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 How a Kerry Cop Tracked Down Son of Sam Berkowitz

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Bob Saget
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PostSubject: How a Kerry Cop Tracked Down Son of Sam Berkowitz   Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:56 pm

by Nicole ehh ehh Anderson (dont look at my cleavage)

Inspector Timothy Dowd, right, head of task force dealing with the .44 caliber killer aka "Son of Sam,"
David Berkowitz

IT was one of the most terrifying episodes in grim 1970s New York and inspired movies and songs - including 'Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun' by the Beastie Boys.

   

But the iconic real-life detective who led the manhunt for the so-called 'Son of Sam' serial killings was a tenacious Irishman from Co Kerry, who died last Friday at the age of 99.

Timothy J. Dowd was the New York City police detective who headed the investigation that eventually resulted in the capture of notorious serial killer David Berkowitz - whose year long shooting spree saw the murder of six people, with seven others wounded and sent the entire city of New York spiralling into a pit of terror.

Born in Castlemaine, Co Kerry in May 1915, Timothy was eight years old when he emigrated to the States with his parents Timothy Dowd snr and Margaret O'Sullivan, as the Civil War was raging in Ireland.

The family set up a new life in Boston where they ran a boarding house and eventually moved to New York.

Timothy joined the police force in 1940 and was attached to the mounted police unit before being promoted to the rank of detective in the homicide and narcotics squads.

He also studied in college, earning a bachelor's degree from City College of New York and later a Master's degree in public administration from Baruch College.

The Son of Sam killings began at a time of high crime in New York City and became an emblem of a city in desperate straits.

It started on July 29, 1976, with the shooting dead of Bronx woman Donna Lauria (18).

Her friend, Jody Valenti (19) was also wounded in the attack.

In the ensuing 12 months, Berkowitz murdered six people and wounded seven others in apparently random attacks in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn before being captured on August 10, 1977. He became known as the ".44-caliber killer," for the weapon he used.

The shootings all occurred at night, and six of the eight separate attacks involved couples sitting in parked cars - resulting in the Mayor instructing police to chase couples from lovers' lanes across the city. Several of the victims, including one man, had long, dark hair.

The killer taunted the police with letters, one left at the site of the sixth attack, in the Baychester section of the Bronx, on April 17, 1977.

Deputy Inspector Dowd was placed in charge of the case, which resulted in the largest manhunt in New York City history up to that time.

He commanded a special task force, Operation Omega.

The investigation cost $90,000 per day, involved 300 detectives, and spanned 3,000 individual suspects.

The last shooting occurred on July 31, when Berkowitz shot Stacy Moskowitz (20) and her companion, Robert Violante (20) in a car in Brooklyn.

Mr Violante survived, though he lost his sight. Ms Moskowitz died the next day.

Under Inspector Dowd's direction, detectives patrolled the Bronx and Queens in unmarked cars, and female police officers with long, dark hair sat in cars outside discos and singles bars to lure the killer.

Inspector Dowd and other police officials described the hunt as a needle-in-a-haystack endeavour.

"This case is particularly complicated because there is no apparent motive," Inspector Dowd said, days before Berkowitz's arrest.

"When you can't establish why someone is killing, it's difficult to predict who he is or when he will strike again."


He told reporters that his job was "to prepare to be lucky".

And he eventually was - when cops spotted a Ford Galaxy, illegally parked in front of a fire hydrant.

Suspicious because a witness had mentioned seeing a Galaxy near the scene of one of the shootings, police checked out the car and found a letter to Inspector Dowd in the glove compartment.

When Dowd finally confronted Berkowitz in Yonkers, the 24-year-old killer greeted him with the words: "Inspector, you finally got me. I guess this is the end of the trail."

He claimed he had killed on instructions from his neighbour, Sam, "who really is a man who lived 6,000 years ago". He also said that Sam was the Devil.

Detective Dowd's daughter, Melissa Dowd Begg told the New York Times that her father was always a very driven person.

"He would leave no stone unturned, and he would not allow anyone who worked for him to leave a stone unturned … they followed every lead relentlessly," she said.

An Irish wake was held before Mr Dowd's funeral yesterday.

Irish Independent
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Presidents of Baruch College
President Tenure
1. Robert Weaver 1968–1970
2. Clyde Wingfield 1971–1976
3. Joel Segall 1977–1990
4. Joyce Brown (Interim) 1990–1991
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6. Lois S. Cronholm (Interim) 1998–1999
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EyeBelieve
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PostSubject: Re: How a Kerry Cop Tracked Down Son of Sam Berkowitz   Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:20 pm

Being an NYC cop is not a bad career for a Jew eh? Not Wall St money but pay/bennies pretty decent AFAIK. Chosen chums get you assigned to better posts & promotions, later, maybe even a job as Hollywood cop show consultant!

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PostSubject: Re: How a Kerry Cop Tracked Down Son of Sam Berkowitz   Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:30 pm

EyeBelieve wrote:
Being an NYC cop is not a bad career for a Jew eh?  Not Wall St money but pay/bennies pretty decent AFAIK.  Chosen chums get you assigned to better posts & promotions, later, maybe even a job as Hollywood cop show consultant!


Have any of the cops killed any time recently been jews?

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