- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 12, 2004

‘Son of Sam’ denied parole

ALBANY, N.Y. — David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam” killer who terrorized New York City in the summer of 1977, was denied parole for a second time, officials said yesterday.

Berkowitz is serving six consecutive 25-years-to-life sentences at a maximum-security prison in Fallsburg. Though he did not request parole, the issue is automatically considered every two years.

The state Parole Board made its decision Thursday. The grounds for the denial were not disclosed.

Berkowitz, a former postal worker, killed six persons and wounded seven others in a shooting spree that began in 1976. It wasn’t until the fourth attack in January 1977 that police noticed a pattern. Authorities said he targeted teen girls with long, dark hair and young couples parked in lovers’ lanes.

His nickname came from a note he left at one crime scene that read: “I am a monster. I am the Son of Sam.”

Cameraman killed filming deadly corner

OMAHA, Neb. — A TV cameraman was struck and killed by a car while shooting video of a dangerous intersection where two teenagers died in a wreck a month ago.

The reporter who was working with John Frolio, 45, said the assignment had already been completed but the cameraman insisted on returning to the spot so that he could get better footage.

Mr. Frolio was working on a story about the Nebraska Roads Department’s plans to make the intersection safer after two teenagers were killed in an accident at the blind intersection.

Authorities said no charges would be brought against the driver in the Thursday incident. They said there was no evidence the driver was speeding or did anything else wrong.

Sightseer jumps from helicopter

PHOENIX — A man aboard a sightseeing helicopter took off his seat belt, opened a door and jumped to his death in Grand Canyon National Park, the helicopter company said.

The man’s body was found yesterday in steep terrain at White’s Butte about 90 miles northwest of Flagstaff, Ariz.

The helicopter was returning to the canyon’s South Rim on Thursday when the man plunged about 4,000 feet, said park spokeswoman Donna Nemeth.

“The man allegedly opened the door of the aircraft and exited, but until the investigation is completed, we can’t say exactly,” she said. Authorities gave few other details about the death.

Four other passengers and the Papillon Airways pilot were shaken but unharmed.

Metal workers cited in forest fire

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Three men who authorities said were either grinding metal or welding at a workshop were charged yesterday with causing a forest fire that prompted the evacuation of more than 100 homes.

The blaze Thursday burned a two-car garage and scorched 60 to 70 acres along both sides of the Rio Grande. It continued to smolder yesterday but was reported 50 percent contained.

Benjamin Tucker, 25, Peter Gallo, 29, and Jan Yoder, 34, were booked on charges of negligent use of fire.

Investigators said the fire was sparked at a workshop occupied by the three men. It spread rapidly in gusty wind.

The men’s attorney, John McCall, denied they broke the law and said they tried to put the fire out.

Man with Alzheimer’s jailed for offenses

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — An Alzheimer’s-stricken man who repeatedly violated a judge’s instructions to stop driving was jailed for eight days before he was ordered transferred yesterday to a secure nursing home.

Albert Brenner, 75, thinks he has a job as a traveling salesman peddling 1970s-era rotary telephones, his lawyer said.

Mr. Brenner was arrested and jailed June 3 after he was caught driving. He has previously been ordered to give up his license and car keys, and the man’s family and lawyers have tried to keep him from getting behind the wheel.

On Wednesday, Judge Geoffrey D. Cohen ordered Mr. Brenner sent to a state mental hospital for criminals until his mental health can be “restored” and he can stand trial on battery charges involving a scuffle with his companion. Judge Cohen said the elderly man posed a danger to the public and himself by insisting on driving.

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