Archive for the ‘journalism’ Category

Son of Sam writes to Breslin

June 5, 1977: The Daily News published a letter from serial killer Son of Sam to star columnist Jimmy Breslin. The letter’s opening included: “Hello from the cracks in the sidewalks of N.Y.C. and from the ants that dwell in these cracks and feed on the dried blood of the dead that has settled into the cracks.” The News, in a brilliant promotional move, teased the column in articles on the Friday and Saturday leading up to the Sunday paper, the most profitable edition of the week chock full of retailer inserts, rather than publishing the letter as soon as it could. Son of Sam had written one previous letter, this to the captain then heading the task force hunting the murderer.

Forty years ago today: Deputy inspector heads operation to catch Son of Sam

NYPD Chief of Detectives John Keenan held a City Hall press conference to name Deputy Inspector Timothy Dowd to head Operation Omega, the group tasked with catching the .44-caliber killer. Dowd took the place of Captain Joseph Borrelli, who had been running a smaller group and was to serve as Dowd’s deputy. The task force was to be based in the 109th Precinct in Flushing and more detectives were to be added to the effort.

Forty years ago today: Two more murdered by Son of Sam, who uses that name for first time

April 17, 1977: Eighteen-year-old Valentina Suriani and Alexander Esau, 20, were shot and killed at 3 a.m. sitting in a car in the Bronx near the Hutchinson River Parkway. Four bullets were fired into the car window. Ballistics linked the deaths to the .44-caliber killer, who had now murdered five and injured four. The couple were parked three blocks from the home of David Berkowitz’s first victim, Donna Lauria. Berkowitz left a letter at the scene for Captain Joseph Borrelli, then commander of the task force investigating the crimes. In it, Berkowitz wrote, “I am the ‘Son of Sam.’ I am a little brat.” It was his reference to that nickname.

–Brought to you by Lights Out Summer, set in 1977, out Oct. 1

Forty years ago today: N.Y. gun clubs offer $200 bounty to those who kill assailants

April 13, 1977: New York pistol and rifle clubs with 5,000 members offered $200 to any robbery or assault victim who shoots and kills his or her attacker. “The object, obviously, is to encourage citizens who are properly licensed to defend themselves because of the complete breakdown of the criminal justice system in New York,” said Jerry Preiser, president of the Federation of Greater New York Pistol and Rifle Clubs. Three businessmen who killed assailants in the previous week were to receive $200 checks and scrolls of commendation.

–Brought to you by Lights Out Summer, set in 1977, out Oct. 1.

Source: New York Times

Forty years ago today: Easter egg hunt becomes chocolate riot

Children wept, parents shouted and a park official threatened to call the thing off when kids and parents turned an Easter egg hunt in Flushing Meadow-Corona Park, Queens, into chaos. Barricades, bullhorns and police officers didn’t stop the charging children clawing after chocolate eggs. The hunt lasted three minutes, after which the 360 pounds of eggs were gone.
–Brought to you by Lights Out Summer, set in 1977, coming Oct. 1.

Source: New York Times

From the police blotter: Convicted felon demos gun, shoots self in hand

NICEVILLE — A 36-year-old convicted felon who accidentally shot himself was arrested for possessing a weapon. A witness told Niceville Police Department officers that the suspect was showing him the gun while his finger was on the trigger. The suspect then loaded the magazine, pulled back the slide and fired one round into his left hand, the witness said.
–Houma Courier, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana

Forty years ago today: Indictment in $50 million heroin operation

Thirty people were indicted in a $50-million-a-year operation distributing heroin in Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx. One of those indicted, Frank Lucas, was accused of running the operation from jail, where he was serving 70 years. Lucas was said to have considered a plan to murder his chief competitor in Harlem, Leroy (Nicky) Barnes.
Meanwhile, three days later, an 11-year-old boy was arrested for dealing on West 115th Street. Cops seized two pounds of heroin and $1,400 from the boy and his teenage accomplice.
–Brought to you by Lights Out Summer, set in 1977, coming Oct. 1.

Source: New York Times