Netflix has become the home for true crime documentaries over the past few years. From unsolved cases to modern murders, you can find it all. The latest addition is The Sons of Sam: Descent Into Darkness, a series examining the theory that David Berkowitz didn’t act alone during his killing spree in the 70s.
Over the course of one year between 76 and 77, David Berkowitz murdered six people and injured a further 10. Calling himself the Son of Sam, Berkowitz had New Yorkers in fear for their lives as he taunted police with letters promising further crimes.
Also known as the .44 Caliber Killer due to the weapon he used, Berkowitz was eventually caught and pleaded guilty to eight separate shootings. He initially blamed his reign of terror on his neighbor Sam’s dog, saying he was a demon who ordered him to commit the killings, but eventually confirmed he made that up. Now serving life in prison, there are some who think Berkowitz had an accomplice.
The Sons of Sam: Descent Into Darkness delves into this theory, with filmmaker Joshua Zeman (Cropsey, The Station Agent) investigating the work of journalist Maury Terry, who spent years trying to prove there were other people involved in the killings.
“Originally, I thought the rumors were nothing more than Satanic Panic, but that’s when two NYPD detectives sat me down to tell me a story,” Zeman told Rolling Stone. “They said there was far more to the Son of Sam case than the public knew. They told me to read Maury Terry’s book Ultimate Evil – which both fascinated and scared the shit out of me.”
“Eventually, I sat down with Maury and put his theories to the test,” he continued. “Much to my surprise, I found myself seriously considering the unimaginable – that Berkowitz didn’t act alone, and that there were other Sons of Sam out there.”
The docuseries features archival and never-seen-before footage along with brand new interviews with an array of people skeptical Berkowitz could have carried out the killings solo. It addresses Satanic cults and links to the Manson Family, with a lot of people convinced others were involved in the killings.
The Sons of Sam: Descent Into Darkness premieres on Netflix on May 5th.
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