Something slightly terrifying is happening along Ocean Parkway and Gilgo Beach on Long Island, where the remains of eight different people have been found since December. The search started when Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old woman from New Jersey and a prostitute, went missing four months ago, but since December none of the dead bodies have been hers. Instead, four female prostitutes and four “unidentified people,” have been found, according to the New York Times, “heightening residents’ fears that a serial killer is in their midst” and ramping up the investigation.
The latest bodies were found Monday — three, to be exact — following one last Tuesday and four in late 2010. Gilbert has not been found, but her mother remains hopeful. “”If it wasn’t for my daughter, these bodies never would have been found,” she said. “Everyone has their destiny, maybe this was hers. I’m still hoping she comes home.”
But the quantity and stories surrounding the community points to only one thing, like the description of the last time Gilbert was seen:
Ms. Gilbert had been visiting a seaside home in the Oak Beach area in the early morning hours of May 1. Gus Coletti, 76, was one of the last people to see her alive. He was at home, shaving, shortly before 5 a.m.
“I hear somebody screaming and bang-bang on the door,” he said. “I opened the door, and she stood right there. I said, ‘What’s the matter?’ And she kept saying ‘Help me.’ ”
When he dialed 911, she ran. “She took off, and that was the last I saw her,” he said.
This would be the third set of prostitute serial murders in Long Island in the last 20 years. Police have a seven-mile search area being combed by investigators, but no real leads.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 6, 2011