Coming to Netflix is another look at a particular summer in New York City in 1976 with THE SONS OF SAM.
Beginning with a Bronx girl who is tragically shot outside her home and in New York it seemed to be what was happening in the Big Apple. Then, it happened again, and again…and again. The mystery is that the shootings are not motivated by anything other than being a senseless explosion of violence. A sketch is circulated but young people are still out and about.
The shootings expand to Queens and has now earned the nickname the .44 Calibre Killer. The news speaks of lover’s lanes and victims being young women with short brown hair which brings a wave of fear. So far, the police have no pattern to what was happening, each incident is random, and no one knew where he would strike next.
Striking again, this time he leaves a note calling himself the “Son of Sam” with disturbing lines and is the first and still mysterious lead to the crimes. Another letter to journalist Jimmy Breslin with The Daily News arrives filled with descriptors and odd nicknames he gives himself. Maury Terry is another writer who recounts the world around him, but editors would not allow his words to be put into print.
It has been a year since the first shooting and people are still in the killers’ sights. Everyone believes that the killer is going to strike again on the anniversary of the first person shot. Instead, days pass and then an attack in Brooklyn. New composites are distributed to the press based on eyewitnesses who believe they saw the killer.
That is when the name David Berkowitz comes to the attention of the police and now they have the Son of Sam from Yonkers, the killer they had been looking for. After the celebrating, the question is asked – why does Berkowitz not look like the artist sketches? It did not take long before other pieces of the puzzle call into question if the man they have arrested acted alone.
At Kings County Hospital, they are taking Berkowitzs’ personality apart. Looking at his life history growing up and in the military, everyone has something to say about the man. Terry was pouring over everything that came out about the killer yet still believed there was more. No longer interested in writing about computers, Terry begins to share his thoughts on who he thinks might be responsible – and it is someone close Berkowitz. The name John Carr is referenced over and over.
Terry, now working at a paper, gets his chance to dig deeper into the entire investigation. He and Zuckerman go to the police when they believe they have proof that Berkowitz may not have acted alone but are turned away. That does not stop Terry from continuing to talk to others and investigate places that held more insight to Berkowitz and the Carr family.
But now publications and shocking events are under scrutiny and it makes Terry’s case more difficult without being able to speak with the Son of Sam. Still, Terry refuses to stop looking for connections with Satanism, animal killings, involvement from other states and other rituals that the police refused to look at. To the police, the case was closed, and the murders solved.
Finally, articles in Today’s paper begin appearing with things Terry had discovered and people are taking notice. The case is reopened! Now Terry is put on the air as television shares his two-year suspicions about the Son of Sam killings and how many are responsible. This gives him more reason to keep following the Carr family, their history and the connections that are far reaching.
As bizarre as it seems, Terry uncovers Scientology, The Process, Mansion Family, The Children and still, when officers from other department tried to talk to Berkowitz, Terry was left to say, “see, I told you so”. If that was not enough, everything was now stalled. Every time Terry found a path to more information, it would be a path that was abruptly and, sometimes, brutally stopped.
In June of 1987, Terry’s book ULTIMATE EVIL brought about so much more information and people began to talk. The problem is what they are talking about has nothing to do with his findings regarding the Son of Sam. His personal life would suffer, and his professional life had people not only refusing to accept what he was saying but found ways to play it down.
In September of 1993, Terry would finally come face to face with the one man who could answer every question he would ever have. Thinking this would finally vindicate everything he had investigated, Terry would find out that the walls he thought had been put up before were made of the thinnest paper, this new wall is made of iron.
It was time to adjust his thinking and bring together a group of people that would be of like mind and see what Terry had been living with since the first killing in 1976. Even with the corroboration of even more people to Satanism and The Process, Terry knows that he needs to see Berkowitz one last time to then be able to walk away for good. When does an obsession become just as dangerous as a killer?
THE SONS OF SAM is a deep look into a history most are not aware of. The first episode and half of the second are the things that most of us learned about the .44 calibre killer. What comes from then on are twists, turns and bizarre puzzle pieces that fit with Terry continuing to look for things no one else dared.
Netflix has kicked it into high gear over the last year with their documentaries and THE SONS OF SAM is high on that list of must-see’s. Netflix is the world’s leading streaming entertainment service with over 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries. Enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films, Netflix is across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere and on any internet-connected screen. For more information, please visit www.netflix.com.
Set aside plenty of time because binge watching has become as much of a national pastime as crime documentaries. THE SONS OF SAM is interesting in scope and following the thought processes of some of the participants made me want to get out a notebook and keep it all straight.
There are moments where jaws drop and other things that make you go ‘hmmmmmm’ moments. Decide for yourself what is true and who do you believe!