“If there were a scale of onerousness,” said Dr. Edwin Scheidman UCLA, “after suicide, homicide would be the worst.”
“Stigma is a very big problem in homicide,” Mrs. Clelia Goodyear said. “Often the families will move from their communities after the murder because they can’t face their neighbors. They feel ashamed – it’s dirty linen – not like a child dying of cancer. And the death almost always causes a major disruption in the family.”
“The unconscious meaning of the Son of Sam deaths was punishment for people who were young, attractive, sensual, romantic,” said Dr. Peretz. (Punishment for Disco) For some of the families involved there is the stigma of a child being shot in lovers’ lane.
“This is the best city in the world,” said Johnny Diel, the fiancé of Christine Freund, one of the five young women murdered by the Son of Sam. “Because of the tremendous community support in these highly publicized cases,” said Dr. Bruce Danto, “the families may pull together faster. You can’t indict cancer and send it to prison – you just feel helpless, but when someone captures your killer, you can feel justice and vindication.”
“I want him to be tortured and his eyes gouged out,” said Neysa Moscowitz.
“The press has been wonderful,” said Jerome Moscowitz, father of Stacy. “The come in and do their work and then they stay for hours and talk. Geraldo Rivera kissed my daughter Ricki goodbye.”
Excerpt from Joan Kron Aug 15, 1977 New York Times