News & Politics

Long Island Serial Killer Could Have Wife and Kids: A Personality Profile in Order of Surprise


Serial killer experts, criminologists, an ex-FBI profiler, and two New York Times reporters have worked together to bring us this terrifying personality profile for the man — yes, he’s almost definitely a man — who could be responsible for the 10 sets of human remains found so far on Long Island, around Ocean Parkway, since December. It’s chilling, but largely predictable, except when it’s not. To the police, he’s known as “Unsub,” for unknown subject; no suspects have been named. But the job of these Dexters, these Hannibal Lectors and Clarices (mostly without their own murders) to make up the portrait of the mystery man is fascinating, and grounds this sometimes sensational case in reality. Below, we’ve ordered the guesses from today’s Times article from least shocking to most surprising.

  • “white male in his mid-20s to mid-40s”
  • “has access to, or a stockpile of, burlap sacks” (Joel Rifkin, one of Long Island’s last two convicted serial killers, guesses that it’s “someone like a landscaper, contractor, or fisherman.”)
  • “a sadist…the one who laughs when a cat gets run over or a kid falls off his bike”
  • “lives or used to live on or near Ocean Parkway”
  • “may have sought treatment at a hospital for poison ivy infection”
  • “can walk into a room and seem like your average Joe… may even be charming… well-educated and well-spoken”
  • “financially secure, has a job, and owns an expensive car or truck”
  • “might be an active or former law enforcement officer”
  • “married or has a girlfriend”
  • “may be a seasonal nature to his connection to the area, or to his fantasy and ritual…maybe the time his wife or kids or parents are away for the summer”

Bright, Careful and Sadistic: Profiling Long Island’s Mystery Serial Killer [NYT]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 22, 2011


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