Officially linked cases
10 victims have been officially linked to the LISK case.
Possibly connected cases
These victims may be connected to the LISK case.
Age: 25 (June 14, 1982 - July, 2007)
Maureen Brainard-Barnes was last seen on July 9, 2007, 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 robbed by someone outside of the hotel and decided to return home to Connecticut. Her last known phone call was to her sister, Missy, from Penn Station. She was reported missing on July 14, 2007.1
Shortly after her disappearance, a friend of Maureen's received a call from a man on an unfamiliar number. The man claimed that he had just seen Maureen and that she was staying at a "whorehouse in Queens." He refused to identify himself and could not tell her the location of the house. He said he would call back and give her the address, but he never called again. The caller had no discernible New York or Boston accent.2 Additionally, Maureen's cell phone pinged in the vicinity of Fire Island within weeks of her disapperance.
Maureen's body was found on December 13, 2010, beside Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach. She had been strangled. Maureen was found very close to three other victims: Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Lynn Costello. Collectively, these women are referred to as the "Gilgo Beach 4."3, 4
Age: 24 (April 14, 1985 - July, 2009)
Melissa Barthelemy, an aspiring hairstylist, was last seen on July 12, 2009, outside her apartment on Underhill Avenue in the Bronx. Sometime that day, a bank security camera recorded her by depositing $1,000. Her boyfriend/pimp, John "Blaze" Terry, said Melissa had arranged for another $1,000 date the next night somewhere on Long Island.1
Shortly after Melissa's disappearance, her sister received 6-8 phone calls from a man using Melissa's cell phone and claiming to be her killer. The first calls were on July 16, July 19, and July 23, and the final call was on August 26. The calls were placed from crowded locations in New York City, including Madison Square Garden and Times Square. Cell phone records also showed that Melissa's voicemail was accessed at some time on July 12 from Massapequa, NY.2, 3
Age: 22 (January 18, 1988 - June, 2010)
Megan Waterman was last seen on June 6, 2010, at 1:30 am walking toward a nearby convenience store in Hauppauge, NY. She had been staying in a Holiday Inn Express on Expressway Drive South. Waterman lived in Scarborough, Maine and while she was in New York she called several times a day to speak to her 4-year-old daughter. The last call was made on the night of June 5.1
On April 16, 2011, police seized the laptop of Waterman's boyfriend/pimp, Akeem Cruz, to search for records of clients that could lead them to the killer. In April 2012, Cruz pled guilty to federal charges of transporting women across state lines to meet clients for sex and was sentenced to three years in prison.3, 4
Age: 27 (February 10, 1983 - September, 2010)
Amber Lynn Costello was last seen by her roommate on September 2, 2010, 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. The final call took place at 10:30 pm with the client stating he was parked down the street. She left the house, without her phone, wearing a pink hoodie and jeans.1
Police discovered Amber's body on December 13, 2010, beside Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach. Like Maureen, Melissa, and Megan, she had been strangled.2
Originally from Wilmington, North Carolina, Amber had lived in Florida for a few years. She moved to New York after her second marriage ended in 2009. 3
Age: 20 (June 17, 1983 - July, 2003)
On July 26, 2003, a dismembered torso of a female was discovered in Manorville, New York. The victim was identified seven months later as "Jessica Taylor" (20). She had recently been in Washington, D.C., where she was reported missing. Jessica was reportedly last seen a few days later, on July 21, at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. Her torso was found on a pile of scrap wood at the end of a paved access road off of Halsey Manor Road, just north of the Long Island Expressway. Plastic sheeting was found underneath the torso.1, 2
A tattoo on her right hip had been mutilated with a sharp instrument. Detectives released photos of the tattoo in an attempt to identify her. A Washington D.C. detective noticed the tattoo and linked it to Jessica Taylor. The tattoo was a red heart with an angel wing that said "Remy's angel." Remy was determined to be Jessica's pimp. Suffolk County police located her family and obtained DNA samples to compare and a positive match was made.3
On May 9, 2011, a skull, pair of hands, and a forearm found on March 29 at Gilgo Beach were matched to Jessica Taylor.4
Age: 24 (July 2, 1976 - October / November, 2000)
Also known as Manorville Jane Doe / Jane Doe #6.
Valerie Mack was last seen by her family in the Spring/Summer of 2000 in the area of Port Republic, New Jersey. She was never listed as a missing person. Her last known address was in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area where she had been working as an escort. She used the name "Melissa Taylor." Valerie was a white female with brown hair and hazel eyes, 5 feet tall, weighing ~100 pounds.1
On November 19, 2000, the body of a woman was discovered by hikers in the Long Island Pine Barrens in Manorville near Halsey Manor Road. The body had been cut into pieces and placed in plastic bags. It was estimated that she had been dead for several weeks before being found. The victim was a white woman, possibly in her 30s, with brown hair. She was referred to as the "Manorville Jane Doe."
April 4, 2011, a skull, hands, and right foot were found in a plastic bag along Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach. These remains would be designated as "Jane Doe #6," until being linked by DNA to the Manorville Jane Doe.2
- Suffolk County PD announces the Manorville Jane Doe's identity (May 28, 2020) Youtube
Police are asking members of the public to provide whatever information they have about Valerie Mack and the circumstances leading to her death.Valerie Mack links:
Estimated age: 17-23
On April 4, 2011, the body of a young Asian person was discovered along Ocean Parkway at Gilgo Beach. The victim was estimated to be 17-23 years old, 5'6" in height, and missing four teeth. The victim was biologically male, but was wearing women's clothing at the time of their death. It is unclear if they were transgender. They may have had a musculoskeletal disorder that affected how they walked. The cause of death was determined to be blunt-force trauma to the head. Police estimate the remains had been there for at least five years. Police released a composite sketch of the victim in September 2011.1, 2Asian John Doe links:
Estimated age: 2 years
On April 4, 2011, an unidentified toddler was found along Ocean Parkway at Gilgo Beach. The sex of the child is undetermined but believed to be female. She is referred to as "Baby Doe" or the "Toddler." Police estimate her age to be approximately two years old. She was found wrapped in a blanket with no apparent signs of trauma.1, 2
DNA analysis identified the victim "Peaches," whose torso was found in 1997, as the mother of "Baby Doe."3 It is believed that they were both killed at the same time. Both were found wearing similar jewelry.4Baby Doe links:
Estimated age: 16-30
On June 28, 1997, the dismembered torso of an unidentified African-American female was found in Hempstead Lake State Park, New York. The victim was found in a green plastic container dumped next to a road. Both arms, head, and legs below the knee were severed and were not found at the scene. The victim had a tattoo of a heart-shaped peach with a bite out of it on her left breast. She was given the name "Peaches." Police estimate she had died less than three days before being discovered.1
On April 11, 2011, police in Nassau County discovered dismembered 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
A picture of the tattoo was featured in a national tattoo magazine. Connecticut tattoo artist Steven Cullen recognized it and claimed he gave the tattoo to a woman in 1996. Cullen described her as a young Black woman, about 18 or 19 years old, from either the Bronx or Long Island.5, 6
- Tattoo artist Steve Cullen discusses meeting "Peaches" (August 2015) Youtube
Estimated age: 18-50
- Right leg: lower leg has a 3 ½" scar on the lateral mid leg area, a 1" linear scar on the lateral mid to lower leg, and a ½" scar on the medial ankle.
- Left leg: 2" surgical scar with adjacent suture scars on the medial left ankle. The victim may have had surgery on her left ankle.
Age: 23 (October 24, 1986 - May 1, 2010)
Shannan Gilbert was a woman whose mysterious disappearance led to the discovery of ten other bodies alongside Ocean Parkway. It is unclear if her death is connected to the other cases.
On May 1, 2010, Shannan Gilbert and her driver, Michael Pak, left for a client's house in Oak Beach. At 4:51 in the morning 911 dispatchers received a panicked phone call from Shannan who claimed that 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. Neighbors Gus Coletti and Barbara Brennan were among the last to see her.1
Shannan's mother, Mari Gilbert, received a call from an Oak Beach resident named Dr. Peter Hackett. He allegedly claimed that he "ran a home for wayward girls" and had treated Shannan on the morning of her disappearance. Days later he called Shannan's sister. Investigators later confirmed through phone records that Hackett had placed the two phone calls following Shannan's disappearance. He also admitted to making the calls in two letters to CBS in 2011. He was later ruled out as a suspect. Shannan Gilbert's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Hackett in 2012. 2, 3, 4
On December 13, 2011, Shannan's remains were found in an Oak Beach marsh, about a quarter-mile from where she was last seen. A week earlier, her pocketbook, ID, cell phone, jeans, and shoes were found in the marsh close to where she was last seen on Anchor Way. Suffolk County police believe that she accidentally drowned after entering the marsh in a drug-induced panic. Toxicology screening was negative for drugs. In May 2012, Suffolk County medical examiners classified her official cause of death as "inconclusive."5, 6
An independent autopsy conducted by forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden in 2014 found damage to her hyoid bone. Dr. Baden stated, "There is insufficient information to determine a definite cause of death, but the autopsy findings are consistent with homicidal strangulation." Dr. Baden also noted that her body was found face-up, which is uncommon for drowning victims.7, 8
Shannan's 911 call had been transferred to the New York State Police, who turned the recordings over to the Suffolk County Police Department during their investigation of her death. Mari Gilbert filed a lawsuit against the Suffolk County Police Department seeking the release of the recordings and transcripts. Suffolk Police claimed releasing it would jeopardize an ongoing investigation. After a nearly decade long court battle, in May 2020 a judge ordered Suffolk County to release the recordings, which were turned over to the family's attorney, John Ray. Ray described the tapes as "extremely valuable" and stated the audio conflicts with official statements from police. The recordings cannot be publicly released without another court order.9 , 10
On July 23, 2016, Mari Gilbert was murdered in her home in Ellenville, New York. One of her daughters, Sarra Elizabeth Gilbert, was arrested and charged with the murder.11
Age: 25 (November 1976 - 2002)
Andre Isaac, also known as "Sugar Bear," was a professional drag queen who disappeared from East New York in 2002. According to a friend, Isaac was last seen shortly before Thanksgiving, getting into a car with a "secret friend." The vehicle was described as a red BMW-type coupe driven by a Hispanic man.
On December 17, 2002, a plastic bag containing a partial human torso was found in Averne, New York. The bag contained a skirt, a black bodysuit, and a tank top. The bag was reportedly found on Beach 63 Street between Larkin Street and the boardwalk; however, this location may be slightly inaccurate, as Beach 63 does not connect with Larkin or the boardwalk.
A severed head was discovered on a frozen pond in Moriches on January 25, 2003. Ice skaters found it on the shoreline of a pond at the corner of Montauk Highway and Barnes Road. Medical examiners noted a single bullet wound to the head. On April 10, 2004, a landscaper found a plastic bag containing arms and legs in a wooded area near a newly constructed home in Moriches. The bag was located about 3/4 of a mile from the Forge River. These three sets of remains were linked by DNA analysis.1, 2
Isaac's mother stated, "he was a talented female impersonator and dancer who would enter contests all over the east coast. […] He was a big bear. No matter what his lifestyle, he was still a human being." Isaac's case was added to Suffolk County's GilgoNews website on May 29, 2020.
- Murder victim's mom speaks on Giglo investigation - PIX11 News (July, 2020) Youtube
Estimated age: 35-45
On March 3, 2007, 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, NY. A stab wound was noted to the torso. One of her dismembered legs washed up at Cold Spring Harbor on March 21, 2007, and her other leg washed up at Oyster Bay in the village of Cove Neck the following day.1
The victim had a tattoo of two cherries on her right breast. Never identified, she is referred to as "Cherries" by investigators. She was esitmated to be 5'7" to 6'1" and 180-200 pounds.Cherries links:
Age: 39 (February 10, 1969 - June, 2008)
Tanya Rush was last seen around 3 a.m. on June 23, 2008, by surveillance cameras which showed her leaving her building at Van Dyke Houses in Brooklyn. She was on Livonia Avenue, walking toward the subway station. According to Police, Rush was a sex worker.1
Her dismembered body was discovered on June 27, 2008, in Bellmore inside a black canvas suitcase. The suitcase was found by a state road-cleaning crew next to the Southern State Parkway on the westbound side near the Newbridge Road ramp. Police stated, "It was a particularly brutal murder […] There was a lot of rage in this."2
Her daughter tried to file a missing-person report, but police did not take her seriously until Rush's remains were found. Her daughter said Rush was the "life of the party" and volunteered at the Salvation Army.Tanya Rush links:
Estimated age: 20-50 Years
On January 21, 2013, the skeletal remains of a woman were discovered in a garbage bag near Oyster Bay. The bag was buried in a small piece of brush in a sandy area along the shore at the end of Sheep Lane in Lattingtown. The woman was estimated to be 20 to 50 years old and possibly Asian. Obvious signs of trauma were noted on the bones.1
The woman was wearing a 24-karat gold pig pendant, which may be a reference to "The Year of the Pig" in some Asian cultures. Recent years of the Pig include 1971, 1983, 1995, and 2007. The bag also contained a bra, dark-colored jeans, and socks.2Asian Jane Doe links:
Age: 19 (November 12, 1962 - February 1, 1982)
Tina Foglia was last seen after midnight on February 1, 1982, at the Hammerheads music venue in West Islip, New York. Department of Transportation workers discovered her body on February 3 along the shoulder of the Southern State Parkway a few miles north of the Robert Moses Causeway. Her remains were dismembered and placed in three separate plastic garbage bags. A diamond ring that Tina was known to wear was missing.1
Tina lived in Brentwood, NY, and worked as a home health aide. According to her sister, Tina had recently started dating a doctor. However, she never revealed his name.2
The DNA of an unknown male was found on the garbage bags. In 2017 police announced familial DNA testing would be performed.3Tina Foglia links:
- Kolker, R. (2013). Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery. New York: Harper Perennial.