THE SURVIVOR

August 11, 2018 at 5:00 am

Carl Denaro, one of David Berkowitz’s victims, recalls the night he was shot.

Aired on August 11, 2018.

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>>> WE TURN NOW TO THE HARROWING
STORY OF A SURVIVOR, A MAN WHO
AUTHORITIES SAY BACK IN 1976
TOOK A
.44-CALIBER BULLET TO THE
HEAD FROM THE SON OF SAM AND
LIVED TO TELL WHAT HAPPENED.
DOCTORS WERE ABLE TO SAVE CARL
DENARO BY INSULTING A METAL
PLATE IN HIS SKULL.
THE STORY OF SURVIVAL IS PART OF
THE SPECIAL "SON OF SAM: THE
HUNT FOR A KILLER."
HERE'S A LOOK.
>> EVERYTHING CHANGED THAT
NIGHT.
SO MUCH CHANGED THAT I WASN'T
EVEN AWARE OF HALF THE CHANGES.
THERE WERE SO MANY THINGS THAT I
WASN'T ABLE TO DO.
NOT DRIVE A CAR EVER AGAIN.
NOT PLAY SPORTS EVER AGAIN.
I COULD NEVER FORGIVE HIM FOR
WHAT HE'S DONE.
THIS WAS, YOU KNOW, KIND OF A
HORRENDOUS TIME FOR ALL OF US.
AND IT LEAVES AN IMPACT.
SOMETHING YOU DON'T FORGET.
DO I WANT TO FORGET IT?
I'M NOT SURE.
DO I WANT TO PUT IT BEHIND ME?
I'M NOT SURE.
BUT IT IS WHAT IT IS.
>> FOR MORE ON HIS STORY, MY
CO-HOST, RAFAEL PI ROMAN,
RECENTLY SPOKE WITH CARL DENARO
AND STARTED OFF THE CONVERSATION
BY ASKING WHAT HE REMEMBERS FROM
THE NIGHT HE WAS SHOT.
>> THE NEXT THING YOU KNOW, IT
SEEMED LIKE THE CAR EXPLODED.
GLASS SHARDS WERE ALL ON MY
ARMS, MY HANDS.
YOU KNOW, BLOOD.
AT THE TIME, I DIDN'T KNEW I HAD
A HEAD WOUND, BUT I KNEW WE WERE
IN TROUBLE.
>> SO THE ATTACK ON YOU WAS THE
SECOND ATTACK --
>> THE SECOND ATTACK --
>> -- BY THE SON OF SAM.
CLEARLY THE POLICE HAD NOT
CONNECTED THE DOTS.
THERE WAS NO HINT THAT THERE WAS
A SERIAL KILLER.
WHAT DID YOU THINK HAPPENED TO
YOU, AND WHAT DID THE COPS THINK
HAPPENED TO YOU?
>> I HAD NO IDEA.
I HAD NO ENEMIES, CERTAINLY NOT
ENEMIES THAT WOULD SHOOT ME.
THE NEIGHBORHOOD WAS UPPER
MIDDLE CLASS.
WE DIDN'T HAVE SHOOTINGS EVEN
THOUGH NEW YORK AT THE TIME WAS
A SCARY PLACE.
THAT WASN'T TRUE OF MY
NEIGHBORHOOD.
THE FACT THAT I HAD LONG HAIR
AND I SMOKED POT, HUNG OUT IN A
B
BAR, THE DETECTIVES ASSIGNED TO
MY CASE THOUGHT IT WAS A DRUG
DEAL GONE WRONG.
>> WHEN DID YOU FIND OUT THAT
YOUR SHOOTING WAS PART OF THE
SON OF SAM --
>> IT TOOK SIX MONTHS.
I LIVED FOR SIX MONTH OF
BASICALLY DEFENDING MYSELF
AGAINST MY FAMILY AND THE COPS
THAT IT WASN'T A DRUG DEAL.
I BELIEVE IT WAS MARCH 10th --
THEI
THERE WERE ARTICLES IN THE PAPER
PRIOR TO MARCH 1 0th OF THERE
MIGHT BE CONNECTION TO SOME
SHOOTINGS.
FINALLY ON MARCH 10th, THEY HAD
A PRESS CONFERENCE, MAYOR'S
OFFICE AND NYPD, HAD A PRESS
CONFERENCE SAYING --
>> THAT'S WHEN YOU KNEW?
>> YEAH.
THANKED ALL THE SUPPOSEDLY RAP
DOMESTIC SHOOTINGS.
>> -- RANDOM SHOOTINGS.
>> WHY DO YOU THINK YOU WERE
DEAD INSTEAD OF ROSEMARY?
>> THE BEST THEY'RE WE HAVE
RIGHT NOW 40 YEARS LATER IS I
WAS MISTAKEN FOR A WOMAN.
I MEAN, I HAD LONG HAIR.
ROSEMARY HAD RELATIVELY SHORT
HAIR FOR A WOMAN.
>> DRIVING --
>> SHE WAS DRIVING THE CAR.
YOU KNOW, THAT KIND OF MAKES IT
SENSE.
>> ON AUGUST 10th, 1977, DAVID
BERKOWITZ IS ARRESTED.
HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU KNEW
THAT HE WAS --
>> MY SISTER CALLED ME.
IT WAS PROBABLY ABOUT 2:00 IN
THE MORNING WHEN I FOUND OUT.
IT WAS, YOU KNOW -- EVERY
EMOTION YOU COULD THINK OF.
RELIEF, ELATION, KIND OF LIKE
THE PREVIOUS 13 MONTHS, KIND OF
LIKE, YOU KNOW, PLAYED IN MY
HEAD REAL QUICK, YOU KNOW.
AND I KNOW, I BASICALLY SAT ON
MY BED FOR TWO HOURS KIND OF
LIKE COLLECTING MY THOUGHTS.
>> ALL RIGHT.
CARL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR
COMING HERE AND SHARING YOUR
STORY.
>> YOU'RE WELCOME.