New details in the Long Island Craigslist Killer case have surfaced that will leave anyone living remotely near the quiet barrier island community that has a become a body dumping ground with a serious case of the shivers. Investigators looking into the murders of at least 8 and as many as 13 prostitutes so far have come up with a partial profile of a suspect, and the findings are downright scary.
This guy (most serial killers are men) does not appear to be your average half-witted, socially inept drifter living in the underworld of crime and opportunity. To the contrary, now police think he may be pretty smart and seemingly normal. He might even be married, have a couple of kids, possibly coach soccer or volunteer at the Rotary Club or other civic group. And based on how well he seems to be covering his tracks, he may even be a cop or someone who worked in law enforcement currently or in the past.
In other words, he might be your neighbor!
I know police don't want to sound the alarm. We should not panic because this guy is calculated and specifically targets prostitutes as far as they know. Somehow that does not make this better. The fact that this guy could be anyone, particularly a person in a profession that is supposed to protect people of all walks of life, is unsettling to the core.
The shocking news comes on the heels of several clues about the killer the police have picked up during their investigation. That the killer contacted all his victims through Craigslist gave them hope of being able to trace the suspect electronically and wrapping this case up quickly. But this appears to be no ordinary criminal. According to a report in the Daily Mail, the killer used disposable and untraceable cellphones to contact all four victims found back in December.
One of those victims, Melissa Barthelemy, disappeared in July 2009. Shortly after she went missing, this sick and twisted individual made six harassing phone calls to her sister from crowded places like Times Square and Madison Square Garden, saying things like: “Do you know what your sister is doing? She’s a whore.”
All the calls lasted under three minutes, short enough to prevent officers from tracing his exact location. By calling in crowded New York City spots where everyone talks on cellphones, he was able to prevent being singled out by surveillance cameras.
Prostitutes are often the victims of choice of serial killers because they are accessible, willing, slow to be reported missing if at all, and -- unfortunately in many people's view -- disposable. A police officer who may have have dealings with such working girls on a daily basis may feel this way even more so than others.
Meanwhile, police continue to comb the Suffolk County beach where the four recent bodies were found and have even expanded their search to include Nassau County. But that might be only the beginning. Police are also looking into whether four Atlantic City prostitutes murdered and dumped along marshland in New Jersey a few years ago are linked to the recent case.
Does news that the Long Island serial killer may be a cop freak you out?
Image via davidsonscott15/Flickr