New York police to release 911 calls in cold case Long Island serial killer investigation

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New York police say they will release three previously confidential 911 calls Friday in connection with one of the victims discovered in Long Island’s Gilgo Beach serial killer case, which remains unsolved more than a decade after police learned of the first victims.

Shannan Gilbert was a 24-year-old escort advertising her services on Craigslist when she visited a client at an oceanfront home in Oak Beach on May 1, 2010, according to the Suffolk County Police Department. She was last seen alive distressed and leaving on foot, even though she had a driver waiting nearby.

One of the calls, which is said to be 23 minutes long, was reportedly made by Gilbert herself.

Shannan Gilbert’s disappearance prompted a search of the area that uncovered a string of victims.
(Courtesy of Shannan Gilbert’s family/Suffolk County Police Department)


On the night Gilbert went missing, her driver waited in the area until he got a call from the client, who claimed she’d begun acting irrationally and wanted her to leave. 

“After refusing to leave the location at the request of her client, Gilbert eventually fled on foot into the Oak Beach community,” according to police. “She knocked on several doors before disappearing.”

Her case prompted a search along Ocean Parkway, east of New York City, which eventually uncovered numerous bodies stashed in the brush along the highway. The first belonged to Melissa Barthelemy, on Dec. 11, 2010. Gilbert’s wasn’t recovered until Dec. 13, 2011, two days after investigators found her purse and cellphone a quarter-mile away.

Police found more than 10 bodies in the area after beginning their search for Shannan Gilbert in 2010.

Police found more than 10 bodies in the area after beginning their search for Shannan Gilbert in 2010.
(Suffolk County Police Department)

John Ray, the local attorney representing Gilbert’s estate, did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment. The Associated Press has reported that he had already listened to the recordings in 2020 but was not allowed to release them to the public.

Since Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison took the job on New Year’s Eve, he has refocused the cold case investigation, forming a multi-agency task force. Last month, the department released surveillance videos showing another victim, Megan Waterman, in a hotel lobby in 2010, hoping to churn up more tips.

“As the Homicide Squad continues its tireless work on this investigation, we believe now is the right time to disseminate this previously unreleased information in hopes of eliciting tips from the public and providing greater transparency about the victims,” he said last week. “Through our recent partnership with Crime Stoppers increasing the reward in this case to $50,000, our hope is that the public will review this information and come forward with any additional tips about the victims or a potential suspect or suspects.”


This is a developing story. Stick with Fox News Digital for updates.

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