Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The Long Island Serial Killer

This disturbing case erupted in December 2010 after the disappearance of a young woman named Shannon Gilbert, and a canine cop taking it upon himself to go out with his dog and do some searching on his own time, for Shannon.  Little did he realise what they were about to unearth.  Shannon Gilbert, a 24 year old New Jersey escort.  She had been taken to the home of a client, Joseph Brewer, by her driver, Michael Pak.  Soon she ran from the house screaming that "They were going to kill her"  Whom  she was referring to was unclear.  But instead of going to the car and the safety of her driver, she instead, ran off into the distance.  She banged on doors screaming the same thing but she kept on running into the night and into an area of marshy land.  Pak lost her, and she was not seen alive again.  Why was she screaming and frightened?  Did she see something she was not supposed to have?  Was she on drugs?  The speculation is endless.

    Police were called and did some searching but found nothing.  then an officer went out with his dog, and they uncovered a skeleton in a burlap sack.  A broader search uncovered three more bodies in burlap sacks.  They realised that they had uncovered a dumping ground for a serial killer.  Further searching did not reveal any more bodies.  Now the forensic teams had a job attempting to identify the remains.  It was later in March 2011 that a further four sets of remains were found, then in April, a skull and partial skeleton were found, bringing the total to ten.  one body was identified as a young Asian male, and two as a toddler and mother.  Later in the year, one of last found remains, was identified as being part of the body to two legs that had been found in a garbage bag on Fire Island in 1996.  These six bodies obviously predated the first four bodies, so was it a second dump site or were there two killers at large?  Over time, the first four sets of bones were positively identified as being Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, from Norwich, Connecticut;  She went missing on July 9th 2007;  Melissa Barthelemy, 24, from Erie County, New York.  She vanished on July 10th 2009.  Her sister started receiving taunting phone calls from a man using her sister`s cell phone.  Megan Waterman, 22, from South Portland, Maine.  She vanished on June 6th 2010.  The fourth body was that of Amber Lynn Costello, 27, from North Babylon, New York. She vanished on September 2nd 2010.  All were prostitutes who advertised their services on Craigslist.

    It was nineteen months after she vanished that the body of Shannon Gilbert was found, half a mile away from where she was last seen.  Speculation was that she had been the victim of a killer, as her jeans were found away from her body but a Coroner ruled her death, "Misadventure" a ruling that her family did not agree with.  In her confused state, running through boggy land with her jeans getting soaked, did they start slowing her down, so she took them, thinking that she could run faster?  Again, only speculation.  Her family launched a lawsuit against the Police in order to find out more information on her death and the investigation.  the dump sites covered Gilgo Beach, Ocean Parkway & Oak Beach in Suffolk County and Jones Beach State Park in Nassau County.  This will probably run for a long time, but hopefully the killer or killers will be apprehended.