It must have been a slow news night, midweek, last week. Either that or the powers that be behind the scenes in the TV newsroom have a warped sense of human interest priorities.
Five minutes of air time was actually devoted to the 35th anniversary of the random shootings of innocent victims, and wounding of several bystanders, in New York City by David Berkowitz, a.k.a “Son of Sam.”
Berkowitz’s eight-shooting, deadly rampage stretched over a year, terrorizing the city until he was arrested in 1977, claiming as his defense that he was commanded to kill by a demon who possessed his neighbor’s dog. (Said mongrel, unnamed demon, unspecified neighbor, were never brought to justice.)
Berkowitz himself appears briefly on camera during prime time, several pounds heavier, looking not unlike a greasy sideshow barker, with a new biblical twist (one supposes in crazy celebration of the anniversary of his Big Apple massacre): He’s been born again! Saved!
So, taking a cue from the biblical injunction that one’s lot in life is “three score and ten,” Berkowitz’s arrival at the Pearly Gates is likely to occur around about 2023, when he turns 70. (My apologies to Berkowitz if I’ve inadvertently shortchanged him a few productive years of incarceration for purposes of the following imaginative spiritual scenario.)
ST. PETER: Well, David Berkowitz, you’ve arrived here not a moment too soon. Do you mind if I call you Son of Sam? It sounds so, well, biblical. I think the fact that you were born Jewish but decided to convert speaks much in your favor. At the risk of seeming just a trifle, er, how shall I put this, a tad delicate: Have you been washed in the Blood of the Lamb?
SOS: Thank God, I saw the error of my wicked ways while in prison. I know I’ve had blood on my hands in the past. But tho’ my sins were as scarlet, I’m now whiter than snow. (And I don’t mean coke.) I’m sorry for what I’ve done. I know I haven’t been much of a role model for Manhattan theater trade, but thanks to God’s redeeming salvation if my change of heart helps another to find a place in Heaven, well, my life hasn’t been in vain, has it?
ST. PETER: Son of Sam let me assure you that you’re not the first serial killer to be saved by God’s Grace. Just two years back Jeffrey Dahmer, who’s credited with killing 16 young men – but who’s counting? – the Devil made him do it – was led to the Lord by a dedicated Baptist preacher who thought Jeff’s eternal salvation was too important for the misguided loner to miss out on. If I may speak frankly, and fatherly, you’re both lucky.
Rejoice in the simple truth of the matter: not everybody makes it here safely. You could have been born Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or any other heathenish falsehood – or, sad, sad, sorry to say, made the satanic choice to be gay, lesbian, or, a drag queen standup comic mocking one-man, one-woman marriage.
You’ve come a long, long way, Son of Sam. There’s a possibility that the blood on your hands from your unsaved days in New York may have been pointing you in the direction of the salvation you found in Jesus. Truly, washed in the Blood of the Lamb. Had you remained Jewish, well that’s another story. (Or, been a Catholic convert.)
SOS: Will God really forgive me? I mean I’m really, truly, truly, truly sorry for my wrong doing. I was young. Misguided. When it comes down to it: who in their right mind listens to the voice of a demon talking through a neighbor’s dog? It’s crazy. Dog’s bark.
ST. PETER: Who, indeed, my son? Remember DOG spelled backwards means, say it: Saved! Welcome Home, Son of Sam! You’re on Cloud 90-plus 9, with Jeffy Dahmer and Dexter Morgan. Have a blessed stay.