ALBANY, N.Y. – "Son of Sam" serial killer David Berkowitz has written a letter telling the Washington-area sniper to "stop hurting innocent people."
"I feel that I have been feeling this person's anger and rage toward law enforcement," Berkowitz wrote in a letter sent from Sullivan Correctional Facility, the maximum security prison where he is doing time for his killing spree 25 years ago. "I felt this person has a tremendous rage against the FBI, or anyone of the various law enforcement organizations that are in this area, and maybe towards the U.S. government in general."
Berkowitz sent the three-page letter to Rita Cosby, senior Washington correspondent for Fox News Channel, after Cosby wrote him seeking his comment on the sniper attacks, Fox News spokesman Paul Schur said. Cosby read excerpts on the air Monday.
The letter, dated Oct. 16, represents Berkowitz's first public comments about the shooter who has killed nine people and wounded three others in Virginia, Maryland and Washington since Oct. 2.
"Hopefully, it will be over soon with the arrest of the person or persons responsible," he wrote.
Berkowitz, 49, terrorized New York during 1976-77, killing six people and wounding seven others. His nickname came from a note he left at the sixth of eight shooting scenes: "I am a monster. I am the Son of Sam."
Police arrested the former postal employee in August 1977 after tracking down a parking ticket he received at the last murder scene. He confessed to the murders the next year, claiming his neighbor's dog had ordered him to kill.
Like Berkowitz's "Son of Sam" missive, the Washington-area sniper also has left messages.
Investigators found a tarot card Oct. 7 at a Bowie, Md., middle school, where the sniper wounded a 13-year-old boy. It read, "Dear Policeman, I am God." The shooter also left a message and phone number Saturday night near a Virginia steakhouse where the latest victim was shot.
In his letter, Berkowitz speculated as to the sniper's sanity.
"I am not sure it is one person or two, if this is a tormented and raging psychopath or a terrorist, or even an American terrorist such as Timothy McVeigh was," he wrote. Regardless, Berkowitz wrote, "he must stop hurting innocent people."
Berkowitz, denied parole in July in his first appearance before a parole board, is serving six consecutive 25-years-to-life sentences. He will next be eligible for parole in June 2004.
Raised Jewish, Berkowitz converted to Christianity in 1987. He now counsels other inmates with emotional problems and serves as an escort for blind inmates.
Sullivan Correctional Facility is in Fallsburg, about 80 miles northwest of New York City.