The Sons of Sam: How Did Maury Terry Die?

Joshua Zeman’s ‘The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness’ is a true-crime docu-series on Netflix. It follows investigative journalist Maury Terry’s lifelong obsession with the Son of Sam case and the claims that more people were involved in the shooting spree. While David Berkowitz was arrested and convicted of the killings, he later went on to allude to other “Sons” being present in correspondence with Maury. Curious to know what happened to Maury Terry? We’ve got you covered.

Who Was Maury Terry?

Maury Terry was born in June 1946. Growing up, he was a talented athlete, but he eventually shifted his focus to writing. Around the time the Son of Sam was mercilessly killing and wounding innocent people in New York City, Maury had been working as an editor and writer for IBM’s in-house magazine. It was a case he followed with keen interest. The string of shootings in different boroughs of New York City, all seemingly aimed at young women, terrorized the city between July 1976 and July 1977. David Berkowitz’s arrest and eventual conviction brought a sense of relief to the people, but Maury was not too convinced.

Maury’s initial line of investigation was the fact that the composite sketches obtained from the witnesses from the multiple shootings did not add up. They looked vastly different from one another. He wanted to look into David Berkowitz’s neighbors, the Carrs. Initially, David claimed that it was Sam Carr’s dog that commanded him to commit the killings. Sam had two sons, John and Michael. Maury concluded that there were references made to John Carr in one of the letters David had written to the police and press.

Furthermore, eyewitness statements and the fact that some of the sketches closely resembled the brothers set Maury off into an ever-growing web of murky theories. Maury’s investigation took him to Minot, North Dakota, where John Carr had killed himself just about six months after David’s arrest. It brought him back to Yonkers, New York, where there were reports of satanic rituals being carried out in a local park. Maury was pulled deeper and deeper into this story. Investigation in Minot revealed prior connections between David and John, and the latter being a member of a satanic cult.

A compilation of this research regarding the possible connections between John and David was published, which did prompt the Queens District Attorney’s Office to open the case. While in jail, David had also written to Maury, and in one of his letters, he mentioned that others were involved in the killings and that he was not the one who shot all six of the Son of Sam victims. He claimed that it was some other members of a satanic cult that he was a part of.

Maury also looked into David Berkowitz and Charles Manson belonging to the same underground cult organization called The Process, being its members at different times. His research was based on multiple interviews of a variety of sources that involved police informants, law enforcement, and other former Satanists. He published his work in the form of a book called ‘The Ultimate Evil’ in 1987, prompting a lot of people to consider the possibility of David Berkowitz not being the lone gunman.

In an interview with Maury in 1993, David seemed to corroborate some of this information by claiming that he was initiated into a satanic cult that performed sacrifices and other rituals. He also claimed that John and Michael Carr were part of the group that carried out the Son of Sam shootings.

How Did Maury Terry Die?

Maury devoted a lot of his life to the Son of Sam case. But the accepted theory still is that David Berkowitz had acted alone. While some in law enforcement believed that there could have been more than one shooter, the overwhelming majority did not, which made David’s relationship with law enforcement difficult.

Image Credit: The Journal News Obituaries

Furthermore, Maury’s decision to appear on tabloid shows in a bid to get his research out there hurt his credibility even more. In his final years, Maury had kept increasingly kept to himself. Eventually, Maury’s heart had started to fail, and he passed away in December 2015, aged 69 years.

Read More: How Did John and Michael Carr Die?