This article is an excerpt from Louis Proud’s new book The Secret Influence of the Moon: Alien Origins and Occult Powers -- Chapter 6: The Moon Matrix
Can the Moon bring out the worst in human behavior, particularly when it’s full? Can it drive some people to commit acts of violence, even murder? In the case of David Berkowitz, the notorious “Son of Sam” serial killer, questions such as these are worth examining. Born Richard David Falco on June 1, 1953, in Brooklyn, New York, he was adopted as an infant by hardware store owners Pearl and Nathan Berkowitz. Since childhood, Berkowitz showed signs of being a troubled loner, eventually developing a penchant for larceny and pyromania. His aggressive and anti-social tendencies became especially pronounced when, at the age of thirteen, his adoptive mother died from breast cancer. To make matters worse, he didn’t get along with his adoptive father’s new wife. In 1971, when he was eighteen, the couple moved to Florida without him.
That same year, Berkowitz joined the army. He left after three years of service, but not before developing into an excellent marksman. Shortly thereafter, he was reunited with his birth mother, Betty Falco. He was, she revealed, an illegitimate child; his father was a man with whom she’d had an extramarital affair. This greatly disturbed Berkowitz, and before long he drifted out of contact with his mother.
Believing his mind to be under the influence of demons, Berkowitz attempted to murder fifteen-year-old Michelle Forman on Christmas Eve of 1975, stabbing her repeatedly with a hunting knife. Fortunately, she survived. Not long after the incident, Berkowitz relocated to the city of Yonkers, New York. His new neighbor, Sam Carr, owned a black Labrador retriever named Harvey, and Berkowitz came to believe the animal was possessed by an ancient demon that commanded him to slaughter people.
Berkowitz performed his first successful murder on July 29, 1976, about an hour after midnight. His victim was eighteen-year-old Donna Laurie, whom he shot in the chest. At the time of the incident, Laurie was seated in a parked car accompanied by her friend Jody Valente. Valente was shot in the thigh but survived. Roughly a month later, Berkowitz felt the need to kill again, firing several shots through the windows of a parked car. Its occupants were Carl Denaro and his girlfriend, Rosemary Keenan. Though both survived, Denaro sustained a serious gunshot wound to the head.
Over the next nine months, Berkowitz carried out an additional six attacks, mostly targeting young brunette women and most of them seated at the time in parked cars with their boyfriends. At the scene of one of the murders, Berkowitz left behind a handwritten letter, signed “Son of Sam.” It was a reference to the demon he believed resided in Sam Carr’s dog. Part of the note read: “I feel like an outsider. I am on a different wave length then [sic] everybody else -- programmed too [sic] kill.”
Berkowitz was arrested on August 10, 1977, after someone reported him loitering near the scene of his last shooting. After pleading guilty to his crimes, which included the death of six people, he was sentence to 365 years in prison.
He is currently housed in a New York State maximum security prison and, since being “born again” in 1987, is a very devout Christian. He has a good prison record and no intention of seeking parole, stating in 2002: “I believe I deserve to be in prison for the rest of my life. . . . I have accepted my punishment.” Berkowitz cited his resentment toward women, his mother especially, as one of the reasons that led him to kill, adding he found the acts to be sexually arousing.
There is a very bizarre twist to the story. Berkowitz claims to have conducted the crimes not alone, but in participation with members of a violent satanic cult. Apparently the cult consisted of some two dozen core members in New York with ties across the United States and was involved in illegal activities, including drug smuggling and child pornography. A letter of his published in the New York Post, dated September 19, 1977, ominously states: “There are other Sons out there, God help the world.”
Berkowitz’s satanic cult claims are difficult to dismiss. He has stated he cannot reveal everything he knows about the cult because doing so could jeopardize the safety of his family members. As for his own safety, an attempt was made on his life in 1979 when a fellow inmate (whom he refused to identify) attacked him with a knife. The wound required a total of fifty-two stitches. It was around this time when Berkowitz named John Carr and John Carr’s brother, Michael, as fellow cult members, along with their father, the aforementioned Sam Carr. Both John and Michael Carr died under extremely suspicious circumstances: John died in February 1978, from a rifle shot to the face (an apparent suicide), and Michael died in October1979, as a result of an apparent drunk-driving accident, despite his clinical aversion to alcohol.
Even if Berkowitz did act alone and the cult part of his story was a fabrication, there remains an occult motivation to the killings. Berkowitz had a deep and obsessive interest in magic and the occult. At the time of his arrest, police searched his apartment to find its walls covered in “satanic graffiti.” And here’s where the lunar element creeps into the story: of the eight attacks Berkowitz committed, five of them occurred on a night when the Moon was either new or full. Some would call this merely a coincidence. Others would say Berkowitz acted, to some extent, under the Moon’s maleficent influence; it triggered his violent tendencies. Others -- myself included -- would say Berkowitz performed the killings in a ritualistic fashion, whereby he choose to murder on nights when the Moon was new or full because of the occult and magical significance of those occasions.