Netflix series a riveting new take on 'Son of Sam' murders. Yes, higher jobless benefits hurt hiring.

By Gary Abernathy

It’s pretty clear that ‘Son of Sam’ did not act alone

I just finished watching the new Netflix four-part miniseries, “The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness,” and found it fascinating. Like anyone who was around and paying attention in 1976-77, the “Son of Sam” case was riveting. Multiple serial murders were terrorizing New York City. The murderer mostly targeted couples who were parked in their cars in various “lover lane” locations. Police and media members were sent letters from the murderer, providing clues to his identity.

Eventually, police arrested David Berkowitz, a young resident who was described as a loner and who, upon arrest, confessed, “You got me.”  They considered the case closed, insisting Berkowitz had acted alone.

But a journalist named Maury Terry wasn’t satisfied. He felt police were overlooking some very obvious clues in the Son of Sam letters that clearly demonstrated that others were involved in the killings. He soon linked Berkowitz to a devil-worshiping cult. Eventually, Berkowitz told Terry in a face-to-face prison interview that he was right, there were others involved. But New York City police said Berkowitz was lying, and they dismissed his claims and Terry’s suspicions. But they had been under such pressure and criticism that when they nabbed Berkowitz, it was in their best interests (and those of local politicians) to declare the case solved.

Terry, who has since died, wrote a book about the case and his investigation, “The Ultimate Evil.” He has been the subject of criticism, and the results of his probe have been questioned. But even many of the victims (who survived) and deceased victims’ family members agree with Terry that Berkowitz could not have acted alone.

I watched the docuseries with a skeptical eye. I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’m someone who believes that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I don’t believe there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election. But it seems clear there were others involved in the Son of Sam murders. Just reading Berkowitz’ letters, before he was captured, makes that clear – especially coupled with additional things Terry (and eventually others, including retired detectives) discovered.

Check it out.

Common sense that high jobless benefits hurt hiring

I’m amazed at the suspension of common sense required to deny that enhanced unemployment benefits don’t discourage people from accepting job offers.

Employers across the country are facing a crisis in their inability to fill available jobs. Employer after employer explains that they are being told, “Why should I take a job when I make as much or more on unemployment?” And yet, there are people – including President Biden – who deny this is the case. If you don’t believe what business owners and managers say, just apply common sense.

Sad thing also is to hear owners or managers say in response to people not accepting jobs due to how well they’re doing on unemployment, “I don’t blame them.”

At one time, there was a shame associated with not working for a living. Accepting public assistance was something most people did not want to do, and as soon as possible they wanted to return to work. While taking unemployment benefits was considered less uncomfortable than “welfare” because it was meant to be a short-term safety net between jobs, it was still a much less desirable way to pay the bills than having a job, where pride in a day’s work meant something.

We’ve obviously lost that. Today, too often, attitudes are simply, hey, if I can make more money by not working, why wouldn’t I do that? It’s a symptom of a mindset that makes “stimulus” payments acceptable to Americans who don’t need it and socialist-style spending attractive to a nation that just a few years ago would have found the concept intolerable. We are undergoing a fundamental change in our national identity.

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