He is most likely a white male in his mid-20s to mid-40s. He is married or has a girlfriend. He is well educated and well spoken. He is financially secure, has a job and owns an expensive car or truck. He may have sought treatment at a hospital for poison ivy infection. As part of his job or interests, he has access to, or a stockpile of, burlap sacks.Some of the aspects of his personality are common to most serial killers - they're usually male, and they're usually in their 20s to 40s. They're usually white, and they're usually from a middle class background and easily blend into the background because they outwardly seem normal. It's why so many serial killers go unnoticed for so long.
And he lives or used to live on or near Ocean Parkway on the South Shore of Long Island, where the police have found as many as 10 sets of human remains.
In interviews with serial-killer experts and criminologists, including a former F.B.I. profiler, a portrait emerges of the man who investigators on Long Island believe is responsible for several of the bodies they have discovered in the brush off Ocean Parkway since December. For the moment, he is known in law enforcement jargon only as Unsub, or unknown subject. No arrests have been made, and no suspects have been identified by the Suffolk County Police Department, which is leading the investigation.
Profiling serial murderers is far from a precise science. There are nearly three million people on Long Island, and the man who killed at least four prostitutes who advertised for clients on Craigslist is perhaps but one.
And the experts interviewed are sketching out a possible suspect based only on details of the case that have been publicly revealed, like the burlap sacks that the four women’s bodies were found in and the series of taunting phone calls that the killer is believed to have made to one victim’s relatives.
Yet, some aspects of the profile seem to be a stretch. In particular, the portion claiming that he may have sought treatment at a hospital for poison ivy infection seems to be a reach, as does the claim that his job or interests gives him access to burlap sacks. That might seem to point towards a landscaper or someone in the home and garden business, but then again, if they're in the home and garden business they'd know how to deal with poison ivy without going to a hospital - there are any number of over the counter products or even distilled alcohol/mineral spirits that can remove the poison ivy oils before they cause the allergic reaction in most people. This is the least useful portion of the profile in my opinion.
Of more interest is the fact that the profilers think that the killer owns or has access to an expensive car or truck.
NY Magazine also notes that the taunting messages left with family members of one of the women murdered suggests that not only is the killer organized enough to lure women into the deadly situations, but that he's a sadist who takes pleasure in taunting the victims and their families.
ABC News is reporting that there may have been a witness to one of the disappearances. The roommate of one of the victims might be able to identify the killer. Divers are continuing to search for victims and evidence near the location where the remains were discovered.
Also, a new Facebook page has been set up to gather evidence and information that could lead to the whereabouts of Shannan Gilbert, the woman whose disappearance led to the original discovery of four sets of remains of women who used Craigslist to solicit sexual services. Gilbert's whereabouts remain unknown but may have been another of the victims of the serial killer or killers who dumped bodies near Jones Beach.
The website is sponsored by Robin Sax, a lawyer whose firm specializes in criminal law, family law, victims and constitutional rights.
It offers visitors a way to submit anonymous tips, learn more about Gilbert and see the facts of the case. For example, it features an interactive Google map of the police search area, discoveries, last sightings of known victims and Gilbert's movements.
Sax and her team aren't the only ones looking for Gilbert.
Jersey City investigator Charles Hannon, who offered $1,000 of his own money as a reward in 2010 for anyone with information about Gilbert, has raised the reward to $5,000 and hopes to find her soon.
Police investigating Gilbert's missing persons case have found 10 bodies in the Jones Beach area of Long Island and theorize a serial killer was responsible for the killings. Not all the bodies have been identified, but so far all have been ruled out as being Gilbert's.