David Berkowitz Essay

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David Berkowitz “The Son of Sam” Criminal Profile David Berkowitz “The Son of Sam” Criminal Profile The “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz was a notorious serial killer in the New York area in 1976 - 1977, killing six people and seriously injuring five others (Brody, 2013). He killed at night and targeted brown-haired women and couples sitting in cars, shooting them in cold blood (Brody,2013). He left letters at some of the crimes scenes indicating he was the “Son of Sam” (Brody, 2013). He believed his neighbor Sam Carr was possessed by demons and possibly Satan and their dog told him to kill (Brody, 2013).This man experienced a significant negative developmental, biological and situational factors in his life from infancy to adulthood. This paper will provide a criminal profile based on the biological, developmental and situational factors that lead to his killing spree. This paper will also focus on any indications of mental illness and the implications on his criminal prosecution, treatment and any role that a psychologist had on the capture, understanding and prosecution of his crimes. Biological and Developmental Factors in Childhood David Berkowitz was adopted as an infant to Nathan and Pearl Berkowitz (Brody, 2013). His birth mother Betty Broder and father Joseph Kleinman didn’t want to keep him (Brody, 2013). As the Berkowitz raised him as their own son he developed secure attachment to his adoptive mother but seemed to have developed insecure anxious/ambivalent attachment with his adoptive father (Brody,2013). He was difficult to handle at times but was close to his adoptive mother Pearl but appeared to have conflicts with his adoptive father Nathan (Brody, 2013). The parenting style of his adoptive mother was likely authoritative but it didn’t go without any struggles. His adoptive father was likely more of the authoritarian parenting style which triggered

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