David Berkowitz: The Son of Sam
When Son of Sam first struck on the morning of July 29, 1976, no one could expect that a serial killer was making his debut.
Two young women, Donna Lauria, an 18-year-old brunette, and her 19-year-old friend Jody Valenti, were talking in Jody's car near the entrance of the Lauria's apartment building in the Bronx, New York City. Because of the dangerous hour (one o'clock in the morning), her parents stopped by the car on their way home from an evening out and told her it was time to come upstairs.
Donna promised she would. But, after her parents went inside, Donna noticed a man standing alongside the passenger side of the car. "Who is this guy?" she asked. "What does he want?"
Her question went unanswered. The man pulled out a Charter Arms .44 Bulldog handgun from a paper bag, squatted down and fired into the car five times. Donna died immediately, hit in the neck. Jody, shot in the thigh, leaned on the horn while the man continued to pull the trigger, even though the chamber was now empty.
Jody scrambled from the car, screaming for help. Soon, Donna's father heard the noise and ran down. In his pajamas and bare feet, he raced his car to the hospital, hoping that doctors could save his Donna.
Police could find no motive for the attack. Finally, they theorized that it may have been either a mob execution with mistaken victims or a lone psycho. Jody, semi-shocked, did manage to give something of a description of the assailant. But, under duress, her description lacked.