Is Long Island Serial Killer Victim Helping Cops Beyond the Grave?

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Shannan Gilbert Did the LI Ripper kill Shannan Gilbert?

In all the talk about the Long Island "Jack the Ripper" case and the four murdered women already identified, one name is standing out: Shannan Maria Gilbert. She's the 24-year-old New Jersey woman who went missing last May and started this whole ball rolling. Without the search for Gilbert, police would not have discovered the four decomposing bodies in Oak Beach, Long Island last December, nor the four more discovered over the weekend about a half-mile away, leading authorities to believe that a serial killer is on the loose on the South Shore.

The case is being named after the famous "Jack the Ripper" murders in London in the 1800s because all of the victims so far have been prostitutes, as was Gilbert. 

But here's where the mystery deepens: Shannan Gilbert was not one of the bodies found last December. She was not one of the bodies found this past weekend. So where is she?

Police being interviewed on the TV and radio said they fully expected Gilbert to be one of the four recent bodies. It makes perfect sense based on the last time Gilbert was seen alive on May 1, 2010, in the same general area off Ocean Parkway near Cedar Beach where the bodies were found.

Gilbert, who charged $250 an hour, drove to the small town on Long Island's South Shore with a driver, supposedly her pimp, to see a client she had arranged to meet on Craigslist -- another common denominator with the four previous victims.

She stayed a few hours in the residence of her john, only to emerge at 5 a.m. in the morning in total hysterics. She ran out of the house and called 911 in a call that lasted 23 minutes. Police believed her to be drunk and delusional -- she was reportedly bipolar and a known drug abuser. Then she knocked on a neighbor's door, who also called police. Gilbert was last seen running down the road around 6 a.m., about five minutes before cops arrived. They were too late.

Gilbert hasn't been seen since that night. One can only believe that she met some type of sinister end at the hands of the LI Ripper or another fiend, which would be incredibly sad. Looking at her picture, Gilbert was a troubled but beautiful young woman who didn't have to choose this path in life, who could have had a different future someday.

Whether you believe in life after death or the supernatural or not, you can't dismiss the fact that Gilbert is responsible for leading police to the beach where a police dog on a training exercise smelled a decaying body.

That her body was not one of the ones found last winter or last weekend makes me wonder if she's not ready to be found just yet, that she has more work to do -- possibly from beyond the grave -- to bring this heinous individual to justice and finally put the spirits of his or her victims, including Amber Lynn Costello, 27, Megan Waterman, 22, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 28, and Melissa Barthelemy, 24, to rest once and for all.

An even eerier footnote: A psychic hired by Brainard-Barnes' family about a year ago told police exactly where the woman's body would be found, in a shallow grave overlooking the water.

Do you think Shannan Gilbert fell victim to the LI Jack the Ripper?

crime, death, in the news

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nonmember avatar Faith

No with the exception of the author of this article is referring to him/them as the LI Ripper. During an interview a Sheriff stated that people should remain calm and not live in fear, because it isn't as if Jack the Ripper is running around with blood dripping from a knife. I don't put much faith in the Psychic story. She was a well known prostitute,used drugs,and spent 23 minutes on a cell with 911 giving her general location, the name of the guy she believed was trying to kill her, and banging on doors of neighbors and begging two different men for help. She was never heard from again. A small child could pull dead, shallow or no grave, near the water from that.What I find of interest are that the 5th body found had no burlap anywhere near it. It did show evidence of the killer/killers removing anything that may help ID her. She is also similar to at least 2 maybe 3 separate bodies found in the last few years. These girls are spread out much further apart, and each shows evidence of ID removal effective enough that they are still all Jane Does but for one. They are prostitutes as well and whoever killed them seems to favor Joel Rifkins MO.

xavie... xavierlogan09

I watched her story on nancy grace. i think she is one of the victims of the serial killer. it's very sad that the police did nothing to help her. if she is dead they could have saved her life.

John Grenawalt

Not sure, but after twenty years in law enforcement sir; your statement should be retracted because you sounded like the ass that you are

John Stone

Personally, I do believe this is the work of a serial killer. I feel law enforcement won't definitively say so right now because, a) they don't want to put the general public into a panic, especially with the amount of media attention this is getting, and more importantly, b) though they themselves may feel as well that this is indeed the work of a serial killer, they may not have enough physical evidence to substantiate it yet. As for Shannan Gilbert being a victim of this killer, I also feel that it's most likely she is, due to the eerie similarities between she and the other known victims. But we will have to wait and see what law enforcement is able to find as far as evidence is concerned.

The only thing that frightens me more than this being a serial killer, is the thought that it isn't, and there are multiple killers out there operating with the same MO.

nonmember avatar Courtney

Faith- You are mistaken in your comment regarding the psychic. The psychic was referring to Maureen Brainard-Barnes who was no where near an area described by the psychic when she went missing.

nonmember avatar Luli

I don't know why reporters keep on bringing up "pimps". The only victim that had anything close to being a pimp was Megan Waterman, and his pimp / BF wasn't around the hotel when she was last seen. Most of the victims worked independently, because they made more money that way. Believe it or not, if the victims had had pimps they would probably be still alive.
Shannan Gilbert was working independently as an escort and hired her own driver.
She did NOT have a "pimp". So as far as i know, neither her BF or her driver were her "pimps."
She was her own boss. This explains why the driver just left after he couldn't find her.
He was just a hired hand, he didn't really care. A pimp wouldn't have left and probably would have forced her to leave.

nonmember avatar Rob

"An even eerier footnote: A psychic hired by Brainard-Barnes' family about a year ago told police exactly where the woman's body would be found, in a shallow grave overlooking the water."

That is a silly statement. "Exactly" means in a specific and accurate location. How does "a shallow grave overlooking the water" help anybody? Too many scientifically illiterate people will take this as supporting the legitimacy of psychic phenomena. I hate to see reporting like this.

nonmember avatar Susan

Have the police looked into Rebecca Koster's murder, as being possibly connected? She was killed in December 2009, and they made an arrest and had physical evidence, although the man charged has maintained innocence.

Becky Koster's family received taunting cellphone messages, like Melissa Barthelemy's family. She lived in the same area, although her body was disposed of differently.

It seems worth considering the possibility that there's a connection.

Hope they catch this guy quickly.

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