FIRE ISLAND -- When PIX11 News visited Fire Island this week, we took a ferry three and a half miles over the Great South Bay to Davis Park, a quiet hamlet on the eastern end of the barrier island.
Crime buffs who have followed the Long Island Serial Killer case (LISK) for more than five years may know that a pair of female legs discovered in Davis Park in 1996 — 20 years ago — were an early indicator that something sinister was going on near beach towns on the south shore of Suffolk County.
The still-unknown Long Island serial killer didn’t spring into the public’s consciousness until December 2010, when the bodies of four Craigslist escorts were discovered, wrapped in burlap, off Ocean Parkway in Gilgo Beach.
Wayne Lunati—who runs the Davis Park Marina—didn’t know about the connection between the 1996 legs—and a female skull that was found in 2011 nearly 23 miles away—until we told him.
“That’s eerie, very eerie,” Lunati said, even as he said he doesn’t believe the legs, wrapped in plastic, were deposited in Davis Park by the elusive killer.
Lunati thinks they drifted here.
“I don’t think they were dumped here at all,” Lunati remarked. “It’s too far out of the way.”
When PIX11 spent a couple of hours in Davis Park, we met the Suffolk County Police Officer who said he found the legs 20 years ago.
He didn’t want to be identified but told us, “The nail polish from the pedicure was still fresh when I found them.”
PIX11 decided to visit a new location connected to the serial killer investigation, after so much of the media coverage was focused on Gilgo and Oak Beaches.
When a female skull was found in Tobay Beach in April 2011, during the height of the search for new, serial killer victims, the police officer who remembered finding the female legs 15 years before in Davis Park suggested doing DNA testing on the body parts.
There was a forensic match.
To this day, though, detectives don’t know who the female victim was who was horrifically dismembered.
The FBI remains involved with the case now, even though a source told PIX11 the newly-revamped Suffolk County Police Department remains “in the lead” on the investigation.
Many ‘persons of interest’ have been written about, but the suspected killer has never been publicly identified by law enforcement.
Some who have listened closely to a panicked 911 call from Craigslist escort Shannan Gilbert—made in the early hours of May 1, 2010—think there’s more than one killer involved.
But that call has never been made public, either.