long island crime


It all began to unfold when police were searching for 24-year-old, Shannan Gilbert, a Craigslist escort who had disappeared in May 2010 after meeting a client by the name of Joseph Bewer near Oak Beach. Something had spooked Shannan and she fled his home, screaming. She made a phone call to 911 in which she exclaimed “They’re trying to kill me!” before begging one his his neighbours for help. Her driver, Michael Pak, had tried her to get back into his car but she refused. She carried on running away. From what, nobody knows for sure. The last time she was seen alive, she was running up the street, screaming and begging for help but to no avail.

The Suffolk County Police paid no attention to her disappearance due to the fact that she was an escort. It wasn’t until seven months later that they finally investigated the case and what they discovered, would shock the entire world - four bodies evenly spaced out along Ocean Parkway, wrapped in burlap, none of which were Shannan. They found the body of Maureen Brainard-Barnes who went missing three years earlier, Melissa Barthelemy who went missing in 2009, Megan Waterman who went missing a month after Shannan, and Amber Lynn Costello who went missing earlier in the year. The women were similar to Shannan in that they were all petite women in their 20′s and all worked as Craigslist escorts. They had all been strangled elsewhere and then dumped.

Over the next year, six more bodies, and body parts, were discovered around the same area of Gilgo and Oak Beach. Among the bodies was that of an Asian man wearing a dress and a young toddler, who is believed to be the child of one of the escort’s found. Five of the discovered victims, including the aforementioned three, still remain unidentified. Authorities believe that all ten bodies are the victim of one serial killer, who has become known as “The Long Island Serial Killer” and also commonly referred to as “The Gilgo Killer.”

On 13, December, 2011, the body of Shannan Gilbert, the woman who set off the investigation, was finally discovered. She was found nearby in a swamp. Authorities ruled her death as accidental, but many people, her mother included, do not share this view due to the fact that she fits the victim profile of the women who have been killed by this unidentified serial killer. She was also discovered in the same area as the other victims and this would not explain the terror and fear of something or someone that she experienced on the night of her disappearance.

Ten more bodies have been discovered in the same area but authorities have not linked them to The Long Island Serial Killer. It appears as though the area had been a dumping ground for serial killers for many years, including Joel Rifkin.

In December 2010, police began investigating the disappearance of Craiglist escort Shannan Gilbert, 7 months after she was last seen, running from the home of a client. They ended up uncovering more than they ever expected. The bodies of 4 missing sex workers were discovered, strangled, wrapped in burlap and dumped along Gilgo Beach. This marked the discovery of the Long Island serial killer’s work.

Another 6 bodies were discovered in the area and accredited to the unidentified killer before Shannan’s remains were finally found in a nearby swamp in late 2011. Despite Shannan fitting the victim profile, combined with the circumstances under which she disappeared, her death was ruled an accident.

Out of the 10 sets of human remains recovered, 5 remain unidentified. These 5 unidentified victims include a mother and her young child and an asian man dressed in woman’s clothing. All victims are thought to be linked with the sex industry.

Although only 10 deaths have been linked to the Long Island serial killer, there are a number of possible victims and another 10 bodies have been found in the area, however, these deaths are thought to be unrelated. The killings are thought to have spanned 20 years and the Long Island serial killer continues to evade capture to this day.


Jim Clemente, retired FBI agent, talks about the psychology and profiling of serial killers, as well as Jon Benet Ramsey, and Jeffrey Dahmer. He also discusses the Jodi Arias case, the Long Island Serial Killer, and more. 

love this vid. plus i kinda want jim clemente’s career. he was a prosecutor, then worked in the behavioral analysis unit, and now he writes for criminal minds. 

In the early hours of February 1, 1982, Tina Foglia (19) was at Hammerheads, a club in West Islip, New York. She went to see a local band from Queens she liked, before leaving at around 3 am. Her family reported her missing on February 3. 

That was also the day they found her dismembered body, put inside several plastic bags and left in an exit ramp in Sagtikos Parkway, in Suffolk County. The autopsy determined she had died of asphyxia by smothering, and that her limbs had been cleanly cut, possibly with a butcher’s knife.

Tina’s murder has never been solved and the case remains open, with police still asking for tips as recently as June 2017. Some have theorized that she might have been a victim of the still unidentified Long Island Serial Killer, since Suffolk County has been the area he’s left bodies and Sagtikos Parkway leads to Oak and Gilgo Beaches, his dumping ground of choice.

This is, of course, mere conjecture at this time. The LISK is listed as active since 1996, but as it often happens with serial killers, it’s almost impossible to determine the exact number of his victims or when did they really started their crimes. Tina’s sister says that shortly before she was murdered, Tina said she was dating a doctor she really liked, but never revealed his name. It’s also possible she was hitchhiking the night she left the club and her killer picked her up that way.


Colin Ferguson is the perpetrator of the Long Island Rail Road Shooting which occured on December 7, 1993. The attack took the lives of six people and wounded as many as nineteen. On that fateful day in December of 1993, Ferguson purchased a ticket for the eastbound train to Hicksville, New York, carrying a legally purchased handgun and a canvas bag filled with ammunition. Minutes before the train arrived at the Merillon Avenue Station, Ferguson pulled out his 9-mm Ruger semiautomatic handgun and began firing random shots, fatally hitting six passengers. When Ferguson stopped shooting to refill his gun, three men took the chance and pinned him to a seat. He was apprehended thereafter. According to the man who tackled him to the ground, Ferguson realized what he had done for a split second and said “Oh god, what did I do? What did I do? I deserve whatever I get.” Ferguson had been planning the shooting for a long time and was motivated by racism– something he had been obsessed with. Reports show that he often had problems with that issue and tended to argue with others about that topic and accused those around him of racism, although he often made racist remarks himself. On one occasion, Ferguson claimed that a woman he shared classes with at Adelphi University made racist epithets after he had asked her about class assignments. One of the professors at the university investigated the allegation and found out that it wasn’t the case at all. In 1991, Ferguson was suspended from the university due to ongoing threats of violence against others. Fergusons former landlord Patrick Denis also stated that he once told him “I’m such a great person. There must be only one thing holding me back. It must be white people.” Months before the shooting, Ferguson reportedly began to speak in third-person– something he continued in court when he was tried for the murders. Ferguson chose to represent himself, claiming that he wasn’t responsbile for the shooting and that he was a victim of racist conspiracy. On February 17, 1995, Ferguson was sentenced to 315 years and eight months in prison for the murder of six passengers and nineteen attempted murders.


For almost 20 years, an unidentified serial killer has been prowling the streets and beaches of Long Island. He has murdered close to 17 sex workers and is believed to still be at large, although forensics have revealed that the latest victims were killed in 2010. The identity of the Gilgo Beach Killer (one of his many names) has been highly disputed among officials and the media. The most common lead is that the unknown subject is most likely a white male in his mid-20s to mid-40s who knows the area well. He would also have to have access to burlap sacks which he uses to contain the bodies in. The case remains unsolved, and it’s unlikely that we will ever know the true identity of the killer.


The Crimes Of Amityville Horror

The crimes that happened in 112 Ocean Avenue, Long Island, gave us a best selling book, a box office hit movie and many other sequels.

At around 3am on the 13th of November 1974, 23 year Ronald Defeo Jr murdered the 6 members of his family, his mother, father, two sisters and two brothers. He was instantly taken into police custody for his safety after making up many stories, but the following day he confessed to his crimes. In 1975 Ronald faced trial, he claimed he heard voices which told him to kill. His defence team pointed out that he was diagnosed with anti social personality disorder and abused heroin and lsd. Defeo had a volatile relationship with his father, and first he claimed his sister killed his father, then the mother killed the rest and Ronald killed his mum. The jury didn’t care and found him guilty, he was sentenced to life in prison. All parole requests have been denied.

The Lutz Family

In December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz moved into the home with their three children. Its reported they endured horrific paranormal experiences, one being George kept waking up just after 3am, the same time of the murders. After 28 days they moved out, it’s the Lutz events that made Jay Anson have a best selling book and a trail of movies.


The above pictures are the tattered sweatshirt, torn up paper and cherry tattoo belonging to a possible victim of the “long island serial killer”.

On March 3rd 2007 a suitcase containing the torso of a woman, with multiple stab wounds, washed up at Harbor Island Park.

The victim is estimated to be between the ages of 30-50, female, black or hispanic, of large build, with a tattoo of cherries above her right breast.

Torn pieces of paper were found in the lining of the suicase (which was exclusive to Walmart stores). When put together, the torn pieces were identified as a piece of a calender with the word “cinco” and the phrase “begin to live”.

Three weeks later, a severed leg washed up at Cold Spring Harbor. The next day, another leg washed up at a cove, near Nassau County’s Gold Coast. Both toes of each foot were painted with pink nail polish and eventually identified as belonging to the unidentified torso.

Grave of Megan Waterman. One of the first four victims found in December, 2010. If Shannon Gilbert hadn’t gone missing earlier in 2010, it’s possible these bodies never would’ve been found. There are those that say Shannon was not killed by the LISK; but all of her statistics are the some as the four victims discovered together in December of 2010.
Further reading: Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker

Police and emergency personnel examine suspected human remains on the side of a highway in Wantagh, NY on Monday April 11, 2011. They are believed to be connected to the unidentified "Long Island Serial Killer", who has murdered between 10 and 17 people associated with the sex trade over the last 20 years.


Excellent interview on how to make youth’s voices heard in a way that will impact their immediate communities.