Woman’s Letter Exchanges With Notorious Killers Featured in New Podcast

Barbara Dickstein and her husband corresponded with several notorious serial killers, including Charles Manson and the "Son of Sam."

A woman who says she and her husband corresponded with some of the most notorious serial killers, including Charles Manson and David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz for more than 20 years, is sharing the trove of letters on a new podcast. 

“They got into the guts, the blood,” Barbara Dickstein told Inside Edition.

When asked if she was ever worried for her or her husband’s safety, she said, the only person she was worried about is Manson, because “he had plenty of followers.”

“[Manson's] letters never made any sense,” Dickstein said, showing Inside Edition a framed letter alongside a picture of Manson.

To gain their trust, Dickstein took on certain roles. 

“He's wishing me a happy new year, and he’s telling me, ‘Don't be stingy with your body,’” Dickstein said of Richard Ramirez, otherwise known as California’s notorious night stalker. Dickstein says she pretended to be a stripper to lure Ramirez into corresponding with her.

Dickstein’s late husband Ritchie was also involved in her efforts. He even pretended to be gay to illicit letters from cannibal killer Jeffrey Dahmer, And even convinced Susan Smith, the South Carolina mom convicted of murdering two sons in 1994, that he was in love with her.

“Susan Smith totally dug my husband,” Dickstein said. “She actually thought, if she got out of prison, that my husband was going to marry her.”

Dickstein also said her husband exchanged letters with the “Son of Sam,” and that the two even had a “real friendship.”

The letters are being featured on the podcast “Killer’s Vault,” which is hosted by “Law and Order” actress Elizabeth Rohm.

“I think we're going to be surprised at how intimate and personal these letters are and really how graphic and horrible, because the friendships that were built with Barbara and Ritchie over these decades was authentic,” Rohm said.

Actor Eric Roberts narrates the chilling letters.

“When I play these kinds of people who are dangerous, I’ve always played them where they don’t believe they’re bad guys. Now, what I learned through this process — these guys know they’re bad guys and they’re proud of it,” Roberts said.

Related Stories