joe borelli

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The Six Victims of David Berkowitz

In 1976 and 1977, David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz shot and killed six people and wounded many more in the Bronx and Brooklyn areas of New York.

1. Donna Laurie, age 18, was murdered by Berkowitz on 29 July 1976 at around one a.m. Berkowitz shot through her car window and hit her in the arm and neck. She was shot with a .44 caliber Bulldog. This was thought to be the doing of the Mafia, as the North Bronx area was, at the time, predominantly Italian.

2. Christine Freund, age 26, was shot and killed by Berkowitz on 30 January 1977 at around midnight. The police connected the murder of Donna Laurie to the murder of Freund, identifying the weapon as a .44 caliber Bulldog. However, due to conflicting descriptions of the assailant, this notion was quickly dismissed.

3. Virginia Voskerichain, age 19, was shot and killed by Berkowitz at around 7:30pm on 8 March 1977. He fired once into her head, killing her instantly. After her death, an NYPD task force known as Operation Omega was formed to catch the .44 Killer.

4. Valentina Suriani, age 18, and her boyfriend, Alexander Esau, age 20, were killed by Berkowitz on 16 April 1977, not far from the site of Donna Laurie’s murder. The first officer on the scene discovered an envelope addressed to Captain Joe Borelli. Berkowitz used just the tips of his fingers when handling the letter, rendering forensics unable to find usable fingerprints. Two weeks later, a similar letter was sent to the New York Daily News’ journalist, Jimmy Breslin.

5. Stacy Moskowitz, age 20, was shot and killed on 31 July 1977 in Brooklyn. While on a walk through the park with her boyfriend, they noticed an odd figure standing near a public restroom. Later, when they were in their car, Berkowitz fired three shots into their car, killing Moskowitz.

In August 1977, NYPD homicide detectives indicted David Berkowitz for eight shooting incidents. He confessed and claimed that his neighbor’s dog, who was allegedly possessed by a demon, instructed him to kill. On 12 June 1978, Berkowitz was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences. He is incarcerated in Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, New York.