7. There Was Once A Murder at Station Square

The Secrets of Forest Hills
Station Square, the site where Christine Freund was murdered in January 0f 1977.

One winter night in January of 1977, a gruesome murder took place near Station Square, a beautiful brick-paved open space modeled on a medieval town center located down 71st Avenue in Forest Hills Garden. With its gorgeous archways and surrounding brick buildings, one would think the idyllic nature of Station Square could never be touched. However, as John Diel and Christine Freund sat together at the station while on a date, three .44 caliber shells smashed into the windshield of Diel’s car. Though Diel survived, Freund was hit twice and passed away shortly after. Berkowitz also murdered Forest Hills resident Virginia Voskerichian as she was heading to her Exeter Street home.

The murder was perpetrated by David Berkowitz, a serial killer known as Son of Sam and the “.44 Caliber King.” From mid-1976 to July 1977, Berkowitz killed six people and wounded seven others. During this time, Berkowitz was able to elude the police during one of the city’s largest manhunts. He even left letters mocking the police and promised further crimes. Eventually, he was captured on August 10, 1977, ending a killing spree that had greatly terrorized the city’s public. Berkowitz would go on to confess to all of his crimes, citing that he had acted at the behest of a demon manifested in the form of a neighbor’s dog named Sam—though he would state years later that the demon had been a lie.