Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NY Serial Killer(s) Case Takes Unexpected Turn

There were two developments in the past 24 hours that casts a serious pall over the ongoing investigation to determine whether additional bodies are to be found along a stretch of Ocean Parkway near Jones Beach.

The first is that one of the bodies recovered is a male. Several of the remains have been dismembered.
The grisly twist was the latest revelation as police continued to uncover the murderous path carved along Long Island beaches by at least one killer.

Investigators have determined that bones found Monday were human, bringing the body count to nine and possibly 10 victims. It's still not clear whether a skull found alone Monday was part of victim number 9 or would be victim number 10.

The bodies were strung out over a 3.5 mile stretch of beach with five of the bodies spaced out about 500 feet apart, police said.

The possibility that some of the skeletal remains were dismembered came as police were considering clear cutting the thick brush that has made seaching the area difficult. Police fear that when the brush starts blooming in the coming weeks the search would become even more difficult. Police divers are also preparing to dive in order to search bay waters for more bodies.

Searchers have used cadaver dogs, horses and fire truck aerial ladders to scour the thick vegetation for victims. Faced today with slashing rains and swampy ground, a helicopter was used for today's dragnet.

While at least several of the victims appear to have been killed and dumped by a serial killer, authorities had not yet ruled out the possibility that more than one killer was responsible for the growing pile of human remains, which included those of a child.

The other is that at least some of the remains might be the work of notorious serial killer Joel Rifkin, who was imprisoned for killing 17 prostitutes.
The skull and torso found on a desolate Nassau County beachfront are too old to be connected to the serial killings of four Craigslist call girls -- and could belong to long-lost victims of notorious Long Island butcher Joel Rifkin, a source said yesterday.

"These are so old that roots were growing around the vertebrae and the skull," the source told The Post.

"These could be one or two of Joel Rifkin's victims who were never found," or the work of another killer, the source said.

Investigators also say more than one murderous psycho may be dumping the more recent bodies found on a remote stretch of Long Island beach.

"There are at least two persons of interest," the source said, declining to say if cops think the suspected killers acted independently or as a deadly team.

Rifkin, 52, confessed to cops in 1993 to killing 17 prostitutes, and was convicted a year later in nine of the deaths. Three of his victims were never found.
If the connection with Rifkin is true, then we're talking about potentially solving several cold cases, but are dealing with victims from at least two serial killer cases. The addition of a male victim may be the work of a third killer.

Perhaps most troubling of all is the fact that the disappearance of Shannan Gilbert, 24, remains unaccounted for. It was her disappearance that sparked the search along Ocean Parkway that led investigators to find four remains of women who had offered their sexual services on Craigslist last year and then additional remains in the past month.

Thus far, 10 sets of remains or partial remains have been recovered. Investigators are expanding their search to include the surf and additional areas near Jones Beach.

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