NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Authorities on Long Island once again entered the gated beach association where a missing Jersey City prostitute was last seen alive.
The Suffolk County Marine Unit once again had divers using metal detectors and clam rakes search for any evidence of Shannan Gilbert, who disappeared after running from a Craigslist client’s home last May.
The ongoing search has many local residents unnerved.
Police said they reacted immediately in the hunt for Gilbert, but some escorts claimed valuable time was lost getting investigators to start looking because prostitutes were involved.
“This is exactly why predators target us and try to abuse us because they know that we can’t trust the police for help,” sex worker and activist Stacey Swimme told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
But others credit police for an all-encompassing search that led to the discovery of ten sets of human remains along Ocean Parkway.
“The FBI came on T.V. and said, you know, it could be your neighbor, and that’s what we’re thinking. You look at a stranger and say ‘could he be it?’ We’re worried,” Barbara Gallo, of Bay Shore, said.
Long Island author Tom Philbin writes about serial killers and said people feel the need to know what’s going on.
“It’s an obsession really. There’s a 100 books out on serial killers, and no sign of it abating,” he said.
The public is obsessed because the case is both horrifying and not personally threatening, according to forensic psychologist Paul Meller, of Hofstra.
“It gives us a a very safe way of looking at a very, very dark side of humanity,” Meller said.
Experts say the serial killer is the personification of evil and the public won’t let up until the killer gets caught and justice is served.
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