The serial killer known as "Son of Sam" has reportedly been hospitalized today.
David Berkowitz, 64, was transferred from a maximum-security prison in upstate New York to a hospital some time on Tuesday, Dec. 12. Officials wouldn't identify the exact reason for his hospitalization, but the New York Post and the Times-Union of Albany have both reported that Berkowitz would be undergoing heart surgery.
Berkowitz began his killing spree in the summer of 1976. He targeted young women, particularly those who were alone and usually sitting in cars. He used a handgun to carry out his crimes, though he later obtained a machine gun and intended to carry out a mass shooting.
Berkowitz was known to police detectives as the ".44 Caliber Killer," though he identified himself as "Son of Sam." He claimed that he received "instructions" to commit murder from his neighbor's dog. He allegedly heard other voices as well.
At the time of his arrest, Berkowitz had killed six people in New York City, and wounded seven. He pled guilty to eight charges, and received six consecutive life sentences in prison.
The crime spree received lots of coverage throughout the country. The American people were horrified, yet entranced by the delusional letters the "Son of Sam" left for police. Berkowitz gained an infamous reputation. He later claimed that he had committed all the crimes as part of an ongoing ritual by a Satanic cult.
In recent years, Berkowitz claims to have become a Born-Again Christian. He's expressed remorse for his actions from prison. Berkowitz had a lasting impact on American pop culture as well as violent crime laws in New York.