The 1970's accounted for an incredible decade. It was a decade of change, of freedom, and a time of great music. It was also an incredible decade for shock, fear and serial killers. One of the most infamous and reputable murderers was David Berkowitz, commonly known as the Son of Sam. He stalked the streets of New York City from 1967 to 1977, preying on young, pretty brunettes and blonds. By looking back into the years leading up to these murders", one can see how difficult of a life Berkowitz had truly endured. However, despite his hardships and the public sympathy that he has received, David Berkowitz was completely sane when he committed his crimes, and therefore we must hold him accountable. (Berkowitz 1).
Berkowitz was born out of wedlock in Brooklyn on June 1, 1953. His mother gave the young David up for adoption soon after. Although he did not start his life under the most favorable circumstances, he was fortunate enough to be adopted by Nat and Pearl Berkowitz, a childless couple who devoted everything to their new son. He had a normal childhood in the Bronx, growing up with no clear warning signs of what was yet to come. However, loneliness seemed to have been a significant factor in his life, and he suffered from very low self-esteem. His parents were not particularly socially oriented and neither was David. Berkowitz was always insecure about his large size as a teen, feeling different and less attractive than his peers. Throughout his youth, he was uncomfortable with others and himself. Some childhood activities that perhaps could have hinted towards a violent future included a hobby of arson (Berkowitz 1).
David was unaware that his adopted mother, Pearl, had suffered from breast cancer before he was born until her re-occurrence in 1965 and again in 1967. David was thrown off balance by these events. Nat had not informed David of his mother's past medical problems and did not keep him informed of the prognosis.