Suffolk County Police launched three 911 calls Friday from the moments main up to the mysterious 2010 loss of life of Shannon Gilbert — a Craigslist escort whose physique was discovered on Oak Beach.
Her disappearance greater than a decade in the past touched off an area-wide manhunt that finally led to an surprising and grisly discovery: human stays of one other ten individuals unfold out throughout a swath of reedy shoreline — the seemingly dumping floor for a what police consider is a serial killer who has evaded authorities for many years.
At a press convention Friday afternoon, police officers stated they don’t consider Gilbert herself was murdered, regardless of some similarities with different victims, an post-mortem report that indicated she could have been strangled, and disturbing audio within the newly-released 911 name.
They counsel as a substitute she ran off into the marshy wetlands close to Oak Beach, the place she’d been visiting a consumer, bought misplaced and by no means made it out alive — a place disputed by legal professionals for Gilbert’s household.
“Shannon Gilbert’s death is not consistent with Shannon being the victim of violence or a violence offender,” stated Lieutenant Detective Kevin Beyrer, in a pre-recorded message additionally launched Friday explaining the 911 calls. “The prevailing opinion is that Shannon’s death, while tragic, was not a murder and is most likely an accident.”
However the newly-released 22-minute-long telephone name Gilbert herself made to a 911 operator on the evening of her disappearance provides chilling particulars of the final minutes the younger lady was seen or heard from alive.
“They’re going to kill me,” Gilbert says 14 minutes into the recording, the place the operator was repeatedly making an attempt to get extra data on the 23-year-old’s whereabouts. At occasions Gilbert’s voice is evident and shut to the microphone, however at others her voice is muffled, or disappears fully, overtaken by rustling wind. One other time she lets out a piercing scream.
“Somebody’s after me,” she says. “Why are you guys doing this to me … Mike stop, stop.”
Investigators decided that on Might 1, 2010, Gilbert, a Jersey Metropolis intercourse employee, was pushed by Michael Pak from Manhattan to meet a consumer, Joseph Brewer, at his dwelling on the Oak Beach Affiliation on the Lengthy Island Coast. Officers stated Gilbert began appearing “irrational” and Brewer known as Pak to come choose her up, however she quickly fled the house on foot.
Two different Oak Beach residents known as the police within the moments that adopted, describing the frantic younger lady and asking for police to come assist, in accordance to audio recordings additionally launched Friday. Caller Gus Coletti who lived 5 homes away from Brewer, reported a “young girl running around screaming and there’s some guy trying to follow her.”
Quickly after, Barbara Brennan, whose dwelling was across the bend a number of homes away, known as 911 to say Gilbert was at her door.
“Some woman is knocking at my door,” she stated. “She says she’s in danger. I’m not letting her in.”
Officers stated Gilbert disappeared quickly after that. Each Pak and Brewer cooperated with investigators and have been decided not to have been concerned in Gilbert’s loss of life, officers stated. Her stays have been discovered within the marshy discipline adjoining to Brennan’s dwelling in 2011 — a yr and a half after she disappeared.
John Ray, an lawyer for Gilbert’s household, sued the Suffolk county police to release the 911 calls and a decide ordered they be turned over to her household in 2020. Earlier this yr, Suffolk County Police Chief Rodney Harrison, who stepped down from the NYPD final yr, had stated he was contemplating releasing the calls to the general public at giant.
Ray and Gilbert’s household preserve Gilbert was murdered and level to a 2016 post-mortem report the household commissioned, amongst different proof.
“The press conference was an attempt by police to spin the same false story as to Shannon’s death,” Ray instructed Gothamist. “This is a prostitute who shouts several times that she’s about to be murdered, ends up in two struggles and screams blood-curdling screams and then ends up dead in a marsh. You might say that perhaps the police have the wrong story.”
Whereas Gilbert’s whereabouts remained unknown for months, investigators turned their focus to Gilgo Beach simply west of Oak Beach. In December of 2010, a canine unit discovered the stays of 24-year-old Melissa Barthelemy and inside days they’d discovered the our bodies of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, Amber Lynn Costello, 27, and Megan Waterman, 22. All 4 girls, like Gilbert, had labored as escorts and listed their providers on Craigslist, officers stated.
The search of the world continued for months, main investigators to six further victims. They discovered partial stays of 4 different girls whose dismembered our bodies had initially been found in different elements of Lengthy Island, in addition to two new victims who’ve but to be recognized, together with an Asian man and a toddler. Authorities estimate their deaths spanned from 1996 to 2010.
The Gilgo case remained inactive for years, however former Police Chief Geraldine Hart, who took over in 2020, after which Harrison who adopted her, put a brand new emphasis on the killings, beginning up a web site to release new proof within the case and solicit suggestions.
Suffolk County is providing promising rewards of between $25,000 to $50,000 for data on the killings. You may name in suggestions at 1-800-220-TIPS or report them on-line.