cover image Ultimate Evil

Ultimate Evil

Maury Terry. Doubleday Books, $17.95 (512pp) ISBN 978-0-385-23452-8

Describing the extent of satanic worship in the U.S. as a ""truth almost too frightening to comtemplate,'' freelance reporter Terry exposes an alleged national network of killer cults such as the one he claims spawned the Son of Sam murders. In this suspenseful, convoluted account of his investigations, including an interrogation of David Berkowitz, he argues that contrary to the police version of a sexual psychopath acting alone, the so-called Son of Sam obeyed orders of a satanic conspiracy, an off-shoot of the British Process cult associated with Scientology and the Manson ``family'' murders. Letters to the author from Berkowitz and revelations the killer made to fellow prisoners support many of Terry's theories that link New York occult crimes to others carried out in North Dakota and California by well-financed covens often involved in drugs, porn and illegal weapons. The author attributes several recent ritualistic deaths in the New York area to the satanic subculture that, he believes, flourishes from coast to coast. Photos not seen by PW. (June 19)