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'This Case Is Solvable': New Task Force Aims To Solve Long Island Serial Killer Case
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison announced the creation of the task force, calling the Long Island Serial Killer case a "top priority."
A new task force has been created in a renewed attempt by officials to solve the Long Island Serial Killer case.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison announced the creation of the special joint task force on Tuesday, stating “I believe this case is solvable and identifying the person or people responsible for these murders is a top priority,” WABC in New York reports.
The task force will not only include investigators from the Suffolk County Police Department Homicide Squad but also officials from Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Suffolk County Sheriff's Office, FBI and the New York State Police.
Former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke, who previously led the investigation on the case, had cut ties with the federal investigators during the serial killer probe. Burke, who has been accused of mishandling the case, later served a 46-month federal prison sentence after pleading guilty to beating up a handcuffed suspect who had stolen a gym bag from his SUV in a separate case.
"The Suffolk County Sheriff's Office has a dedicated Human Trafficking Unit, which has been operating inside the jail for the last three and a half years," Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon, Jr., stated on Tuesday. "This unit has obtained valuable information and leads that we hope to share with our partner agencies to help solve this case and bring justice to these victims."
Harrison, who was just confirmed as the new police commissioner for Suffolk County in December, announced on New Year’s Eve that the department is in “a great place to solve” the case, citing new leads. He stated at a press conference that he is “making a commitment to the residents of Suffolk County as well as the family members.”
For more than a decade now, the identity of the elusive murderer alternately dubbed the "Long Island Serial Killer," the "Gilgo Beach Killer," and the "Craigslist Ripper" has remained a mystery. Even the true scope of the killings isn't fully clear. While police have officially linked 10 victims, whose remains were found primarily near beaches along Long Island's south shore in 2010 and 2011, to the investigation, an additional six bodies were found in the same area at around the same time. Although those other victims haven't been officially declared part of the case, theories about how those additional killings could be connected have circulated for years. Many of the victims were sex workers who advertised their services on Craigslist, hence the "Craigslist Ripper" moniker.
"The families of the victims discovered in areas around Gilgo Beach deserve answers and to see their loved ones' killer, or killers, face justice," Michael Driscoll, assistant director-in-charge of the FBI New York, said on Tuesday, according to WABC. "We will support this task force with the tools it needs to hopefully bring the investigation of these murders to a successful conclusion."