Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Exclusive interview: ‘Son of Sam’ shooting survivor believes David Berkowitz did not shoot him and he’s now calling on police to re-open New York City’s most infamous murder investigation.
He has done some of his own investigating since he was shot in the head back in 1976. Now he’s calling on police to re-open the Berkowitz case and prove this was all a conspiracy. In October of 1976, 20-year old Carl Denaro was on a late night date. He and his girlfriend parked their car in Queens and a few minutes later their whole world changed. Denaro recalls, ”I thought the car exploded.” Instead, a shooter had just emptied five .44 caliber rounds into the car, hitting Denaro in the back of the head. His girlfriend wasn’t hit so she quickly sped off. Denaro survived but his scars will never heal. Carl Denaro points to his head stating, “It’s a big horseshoe scar and there’s a couple of staples, 8 staples going around and like 250 stitches.”
At the time police didn’t know who David Berkowitz was. Then a year later though, the infamous ‘Son of Sam’ serial killer was arrested and Berkowitz plead guilty to killing 6 people and wounding 7 others. That included Carl Denaro. Denaro –“I’d like to know who shot me. Mike Mason – You don’t know if it was Berkowitz? Denaro – I’m 99.9% sure it wasn’t him.” Denaro says he has good reason to believe Berkowitz was not acting alone. Denaro says, “I’ve run into up to 30 detectives that 'off record' will tell me they know other people were involved”.
Denaro also remembers how detectives confiscated the Volkswagen he was shot in so they could conduct forensic testing. He says when police returned the car a couple of weeks later the car’s owner was cleaning it out and found a .44 caliber bullet lodged in a blanket that was still in the wheel well of the VW. That bullet was then turned over to the police department’s ballistics experts but Denaro cites this as a clear case of shoddy police work.
In the past, former Queens District Attorney John Santucci has said even he thinks Berkowitz did not act alone. Santucci stated, “It has crossed my mind that this 44 caliber pistol that was the weapon used in the shootings that we witnessed was passed around among a number of people.”
Denaro suspects cult members conspired with Berkowitz during the killing spree, ”I believe they should reopen the case because I think there are people who were involved who are still out there.”
Denaro was shot in a residential area of Flushing, Queens. There are other residents there who share his opinion that there more than one gunman involved. Mike DeAngelo lives in Flushing and doesn’t buy the lone gunman theory, “They pinned it on one guy basically.” Asked if he thought there was more than one person involved he states, “I do yeah I do.”
Despite the circumstances, Denaro says he has managed to move on with his life. “It just kind of gives you a whole new different outlook on taking every day as it comes.” And Berkowitz also has a different outlook.
Carl Denaro has never spoken with Berkowitz but he does have one question for him, ”Why don’t you come out and say who else is involved?”
Bronx District Attorney Mario Merola worked the case and before his death he remained adamant that the infamous ‘Son of Sam’ was the sole shooter. Berkowitz is set to go before the parole board again this May but he told me exclusively that he has no desire to seek parole this time around.
Here is the Link to my television report on WPIX in NYC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFn3zCCPK14&feature=related