Long Island can be very beautiful. With the beaches, picturesque towns, and let’s not forget that the Hamptons are at the very end of the island and are a mecca for those who want to vacation (or live) in a prominent area. However one person (or several persons) have made this ideal vacation location a veritable nightmare.
It’s assumed that the LISK (Long Island Serial Killer) has between 10 to 16 victims, it’s possible there are more. But since the bodies are found in well traveled area it’s possible that some of the victims were murdered and/or left by others. Some are definitively connected to each other and therefore have been believed to be committed by the LISK.
The first body was found in 1982, Tina Foglia, her body was found in three garbage bags, and the DNA of an unknown man was also found in the bags. She is not fully attributed to the LISK, but she could possibly be linked if the killer is discovered.
April of 1996, two female legs were found wrapped in a plastic bag, her skull was found 15 years later in a separate location, DNA would later link the two together. She remains known as “Fire Island Jane Doe.”
In 1997, another woman was found, she had a heart shaped peach tattoo on her left breast. She was given the name of “Peaches.” In 2016, the remains of another woman were linked to Peaches by DNA. The body of a toddler girl were found next to these remains and it was also determined that the child was the daughter of Peaches.
In 2000, the torso of a woman was wrapped in garbage bags. In April 2011, hands and one foot were found that were linked by DNA to the torso. These remains were later identified as Valerie Mack, aged 24.
July of 2003, another dismembered torso of a female, also missing her hands and head was discovered. She was identified seven months later as Jessica Taylor, aged 20. She was identified by the tattoo on her back. In May of 2011, a skull, hands and a forearm were discovered, these were later linked to Jessica Taylor.
March of 2007, the torso of a woman was washed up on the shore, in a suitcase. A few weeks later her legs washed up in different areas. There was a stab wound on the torso, but this one is not officially linked to the case, again, it’s suspected, but not official. She has a tattoo of two cherries, and is now named “Cherries” by investigators.
July in 2007, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, age 25, was last seen on the 9th in her hotel room in Manhattan. Her body would be found, three years later. She had died from strangulation.
Another case that is not officially linked is the case of Tanya Rush, aged 39. She was last seen in Brooklyn, but was found 4 days later crammed into a suitcase. The police described the scene as “A particularly brutal murder, there was a lot of rage in this.”
In July 2009, Melissa Barthelemy, age 24, was last seen in Bronx, NY. She had arranged a date with a client for the next night on Long Island. After she had disappeared, Melissa’s sister had received phone calls from Melissa’s cell phone from a man who claimed to be her killer. He was never located. Melissa’s body was located in December of 2010, she had been strangled.
May of 2010, Shannan Gilbert, aged 23 disappeared. She too had been meeting a client and had called 911 stating people were trying to kill her. It was reported that she had been knocking on doors to get help. Her body wouldn’t be found until December 2011. This case is not officially linked to LISK at this time.
June, 2010, Megan Waterman aged 22, was last seen near her hotel in Hauppague, NY. Her body was found six months later, she had also been strangled.
September of 2010, another girl went to meet a client on Long Island. Amber Lynn Costello, aged 27, left her home in North Babylon, NY, and was never seen again. Her body would be discovered in December of 2010. She, too, was strangled.
There were other bodies found, but those were not officially linked to the LISK. Focusing on the victims listed above, one man was a person of interest, Andrew Frey, 54. He was arrested for allegedly trying to kidnap and traffic two sex workers, in 2019. They had both escaped but as he had many other instances of violence to sex workers, he is being investigated.
Another suspect that has been linked to the case in 2017 is John Bittrolff. He had been a suspect for at least one of victims. He also has been convicted of murdering other sex workers. He has been sentenced for 25 years. However, he wasn’t in jail at the time of the murders.
The Long Island Serial Killer is still out there. Nobody has been convicted or even arrested in the case. If you know anything please reach out to authorities to help close the case.
Take care of others, make good choices, be safe