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Long Island Serial Killer May Have Targeted Victims For Specific Physical Characteristics, Expert Says

Former Suffolk County Chief of Detectives Dominick Varrone theorizes that the killer was very selective about the women he preyed upon.

By Gina Tron
The Long Island Serial Killer Case, Explained

The elusive Long Island Serial Killer, whose first victim was discovered near a beach a decade ago, may have intentionally picked out look-alike women online to target, a former New York detective theorizes. 

Former Suffolk County Chief of Detectives Dominick Varrone tells CBS News' 48 Hours in an upcoming episode that he believes the still-unidentified killer took to the internet to shop for a certain look as he picked his victims.

The initial four victims from the investigation, who became known as the “Gilgo Four,” were found dead in December 2010. Soon after their discovery, authorities found more bodies in the area. The elusive murderer, or murderers, known as the "Long Island Serial Killer," the "Gilgo Beach Killer," and the "Craigslist Ripper" has been officially tied to the slayings of 10 people found in the area at the time. An additional six bodies found around Long Island beaches have not been officially linked to the serial killings but theories have been put forth that their deaths could also be connected. Several of the victims were escorts who advertised on Craigslist before the site took down its adult section.

Varrone thinks the killer mined Craigslist for women with specific looks.

Lisk Victims 3

"If he desires a particular height and weight and eye color, he can do that,” he explained. "And I think if you look at the Gilgo Four ... they're very, very close with unique characteristics — very petite, five foot or under, 100 pounds, hazel green eyes." 

The interview is part of a "48 Hours" special called "The Hunt for the Long Island Serial Killer" which will air on Saturday 10/9c. Friday marks the 10-year anniversary of the first victim being found.

Varrone theorized that the serial killer may have picked out petite victims because they can be easier to overpower. He also thinks the killer may have posed as a private trash hauler in order to have a cover story if approached while out dumping bodies by Ocean Parkway. 

Two new images of a belt believed to have been handled by the suspect were released earlier this week. They were published Monday onto GilgoNews.com, a website created by the Suffolk County Police Department devoted to sharing information on the case. The photos show the initials "HM" or "WH" embossed on the tip of a dark and worn leather belt. They appear to be photos taken from a different angle of the same belt released by police back in January. A public information officer for the Suffolk Police Department told Oxygen.com on Tuesday that no further information about the new photos is available at this time. They were unable to answer why the photos are being released now. Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart announced at a January press conference that genealogy websites would be mined for possible matches in their ongoing efforts to identity the killer, or killers.