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‘Son of Sam’ Sues Lawyer Personal Items

June 4, 2005

NEW YORK (AP) _ David Berkowitz, the imprisoned ``Son of Sam″ killer who terrorized New York City for 13 months in the 1970s, filed a lawsuit Friday to stop his former lawyer from allegedly selling his personal property.

Berkowitz, serving six 25-years-to-life sentences for killing six people, says in court papers that he gave his lawyer, Hugo Harmatz, items including letters from a victim’s mother for use in a youth offender program.

Court papers say Berkowitz in 2002 also gave the lawyer a typewriter the attorney had asked Berkowitz sign and date, school and prison records, photos and memorabilia of family and friends, and his will.

Later, Harmatz allegedly revealed he planned to use the property for a book titled ``Dear David,″ which would say the items were gifts, and then sell the property at public auction, court papers say.

Harmatz allegedly refused to return Berkowitz’ property and ``has taken the plaintiff’s life and memories hostage″ for ``his own selfish, salacious, scandalous and greedy purposes,″ court papers said.

The lawsuit asks the court to order Harmatz to return the items.

Harmatz, who has an address and telephone number in Colts Neck, N.J., did not immediately return calls seeking comment Friday.

Berkowitz, 51, got his nickname from a note left at a crime scene that read: ``I am a monster. I am the Son of Sam.″ He shot his victims, usually while they sat in cars, and was arrested in 1977.

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