From the get-go, it is clear that the main target of Netflix’s true-crime docuseries The Sons of Sam is investigative journalist Maury Terry, however simply precisely who was Terry? We might should first discuss David Berkowitz, the notorious Son of Sam. From 1976 to 1977, a terror was unleashed in New York Metropolis when somebody who dubbed themselves the Son of Sam began taking pictures in random locations with a .44 caliber gun. The police finally caught Berkowitz, who instantly confessed to killing six folks and injuring seven others that 12 months. Nonetheless, Terry would make a profession out of making an attempt to show that Berkowitz didn’t, in reality, act alone and that he was a part of a widespread satanic cult linked to Scientology and Charles Manson.
When the Berkowitz case cropped up in 1976, Terry was in his early 30s working as an in-house editor at IBM in Yorktown. He beforehand labored as a cub reporter round Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968, masking protests that unfolded. Whereas working at IBM, he grew to become fascinated with the Berkowitz case. Berkowitz claimed to be the notorious Son of Sam, who penned letters to authorities after anonymously taking pictures folks in New York Metropolis. Nonetheless, Terry did not solely purchase his confession. To start out, some survivors described the shooter as tall and blond, which Berkowitz wasn’t. The press put out the narrative that Berkowitz shot victims under the orders of a demonic dog belonging to a person named Sam. However when Terry dug up details about Berkowitz’s neighbor Sam and his sons, John and Michael Carr, he began discovering the household’s connections to cult actions.
Terry spent the remainder of his profession making an attempt to chase down the Son of Sam case and all of its connections throughout the nation. He interviewed Berkowitz twice within the ’90s after publishing a guide on his findings referred to as The Ultimate Evil. In these taped segments, Berkowitz admitted that he was not the shooter in each case and that the Carr sons, who died below suspicious circumstances, were his accomplices as well. Nonetheless, Terry’s fame grew to become tarnished because the NYPD repeatedly tried to debunk him as a conspiracy theorist.
Terry finally passed away from heart failure in 2015 at age 69. Whilst his situation worsened, he was decided to proceed his decades-long analysis about the opportunity of widespread cult exercise throughout the nation. Earlier than he died, he despatched packing containers of his analysis to Joshua Zeman, the director of The Sons of Sam. Whereas the documentary gives us with a deep dive into the Berkowitz case, it additionally offers us a personality examine of Terry, who was so dedicated to the opportunity of justice that he went down a number of rabbit holes whereas digging up hard-hitting data.