'Son of Sam' Serial Killer Won’t Seek Parole; Gives Jesus as Reason

“Son of Sam” serial killer David Berkowitz will once again not seek to be released from prison, repeating what he has previously said five times since 2002 when he was first eligible for parole.

Berkowitz, 58, who was also known as the .44 Caliber Killer, wrote a letter to a reporter explaining that he has no interest in parole and that he is forgiven through Jesus Christ.

Convicted of killing six women and shooting seven others in New York City over 13 months in 1976 and 1977, Berkowitz is serving six consecutive 25-years-to-life sentences. He is imprisoned at the maximum-security Sullivan Correctional Facility northwest of New York City.

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He was first imprisoned at the Attica Correctional Facility and has served a total of 34 years. He has been up for parole every two years since 2002.

He wrote in the letter: “I have no interest in parole and no plans to seek release. If you could understand this, I am already a ‘free man.’ I am not saying this jokingly. I really am. Jesus Christ has already pardoned me, and I believe this.”

Although Berkowitz does not have access to a computer, in a website reportedly hosted by a church group at, his personal testimony page states that in 1987 he fell to his knees and cried out to Jesus.

“I told Him that I was sick and tired of doing evil. I asked Jesus to forgive me for all my sins. I spent a good while on my knees praying to Him,” Berkowitz states on his “My Testimony” page on the site. “When I got up it felt as if a very heavy but invisible chain that had been around me for so many years was broken. A peace flooded over me. I did not understand what was happening. But in my heart I just knew that my life, somehow, was going to be different.”

Berkowitz writes in his letter to the reporter that he is active in prison ministry, including helping with Sunday services and Bible studies.

A Pace Law Review 2011 entry by Rebekah Binger published recently is titled, “Prison Ain’t Hell: An Interview with David Berkowitz.” Binger uses his in-prison salvation story to make a case for state-funded faith-based prison rehabilitation programs and that they do not violate the Establishment Clause.

“Religious prison programs offered at the various institutions in which Berkowitz served his sentence kept him on the straight and narrow, and removed him from the category of prison troublemaker to a sort of prison trustee,” Binger states in the law review article. “His story must not be dismissed or ignored.”

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