Even cadaver dogs don't like roaming the "tick-infested" thick brush on Long Island's Gilgo Beach. "They don't like getting smacked in the face with the bramble," said Dominich Varrone, Suffolk County's chief of detectives to ABC News. The humans probably don't like it either: this story gets more disturbing by the day.
Four female bodies were first found in the area back in December as police searched for Shannon Gilbert, but the increasing body count (it's now up to eight women prostitutes according to CBS, and seven according to other outlets) is quickly transforming the local story into a sensationalized murder case, with suspicions that this might be the work of a serial killer. The first four bodies were all categorized as "petite" in reports. Local officials, who had been using firetruck bucket ladders and helicopters to gaze over the brush at the beach, announced the findings of three additional bodies on Monday, all buried "close together and equidistant from each other in the same manner," presumably suggesting that it's the same person responsible for all the murders.
As an ABC News reporter noted, all of the women had one thing in common: they advertised on Craigslist. The search originally began last week when police tried to find the remains of a prostitute who had been last seen on the Long Island beach in May of 2010. According to CBS, police academy cadets, firefighters and cadaver dogs had investigated the 7.5 mile are several times since December, and have found "new leads" since the additional bodies turned up.
Because the women prostitutes were contacted on Craigslist, it's possible this is the work of a "power control killer" or "hedonistic lust killer," according to a criminologist cited by CBS News. Police have pledged a "meticulous" search for the killer in the park and in the surrounding Oak Beach community residential area as they search for the perpetrator.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.