Has The Long Island Serial Killer Been Caught? 'The Killing Season' Documents A Frightening Case

Even the sharpest thrillers can look dull in comparison to some real-life murder mysteries. This Saturday, A&E premieres the first episode of The Killing Season , an eight-part documentary on the murders attributed to the Long Island Serial Killer. The series comes from executive producer Alex Gibney, who also produced HBO's eye-opening and unsettling Scientology documentary, Going Clear. The Killing Season will investigate the unsolved murders of 10 victims — mostly sex workers and all found at Gilgo Beach in Long Island. Because of the shared location and similar victims, these murders are believed to be the work of one individual. But the evidence has not yet led to an arrest. The Long Island Serial Killer has never been caught.

Authorities followed the trail of one missing woman and found that Gilgo Beach was doubling as a mass grave. According to Vice, sex worker Shannan Gilbert went missing from Oak Beach, New York after making a call to emergency services. "They're trying to kill me," Gilbert reportedly said on the call, and then vanished. Her body was recovered almost two years later. But before it was, a search of the surrounding area unearthed the remains of 10 other bodies.

In 2011, NBC New York reported that Suffolk County police were working under the suspicion that the same killer was responsible for all 10 victims found in the New York marshland. Authorities do not believe, however, that Shannan Gilbert was murdered by the Long Island Serial Killer. Police Commissioner Richard Dormer told NBC New York that he believed that the Long Island Serial Killer was still active. "That's why we are moving as fast as we possibly can to apprehend this person," Dormer said, according to NBC New York.

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But that person has not been apprehended yet. According to a recent People update on the case, the Suffolk County police have never arrested a suspect in conjunction with these murders. Though they don't know the perpetrator's name or address, they've been left clues on how he prefers to operate. Four of the women found dead on Gilgo Beach were sex workers who advertised and communicated with clients online. The Long Island Serial Killer may have targeted and lured them via their web ads. His process may have also involved reaching out to his targets' loved ones to mock them. Some people close to the victims claimed to police that they'd allegedly received threatening and obscene phone calls from an unidentified person. The alleged killer called Sara Karnes before her friend disappeared in 2007, she told People. She claimed that a voice on the phone said he was watching Maureen Brainard-Barnes at a brothel. Barnes was gone a few days later.


According to A&E's description of the series, The Killing Season filmmakers will talk not just to investigators but to amateur internet sleuths who have become obsessed with the unsolved crime. It's incredible that a spree that generated so much physical evidence could still be lacking a viable suspect, but The Long Island Serial Killer case is still wide open.