Son of Sam in North Dakota…
Many of us will remember the name David Berkowitz. He was the serial killer from New York who was finally arrested on Aug. 11, 1977, after terrorizing residents of greater New York City for the better part of two years. What many don’t know is that Berkowitz had a connection to North Dakota and, apparently, was here on at least one occasion.
His connection was John Carr, who was stationed at the Minot Air Force Base. Berkowitz was a neighbor to the Carr family that lived in Yonkers, N.Y. After Berkowitz was captured and confessed to being the Son of Sam, he told author Maury Terry that the Carr’s dog, Harvey, talked to him and told him to kill people, including John Carr.
Airman Carr died of a gunshot wound while he was stationed at Minot Air Force Base. The Air Force ruled it a suicide, but Terry, who wrote a book called “The Ultimate Evil,” describes how Carr was found on his stomach following his death. Had it been suicide, the force of the gunshot would have thrown him in a backward motion, and he would have landed on his back. Thus, Terry and many others believe it was murder. As a matter of fact, it is alleged that Berkowitz was in a downtown Minot restaurant eating breakfast about the time John Carr died on base. Carr, who was known to be a satanist, had the numbers 666 drawn on his hand in dried blood when his body was found.
If that’s not enough to send chills up your spine, Berkowitz may have been connected to a North Dakota woman who mysteriously died in Palo Alto, Calif. Her name was Arlis Perry, and somebody carried out a sophisticated stalking to find her and kill her. She, apparently, knew too much or had seen too much regarding satanic rituals in the hills south of Bismarck, and high-profile people involved didn’t want her to spill the beans so allegedly had her killed.
As Terry writes in “The Ultimate Evil,” there were numerous satanic rituals on those hillsides near Mary College, which is now the University of Mary. Perry grew up in Bismarck and probably saw or heard something she wasn’t supposed to see or hear. Perry’s maiden name was Dykema, and she was born in Linton. Her killing was brutal and satanic, and her body was found in a chapel in Palo Alto. She was 19.
Sometime following Perry’s death, Berkowitz mentioned the Perry murder in some of his letters from prison, but after an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, the Mercury News concluded that Berkowitz wasn’t connected to Arlis Perry. However, during police questioning, Berkowitz volunteered information to the investigators that made it appear as if he was at least in the loop of what had happened. And some investigators strongly believe that Berkowitz was at least a “silent partner” in the brutal deaths of Perry and Carr.
Perry’s murder happened Oct. 12, 1974, and the crime went unsolved for more than 40 years until 2018 when police named Stephen Crawford as the perpetrator during DNA testing. Crawford was a security guard at Stanford University who purportedly discovered Perry’s body and committed suicide before he could be arrested. Perry’s husband, Bruce, was a pre-med student at Stanford.
According to Terry, Berkowitz was the kind of person who could slip through a lot of cracks. In the book it describes how he stalked young people in New York for months before killing them, and during that time he had several “near misses” with police. After he had killed several of his victims, he sent taunting letters to New York police precincts and was very careful about doing it so things like handwriting couldn’t be traced.
Sometime in the summer of 1977, he launched several complaints against a neighbor, and at the same time, a witness who heard shots from a double homicide identified Berkowitz’ car. The police ran a license plate check, connected the dots and arrested him. Time magazine said it was just in the nick of time. He was already responsible for 13 killings and told police he was planning to go to a New York resort with an automatic weapon, open fire, and go down in a blaze of glory.
Berkowitz, now 66 years old, was eligible to file for parole in May. Nothing came of it, and he is likely to spend the rest of his life in the maximum security prison in upstate New York.
This is just a summary of this twisted individual. The book describes all the gruesome details.