David Berkowitz, college administrator, accused of murder after being sold dirt as heroin

David Berkowitz, 63, was once an enrollment director at the University of Phoenix, as well as a jewelry store owner in Aspen.

But he's also alleged to have had a jones for heroin -- one that cops say led an associate working for him to kill a man as they looked for drug dealers who sold him a baggie of what turned out to be dirt.

As reported by the Colorado Springs Gazette, the bizarre tale began unspooling on June 30. Berkowitz and Rodrigo Rubio, 23, described as his bodyguard, are said to have arrived at the Sun Springs Motel in search of a high. But the crack cocaine they sampled in the company of Sun Springs residents reportedly didn't sate their desire.

Fortunately, a pair of dealers were on hand. According to the police report, they sold Berkowitz what they portrayed as a baggie full of smack for a mere $600 before splitting.

Problem is, said narcotics turned out to be dirt. At that point, police say Berkowitz freaked on Rubio, who returned to the motel room where they'd been cracking it up and recruited Matthew Moore at gunpoint to help them track down the perpetrators. They hopped into Berkowitz's Jeep -- also occupied by a pair of German Shepherds -- and began driving around the area.

Their efforts proved fruitless, and they eventually pulled over near a baptist church. At that point, police say Moore got out of the vehicle and took off running. But something stopped him -- a couple of bullets in the back fired by Rubio. Cops maintain Berkowitz handed him the weapon and said, "Shoot him."

Even though Berkowitz contends that he had nothing to do with the killing, he's been ordered to stand trial on the same murder and kidnapping charges that also face Rubio, aka "Angel."

It's a dirty business.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Hospital patient throws rocks at T-Mobile store so he can go to jail, cops grant his wish (VIDEO)."

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.