When the grisly coastal search for victims of a possible Long Island serial killer moved westward from Suffolk County to Nassau County, law enforcement and the public finally caught a break: It looks as if the scandal-ridden, corrupt Nassau County Police crime lab will not be involved in the case in any way.
Incredible as it may seem for New York’s richest county per household income (and 11th in the entire country), Nassau’s police crime lab produced so many errors in evaluating evidence that it was shut down just a few weeks ago.
Even the county’s top politicians, Democratic D.A. Kathleen Rice and Republican County Executive Edward Mangano, both implicated Nassau’s police officials — not just the lab’s technicians — in the corruption when they announced the total closure of the police department’s crime lab in the county of 1.5 million in mid-February.
They said police officials apparently knew examiners were producing inaccurate measurements in drug cases before December, when a national accreditation agency placed the lab on probation for a second time, citing shoddy work and cutting corners.
Yesterday, April 11, the search on Long Island’s South Shore uncovered a skull and a torso a mile apart, both in Nassau County and several miles west of where previous bones were found in Suffolk County.
Officials say the search of Nassau’s beaches has now been completed. The bones, according to the Post, were taken to the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s Office. Luckily for the public — and unlike the setup on shows like NCIS and CSI — the police crime lab is a separate entity.
County officials vow to build a new crime lab. Until then, the crime lab has been placed under the authority of the M.E.’s Office. Tests are being outsourced. What a mess.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 12, 2011