Long Island Serial Killer Could Still Be Active

by Alaina Urquhart-White

Serial killers tend to be a point of morbid fascination for a lot of us, simply because their minds are a place that we can't even begin to understand. On Saturday, A&E will premiere The Killing Season, an eight-part documentary about one of these monsters; the unsolved case of the Long Island Serial Killer (LISK). This grisly killer has 10 deaths attributed to him so far and each body was found along Gilgo Beach in Long Island. Unfortunately, this individual has not yet been caught, which adds a sense of real dread to this chilling docuseries. But is the Long Island Serial Killer currently active?

It's entirely possible that he is still terrorizing Long Island, but, since his victims are all sex workers, their disappearances can unfortunately sometimes take years to solve. He has a clear modus operandi, but it seems like he tweaked it ever so slightly at times. All of his victims were escorts who advertised their services online. This is where it is assumed that he lured them to their deaths. LongIsland.com reports that the first four bodies that were discovered in 2010 had each been placed into burlap sacks and dumped in the thicket and vegetation right off the roadway. According to their autopsies, each of the women had died of strangulation. When four more bodies were found in 2011, they were found in the same area but they were not in burlap sacks. Later that year, a skull and a set of skeletal remains were also found in that area and attributed to the same killer, bringing his victim count to 10.

Law enforcement can't be sure whether LISK has truly stopped his killing spree or not because the initial victims were missing for a while before they were eventually found. It is possible that there are more missing persons who will eventually be found dead and attributed to this monster. In 2011, the New York Police Commissioner, Richard Dormer, told NBC News that he felt like the killer was still active but reassured the community, "That's why we are moving as fast as we possibly can to apprehend this person."

I think that we may see his reign on terror continue if he isn't already in jail for something else. Serial killers can have cooling off periods but they almost always start up again. Dennis Rader, the BTK killer is a perfect example of this, according to the Wichita Eagle. His last murder was in 1991 but he resurfaced in 2004 to begin taunting the media/victims families. This arrogance led to his arrest before he could commit further murders. This kind of behavior actually is familiar since the Long Island Serial Killer is also reportedly known to reach out to families of his victims to taunt them about their missing loved ones. According to People, in 2007, Sara Karnes alleged that she was called by an unknown person and the voice told her that he was watching her friend Maureen Brainard-Barnes. Some time later, Maureen went missing.

According to Vice, the last bodies attributed to the Long Island Serial Killer were found in 2011, but they were from people that were reported missing in 2010 and the earliest remains attributed to him were from 1996. Has he been killing since then or will he again? To see some in-depth investigation into this fascinating and tragic case, check out The Killing Season on A&E.

Images: A&E