The purpose of this thread is to accumulate the known facts of the ongoing Long Island Ripper (aka; The Gilgo Beach Killer or The Gilgo Killer, or The Craigslist Ripper) case.
All six named victims - including Shannan Gilbert, who may or may not have been a victim of the killer - advertised their services as sex workers on Craigslist. Four of them were found dismembered and wrapped in burlap sacks, with the exceptions of Jessica Taylor and Shannan Gilbert.
1. Jessica Taylor (26/07/2003)
20, found headless and handless on 26th July 2003 in Manorville, NY. Skull and forearm found in John F. Kennedy Wildlife Sanctuary during 12th April 2011 searches.
2. Maureen Brainard-Barnes (09/07/2007)
25, from Norwich, Connecticut, last seen in Manhattan on July 9th 2007.
3. Melissa Barthelemy (12/07/2009)
24, last seen in the Bronx on July 12, 2009.
Calls: July 16th, 19th, 23rd, 17 days after the disappearance of Melissa Barthelemy, her sister 16-year-old Amanda Funderberg received seven phone calls from the killer. He spoke evenly, and for no longer than three minutes, from Melissa’s cell phone. Calls traced to Madison Square Gardens and Times Square. Taunting, cruel, vulgar, mocking. Ended with him admitting he’d killed her, taunted her about her sister being a whore. When calls were made public there was no more contact. He would talk only to Amanda.
4. Megan Waterman (06/06/2010)
22, from Maine, last seen June 6th 2010.
5. Amber Lynn Costello (02/09/2010)
27, last seen nearby in North Babylon on September 2, 2010.
6. Shannan Gilbert (01/05/2010) - inclusion questionable
A potential victim who, despite being a prostitute whose disappearance sparked the serial murder inquiry, has been ruled out by police as a victim of the LIR. She vanished 1st May 2010, and was found apparently drowned on 13th December 2011 half a mile from Oak Beach, Long Island.
Five of the victims remain unidentified;
1. John Doe 1 (unknown)
Asian male dressed as a woman found dead on Ocean Parkway on 4th April 2011. He had died of head injuries.
2. Jane Doe 2 (unknown)
A “non-Caucasian” female toddler, aged between 16-32 months, found alongside John Doe 1 on Gilgo Beach on 4th April 2011. Her mother was Jane Doe 3.
3. Jane Doe 3 (unknown)
Female body found near Jones Beach in Nassau County on 11th April 2011, mother of Jane Doe 2.
4. Jane Doe 4 (1996)
A pair of legs in a refuse bag were found washed up on Fire Island, Nassau County, in 1996, and these were later linked by DNA to remains found on Gilgo Beach on 11th April 2011.
5. Jane Doe 6 (19/11/2000)
In her 30s, 19th November 2000, found headless and handless, and missing her right foot, was found stuffed into plastic bags in the same region as Jessica Taylor. More remains, a head, hands and right foot, found on 4th April 2011 linked to this victim through DNA.
1st May 2010
On 1st May 2010, 24-year-old prostitute Shannan Gilbert met a client in Oak Beach, Long Island, after he responded to her Craigslist ad. She was last seen running screaming from the house, shouting that they were “going to kill her” before vanishing. The search for the missing woman centred on the beaches around southern Long Island, and in December 2010, the search recovered the first set of human remains. Not only were there four bodies at this particular deposition site, but none were of the missing woman. It should be pointed out that both Gilbert's driver, who was present, and the client she went to see, have been excluded from the investigation.
11th December 2010
The four named victims were found 50 feet from the roadside, within 500 feet of each other on Ocean Parkway, Long Island, 11th December 2010 - 14th December 2011. All had been stripped, dismembered and bagged in Hessian/burlap sacks.
29th March 2011 - 11th April 2011
Between 29th March and 11th April 2011, six more sets of remains were found. All were within two miles and to the east of the December 2010 victims.
First, four unidentified sets of remains were found a mile east of the first four. These include;
A female (Jane Doe 3) and a toddler (Jane Doe 2) whose DNA prove were mother and daughter;
An Asian man wearing women’s clothing, with a skull fracture (John Doe 1).
A skull found in JFK Wildlife Sanctuary belonged to 20-year-old Jessica Taylor, whose headless, handless body was found in Manorville, NY, on 26th July 2003;
Finally, a torso was found a mile away, and was linked to body parts which washed up on Fire Island, Nassau County in 1996 (Jane Doe 4). Also found was a bag of “extremities” (Jane Doe 6).
29th November 2011
Police tell NBC New York that they now believe all ten murders - with the exception of the “accidental” death of Shannan Gilbert - were committed by a single serial killer. Gilbert’s death, they argue, was an accident which just happened to occur near to the deposition sites of the killer.
Hi Dark Passenger...that's certainly a case which hasn't really made it in any big way across the atlantic...Maybe I'm naive but what exactly links all these killings?
All the best
For a start, the police are now officially linking them to a single serial killer, but I'll answer you properly.
All of the named victims were sex workers who plied their trade on Craigslist, all were strangled, and four of them were found dismembered and wrapped in hessian or burlap sacks in a cluster on Ocean Parkway, Long Island in December 2010. The murders had taken place between 2007 and 2010.
Jessica Taylor's head and forearm were found nearby during the 2010/11 searches, the rest of her having been found in Manorville, a nearby town, in 2003. Similarly, Jane Doe 6 was found dead in Manorville in 2000, and more remains belonging to her were found in the vicinity of the Ocean Parkway deposition site. The four named victims, and these two Manorville victims, are linked by deposition site, victimology, and as far as we can tell, modus operandi (except the unidentified Jane Doe 6, obviously. The others all used Craigslist to advertise sexual services. Maybe she did, we don't know yet).
Also, the remains of a female - Jane Doe 4 - which washed up on nearby Fire Island in 1996 have been linked via DNA to remains found near this deposition site. Finally, Jane Does 2 and 3, a mother and baby daughter, were found dumped in the same area in a similar manner, while John Doe 1 was found dead, but dressed as a woman - police suspect his murder to be the result of the single worst case of "this is NOT what I ordered!!" in world history. As for the mother and daughter, it is believed the mother may have been a sex worker who brought her child along to her client's homes during "business" simply because child care for hookers isn't exactly easy to come by - a terribly sad story if that is the case
Essentially, the Ocean Parkway and Manorville deposition sites, victimology and modus operandi seem to link the victims.
He chooses young female sex workers who ply their trade on Craigslist. He strangles them to kill them before dismembering the bodies and dumping them in woods (as in Manorville) or in thick brush along lonely stretches of highway (as in Ocean Parkway). He appears to have no interest in the victims postmortem but seems to prolong the attack on the victims while they are alive, eliciting personal information from them as in the case of Melissa Barthelemy, whose sister received a rash of phone calls from the killer. I suspect he's sexually sadistic, in his 40s, confident and probably married. He probably lives in Long Island within relatively easy reach of the deposition sites.
Location: McWopetaz Metroplex, Illinois U. S. of A.
I think 48 Hours Mystery started following this case about 18 months ago. At first it was suggested that the killer might be a policeman or former policeman. I'm not sure why that was asserted or if it's still in the mix.
This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.
I now agree.
The fact that he seems to have killed five times in three years, but only in June, July and September (given the fact that he's at least in his 40s if Jane Doe 4 was indeed an early victim) is very unlikely. His rate of murder will have increased over time, he will kill whenever the urge takes him and whenever it is convenient, and that won't just be in the Summer. It seems these Long Island/Manorville victims are just the ones he's killed at that time of year and those dump sites are the ones he uses for those seasonal kills.
What does this tell us? Well, it tells us that he is very familiar with, and has easy access to, these locations during the Summer either as part of his own recreation or as part of some kind of work which varies in location during the seasons. In Winter he works here, in Spring he works there, in Summer he's in Long Island, etc. What kind of job could that be?
There is another thing...
The Ocean Parkway deposition sites and the Manorville deposition sites have something in common. The Ocean Parkway sites sit between several national parks and wildlife reserves; "John F. Kennedy Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary," "Gilgo State Park," and a few others east and west of the dump sites. The Manorville deposition site literally backs onto the "Long Island State Pine Barrens Preserve." What if his work revolves around these wildlife reserves? It might explain how he's so clued-into police procedure; what if he's a Forest Ranger (or "National Park Service Ranger" or whatever they're called)? According to what I've read, law enforcement is part of their repertoire.
There's even more...
There is heated debate about whether the murder in 2006 of four prostitutes in Atlantic City are linked to the Long Island Ripper. But here's another eerie connection; not only does the geography of the city scream "barrier island" in the same way as Ocean Parkway, but it seems that within an easy drive of the dumping ground - the Golden Key motel on Black Horse Pike - are several wildlife management areas and parks; "Absecon State Wildlife Management Area," "Edwin B. Forsyth National Wildlife Refuge," and the "Tuckahoe-Corbin City Fish and Wildlife Management Area." Victimology, deposition site and time of year - Summer - do seem to link these murders. Also, the method of death is similar; strangulation. What if the proximity of wildlife parks is another aspect of the killer's modus operandi, as it dictates where he'll be and what time of year? Also, where he disposes of bodies?
Would any kind of Ranger, or similar, operate in national parks across state lines? Would seasonality affect where they are working? Is this "wildlife park" link at all viable?
Last edited by DarkPassenger : 10-23-2012 at 10:02 PM.