The Ultimate Evil
The Search for the Sons of Sam
by Maury Terry
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Pub Date 20 Apr 2021 | Archive Date 11 Aug 2021
The true crime cult classic that inspired an upcoming Netflix documentary series and companion podcast, The Ultimate Evil follows journalist Maury Terry's terrifying investigation into the true evil behind the Son of Sam murders.
On August 10, 1977, the NYPD arrested David Berkowitz for the Son of Sam murders that had terrorized New York City for over a year. Berkowitz confessed to shooting sixteen people and killing six with a .44 caliber Bulldog revolver, and the case was officially closed.
Journalist Maury Terry was suspicious of Berkowitz's confession. Spurred by conflicting witness descriptions of the killer and by the Queens District Attorney, who was convinced Berkowitz didn't act alone, Terry spent decades researching, gathering evidence, and interviewing those involved in the case. He released his initial findings in the original publication of The Ultimate Evil in 1987, in which he presented his theory that Berkowitz was a member of the Process Church of the Final Judgment, a cult responsible for the Son of Sam murders, as well as other ritual murders across the country. After Terry’s death in 2015, documentary filmmaker Josh Zeman (Cropsey, The Killing Season, Murder Mountain) followed leads Terry left for him, which form the basis of his upcoming docuseries with Netflix and a companion podcast. Taken together with The Ultimate Evil, which includes a new introduction by Zeman, these works reveal the stunning intersections of power, wealth, privilege, and evil in America--from the Summer of Sam until today.
About the Author
Maury Terry was an award-winning investigative reporter whose work was prominently featured in both television and print media. He wrote for the Gannett newspaper chain, Vanity Fair, Gear, and Penthouse, among others. He reported on and coproduced nearly a dozen national TV specials about the Son of Sam conspiracy. Terry died in Yonkers, New York, in 2015.
Joshua Zeman has been at the forefront of the true crime genre for the past decade. He is the director of the critically acclaimed film Cropsey, the docuseries The Killing Season, and Murder Mountain.
“This book isn’t just about Son of Sam...It’s about an author who drove himself into the ground trying to make sense of some of the most brutal crimes in American history. Is what he found true? That’s for you to ponder. But I will tell you, I wasn’t able to put this book down—and neither will you.”—Billy Jensen, author of Chase Darkness with Me
TIED INTO FORTHCOMING NETFLIX DOCUSERIES AND TENDERFOOT PODCAST: We’re reissuing this book in time for the March 2021 release of two exciting properties based on the book. Our cover will include an official Netflix tie-in burst.
DIRECTOR AND PODCAST PRODUCER ARE TRUE CRIME HEAVY HITTERS: Josh Zeman has directed several classic true crime docs (The Killing Season, Cropsey) and podcast producer Payne Lindsey is behind mega-successful true crime podcasts Up and Vanished and Atlanta Monster.
NETFLIX DIRECTOR HIGHLY INVOLVED IN REISSUE: Josh Zeman has written an introduction for this book and will be the promotional face of it.
PERFECT FOR TRUE CRIME ENTHUSIASTS: Fans of true crime books and their popular adaptations, including Mindhunter, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, Ted Bundy: Confessions of a Killer, and Lost Girls, as well as true crime podcasts, will embrace this book, which is a cult classic but will be new to most fans since it has been out of print for many years.