FROM ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION
FOR RELEASE: AT WILL DATED: 5/4/2021
SERIES REVIEW by Richard Roeper
“THE SONS OF SAM: A DESCENT INTO DARKNESS” Three stars
A four-part docuseries accessible Wednesday on Netflix.
Across the midway mark of the four-part Neflix true-crime collection “The Sons of Sam,” we’re about 90% satisfied the infamous serial killer David Berkowitz a.okay.a. “Son of Sam” had at the least one confederate as he terrorized New York Metropolis with a collection of grotesque execution-style murders in 1976-77 earlier than he was apprehended by authorities.
Berkowitz regarded nothing just like the police sketches drawn from the reminiscences of surviving victims. He had a neighbor in Yonkers named Sam Carr — proprietor of the supposedly Satanic canine who ordered Berkowitz to commit the crimes. Sam Carr had two sons, John and Michael, who died in separate incidents inside two years of Berkowitz’s arrest. Berkowitz claimed the Carr brothers had taken half within the killings. (They had been by no means charged.) Constructing blocks are laid right down to type the inspiration for a reputable argument there have been others concerned.
Across the three-quarters mark, we’re nonetheless pretty sure Berkowitz did not act alone, however we’re additionally practically misplaced within the weeds of an increasing internet of murders and suspicious deaths that develop to the West, to not point out a thicket of conspiracy theories involving Satanic cults and a controversial church and actually dozens of tangential storylines and characters.
By the point “Sons of Sam” reaches its conclusion, we’re left with extra questions than solutions about whether or not Berkowitz acted alone — and we’re left shaken by one other tragedy: the troubled life and unhappy demise of 1 Maury Terry, an outsider journalist who grew to become obsessive about the Berkowitz case very similar to Michelle McNamara threw herself into the case of the Golden State Killer, as chronicled within the ebook and subsequent HBO collection “I am going to Be Gone within the Darkish.” However whereas McNamara’s posthumously accomplished ebook was hailed as the most effective true-crime, nonfiction works since Capote’s “In Chilly Blood,” Terry’s “The Final Evil,” whereas an infinite bestseller, featured an illustration of a red-eyed, crazed canine on the quilt and purported to show a nationwide and even world community of killer cults and tried to attach Berkowitz to the Manson murders and different darkish occasions and entities. To say it was a attain is an understatement.
Within the greater than succesful palms of director Joshua Zeman, “Sons of Sam” turns into as a lot a profile of Terry and his obsessive makes an attempt to re-open the case (to the anticipated resistance of the New York Metropolis Police Division and others who needed the nightmare to die with Berkowitz’s arrest and conviction) as a re-examination of the investigation of the “.44 Caliber Killer,” as Berkowitz was referred to as by the media till he started sending letters to New York Each day Information columnist Jimmy Breslin calling himself “Son of Sam.”
Despite the fact that Terry had scored one-on-one interviews with a jailed Berkowitz and had introduced compelling proof the so-called “Son of Sam” not solely had accomplices however may not have been the triggerman for among the shootings, he eroded his credibility with a collection of clown-show interviews on exploitation speak TV (Geraldo Rivera’s daytime present, “A Present Affair” with Maury Povich, Morton Downey Jr., et al.), and he by no means acquired authorities to re-open the case. Terry spent his final years drowning in a sea of drink and bitterness, annoyed by his lack of ability to nail down the largest story of his profession, the story that consumed him.
This may sound just like the form of melodramatic line you hear in lots of a true-crime collection, however in a approach, Maury Terry was one more sufferer of the Son of Sam.
(EDITORS: For editorial questions, contact Josh Peres, jperes(at)amuniversal.com.)
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