Spoilers ahead for Mindhunter Season 2. Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) are able to check several serial killers off their wishlist in Mindhunter Season 2 — William Pierce, Elmer Wayne Henley Jr., William Henry Hance, and even Charles Manson. Then there’s David Berkowitz, aka the Son of Sam in Mindhunter, who’s played by Oliver Cooper in the Netflix show.
On July 29, 1976, Berkowitz killed his first victim, Donna Lauria, in the Bronx, according to CBS News. In the next year, the Son of Sam went on to kill five more people, leaving seven people wounded, the article reported. In June 1968, the New York Times reported that Berkowitz was sentenced to 25 years to life for each of his six murders — all of which he pled guilty to, per the NYT.
The moniker Son of Sam came from Berkowitz’s neighbor, Sam, who had a black Labrador, according to the New York Times. The serial killer claimed to take orders from the dog, per the article.
As for the actor who plays Berkowitz, Cooper has a much more comedic filmography for someone who’s so good at playing a notorious serial killer. He’s originally from Toledo, Ohio, per his IMDb, and has appeared in movies like The Hanger Part III and Office Christmas Party, while his TV credits include Californication, the Amazon Prime series Red Oaks, The Goldbergs, Valley of the Boom, and Jay Pharoah’s short-lived comedy White Famous, among others.
In addition, Cooper has spearheaded some projects, like writing, starring in, and producing the 2013 film Four Dogs (which is streaming on Amazon Prime).
However, Mindhunter is still a huge get for Cooper, whose upcoming projects include a show called The Coop — an interactive Funny or Die series for Eko, per Deadline. So yes, it appears as though Cooper’s turn as the Son of Sam is a departure for him, which he handles with panache.
More to come…
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