David Berkowitz: "Society has to take the glory out of guns"
NEW YORK (AP) - David Berkowitz, who shot and killed six people during a yearlong spree in New York City in the 1970s, says "society has to take the glory out of guns."
The "Son of Sam" killer lamented the recent mass shootings that left dozens dead in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis.
He spoke to the Daily News from Sullivan County Correctional Facility in upstate New York, the maximum-security prison where he's serving six consecutive 25-years-to-life sentences.
"I'm looking beyond gun control. That's for the legislators to wrangle with," Berkowitz, 59, said. "My hope is just that young people would understand just how terrible this violence is. When they use a gun against someone else, they ruin their lives too. It's not worth it."
Berkowitz, dubbed the ".44 Caliber Killer" for the gun he used, was arrested at his Yonkers home on Aug. 10, 1977, after he terrorized New York City over 13 months, killing six people and shooting seven others.
Berkowitz later claimed his neighbor's dog ordered him to carry out the murders.
He appears to have undergone a spiritual transformation, saying his killing spree came at a time when he was "lost," tormented" and "confused." Berkowitz is now a born-again Christian.
Last summer, Berkowitz said he has no interest in seeking parole. He told the Daily News that it's the "proper road to take" to spare the victims' families further pain.
Frank and Marie Suriani, whose 18-year-old daughter, Valentina, was murdered by Berkowitz in April 1977, declined to comment when reached by The Associated Press at their Bronx home Friday.
"I continue to pray for the victims of my crimes," Berkowitz said. "I do wish them the best in life. But I'm sure the pain will never end for them. I regret that."