Psychological Factors in Criminal Justice: Serial Killer: David Berkowitz

How This Custom Writing Service Works

1. Place your order

Provide all instructions about the type of paper, length, deadline and pay.

2. Thorough research

Our team of professional writers conduct in-depth research on the topic to extract information from relevant sources.

3. Writing and proofreading

The experienced writers knit together all ideas into an original paper. Our editors go through the paper to correct any errors.

4. Product Delivery

You get your completed paper in your email. In case you need any corrections, we do ammendments free of charge.

Step 1 of 2

  • Price: $0.00

Why Buy Dissertations from us?

100% Original writing

No plagiarism. Original content written from scratch just for you. and custom free plagiarism report

Affordable writing service

Get your paper at a cheaper price than our competitors. Save money.

Timely delivery of orders

Never miss your submission deadlines again. We keep time & help you smile.

24/7 Customer support

Contact customer support or your writer any time for updates, drafts, etc. Call, Text, Whatsapp.

100% Private & Confidential

Your connection is private, your personal & payment information is secure

Need help placing your order?

Let nothing stop you from enjoying the best writing services. Save your time and focus on other aspects of your studies as professional writers work on your paper.

Psychological Factors in Criminal Justice: Serial Killer: David Berkowitz

To order original high quality academic essays, research papers and dissertations, fill the form below:

Step 1 of 2

  • Price: $0.00

Serial Killer: David Berkowitz

CRJ522: Psychological Factors in Criminal Justice

For my research paper I have chosen David Berkowitz. David Berkowitz was also known was the “Son of Sam” ( Editors, 2017). He was sentenced to six consecutive terms for murdering 9 people in New York ( Editors, 2017). Berkowitz is still alive and prefers to be called the “Son of Hope” Editors, 2017).

The first resource I will be using comes from the Infamous serial killers website.  This is the most logical start as it gives a summary of who the serial killer was, what he did, and the sentencing received. The website is reliable in giving the facts of the case and provides some information on the serial killer’s early life.

The next literature piece I will use is an account of Berkowitz’s life from his own words via an interview. Rebekah Binger sat down with Berkowitz and found he isn’t the man now that he was when he committed the horrendous acts (Binger, 2011). The author describes the feeling of the unknown when first meeting Berkowitz and continues on to evaluate the success of a rehabilitation program that is state funded and faith based (Binger, 2011). I picked this literature piece because I feel it is important to look at rehabilitation of offenders, what worked for someone that was given a life sentence and considered beyond rehabilitation. We must remember that the field of criminal justice is not only about punishment, people aren’t to be locked up with the key thrown away, one of the principles is to provide a form of rehabilitation.

In the article written by Edwards (1998) breaks down further the mentality of Berkowitz. Was he in fact possessed by a demon and now saved? Or are we seeing a person that is relishing in the new found public attention? A former police officer feels this man seen as a God fearing, resentful man, is the same calm man that confessed to the murders so many years ago (Edwards, 1998).


When discussing motives it is important to also consider the psychological factors behind ones behavior. After some searching I found some news articles link Berkowitz to Schizophrenia. The article written by Dickinson lays out what the illness is and is not. I believe it is important to have an understanding of the mental disorder, not just what we may have seen on a television show or heard about. When looking at a serial killer, we must examine the mind to see which inside factors may have contributed. If the person was receiving medical treatment, would the murders have occurred?

Another aspect to consider is the possible abandonment issues David Berkowitz may have faced but when his actions were given recognition, he felt power. The rolling stones published an article on how the media basically pumped him up and may have ignited more killings (Drell, 2016).

The course texts will also be used as valuable information. The article written by Snook et al. (2008, p. 1259) gives the background on criminal profiling and its effectiveness. Does criminal profiling assist law enforcement today in preventing or catching a serial killer? The DC sniper almost follows the same pattern as Berkowitz. The DC sniper drove around terrorizing the DC/MD/VA area by driving around and shooting random people.

In conducting the research it will be important to speak about the upbringing of Berkowitz. It will also be necessary to discuss the victims. In criminal justice the impact to the victims is equally important as to the question of why. Not all of the victims in this case died and by knowing their stories we may get a full picture of the events that occurred that night.

Another aspect of the research I would like to examine is the possibility of a dissociative disorder. There are possibly traumatic experiences that may have caused Berkowitz to dissociate with reality. This could be why we see a man that appears to be remorseful and having found a new path in prison. “Dissociative disorders are characterized by an involuntary escape from reality characterized by a disconnection between thoughts, identity, consciousness and memory” (Dissociative Disorders, 2017). A symptom of this is “sense of detachment from your emotions, or emotional numbness” (Dissociative Disorders, 2017).  It may be argued that his actions were a result of being detached.




















Bartol, A., & Bartol, C. (2015). Introduction to forensic psychology: Research and application (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Editors. (2017, December 13). David Berkowitz Retrieved December 18, 2017, from

Binger, R. (2011). Prison Ain’t Hell: An Interview with the Son of Sam–David Berkowitz, and Why State-Funded Faith-Based Prison Rehabilitation Programs Do Not Violate the Establishment Clause. Pace Law Review, 31(1), 488-530.

Dickinson, A. (1999, Sep 25). Schizophrenia: It’s not what you think: One in a hundred may be affected. Chatham Daily News Retrieved from

Dissociative Disorders. (2017). Retrieved December 18, 2017, from

Drell, C. (2016, July 29). How Son of Sam Changed America. Retrieved from

Edwards, S. (1998, Nov 25). Son of sam reaches out to lost souls: David berkowitz has gone from self-proclaimed monster to video star the `Son of sam’ killer, who terrorized new york in the mid 1970s, preaches about his discovery of god in two recently made videos. while david berkowitz says he has found peace, the families of his victims are still hurt and angry. can the man who claimed he was controlled by the devil be truly changed? National Post Retrieved from

Snook, B., Cullen, R. M., Bennell, C., Taylor, P. J., & Gendreau, P. (2008). The criminal profile illusion.What’s behind the smoke and mirrors? Criminal Justice and Behavior, 35(10), p. 1257-1276. DOI 10.1177/0093854808321528.


When there is not a known offender and police must rely on a psychologist to give a profile, the psychologist working with law enforcement must ask the following questions: “: (1) what are the important behavioral features associated with the crime that may help identify and successfully prosecute the perpetrator? (2) What inferences can be made about the characteristics of the offender that may help identify him or her? (3) Are there any other crimes that are likely to have been committed by the same person” (Bartol & Bartol, 2015). By using these questions early on in the investigative process will assist in making a profile of the suspected offender.

In the case of David Berkowitz, there was not a clear profile to build and utilize in the investigation. The police relied on witness testimony that proved to be inaccurate (Rothman, 2015). “Since the 1980s, we have learned that eyewitness identifications in criminal investigations are often incorrect, that cognitive and social psychological factors associated with viewing a crime and attempting an identification systematically influence the accuracy of eyewitness identification, that psychology can be used to develop methods of reducing the risk of false identification, that the justice procedures designed to prevent mistaken identifications from becoming wrongful convictions are far from foolproof, and that mistaken eyewitness identification is one of the leading causes of documented cases of conviction of the innocent” (Bartol & Bartol, 2015). The unreliable testimony given to the police built a sketch that did not resemble the offender (Rothman, 2015). Another reason investigators had a difficult time building a profile was because there was not a strong pattern to the murders (Rothman, 2015). The key piece of evidence that assisted police with catching Berkowitz came from a witness at his last murder that saw a man that looked at her and walked away, five minutes later she heard a gunshot, the car wailing away, and knew it must’ve been the man that passed her (Rothman, 2015).  Another key component for this particular witness was the fact she saw the car receive a parking ticket that night, therefore, investigators were able to pull up the information and link it to Berkowitz’s car (Rothman, 2015).

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has assisted law enforcement with investigation crime scenes and providing assistance in profiling (Scherer & Jarvis, 2014).

The FBI has a unit called the Behavioral Science Unit (BSU) are the ones that began the process of profiling offenders by providing a behavior and personality traits of a likely offender (Scherer & Jarvis, 2014). In the beginning profiling would be able to identify these characteristics through examination of the crime dynamics and the crime scene (Scherer & Jarvis, 2014). Criminal investigative analysis does not only involve profiling. It provides an array of services such as: Indirect personality assessments, investigative suggestions, interview strategies, threat assessments, geographic profiling, and critical incident analyses (Scherer & Jarvis, 2014).

When interviewing or interrogating a person the objective is to gather as much information as an officer is able. Police officers may interview witnesses or other people to attempt to get information about a crime (Bartol &Bartol, 2015). The purpose of an interrogation is to either get more information or get a confession (Bartol &Bartol, 2015). The process starts with isolation, moves to confrontation, and ends with minimization. The suspect is placed in a room alone so that he/she may feel insecure, when the interrogator enters the room he/she focuses on accusing the suspect and using real or fabricated evidence (Bartol & Bartol, 2015).

There are conditions when a person may falsely confess. There are 3 forms of false confessions: voluntary, coerced-compliant, and coerced-internalized. A voluntary confession happens when someone makes a self-incriminating statement without any pressure from law enforcement (Bartol & Bartol, 2015).  A coerced compliant confession happens when the suspect has been put through an intense interrogation possibly without sleep. The suspect just wants it to end so they confess even though they are innocent (Bartol & Bartol, 2015). Coerced-internalized confessions “occur when innocent persons—who are tired, confused, and highly psychologically vulnerable—come to believe that they actually committed the crime (Bartol & Bartol, 2015).

Profiling is not always exact, which was seen in the investigation of Berkowitz. If he had not gotten the parking ticket and be caught that night he may have murdered others. Some problems with profiling are that the conclusions can be vague such as saying someone is a “loner” does not give an exact description of a behavior (Bartol & Bartol, 2015). According to Bartol police investigators may “creatively interpret” the “ambiguous information contained within profiles to fit their own biases about the case or the suspect. They select those aspects of the profile that they perceive as fitting the suspect while ignoring the many conclusions and predictions that do not seem to fit” (Bartol & Bartol, 2015). If an investigation has been going on for a while and an investigator has in their head who the offender is based on a false witness statement, it would be natural to take the parts of a profile to make it match whomever they want. It is like having tunnel vision in the case. Confirmation bias is when “the strong preference to have one’s views confirmed” (Bartol & Bartol, 2015).  “When it operates, it places us in a kind of closed cognitive system in which only evidence that confirms our existing views and beliefs gets inside; other information is sometimes noticed but is quickly rejected as false” (Baron & Byrne, 2000, p. 8) (Bartol & Bartol, 2015).

In conclusion, a criminal investigator has a difficult task. They must piece together information to catch a suspect or even simply identify one. David Berkowitz did not fit the mold to create a proper suspect profile. After being apprehended and sentenced, he now sits in prison, he himself rejecting parole because he feels he is spiritual and can assist others (Binger, 2011).


Bartol, A., & Bartol, C. (2015). Introduction to forensic psychology: Research and application (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Binger, R. (2011). Prison Ain’t Hell: An Interview with the Son of Sam–David Berkowitz, and Why State-Funded Faith-Based Prison Rehabilitation Programs Do Not Violate the Establishment Clause. Pace Law Review, 31(1), 488-530.

Scherer. J & Jarvis, J. 2014. Criminal Investigative Analysis: Practitioner Perspective. Retrieved from

Rothman, L. 2015. How the Son of Sam Serial Killer Was Finally Caught. Retrieved from


Types of Academic Papers

Research Paper
Reaction Paper
Lab Report
Book Report
Book Review
Movie Review
Synthesis Paper
Review of the Literature
Research Proposal
Thesis Proposal
Dissertation Proposal
Annotated Bibliography
Article Critique
Term Paper
Case Study
Capstone Project
Presentation Design
Mathematical Problem
Mind Game
Tricky Questions

Dissertation Chapters

Dissertation Abstract

Dissertation Introduction

Dissertation Literature Review

Dissertation Methodology

Dissertation Results

Dissertation Discussion

best essay writing services

Types of Essays

Expository essay
Analytical essay
Persuasive essay
Narrative essay
Definition Essay
Descriptive essay
Process Essay
Personal essay
Admission essay
Compare and contrast essay
Cause and effect essay
Critical analysis essay

Order Your Custom Paper Now

Step 1 of 2

  • Price: $0.00

Artificial Intelligence
Biological Sciences
Business Management
Business Studies
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Science

Consumer Science
Cultural Studies
Earth Sciences
Electrical Engineering
English Language
Food Science
Gender Studies

Human Resource Management
Mechanical Engineering
Military Sciences
Museum Studies

Political Science
Public Administration
Religious Studies
Social Work
Software Engineering
Space Sciences
Systems Science
Veterinary Medicine

Write My Dissertation offers top-notch customer support services. 

When working on your dissertation paper, expect to find us online via Live Chat 24/7/265. 

Our customer support agents are always ready to listen to you and deliver a quality dissertation.

Be free to contact the customer support team if you have any questions or comments.

How To Order PhD dissertation

Could you help me write my dissertation?

Yes. That’s our work to write a dissertation.

Use the green order form to order the entire dissertation.

Instead of pay someone randomly selected from the internet, it’s good to use a reputable company like WMD which specializes in dissertation services.

It’s now easy to buy academic papers online. You can phone place order, fill out the order form, pre order product and hire someone to write your paper just like that. Expect to get great work, just like many others have, for your first order and all others.

You’ll experience the best, get your order 100% unique and delivered in time (timely delivery).

Write my dissertation delivers custom writing services to customers from all states in the USA. Our services are provided in the English language. You can find the best custom dissertation services if you are from any of the following states or territories in the United States of America: 

Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Minor Outlying Islands, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

If you need dissertation writing help in the English language, then we’ve got you covered.

Our clients are mainly English speakers  from: Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis. Others include Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago.