Victims of the “Son of Sam”: In their own words

Forty years after the “Son of Sam” serial killer was arrested, David Berkowitz —in his first major TV interview in a decade — and two of his victims speak with CBS News. “Son of Sam │The Killer Speaks”  will be broadcast Friday, August 11, 2017, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.


On July 31, 1977, Robert Violante and Stacy Moskowitz were on their first date sitting in his parked car in a Brooklyn “lovers lane” when they were suddenly shot in their heads by “The Son of Sam” serial killer who terrorized New Yorkers for more than a year before his arrest 40 years ago today.

“The doctors said I was not going to make it, and that Stacy would,” Violante told CBS News. A .44 caliber slug destroyed Violante’s left eye and damaged his right eye as it tore across his skull. But it was Moskowitz, a 19-year-old college co-ed, who succumbed to her wounds, and it was Violante, 20, who faced a life forever shattered by a maniac’s bullets.

CBS News

Incredibly, just four days earlier, Violante landed a modeling job at the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency after taking an hour subway into “the city” – Manhattan. Once the agents saw the 6-feet-1 Violante, with his John Travolta looks, they immediately signed him up starting the following Monday. In many ways, he was a real-life “Tony Manero,” the character Travolta played in that year’s iconic movie “Saturday Night Fever.”

The next night, he met Stacy Moscowitz while out celebrating his good fortune at a “Gong Show” event at a popular “Beefsteak Charlies.” The eatery was “wall to wall people,” he recalled, and in the crush Violante found himself face-to-face with Stacy.

Stacy Moskowitz, who was shot and killed in Brooklyn, New York, on July 31, 1977, by the “Son of Sam” serial killer, David Berkowitz.

CBS News

“She was a beautiful, beautiful girl,” Violante said. “And what a pleasant, pleasant girl. A very bubbly, full of life young lady.” They hit it off, talked for hours, and agreed to see each other that Saturday night, July 31, even though they, like all New Yorkers, were worried about the “Son of Sam.”

The serial killer had killed five, and wounded six others. But he had never struck in Brooklyn. His female victims had shoulder length dark hair. “Stacy’s a blonde,” Violante reassured his mother as he headed out on their maiden date.

They went to the movie,…

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