Criminologist and professor, Dr. Scott A. Bonn has communicated with some of the most unsavory serial killers while doing research for his upcoming book, Why We Love Serial Killers including David Berkowitz, dubbed the Son of Sam in 1977 as he terrorized New York City with a .44 revolver and the shooting deaths of 6 innocent people.
Recently Doc Bonn visited Berkowitz in prison. Knowing through years of correspondence that David Berkowitz was spiritually born again and now delivering his message as the Son of Hope, Bonn entered the prison with trepidation, wondering who or what he would meet behind the bars of Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, NY.
The personal interview with David Berkowitz took a couple of years to establish, Bonn gaining his trust through letters written back and forth, until his request was granted by Berkowitz himself.
Although the name Son of Sam is synonymous with evil, Bonn felt his 5 hour visit was enlightening, and was interviewed by CBS New York about his experience. See complete interview and story HERE
“He knows that he can never undo those things. All he hopes is that he, in some way to the best of his ability, is able to make amends through his service. But he knows many people will scoff at this and never take him at face value,” Bonn said.
One of the premises Doc Bonn has been researching for his book is the question of whether serial killers and their crimes become a part of pop culture through portrayals by mainstream media until a frenzy is created surrounding cases like OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony, or anti-heroes like the popular television series, Dexter. Society has a definite interest in the dark side of human nature, evil and the seedy side of life as witnessed by millions of true crime books sold, along with movies and television depicting the depravity of humanity.
Can a serial killer like Son of Sam be spiritually redeemed? That’s one of the questions Doc Bonn is exploring in his conversations and correspondence with serial killers like David Berkowitz and Dennis Rader, the BTK killer.
In his article for CBS blog, Crimesider, Bonn reports:
In many ways, David is like a recovering drug addict today. He seems to be recovering from a malady of the spiritual variety. I believe that for most of his troubled youth, David was trying to fill up a spiritual void and overcome his deeply felt fears and loneliness. He turned to the occult for answers but his obsession with it drove him to commit murders that he believed, ironically and tragically, would actually set him free.
At Sullivan Correctional Facility, David is exactly where he belongs. Inside prison, he has purpose and meaning in his life. David now calls himself Son of Hope. I asked him what message he would like me to deliver to the public. David said, “Tell them, with God there is always hope. If he can save someone like me, then he can save anybody.”
Dr. Scott Bonn is located in Manhattan and is available for live on-air commentary, expert consultation and speaking engagements. More information about his experience and past media appearances can be found at his website, DocBonn.Com Please call (843.808.0859) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss media opportunities.