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I hope this isn’t a taboo subject, but I don’t know where else I’ll ever have many native New Yorkers to discuss with.

I’ve always thought this to be one of the most fascinating criminal situations in US History.  I just recently finished a documentary on Netflix about the potential involvement of others.  I thought it was a very entertaining documentary.  Don’t know if I believe it, but certainly not that far fetched.

Any of you alive and old enough to remember this while living in the area?  I can’t imagine what it was like.  The 70s and 80s NYC, as I’ve seen it portrayed, also fascinates.  

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32 minutes ago, Dcat said:

I lived in the heart of it.  Several of the killings were in my then current and g/f's current neighborhoods.  I lived in Forest Hills, about 5 blocks away from the shootings in Forest Hills Gardens.  My g/f was in Bayside, a few blocks from the Elephas club, another Son of Sam target.  I remember her putting her long hair down in to her denim jacket with hat on, since the dude loved to shoot long haired women, especially when with their boyfriends.  There was genuine fear to go out.  Man, I lived and breathed his sh*t.  To think....  a freaking parking ticket is what it took to nail him.

I can even imagine the fear.  Like you said, a real, genuine fear.  Thanks for the reply.  They talk about the Elephas club a lot in the documentary.

This is a dumb question and I don’t know why it interest me, but the geography of NYC is something I never could quite grasp.  When you say Forest Hills, is that it’s own “town” or is a neighborhood in one of the Burroughs?

Thanks for the reply 

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Hey... in the documentary, does it say why he primarily targeted Queens (and later Brooklyn, which is why he got caught)?  Berkowitz was from Westchester, I think Yonkers.  Queens is a long freakin' ride from there.  Why Queens?

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6 minutes ago, Dcat said:

Hey... in the documentary, does it say why he primarily targeted Queens (and later Brooklyn, which is why he got caught)?  Berkowitz was from Westchester, I think Yonkers.  Queens is a long freakin' ride from there.  Why Queens?

Well the gist of the documentary is that he didn’t act alone and it was he was part of a satanic cult.  And that he was only the “trigger man” in 2 of the shootings.  Now whether that is the truth who knows, but the documentary is very convincing.

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29 minutes ago, HawkeyeJet said:

Well the gist of the documentary is that he didn’t act alone and it was he was part of a satanic cult.  And that he was only the “trigger man” in 2 of the shootings.  Now whether that is the truth who knows, but the documentary is very convincing.

Really?  They have to be kidding.  Looked pretty cut and dry at the time.   This is the age of conspiracy theories after all.

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3 minutes ago, Dcat said:

Really?  They have to be kidding.  Looked pretty cut and dry at the time.   This is the age of conspiracy theories after all.

No matter what story or issue, always the same conspiracy b/s.

I was a young adult during the SoS madness.  We were all very aware of the prospect of getting killed.   Still did not deter many of us from "parking" with our girlfriends.   Do kids still park these days?

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On 12/1/2021 at 9:46 AM, Dcat said:

In the borough of Queens, people use their neighborhood when asked "where do you live"? Bayside, Astoria, Forest Hills, Little Neck, Rego Park, etc.   All neighborhoods in Queens.   Other boroughs do similar things, but nobody from Queens ever says they are from Queens.  They are from Flushing, Ozone Park, Jamaica, Maspeth, Middle Village, Jackson Heights, Glen Oaks.....

I originate from Forest Hills.  Went to Forest Hills High.  My wife from Bayside, Cardoza High.  

 

Yep...growing up in Brooklyn, when people asked where I was from, I understood it as either:

1) what was my heritage (Italian/German); or

2) what neighborhood did I live in (Crown Heights).

Now, living in the Midwest, if I'm asked where I'm from, I usually say Brooklyn.  I wouldn't even think about mentioning my heritage because that's just not a thing out here, especially with white people.  I have so many friends out here that I've known for 10+ years and I have no idea what their heritage is.  English? German? French?  Who knows...people don't identify with their heritage out here.  Growing up in Brooklyn learning someone's heritage was always one of the first things you learned about them.  (Although I will say, the one exception tends to be Italians.  Even out in the Midwest Italians tend to identify more with their heritage then other groups).

Now, if I ask someone "where are you from" 99% of the time I get the name of a city.  Indy, Carmel, Greenwood, Chicago etc.  Never a neighborhood in those cities.

 

In my experience the larger the city a person is from, the more localized they will be with a response about "where are you from".  And even then, it depends on who is asking.  For example, if a guy I knew was originally from the NY area asked me now where I was from, I would probably say Crown Heights, if it was someone out of the NY area, I would say Brooklyn.

As you can tell, my weird ass brain has thought about this a lot over the last 20+ years I've been in the Midwest.

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12 hours ago, HawkeyeJet said:

I hope this isn’t a taboo subject, but I don’t know where else I’ll ever have many native New Yorkers to discuss with.

I’ve always thought this to be one of the most fascinating criminal situations in US History.  I just recently finished a documentary on Netflix about the potential involvement of others.  I thought it was a very entertaining documentary.  Don’t know if I believe it, but certainly not that far fetched.

Any of you alive and old enough to remember this while living in the area?  I can’t imagine what it was like.  The 70s and 80s NYC, as I’ve seen it portrayed, also fascinates.  

Oh i remember it like yesterday.

I was a wee lad maybe 9. We lived in queens next to the nassau border. My mom was pretty freaked out. SOS shot someone that survived one night just a few blocks away. I remember the police cars. 
 

That was the final straw. It was summer and my mom took me to our summer house way out in wading river. Thats where we stayed until this poor mentally ill dude was caught. 
I remember a lot of girls i knew, ladies rather, dyed their hair dark

In other news it was the 70s and everything was great.

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2 hours ago, HawkeyeJet said:

Well the gist of the documentary is that he didn’t act alone and it was he was part of a satanic cult.  And that he was only the “trigger man” in 2 of the shootings.  Now whether that is the truth who knows, but the documentary is very convincing.

There was no satanic cult.

The guy was paranoid schizophrenic. My brother is as well.

call him and chat for 10 minutes. You will learn how the govt has bought him a mansion in key west and hes waiting to be moved. He will tell tou how the govt has placed bugs in every home. He will tell you about the countless cities that have completely crumbled and have no one alive as we speak because the cia dropped nukes.

trust me he acted alone. 

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5 hours ago, IndianaJet said:

Yep...growing up in Brooklyn, when people asked where I was from, I understood it as either:

1) what was my heritage (Italian/German); or

2) what neighborhood did I live in (Crown Heights).

Now, living in the Midwest, if I'm asked where I'm from, I usually say Brooklyn.  I wouldn't even think about mentioning my heritage because that's just not a thing out here, especially with white people.  I have so many friends out here that I've known for 10+ years and I have no idea what their heritage is.  English? German? French?  Who knows...people don't identify with their heritage out here.  Growing up in Brooklyn learning someone's heritage was always one of the first things you learned about them.  (Although I will say, the one exception tends to be Italians.  Even out in the Midwest Italians tend to identify more with their heritage then other groups).

Now, if I ask someone "where they're from" 99% of the time I get the name of a city.  Indy, Carmel, Greenwood, Chicago etc.  Never a neighborhood in those cities.

 

In my experience the larger the city a person is from, the more localized they will be with a response about "where there from".  And even then, it depends on who is asking.  For example, if a guy I knew was originally from the NY area asked me now where I was from, I would probably say Crown Heights, if it was someone out of the NY area, I would say Brooklyn.

As you can tell, my weird ass brain has thought about this a lot over the last 20+ years I've been in the Midwest.

Conversely, everyone from Massachusetts says "Boston" when asked where they're from.

 

I lived in Southie for a couple of years in the 90s, and when I moved back one of my coworkers was obviously a Masshole, I asked where he was from, he said, "Boston", so I responded,  'cool, I lived in Southie, what part were you in?"

 

Answer: Brockton 😆 

 

It's always the same. 

 

Guys, Brockton, Worcester,  and Somerville

Ain't Boston.

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1 hour ago, Jet_Engine1 said:

Conversely, everyone from Massachusetts says "Boston" when asked where they're from.

 

I lived in Southie for a couple of years in the 90s, and when I moved back one of my coworkers was obviously a Masshole, I asked where he was from, he said, "Boston", so I responded,  'cool, I lived in Southie, what part were you in?"

 

Answer: Brockton 😆 

 

It's always the same. 

 

Guys, Brockton, Worcester,  and Somerville

Ain't Boston.

I find this is common with basically anywhere that's not the NY area. Once had a guy tell me he was from St. Louis and I said where in St. Louis and his response was "well about a half hour outside of St. Louis." I grew up on Long Island and would never tell anyone I was from NYC just because I was a short train ride away.

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1 hour ago, JustEndTheSuffering said:

I find this is common with basically anywhere that's not the NY area. Once had a guy tell me he was from St. Louis and I said where in St. Louis and his response was "well about a half hour outside of St. Louis." I grew up on Long Island and would never tell anyone I was from NYC just because I was a short train ride away.

I'm from Rockaway. Thats all I've ever said. If they need more specificity,  I tell them Belle Harbour. People not from NYC have no clue, and IDGAF. 😆 

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Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum.  When I’m asked where I’m from outside of Iowa, I just say Iowa.  No one knows any of our cities🤣🤣

Id give just about anything to go back and see NYC in the 70s.  Just sounds like an absolute hell on earth type of thing to me as an outsider.  The crime, the dirtiness, so on and so forth.  For whatever reason, that decade, in that city, fascinates me.

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I watched that documentary and thought it was fascinating. I was a kid at the time, but I remember my mom and sisters being freaked out by it even though we were in Bay Ridge. IMO, the documentary is less about Berkowitz and his ties to a cult than it is about Maury Terry unearthing a bunch of compelling evidence but getting swallowed up by the tabloid and political machine to the point that it ruined him. If Terry had Twitter and Facebook in those days, he’d have become a journalistic icon. Instead, he ended up getting exploited and clowned by the likes of Morton Downey Jr. 
 

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2 hours ago, HawkeyeJet said:

Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum.  When I’m asked where I’m from outside of Iowa, I just say Iowa.  No one knows any of our cities🤣🤣

Id give just about anything to go back and see NYC in the 70s.  Just sounds like an absolute hell on earth type of thing to me as an outsider.  The crime, the dirtiness, so on and so forth.  For whatever reason, that decade, in that city, fascinates me.

You got good taste. Nyc in the 70s was great. I was a kid but remember it vividly.

theres some maggie gihlinhall series about the peep shows in the 70s. Forget the name but very good and the visuals are dead accurate from that era

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The reason Queens says the town names is because it wasn't an incorporated city when it became part of NYC.  Brooklyn already was a city with different neighborhoods.  Queens was not.  I used to tell people I was from Brooklyn.  Then I was in the foreign service and every a$$hole that spent two weeks in Williamsburg is telling people they are from Brooklyn.  I tell people I am from Bensonhurst.

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10 hours ago, HighPitch said:

You got good taste. Nyc in the 70s was great. I was a kid but remember it vividly.

theres some maggie gihlinhall series about the peep shows in the 70s. Forget the name but very good and the visuals are dead accurate from that era

I still can't decide whether I find Maggie G attractive or not. 

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14 hours ago, Jet_Engine1 said:

I'm from Rockaway. Thats all I've ever said. If they need more specificity,  I tell them Belle Harbour. People not from NYC have no clue, and IDGAF. 😆 

All those hot June days where we'd cut high school and hop on the bus on Queens Blvd to Beach 116th.  Hoards of us.  I remember like yesterday.

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So, I work for a company where the founder was named Sam.  He has passed on, but his sons are still active.  We were onboarding a new employee about two weeks ago and talking about the company history, and the constant references were to this "Son of Sam" or that "Son of Sam."  I knew I was dealing with people way younger than I am, who are also not from NY when I asked if there was a different way to refer to the male offspring of Sam and they had no idea what I was talking about. 

One person said she thought it might have been a reference to a slasher movie from the 70s.  Nobody on the call - all midwesterners between 25 & 50 - had any idea who Son of Sam was and why the reference bothered me. 

They know now.

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I grew up on LI (Huntington, western Suffolk) and was about 8 years old during the 'Summer of Sam" and even out there it was a big thing, in the Newsday headlines all the time, women getting their hair dyed and/or cut short, etc.

I do think there was a stronger connection to NYC back then, especially in Huntington- basically all of our dads worked in the city, Huntington was where most north shore commuters wanted to live because it's the first/last stop on the electric line, you have to change to/from a diesel to get to/from anywhere east of there - for some reason this seemed like a bigger deal prior to the 80s, not sure if something changed. Also, LI business centers like Hauppauge, Melville, Garden City etc. weren't what they are now, if you worked in Finance or other industries you really couldn't work for a large firm on LI.

It was a crazy summer in general in the city (blackout, bicentennial, financial crisis, etc.).

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16 minutes ago, isired said:

I grew up on LI (Huntington, western Suffolk) and was about 8 years old during the 'Summer of Sam" and even out there it was a big thing, in the Newsday headlines all the time, women getting their hair dyed and/or cut short, etc.

I do think there was a stronger connection to NYC back then, especially in Huntington- basically all of our dads worked in the city, Huntington was where most north shore commuters wanted to live because it's the first/last stop on the electric line, you have to change to/from a diesel to get to/from anywhere east of there - for some reason this seemed like a bigger deal prior to the 80s, not sure if something changed. Also, LI business centers like Hauppauge, Melville, Garden City etc. weren't what they are now, if you worked in Finance or other industries you really couldn't work for a large firm on LI.

It was a crazy summer in general in the city (blackout, bicentennial, financial crisis, etc.).

the Blackout!  Yup... same summer.  

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3 hours ago, Lith said:

So, I work for a company where the founder was named Sam.  He has passed on, but his sons are still active.  We were onboarding a new employee about two weeks ago and talking about the company history, and the constant references were to this "Son of Sam" or that "Son of Sam."  I knew I was dealing with people way younger than I am, who are also not from NY when I asked if there was a different way to refer to the male offspring of Sam and they had no idea what I was talking about. 

One person said she thought it might have been a reference to a slasher movie from the 70s.  Nobody on the call - all midwesterners between 25 & 50 - had any idea who Son of Sam was and why the reference bothered me. 

They know now.

That is incredible.

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On 12/1/2021 at 1:24 PM, Dcat said:

I lived in the heart of it.  Several of the killings were in my then current and g/f's current neighborhoods.  I lived in Forest Hills, about 5 blocks away from the shootings in Forest Hills Gardens.  My g/f was in Bayside, a few blocks from the Elephas club, another Son of Sam target.  I remember her putting her long hair down in to her denim jacket with hat on, since the dude loved to shoot long haired women, especially when with their boyfriends.  There was genuine fear to go out.  Man, I lived and breathed his sh*t.  To think....  a freaking parking ticket is what it took to nail him.

We were living in Flushing at the time, and my mom said she did the exact same thing.

A couple of years ago, I got that Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning book, that had all that stuff that went on, the Blackout, Berkowitz, etc, I was too young to remember most of it (I remember the blackout), but that was a crazy summer. 

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2 hours ago, Panzer Division Marduk said:

We were living in Flushing at the time, and my mom said she did the exact same thing.

A couple of years ago, I got that Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning book, that had all that stuff that went on, the Blackout, Berkowitz, etc, I was too young to remember most of it (I remember the blackout), but that was a crazy summer. 

Oh was that the same summer? Good times

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5 hours ago, isired said:

I grew up on LI (Huntington, western Suffolk) and was about 8 years old during the 'Summer of Sam" and even out there it was a big thing, in the Newsday headlines all the time, women getting their hair dyed and/or cut short, etc.

I do think there was a stronger connection to NYC back then, especially in Huntington- basically all of our dads worked in the city, Huntington was where most north shore commuters wanted to live because it's the first/last stop on the electric line, you have to change to/from a diesel to get to/from anywhere east of there - for some reason this seemed like a bigger deal prior to the 80s, not sure if something changed. Also, LI business centers like Hauppauge, Melville, Garden City etc. weren't what they are now, if you worked in Finance or other industries you really couldn't work for a large firm on LI.

It was a crazy summer in general in the city (blackout, bicentennial, financial crisis, etc.).

I remember a big “ spirit of 76” sign on the lie in western suffolk that summer anyone else?

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On 12/1/2021 at 10:43 PM, T0mShane said:

I watched that documentary and thought it was fascinating. I was a kid at the time, but I remember my mom and sisters being freaked out by it even though we were in Bay Ridge. IMO, the documentary is less about Berkowitz and his ties to a cult than it is about Maury Terry unearthing a bunch of compelling evidence but getting swallowed up by the tabloid and political machine to the point that it ruined him. If Terry had Twitter and Facebook in those days, he’d have become a journalistic icon. Instead, he ended up getting exploited and clowned by the likes of Morton Downey Jr. 
 

The documentary was basically Maury Terry buying into what ever crazy nonsense Berkowitz told him, and adding to it. Berkowitz hungaround with some very odd druggie people. but whether means it was a "satanci cult", seriously doubt it. If you gre up in the 1970s and 1980s, there was always "satanists" in everything.  But in the rear view, it was mostly ridiculous. For example, Balck Sabbath Ozzy Osbourne mostly took Vincent Price movies and turned it into marketing. May be Jimmy Page buying Alestair Crowley's house was closer to the mark, but again, was it mystical nonsense to sell records? 

I say "mostly" advisedly. Went to a Catholic high school in Brooklyn. One of our teachers was a diocesan priest who said he had for a time been the exorcist for the Brooklyn Diocese. Was a very mild-mannered guy, not at all crazy. But also, serious and prayerful. And there were priests who taught us who were drunks or very uhappy; think it's a very lonely and unnatuarl life, and probbaly unhealthy. I never saw any of them who were abusers, though some were so accused later in life. But this guy told us credibly that there is evil, in some very strange ways that we cannot completely explain nor understand. But the things Terry talked about really had much more to do with people being hardcore drug addicts than anything else. He instead fixated on Satanists. 

It was a very scary time. My dad was a NYPD seregeant detective, but he did not work on the case. But people were freaking out every time the sun went down. Recall girls cutting their hair because was thought the killer was attracted to girls with long hair. 

The place the final murder took place off the Belt in Dyker Heights is still called unofficially by everyone Son of Sam Park. 

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On 12/1/2021 at 7:13 PM, Jet_Engine1 said:

I'm from Rockaway. Thats all I've ever said. If they need more specificity,  I tell them Belle Harbour. People not from NYC have no clue, and IDGAF. 😆 

Recall because Rockaway then got it's power from Lilco rather than Con Ed, it was the only part of NYC that was not blacked out in 1978. 

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