Members of the LongIslandErotic.com sex forum were none too pleased last year with Amber Lynn Costello, a woman who advertised herself as a prostitute on Craigslist and has been since found dead among ten other bodies in the Gilgo Beach and Jones Beach area of Long Island. The New York Daily News reported over the weekend that Costello was targeted — or at least threatened online — after a man who paid her $200 for sex was robbed at her home. The message board crew came to his defense with words, as online friends tend to do for one another, but their threats take on a new graveness considering her fate and the ongoing search for New York’s latest serial killer.
Investigators are stopping short at this point of tying any of the forum users to the 10 bodies found on Long Island, but comments like, “I have friends who can take care of this shit,” and “A friend of ours told me today that ‘You won’t hear from those 2 girls anymore!'” are nonetheless disturbing.
“I wouldn’t wish death on no one,” the wronged man clarified online later. The whole thing sounds like the idle chatter of bored johns with keyboard courage, but with a potential serial killer still out there, any leads are attention-grabbing.
Not much else is known as investigators continue their search of the area today where the bodies have been found. The ninth and tenth remains have been confirmed as belonging to a man and a child, with police unable to say if they’re connected to the four Craigslist prostitutes found strangled and in burlap sacks, or the remaining four unidentified bodies.
Meanwhile, Newsweek has a look at the case this week, telling the story so far in more detail than the daily tabloids, with an in-depth look at Costello’s life in the sex trade.
“These were victims who lived in the shadows, using false names (Costello advertised herself as “Carolina”), engaging in reckless and illicit behaviors,” according to Newsweek, making the case that much more difficult for police to solve. “They are survived by witnesses who themselves often live on the margins of society. Costello was never reported missing by her family.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 18, 2011