Tuesday, November 24, 2020

No drugs in dead sex worker’s body meaning she could have been the Long Island Serial Killer’s 11th victim

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Michael Whyte
Crime Scene Officer and Fingerprint Expert with over 7 years experience in Crime Scene Investigation and Latent Print Analysis. The opinions or assertions contained on this site are the private views of the author and are not to be construed as those of any professional organisation or policing body.
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A long awaited autopsy on the body of a hooker whose 2010 disappearance and death exposed the Long Island serial killer’s victims has revealed she had no drugs in her system when she died, a report claimed.

Murdered? The revelation that Shannan Gilbert had no drugs in her system raises fears that she was killed by the Long Island serial killer on the night of May 1, 2010 (Daily Mail)

This raises the terrifying possibility that Shannan Gilbert, 24, might not have died in a drug fueled haze in Oak Beach as previously assumed, but may have been fleeing the serial killer as she furiously banged on doors in the neighborhood.

Indeed, if Gilbert is the 11th victim, it would mean that she wasn’t running away from a client while high and didn’t die in the local marshes in a stupor. The May, 2010, search for Gilbert revealed 10 other bodies along the Long Island coast and police have yet to make an arrest more than four years later.

Gilbert’s body was eventually found in December, 2011 and her death is still listed as ‘undetermined’. Since the Jersey City sex worker’s disappearance, her family have claimed that she was killed by the as-yet unidentified serial killer, but Suffolk County Police have said they do not believe that to be the case. However, forensic expert Mitch Holland told Newsday that the failure to find any drugs could mean that the time Gilbert spent exposed in the marshes meant that they could have exited or been removed by the water.

It has been assumed that the New Jersey woman went missing after fleeing from a client’s home in Oak Beach. She was last seen racing into the night.  Police began searching for her last December when they came upon the first of what would become ten homicide victims’ remains. They were strewn along several miles of thicket along a parkway leading to Jones Beach.

Gilbert’s disappearance prompted the investigation which led to five bodies found in burlap sacks on Gilgo Beach last December. The bodies have been positively identified as prostitutes advertising on Craigslist. Since then, five more bodies have been found which have yet to be identified. Police said they think Gilbert’s disappearance is unrelated to the other bodies but a single killer may be responsible for the ten dead.

Relatives of Megan Waterman and Maureen Brainard-Barnes, whose bodies were among the ten found, visited the scene on the first anniversary of the grisly discovery.

Map: The locations where eight of ten bodies were found near Gilgo Beach since December 2010. The remains of Shannan Gilbert make it 11 (Daily Mail)

‘It’s been a living hell,’ Waterman’s mother Loraine Ela told reporters on Monday. ‘It really is. Not a day doesn’t go back where I don’t think of Megan.’

A police officer and his cadaver dog were following up on the disappearance of Gilbert when they came across the first set of human remains on December 11, 2010. Two days later, three more bodies were found.

By April, the total had risen to 10 bodies, all strewn along several miles of Ocean Parkway, on a barrier island south of Long Island that leads to Jones Beach. Authorities at first believed several people could be involved, but Police Commissioner Richard Dormer has said recently that detectives now suspect one serial killer is likely responsible for all ten deaths because the victims all had some connection to the sex trade.

The victims included eight women, an Asian man wearing a dress and a toddler. Police believe the women were prostitutes and suspect the man was involved in the sex trade because he was wearing women’s clothing. The toddler is believed to be the child of one of the prostitutes.

Source: Daily Mail

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