Sam Land USA by Jim Sheehan | Script Revolution

Sam Land USA

A lone-wolf TV producer gets the story of a lifetime: interviewing notorious serial killer David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam, who’s been silent for sixteen years. But it’s a story he may not survive.



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Based on a true story.

Wayne Darwen is a tabloid veteran and ex-pat Australian dynamo producing at showcases like Current Affair and the New York Post – but by the mid nineties he is newly married, off the booze and ready for a new life away from the sensation and rotted glamour of America’s celebrity underside. That is until his old pal Maury Terry shows up with a proposition that he can’t refuse.

By an incredible turn of fortune Maury- the author of the definitive text “The Ultimate Evil” on the Son of Sam murders – has snagged an exclusive first time ever jail house series of interviews with the Ultimate Evil Doer himself, David Berkowitz. And he wants Wayne’s help in getting the story out to the world.

The conduit to Berkowitz is his preacher, Floyd Ketchum. Yes, the Son of Sam is Born Again. And now the preacher seems equally concerned with the fate of Wayne’s soul. He’s told he will need plenty of spiritual ammo to get through the coming ordeal. Wayne plays along – for now. But in the end the preacher will prove true to his word.

On camera, Berkowitz says he was the lone gunman in only three of the seven killings pegged with his name on them. He says he was part of a killer cult. He says there are others and - as he ominously informs Wayne - “they are still out there.” This revelation has Wayne looking over his shoulder everywhere he goes, and getting deeper into booze and blow as a way to detach from the grind. His good Catholic wife works hard at keeping him on the straight and narrow but she’s met her match in Wayne’s innate and obsessive need to get the story.

And not only that - he is up against some of the best journalistic competition in town in the form of Mickey Mallory (name changed) – a fellow Australian who practically owned the Son of Sam story for the New York Post back in the seventies, when Berkowitz was doing his deadly work in the streets - and Wayne was a wet behind the ears newbie from Sydney. Mallory has no intention of getting beat on this new re-emergence of Sam – and he especially disdains the “killer cult” theory, believing Berkowitz to be a liar and the lone killer in all seven murders. Keeping his balance in the midst of all this – and keeping Mickey off the story - will be a supreme battle of wills for Wayne. And it only brings him edging closer to inevitable breakdown.

The mounting and terrifying revelations come with a price; including the discovery of ritual cult slaughtering of dogs leading to calls for human sacrifice and the bizarre “suicide” of a potential witness to the cult activity. The walls are closing in on Wayne as he loses his old friends in an all out tabloid war against his former employers. People around him suddenly become suspect and his paranoia increases with every empty bottle and fistful of pills. “They are out there”, and he is defenseless. The story may make air, but it will take a lot more to help Wayne make it to the next day. He doesn’t have a prayer. Or does he?

The script may be considered a sort of historical/fictionalized companion piece to the documentary "The Sons of Sam" on Netflix. Wayne Darwen and Maury Terry figure largely in both stories. Other names and some events, have been fictionalized in the script.

Attached Talent: 

Wayne Darwen - co-writer and subject of script.

Submitted: May 2, 2022
Last Updated: June 6, 2022

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Jim Sheehan's picture

The Writer: Jim Sheehan

Writer/producer for news, documentary and entertainment shows out of New York and Los Angeles - including Paramount TV, Showtime, ABC Network, Fox Network, CNN, Discovery, Science and History Channels. I am refocusing my career and have several feature length scripts on the market in crime, comedy and drama genres. My various IMDB credits which are comprised of several "Jim Sheehan's" and one or two "James Sheehan's", I promise, all of whom are me. I have looked into how to consolidate all the IMDB profiles but it seems that actually writing another script or two is easier - and much more therapeutic. Life is short. Go to bio

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