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The Long Island Serial Killer case is gripping the headlines and theories abound nationwide. Of the ten bodies or sets of remains found along Gilgo Beach since late 2010, the four discovered in December 2010 have been identified as missing prostitutes who all advertised their services on Craigslist. Each had been strangled and their bodies wrapped in burlap bags. According to the medical examiner, all are believed to have been killed in another location and then taken to Long Island where they were buried.
Department of Justice-trained human-trafficking consultant Dottie Laster is not so sure that a sexually motivated serial killer is behind the murders. She worries that officials may be misidentifying the handiwork of sex traffickers. Laster, who has trained more than 5,000 police officers on recognizing and combating trafficking, was hired as part of a team to assist the Waterman family in locating their daughter, Megan, whose body was found in the marsh in December. She has since starting working with the family of Shannan Gilbert, whose disappearance in Long Island last May is believed to be connected with the murders.
According to Laster, Gilbert and Waterman have the characteristics of trafficking victims–those who are forced or scammed into the service of another for labor or commercial sex. If they were, it could offer another explanation for the murders: Traffickers operate through threats of violence and even murder, which they may follow through on to set an example, especially when victims try to get away…..Ms.Magazine, April, 2011
Dottie Laster is a nationally recognized expert, consultant and trainer, on all aspects of human trafficking.
Also weighing in on the discussion is Dr. Scott Bonn, PhD, serial killer expert, media analyst and author.
Based on my professional experience, I believe that the Long Island serial killer is intelligent, middle-aged, a perfectionist and disarming, perhaps even charming. He is coldly psychopathic and he is evolving—that is, transitioning from a highly meticulous “organized” killer into a more risk-taking “disorganized” killer in terms of his homicidal behavior and practices.
Moreover, this serial killer may be transient and perhaps a seasonal (summer) visitor to the South Shore beaches of Long Island. I suggest this because all of the prostitute victims identified were reported missing between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This is not really surprising. Two of the characteristics of organized, psychopathic serial killers are repetitious, compulsive or cyclical behavior and the ability to blend back into their seemingly normal lives between killings……Forbes, Dec. 2011
Dr. Scott Bonn is a criminologist and professor at Drew University in New Jersey. He is a noted expert in the patterns and causes of crime and deviance with particular focus on serial killers.
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