling shame and remorse, he made the conscious decision to try and redeem his soul from the devil of whom he pledged his life.
You see, even a Soldier of Satan can become a Man of God.
Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. He is a father, husband, author, martial arts black belt, and an expert in Gnosticism, the occult, and esotericism.