Technology

Long Island Serial Killer Website Is Like An Art Project, Creator Claims

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LongIslandSerialKiller.com looks part-cheesy and part-terrifying, like any good murder movie. The header is written in the scratchy font you might find on a metal band T-shirt and the headlines are equally ominous and outrageous. But the events discussed on the blood red and black website are very real, with ten bodies found so far on the Long Island shore near Gilgo Beach and Jones Beach. Four, all strangled and buried shallowly in burlap sacks, have been identified as women who worked as prostitutes on Craigslist, adding to the four prostitute bodies found in Atlantic City back in 2006. Though it’s not confirmed that all are connected — and police have not shared any meaningful leads — what’s for sure is that people are watching the case obsessively, because the media is. We thought LongIslandSerialKiller.com was a pretty brash and heartless project, so we reached out to its creator with a few questions. His answers are illuminating and not at all what we expected.

“To start off, I just want to say that this website began as a mockery of the daily onslaught of news coverage that this particular story has received,” the proprietor explained to Runnin’ Scared via email.

The site is a one-stop shop for all news related to the supposed serial killer, culling newspaper articles and blog posts from places like the New York Post and Gothamist, adding a red headline, sometimes a shocking graphic and a link to the original source. The aggregated content is buttressed by original writing.

The creator identifies himself as “just a web designer” who watches the news while he works. “I kept hearing ‘Long Island Serial Killer!’ over and over and over. I think the coverage of this story is a bit Natural Born Killers-esque,” he explained.

The site jumped on the media craze relatively early when its creator decided to build a site and “blog some articles as a hobby,” though he opted not to identify himself. “For my own safety I would like to remain somewhat anonymous,” he wrote. “I don’t want to end up like the guy in Red Dragon.”

He already has an audience. “The immense amount of traffic that the website has received since its inception has proven my original hunch correct,” he explained, noting that he’s receiving between 10,000 and 15,000 hits per day to the page, though money from advertising is “not even enough to pay for the site’s hosting for the year.”

As traffic rose, “I started seeing how ridiculous and insensitive the newspapers and TV stations were becoming to the tragedy, so I just kept blogging and here we are three months later.” He called out this graphic specifically, which looks suspiciously like the images on his own site.

“I watch Law and Order and CSI, like every other American, so this is kind of just like another television show. The website is my interpretation of the way the media has presented this to the public.”

[jcoscarelli@villagevoice.com / @joecoscarelli]

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