By Elizabeth George
The Gilgo Beach serial killer case, which had remained a mystery for over ten years, may now be a step closer to being solved, and people all over Long Island are buzzing with interest in the possibility of finding the killer.
“I think it’s alarming that such a big and infamous murder case could happen in a place so close to us. I find it even more fascinating that after 11 years the case hasn’t been solved,” freshman Emilin George said.
In December 2010, the first of ten remains were uncovered on Gilgo Beach on Long Island. All 10 victims were women, and nine were found to be sex workers advertising on Craigslist. The most famous of these victims was Shannon Gilbert, a woman whose disappearance prompted the investigation that uncovered these remains initially. On the night of May 1, 2010, Gilbert made a call to 911 lasting 22 minutes and allegedly told the operators “they are trying to kill me.” In addition, before she went missing she knocked on two neighbors’ doors, who called 911 as well. Despite this, police were only able to respond 45 minutes after Gilbert’s call due to the fact that she did not disclose her location, and by this time, she had gone missing.
It was while searching for Gilbert’s body that the first four remains, known as the Gilgo Four, were discovered. Each of the bodies was covered in burlap sack cloth and scattered about 500 feet from the others. Not long after, six more bodies were discovered in the same location, and are believed to be murdered by the same killer. For over 11 years, detectives, investigators and police were unable to find or arrest any suspected serial killers. Many people have criticized law enforcement for their failure to find evidence and some even claim that officers intentionally disregarded the case. In 2020, Netflix released an original film named “Lost Girls” about Mari Gilbert’s desperate efforts to find her missing daughter, arousing even more nationwide attention to the case.
Artwork by Ashwathi Chemban
New investigations have been launched regarding Long Island Serial Killer case.
“It is very sad and intriguing that ten bodies were found in the same location at around the same time. I wonder what was the killer’s reason for doing so,” junior Sarah Philip said.
“I think that if the case remains open and is prioritized more, it might be solved soon. With the advancing technology that we have today, we may be able to uncover previously unseen clues to the story,” George said.
In early January 2022, the newly elected police commissioner of Suffolk county, Rodney Harrison, received the case and affirmed that he would remain dedicated to finding the killer. In this statement, he claimed that he planned to release Gilbert’s 911 call to the public and that he felt optimistic about finding the answers the world had been waiting for. However, while many residents remain hopeful for the ongoing investigation, others show indifference to a case they believe has gone cold.
These conflicting viewpoints remain present in NHP’s student body as well.
“It is important to give peace to the families of the victims and carry out justice. But I also understand the concern of the residents who believe continuing the investigation for so long is fruitless unless more evidence comes up,” said junior Anagha Sunny.
“I do think there will be a possibility of finding the killer only if more evidence is found. Since many people know about this case, more people will try to solve it,” Philip said.