David R Berkowitz, who is accused of being the .44-caliber killer, refused to admit to his name at his arraignment yesterday on three murder charges in the Bronx.
The 24-year-old mail clerk, wearing blue pajamas, a blue bathrobe and slippers, was brought into a makeshift courtroom on the sixth floor of Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn and led to a table draped with a white sheet at which Justice Alexander Chananau of State Supreme Court was seated.
The court clerk began with the question: “You are David Berkowitz?”
“No, your honor, I’m not.” Mr. Berkowitz replied. In two previous arraignments he responded to his name.
As he spoke in a soft voice, Mr. Berkowitz’s eyes did not meet the judge’s but seemed to shift beyond him, to the barred and mesh windows.
Before another question could be asked Mark Heller, one of Mr. Berkowitz’s attorneys moved in front of Leon Stern, another attorney and said: “At this time, I request that the defendant stand mute. Mr. Stern and his associate Mr. Jultak looked stunned.
For the first time, Mr. Berkowitz, who has undergone psychological, medical and brain tests since his arrival at the hospital two weeks ago appeared rigid. His blue eyes were intense and glassy, and he squinted. Other sources said yesterday that he had been medicated.
Excerpt from Marcia Chambers Aug 25, 1977 New York Times