First there were mysterious shootings. Then there were boastful letters to Jimmy Breslin. No one wanted to be caught alone in the boroughs of New York. All Lovers’ Lanes were closed. Was it all part of The Process? Investigation Discovery will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the capture of the .44 caliber killer David Berkowitz in the documentary Son Of Sam: The Hunt For A Killer. The two-hour special will premiere on Saturday, August 5 at 9 p.m. ET. The two-hour documentary will also explore the satanic cult conspiracy theories that sprung up after Berkowitz went to jail.
“New York City was in panic for more than a year in the late ‘70s while a serial killer armed with a .44 caliber gun taunted law enforcement, toyed with the media and played a fatal game of cat and mouse with its residents,” reads the official synopsis.
Son Of Sam: The Hunt For A Killer traces “the parallel stories of a serial killer’s unsuspecting victims and the dedicated detectives who worked tirelessly to capture the madman who left six young people dead, seven wounded, and a city in chaos.”
Son Of Sam: The Hunt For A Killer combines first-person testimony and archival footage to bring a “compelling suspense thriller tracking the investigative moves of the NYPD and New York media in their hunt for a suspect, while providing a platform for the survivors and victim’s families.”
This multi-perspective story is told in chronological order. The filmmakers spoke with the families of the victims as well as survivors Carl Denaro and Robert Violante. The also spoke with the detectives who worked the case, including: Captain (Ret.) of the NYPD and head of the Omega task force, Joe Borelli; Queens detective and original task force member Marlin Hopkins; arresting officer William Gardella; and NYPD Psychologist Harvey Schlossberg, who was tasked with profiling Berkowitz.
“The mass hysteria that descended upon New York during 1976 and ’77 is now approaching its 40-year anniversary, but feels like just yesterday to New Yorkers who lived through this terrifying time,” Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel and Destination America, said in a statement.
“Now, in a historical retrospective, Investigation Discovery relives this tragic mark in New York’s storied history from those who encountered and hunted the madman, especially the investigators who worked tirelessly to bring justice to the city, and the intrepid reporters who played an influential role in his capture.”
Reporters who covered the case also discuss how the media were thrust from being observers to participants in the frenzy, such as New York Post’s Steve Dunleavy and New York Daily News’ Brian Kates, who worked alongside Jimmy Breslin.
The film explores the bizarre twists and turns in the extraordinary police investigation and subsequent manhunt, explaining how police pieced together a seemingly random slew of shootings to build a psychological profile of the killer.
Son Of Sam: The Hunt For A Killer debuts on Investigation Discovery on Saturday, August 5 at 9 p.m. ET.