Son of Sam, Child of God
by Chuck Colson
Twenty-three years ago, a spate of random murders paralyzed New York
City. The killer left police a note, which read, "I am a monster. I
am the Son of Sam." When the police finally captured the killer,
David Berkowitz, he stretched his face into a macabre smile.
But previously aired on Larry King Live, we saw a different
Berkowitz, King was interviewing him from a New York prison, and those who
tuned in saw the former Son of Sam boldly witnessing to King about his
faith in Christ, and even leading viewers in a prayer.
The interview took place because of a new movie about Berkowitz, called
Summer of Sam, which dredges up the whole nightmare again. But the
film leaves out one of the most remarkable parts of Berkowitz?s story?one
he did not miss the opportunity to share with Larry King. About ten years
ago, Berkowitz turned his life over to Jesus Christ. Berkowitz says he now
wants nothing more than to lead others to Christ, and he?s made two
videos for that very purpose.
The companies that produced the videos say Berkowitz doesn?t get a
penny from them. And they didn?t produce them until they were sure the
videos could not be used to help Berkowitz?s chances of parole.
In a video called Son of Sam, Son of Hope, Berkowitz lifts his hands
and says, "At one time, these hands were being used by the devil to
destroy. But I thank God today for His great mercy that these hands are
being used to touch lives."
And they have touched lives. The producers of the videos say they know
of "dozens and dozens" of viewers converted to Christ after
It?s a tremendous conversion story?one almost as dramatic as that
of another murderer, Paul of Tarsus. But whenever the news media talks
about Berkowitz?s changed life, it?s with a cynical tone. Many
reporters don?t hide the fact that they think his conversion is phony,
something he?s putting on to improve his chances of parole.
Why so much skepticism?
The answer has to do with the way many of our elites view reality. Many
of them believe in the philosophy of naturalism?the idea that nature is
all there is, that there is no supernatural agent at work in the world.
According to this view, miracles simply can?t happen.
Of course the greatest miracle is the miracle of a genuinely changed
life. So when a Satanist like Berkowitz repents and follows God, there is
no natural explanation. That?s why such conversion stories rankle
Twenty-five years ago, the media couldn?t believe it when the Nixon
hatchet man became a repentant follower of Jesus. But Scripture affirms a
God Who created the universe and everything in it?and Who therefore
stands outside it. So when He intervenes?in my life, or in the life of a
murderer?it is, well, miraculous.
If your friends saw the Larry King interview with Berkowitz, or watched
the new movie about his life, help them understand how it came about that
the Son of Sam became a child of God. And tell them, as well, about the
God Who exists outside of His creation, and Who is able to do things that
are truly controversial?and truly out of this world.