Available on Netflix, “The Sons of Sam” is a 4-part documentary series which revives the strange case of New York serial killer David Berkowitz, arrested in 1977. Sentient souls abstain.
It is an affair which inspired Spike Lee, in 1999, with Summer of Sam. The film, carried by Adrian Brody and John Leguizamo, plunges the spectator in New York of 1977. At that time, violence plagues the streets of the city and a serial killer murders innocent people using a .44 caliber.
As if the facts weren’t sordid enough, the murderer sends anonymous letters to the authorities in which he calls himself The Son of Sam, namely the Son of the Devil. Behind this strange pseudonym hides David Berkowitz, a young postman aged 24 and arrested in the summer of 1977 after a year of investigation.
Composed of 4 episodes, the documentary series The Sons of Sam: The Endless Horror retraces this various facts associated forever with the history of the American metropolis. Directed by documentary filmmaker Joshua Zeman, the investigation is more particularly interested in one of the theories which would like that the criminal is not the only one responsible and that a satanic sect would be at the origin of the dramas. In any case, this is the trail defended by journalist Maurry Terry, who has spent more than 40 years investigating this hypothesis, to the point of sacrificing his family and professional life.
In 4 hours, the documentary reconstructs terrifying but fascinating facts thanks to the help of old images and interviews carried out with those who directly participated in the investigation. Many details reveal the uniqueness of the case, but also the personality of David Berkowitz, who claimed to be receiving orders from a black dog, named Sam and possessed by the Devil.
The series also allows us to measure the wave of panic that had hit New York at that time. The killer, who primarily targeted young women with long, dark hair, forced New York women to hide or cut their hair, while police wore wigs in their cars in an attempt to corner him.
Sons of Sam: Endless Horror is as much a documentary about a serial killer as it is about the obsession of a journalist – whose voice is embodied by actor Paul Giamatti – persuaded to hold another truth. Faced with the overload of information, director Joshua Zeman has launched a podcast dedicated to the series to explore many avenues. A small bonus likely to interest fans of true crimes.
Check out the “Searching for the Sons of Sam” podcast: