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The Ultimate Evil: The Truth about the Cult Murders: Son of Sam and Beyond

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On August 10, 1977, the NYPD arrested David Berkowitz for the "Son of Sam" murders that had terrorized New York City for more than 13 months. Berkowitz confessed to being a lone murderer — one who had carried out eight senseless shooting with a .44 caliber Bulldog revolver. The case was officially closed. Journalist Maury Terry was suspicious of Berkowitz's confession, con On August 10, 1977, the NYPD arrested David Berkowitz for the "Son of Sam" murders that had terrorized New York City for more than 13 months. Berkowitz confessed to being a lone murderer — one who had carried out eight senseless shooting with a .44 caliber Bulldog revolver. The case was officially closed. Journalist Maury Terry was suspicious of Berkowitz's confession, convinced as he gathered corroborating evidence throughout the years, that Berkowitz did not act alone. In this investigative story, first published in 1987, Terry details the chilling events, proving that Berkowitz was an affiliate of — and triggerman for — a Satanic cult known as the Process Church of the Final Judgment, a far-reaching organization that is connected to other ritual slayings across the country. Updated wtih Berkowitz's recent confirmations from his prison cell, Terry untangles the web of information and shocking extent of the Process Church's activities. Includes black-and-white photographs.


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On August 10, 1977, the NYPD arrested David Berkowitz for the "Son of Sam" murders that had terrorized New York City for more than 13 months. Berkowitz confessed to being a lone murderer — one who had carried out eight senseless shooting with a .44 caliber Bulldog revolver. The case was officially closed. Journalist Maury Terry was suspicious of Berkowitz's confession, con On August 10, 1977, the NYPD arrested David Berkowitz for the "Son of Sam" murders that had terrorized New York City for more than 13 months. Berkowitz confessed to being a lone murderer — one who had carried out eight senseless shooting with a .44 caliber Bulldog revolver. The case was officially closed. Journalist Maury Terry was suspicious of Berkowitz's confession, convinced as he gathered corroborating evidence throughout the years, that Berkowitz did not act alone. In this investigative story, first published in 1987, Terry details the chilling events, proving that Berkowitz was an affiliate of — and triggerman for — a Satanic cult known as the Process Church of the Final Judgment, a far-reaching organization that is connected to other ritual slayings across the country. Updated wtih Berkowitz's recent confirmations from his prison cell, Terry untangles the web of information and shocking extent of the Process Church's activities. Includes black-and-white photographs.

30 review for The Ultimate Evil: The Truth about the Cult Murders: Son of Sam and Beyond

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sir Michael Röhm

    Generally, the people who discuss this book are either conspiracy nuts who believe the government is spying on them through their cereal or something equally crazy, fundamentalist Christians who are eager to prove that Satan is out to get everyone or professional skeptics who have an axe to grind against the former two and a desire to look very smart and very clever on top of it. I had read this book back in my high school days, but only remembered some bits and pieces from it (crazy death cults Generally, the people who discuss this book are either conspiracy nuts who believe the government is spying on them through their cereal or something equally crazy, fundamentalist Christians who are eager to prove that Satan is out to get everyone or professional skeptics who have an axe to grind against the former two and a desire to look very smart and very clever on top of it. I had read this book back in my high school days, but only remembered some bits and pieces from it (crazy death cults and serial killers are two subjects I'm very interested in). What surprised me is that, despite the ensuing years of seeing the above three groups fighting over this book, Terry's book is actually very lucid and down-to-earth for the most part. While his knowledge of 'the occult' is lacking (he's one of those people who doesn't really grok that there are plenty of benign groups out there that use Tarot cards and like Crowley and the OTO, despite the fact that there are also a bunch of weirdos and cranks) his study of the Son of Sam case is, in my opinion, a perfect example of the ineptness of the police department at digging deeper than just surface level (something that has happened time and again, including within this book, repeatedly). The public was terrorized by the ".44 Caliber Killer," and once they caught Berkowitz (who admitted to being the ".44 Caliber Killer"/"Son of Sam," that was enough for them. As long as they had someone to blame it on - and as long as the streets were quiet again - they didn't really care if it went any deeper (although to be fair, many cops DID... but the brass tended to squelch them). Admittedly, Berkowitz was behind the at least a couple of the killings. Neither Berkowitz nor Terry try to deny that - it would be foolish. However, the fact remains that the various composite images made by witnesses and surviving victims are radically different was ignored. The reports of weird cars in neighbourhoods shortly before the murders was ignored. The witness of a woman who saw Berkwotiz wandering around and driving around shortly before another shooting - thereby requiring that Berkowitz be "The Flash" in order to wander around, drive around AND get back in time to fire shots at the victim was ignored. Even the fact that the various letters from "The Son of Sam" obviously didn't come from the same person was ignored. Terry draws a line from Berkowitz to alleged friends of his named the Carrs who were involved in some sort of cult (and were murdered shortly after the Son of Sam murders) all the way to places as far-flung as North Dakota, Los Angeles and Houston - as well as Long Island, New York. While ordinarily, people react negatively to so-called "conspiracy theories," the men who flew the planes into the WTC were part of both a "cult" and members of a "conspiracy." "Conspiracy theory" has been degraded to simply being a buzzword, associated with people who believe that UFOs killed JFK and similar stuff, despite the fact that any theory that links three or more people together, is quite frankly, a "conspiracy theory." Despite the bad rap the book gets from the skeptics - and the embracing of it by crazy fundies and crazy tin-foil hatters alike - Terry doesn't really focus hugely on so-called cults. While he refers to some (such as the notorious Process, the so-called Chingons, a cult centered around Yonkers, etc.) the book is more about dope than the Devil and if any cult is truly involved, it would appear to involve Scientology moreso than Satan. Drug deals gone bad, kinky homosexual murders, crazy cults, porn-and-dope addicted vaudeville producers, music celebrities and low-level pushers are all caught up in the net that Terry uncovers. While it's tempting to write this off as, yes, a conspiracy theory, the fact remains that it is entirely possible that groups with stations across the country are involved in drug-smuggling and dealing and Terry suggests motives behind the Tate-Labianca murders that make far more sense than the "Beatles told me to do it" theory of Vincent Bugliosi (to be fair, Bugliosi was stressed for time and had to get a conviction on Manson - he had plenty of other theories, some of which support Terry's, but the police's refusal to look beneath the surface of a crazy story - like Burkowitz's dog - hindered much of it). If nothing else, it's an intriguing thought. I, for one, based on personal research I've done on cults in So Cal, tend to think Terry is on to something - whether his entire hypothesis is true or false - but even if just some of it is true, a whole lot of sickos need to be headed to jail... although most of them are probably long since murdered anyway. A lot of the book is speculative - while Terry is right to protect his sources, often his 'sources' are the only ones with any worthwhile info. It is entirely possible that they were mistaken, or lying, or any number of things, although Terry does regularly verify their claims against information that he, as an investigator, tracks down. My biggest qualm with this book is that it was written in the mid 80s and some of the figures - such as "Manson II," aka Willie Metzner - are now safely behind bars. Unfortunately, I don't know if there is a newly updated version of this book or not. Considering everything involved, I think there should either be a sequel or a very updated version to trace what's been going on since the book finished. Internet research has shown that some people, such as John Kogut, were exonerated through DNA evidence, although of course the book, written at the time he was confessing to a rape and murder of a teenage girl, doesn't talk about this at all.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lea

    Re-read for 2016. Still one of my favorites, this is an amazing piece of investigative journalism by author Maury Terry. This is one I have to keep replacing -- I never get it back whenever anyone borrows it. :) Re-read for 2016. Still one of my favorites, this is an amazing piece of investigative journalism by author Maury Terry. This is one I have to keep replacing -- I never get it back whenever anyone borrows it. :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jannelies

    True crime books are not for the faint of heart. When reading about a fictional murder or murderer, you always have in your mind ‘this isn’t real’ and usually crime fiction ends when the murderer is caught. So not always with true crime. In most true crime books, you can find detailed descriptions of how people were murdered. In The Ultimate Evil we find a lot of such descriptions. But not only that, we find – if we do choose to believe in it – a whole theory about serial killers. Maury Terry, j True crime books are not for the faint of heart. When reading about a fictional murder or murderer, you always have in your mind ‘this isn’t real’ and usually crime fiction ends when the murderer is caught. So not always with true crime. In most true crime books, you can find detailed descriptions of how people were murdered. In The Ultimate Evil we find a lot of such descriptions. But not only that, we find – if we do choose to believe in it – a whole theory about serial killers. Maury Terry, journalist, wrote this book originally in 1987 but it’s reprinted now with an introduction from Joshua Zeman. Joshua Zeman is a producer and director with several titles on his name that deal with urban legends and conspiracies. He calls The Ultimate Evil one of the most terrifying books he’s ever read. Because it’s a rather hefty volume, plus I noticed that there are lots of controversies surrounding this book, I’m not going into details here. My idea of an interesting true crime book is more along the lines of the ones written by Ann Rule. Those who read her books will know what I mean. It was an interesting experience to read The Ultimate Evil, made more interesting by all the different stories around the book and the author. Thanks to Edelweiss for this review copy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John

    Oh the good old days before DNA and real good forensics, where one Fire Island obsessed NY reporter could toil away on a single story for decades. Where a good juicy serial killer could make the career of a plucky young journalist. When Terry is not "recreating" conversations between himself and police, himself and District Attorneys, or himself and other newspaper men, he is retyping prison letters from inside snitches. See, here is the thing about this: Berkowitz did it. Alone. Because he is a Oh the good old days before DNA and real good forensics, where one Fire Island obsessed NY reporter could toil away on a single story for decades. Where a good juicy serial killer could make the career of a plucky young journalist. When Terry is not "recreating" conversations between himself and police, himself and District Attorneys, or himself and other newspaper men, he is retyping prison letters from inside snitches. See, here is the thing about this: Berkowitz did it. Alone. Because he is a paranoid schizophrenic. Probably tormented by his neighbors, the Carrs. The Carrs where bad dudes, one was an active cocaine addict and the other former drug addict turned Scientologist. To a paranoid like Berkowitz, these two guys were into Satanism and all sorts of other depravity. And what was the most depraved thing back in the 1970s? Homosexual bondage sex. Mix all that together with a barking dog and you have the platform for quite a delusional system. I am sure the Carrs fucked with "Berkie." Teased and harassed him, since he was a loner creep with obvious mental problems. I am, also, convinced that Berkowitz knew them well enough to create his delusions. The fact that both Carrs met with particularly messy ends, is not surprising either- being low level criminals and dullard thugs. Terry gets great traction from the Carrs "suspicious" deaths. But really, a dug addict who is trying to break into selling drugs getting killed is not really the stuff of Satanic Conspiracies. More like the plot of a cheap tv show. The fact that Terry gets more traction from the letters, articles, and other highlighted books that Berkowitz mails around the country to various DAs is a bit naive. I mean, letter writing and strange mail was one of Berkowitz's Son Of Sam calling cards. The fact he continued after arrest seems to prove his culpability more than anything else. Furthermore, the sending of articles and other texts to law enforcement continued to support Berkowitz's paranoid delusions, showing others all the evidence that connects the scrambled world view of his mind. Terry uses Berkowitz's interviews as more proof. I found the interviews to be entirely made up of leading questions and Berkowitz playing a terribly obvious game of GO FISH. His refusal to answer reads as ignorance and entertainment on his behalf, not scared hints. To even address the informant letters from Vinny is to admit that a prisoner who has a reporter on the hook, someone who will actively visit him, who will actively write him back, is a prisoner with a lot of power. They are bored beyond words, so this sort of entertainment is invaluable. In addition, anything Vinny overheard, any crime, he could simply feed to Terry and attribute it to Berkowitz. Which I think happened a lot. Poor Maury Terry. I am sure he misses the disco nights on Fire Island as well as the timely fascination of the Son of Sam case.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cwn_annwn_13

    Interesting and entertaining but at least some of what is put out and theorized here is likely bullshit. People just love their spooky stories by the campfire.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Steve Tannuzzo

    What happens when true crime meets conspiracy theory? An 800-page brick of actual crimes tied very loosely together in the most unconvincing ways. I couldn’t put it down. The Ultimate Evil, published in 1987, makes a valiant (and ridiculous) effort to prove the existence of a Satanic network of killers that includes David Berkowitz (alias Son of Sam) and ties his actions back to the Manson family. Author Maury Terry uses his own (hopefully steel-trap) memory to recreate his conversations (What!? N What happens when true crime meets conspiracy theory? An 800-page brick of actual crimes tied very loosely together in the most unconvincing ways. I couldn’t put it down. The Ultimate Evil, published in 1987, makes a valiant (and ridiculous) effort to prove the existence of a Satanic network of killers that includes David Berkowitz (alias Son of Sam) and ties his actions back to the Manson family. Author Maury Terry uses his own (hopefully steel-trap) memory to recreate his conversations (What!? No tape recorder?) along with Berkowitz’s writings and drawings to piece together his theory. It’s a fascinating read, even though numerous times I laughed out loud at the absurdity of it all. This should be picked up by Netflix or Hulu as a series. It’s entertaining as hell, and I don’t believe a word of it. —- Note (May, 2021): My prediction came true two years later! Of course Netflix created a docuseries based on this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Denton

    One of the most underrated books of our time, "The Ultimate Evil" is a "can't turn these GD pages fast enough" romp through the most convoluted murder mystery of our time. Was the Son of Sam merely a cover up for one of the most devious Satanic cults in the world? After reading Maury's long, really long, tale, I'd say "maybe?" One of the most underrated books of our time, "The Ultimate Evil" is a "can't turn these GD pages fast enough" romp through the most convoluted murder mystery of our time. Was the Son of Sam merely a cover up for one of the most devious Satanic cults in the world? After reading Maury's long, really long, tale, I'd say "maybe?"

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Hernandez

    Best Book EVAHH!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Scott Revels

    This is very creepy to read when you are alone. I thought this was an excellent investigative book into the multiple killings in New York City in the late 70's by the "44 Cabiber Killer" or the "Son of Sam" killer (s). Too much evidence suggests that this was in no way a one man job. Even the cops investigating this case at the time always thought it was more than one killer. Every crime scene had a different description of the shooter/shooters. The only reason this was all pinned on David Berko This is very creepy to read when you are alone. I thought this was an excellent investigative book into the multiple killings in New York City in the late 70's by the "44 Cabiber Killer" or the "Son of Sam" killer (s). Too much evidence suggests that this was in no way a one man job. Even the cops investigating this case at the time always thought it was more than one killer. Every crime scene had a different description of the shooter/shooters. The only reason this was all pinned on David Berkowitz is convenience, the common theme in the American “Justice System”. People were going to lose their jobs over this case. The city was losing its mind with fear. How could all of the NYPD and FBI not be able to locate the killer? There was more than one killer. Check the evidence. Great book and there is more than enough reasonable doubt and just flat out ignored evidence to re-open this case.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    I've loaned this one out a few times, and never seem to get it back. One of great cult books of all time. (The dog didn't do it.) And Berkowitz probably only did some of it. Read it and see. The book drips purple prose, which no doubt turns off some, and gives skeptics ammunition to shout down Terry's theories. And yet, I wouldn't want it written any other way. Terry raises some points that are hard to ignore. The main one being that there were others involved with the killings. I've loaned this one out a few times, and never seem to get it back. One of great cult books of all time. (The dog didn't do it.) And Berkowitz probably only did some of it. Read it and see. The book drips purple prose, which no doubt turns off some, and gives skeptics ammunition to shout down Terry's theories. And yet, I wouldn't want it written any other way. Terry raises some points that are hard to ignore. The main one being that there were others involved with the killings.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    I have finally finished this book. It was fascinating. I ended up liking it so much that I looked for the book that he was supposedly working on about the Lisa Steinberg murder; however, it looks like this was the only book he has written. This book was really scary and it really makes you wonder about unsolved murders and missing people.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carla Senna

    Compulsive read, very scary implications. Brilliant! One of my favorite book, read it many times over!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Steve Cunningham

    Scary book on several levels, and is very clearly on the money by and large. Great research. I even checked out the Carrs' home and surrounding area on Google Earth when re-reading this recently; quite a cocktail. Strangely, a minor point of detail towards the end slightly undermined some of the other research: the star symbol used by the rock band Rush is not a pentagram and has no satanic connotations whatsoever. Lazy heavy metal / devil worship cliche that was given significance where there wa Scary book on several levels, and is very clearly on the money by and large. Great research. I even checked out the Carrs' home and surrounding area on Google Earth when re-reading this recently; quite a cocktail. Strangely, a minor point of detail towards the end slightly undermined some of the other research: the star symbol used by the rock band Rush is not a pentagram and has no satanic connotations whatsoever. Lazy heavy metal / devil worship cliche that was given significance where there was none. Admittedly the devil worshippers may not have realised that, but Rush fans are too smart for this malarkey! Jeez, went on about that a bit. Very good book, great research.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Fascinating theory on the Son of Sam murders! Maury Terry really seems to have done his research and raises some interesting questions.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dreadlocksmile

    Terry offers an interesting and novel look on the Son Of Sam killings that terrorized America. He delivers the notion that Berkowitz did not in fact act alone, rather, he was merely a scapegoat to divert the attention away from what was apparently 'really going on'. Terry's theory is that a nation wide Satanic cult, with connections in the highest and widest places is responsible. He even goes on to identify the cult as an apparent off shoot of the Process church. Connections are then swiftly ma Terry offers an interesting and novel look on the Son Of Sam killings that terrorized America. He delivers the notion that Berkowitz did not in fact act alone, rather, he was merely a scapegoat to divert the attention away from what was apparently 'really going on'. Terry's theory is that a nation wide Satanic cult, with connections in the highest and widest places is responsible. He even goes on to identify the cult as an apparent off shoot of the Process church. Connections are then swiftly made to involve many other murderous crimes, including the Tate-La Bianca murders. It could indeed be true that there is a conspiracy involved in the Son Of Sam killings, but Terry's outrageous reasoning and step-by-step fact making doesn't prove a thing. Here is an example of how he finds the hidden meaning in a letter sent by Berkowitz to a journalist: (1) The letter contains the phrase "keep 'em digging". (2) 'em' backwards is 'me' (3) 'keep' backwards is 'peek' (4) 'peek' could be translated as 'look for' (5) 'digging' in the UK can mean 'home' (often shortened to 'digs') (6) So putting it together it becomes 'look for me home' (7) Therefore it contains a description of how to get to Berkowitz's home address. It seems like the book is one of those cases where if you put enough time, effort and energy into searching for any possible clues, a thousand can be fabricated. But even more than that, Terry seems to even create evidence which he later announces is 'fact'. What a hero! I have to admit that I did enjoy the book and I feel that it did open up many questions on the whole Son Of Sam murders. Terry has given a very in-depth and commendable insight into the life and crimes of Berkowitz, but the book does seem to then wander off into the realms of fantasy with Terry's wild accusations. This at first comes across as quite comical, but then after a couple of hundred pages dedicated to Terry's bizarre logic, it starts to get annoying and tedious. I'd still recommend this book to anyone who is at all interested in the Son Of Sam killings, but (and this is a big but), I would seriously recommend that you don't take all of Terry's findings and reasoning as fact.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jhef

    An absolutely fascinating story and in-depth review of the Son of Sam murders. Maury Terry takes this to the deepest level of the cultish underground of New York, ultimately indicting the Process Church of the Final Judgment. I've come across some contradictory information regarding Terry's conclusions, especially an interview with Timothy Wyllie who found Terry's work laughable, but no one has taken the time to carefully deconstruct the events in a similar matter and prove Terry otherwise. I hi An absolutely fascinating story and in-depth review of the Son of Sam murders. Maury Terry takes this to the deepest level of the cultish underground of New York, ultimately indicting the Process Church of the Final Judgment. I've come across some contradictory information regarding Terry's conclusions, especially an interview with Timothy Wyllie who found Terry's work laughable, but no one has taken the time to carefully deconstruct the events in a similar matter and prove Terry otherwise. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Serial Killers, True Crime, and even the Occult.

  17. 5 out of 5

    David Corleto-Bales

    An exceptionally long tome about how the Son of Sam case in the 1970s was probably tied to a broader conspiracy that David Berkowitz got involved with after being exposed to a deranged group of self-styled "Satanists" while in the military in North Dakota. Maury tenuously ties the Son of Sam to Charles Manson's group, but this is not convincing to me. This is a re-read of a book that I thought was thrilling back in the 1980s, but it could have done with an editing down. An exceptionally long tome about how the Son of Sam case in the 1970s was probably tied to a broader conspiracy that David Berkowitz got involved with after being exposed to a deranged group of self-styled "Satanists" while in the military in North Dakota. Maury tenuously ties the Son of Sam to Charles Manson's group, but this is not convincing to me. This is a re-read of a book that I thought was thrilling back in the 1980s, but it could have done with an editing down.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Fishface

    This book started out spectacularly, with the atrocious ritual murder of Arlis Perry, but after that it went haring off in so many directions -- trying to make the murder into a tiny detail in a massive conspiratorial tapestry -- that I totally lost interest and couldn't finish it. I wish I still had my copy because they're selling for a king's ransom now, but don't ask me to try to read it again. This book started out spectacularly, with the atrocious ritual murder of Arlis Perry, but after that it went haring off in so many directions -- trying to make the murder into a tiny detail in a massive conspiratorial tapestry -- that I totally lost interest and couldn't finish it. I wish I still had my copy because they're selling for a king's ransom now, but don't ask me to try to read it again.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Val

    This book scared the bejesus out of me. I don't think I slept during the entire time I was reading it. This book scared the bejesus out of me. I don't think I slept during the entire time I was reading it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Scruggs

    Very difficult for someone with a very busy life to read but, very well written.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Didu

    Big true crime “enthusiast” here, you may already know that as my friends and viewers, but I do love reading a good crime or thriller book. Which takes me to the next point, of course I’ve read about The Son of Sam killer, I’ve read many articles on the case, seen Youtube videos, read blog posts and now I’ve seen the new documentary about the case on Netflix called The Sons of Sam. I didn’t want to watch it at first because I’ve thought that I knew the case by heart, but I had the biggest surpris Big true crime “enthusiast” here, you may already know that as my friends and viewers, but I do love reading a good crime or thriller book. Which takes me to the next point, of course I’ve read about The Son of Sam killer, I’ve read many articles on the case, seen Youtube videos, read blog posts and now I’ve seen the new documentary about the case on Netflix called The Sons of Sam. I didn’t want to watch it at first because I’ve thought that I knew the case by heart, but I had the biggest surprise of my life with this one. I knew about the satanism involved with the Son of Sam case but not about the wingspan that it had. It was BIG. Maury Terry was an investigative journalist at the time and for the rest of his life became the sole spoker for this absolute madness. He lived with the case and sadly died with it but he cracked it! Too bad he didn’t survived to see but after 43 years of not punishing some of the killers, one was caught and for more info about that you should totally see the Netflix doc, chilling is an understatement. Maury Terry didn’t believe that Berkowitz had acted alone. He was convinced that the Son of Sam murders were part of a sprawling Satanic conspiracy and he spent the rest of his life trying to convince the world that he was right. I’ve just started reading Maury’s book because I feel like I need more, even though the documentary made me lose two nights of sleep. The book starts very poetic and I’m here for it. “And although it was mid-October, Columbus Day — a time of smoldering dry leaves and ripening pumpkins in the northern reaches of the country — it was a clear, pleasant evening in Palo Alto. A light breeze gently rattled the gum trees and palms that studded the campus and bore the musical merriment from one distant corner of the sparkling complex to the other.” It isn’t that hard to believe that in those times, 1977’ish, satanism was a reality. It was, some say it was there to balance the summers of love and hippies, and drugs and free love and free sex, I just believe that evil was always there. People say they couldn’t see this becoming such a powerful manifestation but evil is everywhere, especially in people. And what surrounded this case was pure evil and man made, no Satan or hot devil there to shoot the guns and ruining the lives of many, just some regular people, mentally unstable living with a God complex. The book is packed with information, a lot of details about the victims as well which shows how much importance Maury gave them as anyone should. He cared and you can see it clear in his words, he wasn’t bragging about it. You can sense how genuine he was. How much he cared, how much work he had put in, how tortured he was by this whole ordeal. I think you should watch the doc first and after read the book, for once. You should see their faces, the people and avengers behind the world of crime and be happy that people like Maury Terry existed/exist in the world.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Terry Cornell

    A long book, and a slow read. So much to take in and process. The author was an investigative journalist that spent years studying the Son of Sam case. With the assistance of other journalists and investigators he lays out compelling evidence that demonstrates David Berkowitz did not act alone in the killings. The group of people involved in the killings were likely part of a cult, with links to other similar organizations spread throughout the country. The author shows links between persons of A long book, and a slow read. So much to take in and process. The author was an investigative journalist that spent years studying the Son of Sam case. With the assistance of other journalists and investigators he lays out compelling evidence that demonstrates David Berkowitz did not act alone in the killings. The group of people involved in the killings were likely part of a cult, with links to other similar organizations spread throughout the country. The author shows links between persons of interest in the SOS cases, the Manson Family, drug trafficking, and production of the movie 'The Cotton Club'. At the end, no answers, but interesting intersections that must be more than sheer coincidences.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jennie

    Being Boring Is The Ultimate Evil I'm torn between a 2 and a 3 star because some parts were (unintentionally) amusing. OK, I do believe that there was more than one individual involved in the Son of Sam shootings. And you certainly are some kind of hero if you can get a nice clean, brief explanation out of this book. This book is a hot mess. It's so hard to get through it and it manages to make mass murder, some Satan, crazy people, blood, blood, nutso really, really boring and frustrating. So, awa Being Boring Is The Ultimate Evil I'm torn between a 2 and a 3 star because some parts were (unintentionally) amusing. OK, I do believe that there was more than one individual involved in the Son of Sam shootings. And you certainly are some kind of hero if you can get a nice clean, brief explanation out of this book. This book is a hot mess. It's so hard to get through it and it manages to make mass murder, some Satan, crazy people, blood, blood, nutso really, really boring and frustrating. So, award winning journalist Maury Terry did a very bad job with this book. And about that, google him, I'll wait...see? One imdb entry with one Inside Edition episode. Buried in the book is the fact that it's an award winning local news segment he was involved in...award winner...TA DA! He and his wine swilling, Fire Island resorting buddies are way into these demon gays (homosexuality is discussed like another nail in their spiritual coffins, pretty much), female students are always, always coeds. Seriously, the author really needs you to know that he is not gay, unlike these devil killers. They were gay. They went gay places and did gay things. Not Maury Terry! He had a wife. Then a fiancee. Then, another wife. (But, as far as I know, not one witness mentioned anything about those satanists drinking wine at Fire Island, so...) And I just can't be bothered to describe anything about the alleged links to the Process church or Charles Manson. Somebody needed to settle down and no one did. There are long sections of dialogue, which I doubt come from transcripts or tapes of any kind, which are so painfully awkward. I don't get why the book is laid out like this. (Manson II is some one's code name. Thanks. Not confusing.) Pardon me for not finding David Berkowitz a credible informant, hope you had fun running around chasing this down b/c I had to create my own fun while reading it. However, there are far too many coincidences and witness statements for me to not doubt he acted alone. I just happen not to care about what was supposed to be the cool part, you know, the satan part? Is this not satanic panic? (Yes, yes it is.) And again, it's boring. Satanic Panic is boring. How dare you make Satan boring? You start to make me think he's not such a bad guy. That boring me is the ultimate evil. (Satan is supposed to be this alluring but insanely terrifying entity, right? So what gives? How many people are into really gross stuff that we are all so at risk to just fall right in to devil worship? And then to just be a snoozefest? Yeah, real scary satan. Go to bed.) Maybe this would be interesting if Geraldo interviewed the author right when the book was released and made poor Ozzy sit there via satellite for the whole thing (this really happened and it is on YouTube, minus the bit about the author, I don't think he was on it...but yeah.) I keep reading all these books and keep cringing because damn adults, why so stoopid? Satanists were not everywhere, hide your kids! No conspiracy, just sometimes already awful people decided to worship the devil too, hey, why not? Or used that to make themselves sound worse (to be fair to the author, he did make this point several times...even here, satan was just an idea used by some involved). It's not like nobody noticed how completely impossible and nonsensical all this stuff sounded back then. I went to Catholic School and they didn't focus on this. Sure, every stranger was Gacy, always ready to make me the next Adam Walsh, but I would have remembered something about the devil. (Actually, back in the 80s I learned this stuff from the TV. I had normal adults in my life. They had jobs and such.) I can't help but feel like this was the right time for Nancy Grace. Her # would have been epic. Recommended for those with an ironic interest/obsession with the topic of Satanic Panic. Although, I guess a true believer would love this too. So, I also recommend it to conspiracy theorists and those especially scared of satanism. And on to the next one...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    This was actually a little better than I expected. The author makes a pretty good case that Berkowitz was not the sole killer involved with the "Son of Sam" killings, and that he had connections to people who were possibly involved in all manner of shadiness, primarily drug dealing. I'm willing to buy that, and I'm willing to buy that Berkowitz put in some effort to appear crazier than he actually was prior to getting caught. Other stuff, I'm less willing to run with. Terry tries to link anything This was actually a little better than I expected. The author makes a pretty good case that Berkowitz was not the sole killer involved with the "Son of Sam" killings, and that he had connections to people who were possibly involved in all manner of shadiness, primarily drug dealing. I'm willing to buy that, and I'm willing to buy that Berkowitz put in some effort to appear crazier than he actually was prior to getting caught. Other stuff, I'm less willing to run with. Terry tries to link anything and everything to the Son of Sam killings, eventually weaving together a vast Satanic conspiracy that encompasses the murder of Arlis Perry at Stanford, a number of other occult-flavored murders in the NYC area, and, incredibly, the Manson murders. I am certain that if the Matamoros murders had occurred before this book was published, he would have tied them in, as well. Terry often comes off as entirely too credulous, too willing to accept things at face value, and too willing to interpret the evidence to fit his theories. He sees a lot of things as enormously significant and as evidence for cult activity, such as Satanic and Nazi-themed graffiti in parks and pentagrams in magic marker near crime scenes. He seems to forget that whenever teenage ne'er-do-wells congregate, you will find swastikas, pentagrams, and the names of heavy metal groups, and this does not necessarily indicate the presence of an organized cult. He also seems to view any occult/pagan/New Age group as at least potentially Satanic, which gets a bit tiresome after a while. Pretty soon things get heavily into urban legend territory: snuff films, child pornography rings, virgin sacrifices, etc. From a "how seriously should I take this guy" perspective, I should probably also note that if the transcripts of the interviews Terry and his associates conducted with Berkowitz are accurate, they are at times very leading and allow Berkowitz to make non-committal responses that could be interpreted as supporting Terry's theories. Terry also claims to have found and removed evidence from a crime scene, which confused and dismayed me. Overall, I can't really say this is worth reading, exactly. It's interesting, but it's very long-winded and many of the conclusions are questionable. Still, I did find it rather fascinating.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mike Bevel

    This book. Guys. I. Listen: 100 pages of this does a great job of explaining the Son of Sam/.44 Killer crimes. Terry also does a good job in using witness accounts to suggest that it may not have been as simple as David Berkowitz Did It All. But there comes a point where he starts to go full Sunday New York Times Crossword, reading clues on clues within some of the SoS letters that just don't pass any sort of razor, Occam or otherwise. He gets lost in his own forest. Also, this book did not at al This book. Guys. I. Listen: 100 pages of this does a great job of explaining the Son of Sam/.44 Killer crimes. Terry also does a good job in using witness accounts to suggest that it may not have been as simple as David Berkowitz Did It All. But there comes a point where he starts to go full Sunday New York Times Crossword, reading clues on clues within some of the SoS letters that just don't pass any sort of razor, Occam or otherwise. He gets lost in his own forest. Also, this book did not at all need to be 600+ pages. I found it a monotonous chore to get through.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cory Eadson

    An entertaining, if sensationalist, piece that connects a whole lot of dots. It's fascinating and well-written, even if Terry's ego becomes more inflated as his crusade to uncover the truth continues. Part of me thinks he wrote it with one eye on somebody snapping up the movie rights! It's hard to come to any real conclusions by the end as so much of the 'evidence' is based around 'he said, she said' type scenarios, but it's still a very good insight into the murky depths of America's dark under An entertaining, if sensationalist, piece that connects a whole lot of dots. It's fascinating and well-written, even if Terry's ego becomes more inflated as his crusade to uncover the truth continues. Part of me thinks he wrote it with one eye on somebody snapping up the movie rights! It's hard to come to any real conclusions by the end as so much of the 'evidence' is based around 'he said, she said' type scenarios, but it's still a very good insight into the murky depths of America's dark underworld. Take it with a pinch of salt, and enjoy!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    100% fact based book with a long and thorough investigative process. I find that the book left me with one very strong and scarey take-away ,that is, that EVIL does exist!... and in its purest form. The investigative journalism is superb!The Son of Sam aspect is just the beginning of the many,many, connections or spokes in the wheel that are tied in to the Cult aspect, the Process church and Devil Worship and murders is astounding and ,I might add ...at high levels of our sick society. Maury Terry' 100% fact based book with a long and thorough investigative process. I find that the book left me with one very strong and scarey take-away ,that is, that EVIL does exist!... and in its purest form. The investigative journalism is superb!The Son of Sam aspect is just the beginning of the many,many, connections or spokes in the wheel that are tied in to the Cult aspect, the Process church and Devil Worship and murders is astounding and ,I might add ...at high levels of our sick society. Maury Terry's story ...yes a NON Fiction story takes you to England, San Francisco, Yonkers ,NY, the Bronx ,Minot ND, Hollywood, and beyond.The best part is that it is not theory or conjecture but, all based on FACTS! What a job this author has done! Bravo!! You can learn more and up to date stories on FaceBook at the Ultimate Evil Group page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/15137... I even heard that a new edition is coming out summer of 2015. I cant wait...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    I really enjoyed this book on the whole. There were times when I wondered whether I would finish it or not, as there were times when it didn't keep me gripped, but I plodded on and was glad I did. Starting with a Satanic murder in California in 1974, it then goes onto New York's 'Son of Sam' killings, claiming David Berkowitz didn't act alone and was part of a Satanic cult. This makes up a large part of the book. It goes back to California and even brings in Charles Manson and a Manson II, linkin I really enjoyed this book on the whole. There were times when I wondered whether I would finish it or not, as there were times when it didn't keep me gripped, but I plodded on and was glad I did. Starting with a Satanic murder in California in 1974, it then goes onto New York's 'Son of Sam' killings, claiming David Berkowitz didn't act alone and was part of a Satanic cult. This makes up a large part of the book. It goes back to California and even brings in Charles Manson and a Manson II, linking all the murders together as a part of the same sect, which could seem a bit far-fetched at times, but Terry makes it sound feasible. All in all, an above average read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robert Fila

    On target This book exposed much that had been hidden or ignored. As a Yonkers resident I hung out bob Untermeyer park in the late sixties and early seventies. My friend and I would see these brown robed figures with the goods over their heads walking through the park heading toward the woods. They were given wide birth and word was passed not to comment, stare or ask any questions. This book brings all those moments back.

  30. 5 out of 5

    ♥ Marlene♥

    on Sunday, June 29, 2008 OMG It took me 10 days to read!!!! Not a good sign is it? It was interesting but I must admit at the end I thought O what the hell, get on with it. This book was good but too long. Very small print more than 650 pages and a lot of repetition. Interesting though, but I am just glad I have read it. I think this must have been a record. 10 days! wow.

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