The Sons of Sam: What happened to the journalist Maury Terry?
He investigated the David Berkowitz case and believed the serial killer didn’t act alone
Netflix has just released a new true crime documentary to get stuck into, which is all about serial killer David Berkowitz. The four-part series focuses heavily on the investigation carried out by journalist Maury Terry – who made it very clear he believed police failed in investigating the case fully as he thinks Berkowitz wasn’t acting alone in his crimes.
In the summer of 1976, a serial killer was on the loose in New York. Over a year after his first crime, David Berkowitz would be found to be the man behind the killings. Over his spree, Berkowitz was found to have killed six people and wounded seven others. But, investigator and journalist Maury Terry didn’t think he acted alone. Evidence pointed towards a murderous cult – but nobody else was ever convicted in the case.
The Netflix documentary looks back and the case, and the claims he did not act alone. The series uses archival news footage, conversations with the people closest to the investigation, and journalist and Ultimate Evil author Maury Terry’s own words and case files to tell a cautionary tale of a man who went down a rabbit hole and never came out. However, throughout the documentary you might have noticed people talking about Maury Terry in past tense, and in the credits someone else is said to have given the voiceover for his parts. So what happened to him?
Maury Terry is the journalist who investigated the David Berkowitz case, shown in The Sons of Sam on Netflix
As a child, Maury Terry was a gifted athlete, but instead he turned his career focus to writing. At the time of the Berkowitz murders, he was working as an editor and writer for IBM magazine. He made quite a name for himself as the journalist who would dedicate his life to investigating the belief that David Berkowitz was not acting alone in his crimes, and that he was instead part of a cult and police had failed to investigate this line of inquiry.
Maury began to look into how witness statements didn’t add up, composite drawings looked completely different, letters from the killer contained cryptic clues and there were hints to other suspects who had links to a cult. He came to the conclusion that more people were involved, and that there was involvement from the Carr brothers – John and Michael.
In 2015, Maury Terry passed away
After the case, Maury Terry didn’t stop investigating. He published a book called The Ultimate Evil in 1987, which detailed all of his findings, and he interviewed David Berkowitz twice. Berkowitz and Terry also wrote letters to one another whilst Berkowitz was in prison, and in these the killer confirmed again that he was part of a cult and had not shot all the victims himself. Police are said to have dismissed it all as conspiracy theories.
Sadly, in 2015 Maury Terry died of heart failure when he was aged 69. He had deteriorating health as he continued his investigating, and made sure the director of the Netflix documentary, Joshua Zeman, received boxes of all his findings before his death.
The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.