Police: 10 Long Island Victims Likely Linked to Single Serial Killer

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REUTERS / Shannon Stapleton

A member of the Suffolk County police search team looks through a brush area for remains of bodies slain by a possible serial killer near the beach area of Oak Beach, New York, April 7, 2011.

Police in New York are again leaning towards the theory that the grisly discoveries of 10 bodies along a remote part of Long Island coastline are the work of a single serial killer, with murders dating back to 1996, the Associated Press reports.

Authorities made the admission Wednesday after they received new information about the macabre finds, which have perplexed Suffolk County detectives for the past year. They initially found four bodies last December dumped near barrier islands straddling Ocean Parkway and later discovered the remains of six more people.

(MORE: Inside the Mind of the Long Island Killer: This Ain’t Hollywood)

Police have only identified five of the victims, which consist of eight women, a man and a baby girl. Some of their body parts were found as far as 50 miles away. They believe all the women — and a man who was wearing female clothing, leading them to believe he was a prostitute — were sex workers. DNA of the female toddler was linked to one of the female victims, believed to be her mother. The oldest remains are from a case 15 years ago.

“Looking at the common denominators involved with the dumping ground, the type of victims, the dismemberments, all on Long Island. Our theory is that it’s probably one serial killer,” Richard Dormer, Suffolk County police commissioner, told the AP.

Cops began making the grim discoveries amid a search for still-missing Shannan Gilbert, a New Jersey prostitute last seen fleeing the house of an area client in the middle of the night in distress. After she banged on a neighbor’s door, and spoke briefly with the owner, she was never seen again. The client, the neighbor, and Gilbert’s pimp who was also present, have been ruled out as suspects.

Dormer admitted the latest thinking is not universally shared within his department and conflicts with previous statements that as many as three different killers could be on the loose. “I’m sure you could talk to people that have a different theory, but we’re leaning toward that now because of the common denominators involved,” he said.

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