The hunt for the so-called Long Island Serial Killer is getting wet. After uncovering one-or-two more sets of human remains (they aren't sure about the latest set of remains) in Nassau County on Monday, authorities are taking their hunt to the high seas. Teams of four Suffolk marine bureau divers are expected today to start searching Hemlock Cove, between Oak and Gilgo beaches, for further victims (and possibly the still-missing prostitute Shannan Gilbert). Meanwhile the most recent set of bones may not be the work of the Gilgo Beach killer—some suspect they are actually connected to another Long Island serial killer, Joel Rifkin.
The skull and torso found on Monday (which may not be from the same body) were found more than five miles from where the first eight remains were found in Suffolk and appeared to have been there for some time. They were also not wrapped in burlap as the first four bodies were. "These are so old that roots were growing around the vertebrae and the skull," one source told The Post before adding "These could be one or two of Joel Rifkin's victims who were never found." Or they could be the work of another killer—there are lots of possibilities. But you'll recall that when the first set of bodies were found Rifkin, who is currently serving a life sentence for killing 17 prostitutes, gloated to the Daily News that he "dumped [his victims] hundreds of miles apart."
Meanwhile, police sources tell the Daily News that one of the still-unidentified second set of bodies is male. And another one of the bodies from that set is a child or an infant. What this means, assuming those bodies are related to the first four Craigslist prostitutes, is unclear. Among many options it could mean the killer isn't just going for short-statured sex workers or maybe their hand was forced. A retired NYPD homicide lieutenant, who is not involved in the investigation, offered the News an interesting angle: "Maybe, just maybe, the prostitute brought along her husband, boyfriend, etc., for protection. Now this guy shows up, and there's a baby there in the other room, and he decides: 'I don't like this. I gotta take them all out.'"
Until they can definitively connect them, authorities are treating the nine (or ten) sets of remains as three separate things. Which doesn't mean they aren't related, or that they aren't working closely together. "If these have to be investigated jointly, then that's the way it will be done," Nassau police spokesman Detective Lieutenant Kevin Smith explained.