Case Timeline


Notes about the timeline:

  • Cases that are not officially linked to the Long Island Serial Killer are noted.
  • Links colored blue will open a pop-up window with one or more photos.
  • More detailed information about specific victims can be found on the victims page.

Jump to year

1982 | 1996 | 1997 | 2000 | 2003 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2019 | 2020


February 1, 1982 (not officially linked)

    Tina Foglia (19) was last seen on February 1, 1982, at the Hammerheads music venue in West Islip, New York. Her dismembered body was discovered on February 3 next to the Southern State Parkway. Her remains were placed in three garbage bags. The DNA of an unknown male was found on the bags.1


April 20, 1996

    Two female legs, wrapped in a plastic bag, were discovered on the bayside shore of Fire Island one mile west of Davis Park Beach. This victim is referred to as the "Fire Island Jane Doe."

    The victim's skull would later be found on April 11, 2011 west of Tobay Beach in Nassau County. Here she was named "Jane Doe #7." The two sets of remains were later linked by DNA.1, 2


June 28, 1997

    The dismembered torso of a young African-American female was found in Hempstead Lake State Park, New York. She had tattoo of a heart-shaped peach on her left breast and was given the name "Peaches." Police estimate she had died less than 3 days before being discovered.1

    On April 11, 2011, police discovered skeletal human remains inside a plastic bag near Jones Beach State Park, referred to as "Jane Doe #3." In December 2016, Peaches and Jane Doe #3 were positively identified as being the same person.2

    DNA analysis identified Peaches as the mother of "Baby Doe."3 Both were found wearing similar jewelry.4


November 19, 2000

    The torso of a woman was discovered by hikers in the Long Island Pine Barrens in Manorville. The torso was found wrapped in garbage bags and dumped in the woods near Halsey Manor Road. She was named the "Manorville Jane Doe."

    April 4, 2011, a skull, pair of hands, and right foot were found in a plastic bag near Ocean Parkway on Gilgo Beach. These remains would be designated as "Jane Doe #6" until being linked by DNA to the Manorville Jane Doe.1

    In May 2020 police announced they had positively identified the Manorville Jane Doe as Valerie Mack (24), born July 2, 1976.2, 3


November 23, 2000 (not officially linked)

    Hunters found the body of a white or Hispanic man in the woods off the eastbound side of the Long Island Expressway (LIE) near Exit 68 in North Shirley. The victim had black hair and was wearing blue-and-white striped GAP boxer shorts. His age was estimated to be between 30 and 45. He was 5'6" to 6 feet tall and weighed 130-150 pounds. A surgical staple was noted embedded in his chin. He had multiple traumatic injuries, including a crushed larynx, implying he was strangled.1

    Additional links:
  • NamUs page

July 26, 2003

    A naked and dismembered torso of a female, missing its head and hands, was discovered in Manorville, New York.1 A tattoo on her back had been mutilated. The victim was identified 7 months later as "Jessica Taylor" (20) after detectives released photos of the tattoo.2, 3

    On May 9, 2011, a skull, a pair of hands, and a forearm found on March 29 at Gilgo Beach were matched to Jessica Taylor.4


November 10, 2003 (not officially linked)

    A badly decomposed body was found in Manorville 400 yards south of the Long Island Expressway, near Toppings Path. A hunter discovered the body in a wooded area about three miles east of the woods where the bodies of Jessica Taylor and Valerie Mack had been dumped. Autopsy results were inconclusive. The victim was Caucasian, 35 to 50 years old, about 5'6" and had died up to four months earlier.1, 2

    The victim was identified in 2015, but the family asked authorities not to release his name. The case remains an active homicide investigation.3


March 3, 2007 (not officially linked)

    A suitcase containing the dismembered torso of an unidentified Hispanic or light-skinned African-American female washed up on a beach at Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck. A few weeks later her legs washed up in different areas of Long Island. A stab wound was noted on the torso. She had a tattoo of two cherries on her right breast. Never identified, she is referred to as "Cherries" by investigators.1


July 9, 2007

    Maureen Brainard-Barnes (25) was last seen in her room at the Super 8 Hotel in midtown Manhattan. She had left her home in Norwich, CT to meet a client she had booked through Craigslist. She was reported missing on July 14, 2007.1

    Maureen's body would be found December 13, 2010 beside Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach. She had been strangled.2, 3


June 23, 2008 (not officially linked)

    Tanya Rush (39) was last seen around 3 a.m. walking toward a subway station in Brooklyn. Her dismembered body was discovered on June 27, 2008 in Bellmore crammed inside a suitcase. Police stated “It was a particularly brutal murder […] There was a lot of rage in this."1, 2


July 12, 2009

    Melissa Barthelemy (24) was last seen outside her apartment on Underhill Avenue in the Bronx. She had arranged for a $1,000 date with a client the next night somewhere on Long Island. After her disappearance, her sister received several phone calls from a man using Melissa's cell phone and claiming to be her killer.1, 2, 3

    Melissa's body was discovered December 11, 2010 beside Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach. She had been strangled.4


May 1, 2010 (not officially linked)

    Shannan Gilbert (23) disappeared after leaving a client's house in Oak Beach. Shannan called 911 and claimed people were trying to kill her. She fled from the house and was last seen banging on doors of homes in the neighborhood while screaming for help.1

    After 19 months of searching, her body was discovered December 13, 2011 in an Oak Beach marsh, about a quarter mile from where she was last seen.2


May 3, 2010 (not officially linked)

    Dr. Peter Hackett, an Oak Beach resident, called Gilbert's mother and allegedly claimed that he "ran a home for wayward girls" and had treated Shannan on the morning of her disappearance. Hackett later denied making the calls, however phone records proved the calls took place. Mari Gilbert would later file a wrongful-death lawsuit against Dr. Hackett.1, 2


June 6, 2010

    Megan Waterman (22) was last seen in Hauppauge, NY walking toward a nearby convenience store. She had been staying in a Holiday Inn Express in Hauppauge and was captured by a security camera walking out of the hotel at around 1:30 a.m.1

    Megan's body was discovered on December 13, 2010, beside Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach. She had been strangled.2


September 2, 2010

    Amber Lynn Costello (27) was last seen by her roommate, leaving her home in North Babylon to meet a client. The client had called three or four times and offered Amber $1,500 for her services.1

    Police discovered Amber's body on December 13, 2010, beside Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach. She had been strangled.2


December 11, 2010

    A Suffolk County Police canine unit searching for Shannan Gilbert discovered human skeletal remains along Ocean Parkway at Gilgo Beach. The victim was later identified as Melissa Barthelemy.1


December 13, 2010

    Police discover three more sets of skeletal remains close to where Melissa Barthelemy was found. The bodies were found within about 500 feet of each other.1


December 15, 2010

    The FBI offers to assist in the investigation. Police seize a white SUV from the client's Oak Beach residence.1


December 16, 2010

    Suffolk County Medical Examiner's (ME) office reports the four sets of remains are all female victims and that Shannan Gilbert is not among them. The ME's office holds a press event to explain an investigative approach involving dental records, DNA comparisons, and/or facial reconstruction to help identify the victims.1


January 19, 2011

    Police identify one victim as Megan Waterman, who was reported missing in June 2010. The identities of the three remaining victims were still unknown at this time.1


January 24, 2011

    Police reveal the identities of three remaining victims: Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Melissa Barthelemy, and Amber Lynn Costello. Along with Megan Waterman, these four victims are referred to as the "Gilgo Beach Four."

    District Attorney Thomas Spota states that a serial killer is responsible. He also reveals that all four victims worked as escorts using Craigslist. Police Commissioner Richard Dormer states the search will resume once weather conditions improve.1, 2


March 29, 2011

    Suffolk County Police return to Gilgo Beach to continue the search for Shannan Gilbert. One mile East of the original site police discover a skull, forearm, and hands. These would later be identified as additional remains of Jessica Taylor, whose torso was found in Manorville in 2003.1, 2


March 31, 2011

    Police state that the fifth set of remains discovered are not those of Shannan Gilbert.1


April 4, 2011

    Police find three more sets of human remains along Ocean Parkway between Oak Beach and Gilgo Beach.

    • The body of an Asian male dressed in women’s clothing was discovered. The victim may have been transgender. The cause of death was determined to be blunt-force trauma to the head. A sketch was released in September 2011.1, 2

    • A skull, hands, and foot were found and referred to as "Jane Doe #6." These remains were later linked to the Manorville Jane Doe, whose torso was found in Manorville in 2000. Sketches were released in September 2011.3

    • An unidentified female toddler referred to as "Baby Doe." She was found wrapped in a blanket with no apparent signs of trauma.4, 5


    April 11, 2011

      Police discover two more sets of remains in separate locations along Ocean Parkway.1

      • A plastic bag containing upper and lower extremities was found near Jones Beach State Park. DNA testing later determined that this victim, referred to as "Jane Doe #3," was the mother of the child found the week prior.2

      • A skull was discovered along Ocean Parkway west of Tobay Beach. This victim was referred to as "Jane Doe #7" and was later linked to the "Fire Island Jane Doe" whose legs were found in 1996 on Fire Island.3

    May 9, 2011

      Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota states: "There is no evidence that all of these remains are the work of a single killer."1


    May 17, 2011

      Suffolk Police reveal they are reviewing other homicide cases for possible links to the bodies found along Ocean Parkway. The only case specifically mentioned is Tanya Rush, whose body was found on June 27, 2008 in Bellmore.1


    May 29, 2011 (not officially linked)

      In two letters to CBS News, Dr. Peter Hackett admits to having called Shannan Gilbert's mother in the days after her disappearance.1, 2


    November 29, 2011

      Police Commissioner Richard Dormer reveals that police now believe one serial killer is responsible and that Shannan Gilbert's case is not connected. Dormer states: "We believe that it's just a coincidence that she went missing in Oak Beach and the bodies were found on Gilgo Beach."1, 2


    December 6, 2011 (not officially linked)

      Shannan Gilbert's pocketbook, ID, cell phone, jeans, and shoes are found during a search of an Oak Beach marsh.1


    December 13, 2011 (not officially linked)

      Shannan Gilbert's body is discovered in the Oak Beach marsh a quarter mile from where her belongings were found. Homicide detectives spotted her remains at 9:14 a.m. Commissioner Dormer states: "This may be just a young lady [who] ran into the brush in hysterical state, fell down and expired for some reason."1


    December 15, 2011

      District Attorney Thomas Spota disagrees with Commissioner Dormer's theory that a single killer is responsible.1 Edward Webber is named interim commissioner, replacing Richard Dormer, and James Burke is announced as Suffolk County's police chief starting in 2012.2


    February 17, 2012 (not officially linked)

      Skeletal remains are discovered in a wooded area of Manorville, off North Street and west of Wading River Road. The body was wrapped in bed sheets, a plastic bag, and duct tape. Police determined the victim was a male and estimate the body had been there at least five years.1, 2

      Additional links:
    • NamUs page

    May 1, 2012 (not officially linked)

      Suffolk County shares Shannan Gilbert's autopsy results with her family. The cause of death is "inconclusive." Her family does not believe she drowned and that her death is connected to the other serial killer victims.1, 2



    January 23, 2013 (not officially linked)

      The skeletal remains of a woman were discovered in a garbage bag along the shore in Lattingtown, NY. The victim was wearing a 24-karat gold pig pendant, which may be a reference to "The Year of the Pig" in some Asian cultures.1, 2


    March 16, 2013 (not officially linked)

      Natasha Jugo was last seen leaving her home in Queens Village, NY. Her car was found along Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach the next day. Her wallet, ID, and some of her clothing were found in the sand. On June 24, 2013, Jugo's body washed up on Gilgo Beach about a mile from where her car was found in March.1, 2


    September 18, 2014 (not officially linked)

      Forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden agreed to conduct an independent autopsy of Shannan Gilbert's remains in hopes of determining a clear cause of death.1

      The results of the second autopsy were released in February 2016. Dr. Baden stated "There is insufficient information to determine a definite cause of death, but the autopsy findings are consistent with homicidal strangulation." Baden also noted that Shannan's body was found face-up, which is not common for drowning victims.2


    December 10, 2015

      Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini announced that the FBI had officially joined the investigation. A spokesperson for the FBI confirmed their official involvement. The FBI had previously assisted in the search for victims, but was never officially part of the investigation.1, 2


    July 23, 2016 (not officially linked)

      Shannan Gilbert’s mother, Mari Gilbert, was murdered in her home in Ellenville, New York. One of her daughters, Sarra Gilbert, was arrested and charged with the murder.1


    September 2017 (not officially linked)

      Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Robert Biancavilla stated that John Bittrolff, a carpenter from Manorville, was being investigated for possible connections to the remains found at Gilgo Beach. In July 2014 Bittrolff was charged with the murders of two women in 1993 and 1994. He is also a suspect in the murder of a third woman. In September 2017 he was found guilty and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences.1, 2

      John Bittrolff links:
    • Wikipedia page

    January 2019

      State Senator Phil Boyle introduced a bill in the State Senate encouraging the Commission on Forensic Science to use genetic genealogy to identify victims.1, 2


    November 15, 2019 (not officially linked)

      A 54-year-old Long Island man, Andrew Frey, was arrested for allegedly trying to kidnap two sex workers on separate occasions. He was charged with multiple counts of attempted sex trafficking and attempted kidnapping.

      In both cases, one in July 2019, the other in October 2018, the women escaped by jumping out of his moving vehicle. Handcuffs, knives, guns, rope, zip-ties and manuals on knot-tying were recovered in a search of his home and vehicle. He also has a history of violence against sex workers.1, 2, 3

      Federal investigators were examining whether Frey had any connection to the Gilgo Beach murders.


    January 16, 2020

      Suffolk County Police released images of a belt found at one of the Gilgo crime scenes. The letters "HM" or "WH" are embossed into the leather. Police believe the belt was handled by the killer and did not belong to any of the victims. Police Commissioner Hart stated that forensic genealogy was being used to help identify victims.

      A website was announced, GilgoNews.com, where police will share news and receive tips regarding the investigation.

      • Press conference: Suffolk County Gilgo Beach Murders Update (Jan 16, 2020) Youtube

      Attorney John Ray, who represents the family of Shannan Gilbert, also gave a press conference urging law enforcement to release her 911 call.

      • Press conference: Attorney Wants Police To Release Gilgo Beach Victim's 911 Calls (Jan 16, 2020) Youtube

    May 6, 2020 (not officially linked)

      A judge overturned the appeal of the Suffolk County Police Department and ordered them to release the long-sealed 911 recording of a call made by Shannan Gilbert the night she died.1

      Shannan Gilbert estate attorney John Ray says he has heard the 911 tapes and calls them "extremely valuable."2


    May 22, 2020

      The Suffolk County Police Department said in a statement they had positively identified the "Manorville Jane Doe" (also referred to as "Jane Doe #6"), whose remains were found in Manorville in 2000 and Gilgo Beach in 2011.1


    May 28, 2020

      Suffolk County released the identify of the "Manorville Jane Doe." Her name was Valerie Mack. She was last seen the Spring/Summer of 2000 in the area of Port Republic, New Jersey. Her last known address was in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area where she had been working as an escort.1

      • Press conference: Suffolk County PD announces the Manorville Jane Doe's identity (May 28, 2020) Youtube

    May 29, 2020 (not officially linked)

      Suffolk County Police updated the GilgoNews website with the case of Andre Jamal Isaac (25).

      Isaac, also known as "Sugar Bear," disappeared before Thanksgiving in 2002. His torso was found in December 2002 in Averne. His head, arms, and legs were discovered in two locations in Moriches in 2003 and 2004.1, 2


    September 22, 2020

      State regulators have approved the use of the forensic technique known as "familial searching." This technique can be used to find family members of unidentified victims through DNA databases.1


    December 7, 2020


    Other sources:
  • Kolker, R. (2013). Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery. New York: Harper Perennial.