The Long Island Serial Murder Case – An Overview


Description: Description: C:\Users\Geberth\Documents\webwork\PHI-2014\website\Research\CrimeWatch6.jpgThe Long Island Serial Killer Case is now five years old. In December of 2010 the bodies of four females wrapped in burlap bags were found dumped at Gilgo Beach in Suffolk County Long Island. At the time authorities were searching for Shannon Gilbert, a Craigslist Prostitute, who had gone to long Island in connection with a sexual liaison. Shannon had gone missing in May of 2010 after frantically calling for help during a 9-1-1 call.

There had been reports of four other Craigslist prostitutes who had been reported missing after going to Suffolk County to perform sexual services since 2007.

When the four bodies were discovered the police authorities at that time were basically in denial as they denied that this could be the work of a serial killer. 

I appeared on New York Fox 5 as a media consultant and was interviewed by Rosanna Scotto in December right after those four bodies were discovered and I stated for the “record” that if Suffolk County wouldn’t call him a serial killer I would call him a serial killer.

I then went on to explain how these types of killers who use a burial site are unique and I compared the Long Island case to other cases I Had examined.  I talked about Dayton Leroy Rogers who was a serial killer who had maintained a burial site for his victims. I pointed out that as the authority’s uncovered one of the bodies of his victims they began to expand the crime scene and ended up finding an additional 5 bodies.  I suggested that the Suffolk County authorities expand their search and sure enough additional bodies were found. 

Then the politicians and administration started talking about multiple serial killers being responsible for these other victim’s bodies.  However, I pointed out in several media interviews that the possibility of two or more serial killers using the same dumping was statistically improbable.

The body of Shannon Gilbert was not among the four bodies that were eventually identified through DNA analysis.  All four of the victims had been identified as missing prostitutes who all advertised their services on Craigslist. They had all been strangled and their bodies wrapped in burlap sacks before being dumped along Gilgo Beach. All are believed to have been killed elsewhere.


In December, 2011 the skeletal remains of Shannon Gilbert were discovered in a marsh not far from where she had been last seen.  The first news reports from the Suffolk County authorities speculated that Shannon had accidentally drowned while under the influence of drugs and her case was not related to the other four Craigslist’s victim’s bodies.

I was interviewed by 48 Hours Mysteries and stated that such a preposterous suggestion was actually ludicrous.  I was also interviewed on Fox5 by Greg Kelly on December 8, 2011 during which time Kelly tried to convince me to go along with the ridiculous Suffolk County determination that Shannon Gilbert had accidentally drowned while in a confused drug-induced state.  I adamantly disagreed with this news reader and the interview was cut short. (See Victim’s Profiles)



It was, is and continues to be my professional opinion as an expert in serial murder investigation that each of these young women were assaulted, strangled to death and dumped at this disposal site at Gilgo Beach.  If you look at the profiles of these five young women, their physical make-up and their connection to on-line sexual liaisons along with the dates and times of their reported disappearances one can only logically conclude that they were all victims of the same serial killer.

Furthermore, had the Suffolk County authorities properly responded investigated the suspicious circumstances under which Shannon Gilbert had gone missing on May 1, 2010 maybe the results f this case would have been different.  Shannon Gilbert was on her cell phone screaming for help for 23 minutes before the call was disconnected.

In December of 2010 when those four bodies were discovered at Gilgo Beach there should have been a major investigation conducted by the Suffolk County Police  maybe there would have been some success in discovering the identity of the the Long Island Serial Killer.



Victim Profiles  -        Long Island Serial Killer




Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, of Norwich, Connecticut, was a prostitute who advertised her services online. Maureen, who was only four feet eleven inches tall and one hundred five pounds, went to Long Island, New York, "to spend the day in New York City" and was never seen again. Maureen, a struggling mother, escorted off of Craigslist to pay the mortgage on her house, but after successfully leaving the sex industry for seven months Maureen eventually returned to pay her bills after receiving an eviction notice. She was last seen on July 9, 2007, when she left Norwich for New York City.   Her body was found in December 2010.





Melissa Barthelemy, 24, of Erie County, New York, went missing on  July 10, 2009. She had been living in the Bronx and working as an escort through Craigslist. On the night she went missing, she met with a client, deposited $900 in her bank account and attempted to call an old boyfriend, but did not get through. Beginning one week after her disappearance, and lasting for five weeks, her teenage sister, Amanda, received a series of "vulgar, mocking and insulting" calls from someone who may have been the killer, using her sister's cell phone. Her body was found in December 2010.




Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old woman working as an escort from New Jersey who was reported missing in May 2010. On December 13, 2011, the remains of Shannan Gilbert were found in a marsh about half a mile from where she disappeared, and a week after some of her clothes and belongings were found in the vicinity



Megan Waterman, 22, of South Portland, Maine, went missing on June 6, 2010, after placing advertisements on Craigslist as an escort; the day before she had told her 20-year-old boyfriend that she was going out and would call him later. At the time of her disappearance, she was staying at a motel in Hauppauge, NY, 15 miles northeast of Gilgo Beach.  Her body was also recovered in December 2010.


Amber Lynn Costello, 27, of North Babylon, New York, a town ten miles north of Gilgo Beach. She was a prostitute and a heroin user, and went missing on September 2, 2010. On the night she disappeared, she went to meet a stranger who had called her several times and offered her $1,500 for her services. As of 2012 Costello's sister and fellow prostitute, Kimberly Overstreet, has vowed to use the same Craigslist booking system as her sister in an effort to lure the killer.  Her body was also recovered in December 2010.



Maureen Brainard Barnes, 25 years old            Last seen on July 9, 2007

Melissa Barthelemy, 24 years old                       Last seen on July 10, 2009

Shannan Gilbert, 24 years old                           Last seen on May 1, 2010

Megan Waterman, 22 years old                         Last seen on June 6, 2010

Amber Lynn Costello, 27 years old                    Last seen on Sep. 2, 2010