A long sentence
In the end it didn’t matter about proving Berkowitz’s state of mind and whether he was responsible for his actions, as he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 365 years in prison.
In 1979, Berkowitz was interviewed by FBI veteran Robert Ressler in Attica Prison. Ressler was sceptical about the ‘demon’ claims made by Berkowitz and, after several visits, the prisoner admitted that the real reason why he went out and killed was because of his deep-rooted resentment against women caused by the mother who rejected him. This psychological hang-up was compounded by the fact that he was unable to develop successful relationships with women in general.
Considering that his biological mother showed no indication of rejecting him when he found her again as a teenager, the claim appears to be unsubstantiated. But on further probing Berkowitz did admit to deriving sexual pleasure from the killings, experiencing a form of erotic stimulation during and after shooting a victim, which often resulted post-killing masturbation.
Most disturbingly of all he even admitted wanting to attend the funerals of his victims but was afraid he would be caught by the police. Now middle-aged and serving his life sentence in Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, N.Y., Berkowitz like many other prisoners guilty of inhuman crimes, demonstrates remorse at irregular parole boards for his cruel actions that destroyed so many lives.