"People are throwing the football. It's just sitting and waiting," said one reporter who has spent a few long days in that parking lot. And with news running short but national interest piqued, some networks have resorted to increasingly wacky tricks to create stories.
A reporter recalled the time cops organized a bus to take photographers from the parking lot to the bushes so that they could get photos of people searching. A team from CNN tried to take along a family member of one of the victims secretly, wired with a small microphone, in order to interview her surreptitiously while they walked the remote bushes. "One of the photogs who has dealt with this person realized who this was, and … all of a sudden they're on this bus and everyone is turning around taking pictures of this woman." When the bus erupted into a scrum, police had to stop and remove her. "When she got off the bus she said something like, 'I wanted to see where my sister was but now I guess I can't.' "
Finally, yesterday, reporters who had been waiting patiently for police to identify the remains found in April got a break: Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota identified 20-year-old Jessica Taylor--who had been working as a prostitute--as one of the victims, but said she and another unidentified woman had been killed by a different person than the one who murdered the four women found in December. An unidentified Asian man and a toddler were the other two victims, whom Spota said were probably killed by still another killer or killers.
"This confirmed my suspicions all along," said John Lauinger, a New York Daily News crime reporter and Long Island native who has been covering the story from his desk at police headquarters in Manhattan. "I thought it was odd he had so many bodies along a pretty long stretch of highway. I didn't think it was all one person."
Lauinger said he expected the new discovery to help police because it could open new leads, but, "from a law enforcement perspective the task has just become more difficult. Now you're searching for three, maybe four more killers." The area where the bodies were found could still be hiding more remains, and police continue to search. "It is a perfect place to dump a body. Especially in the non-summer months. There's not many people down there. You take any one of those bridges, and once you get past the little bungalow communities it's just you, the ocean and all those dunes."