Recently we wrote an article on serial killers that could have outsmarted Einstein. While doing research it became apparent that these are a very small part of the pie that is serial murders — big thanks to
Georgia Mrkvicka Westphal for mentioning it as well in the comments — . In fact, there are a lot of serial killers roaming the streets whose intelligence is likely as high if not higher than those listed in that article. After all, no one can deny the intelligence of a serial killer that remains uncaught. It seemed obvious to mention killers like that The Zodiac Killer or Jack the Ripper; however, we wanted to focus on murderers whose crimes were committed in the last 20 years. This article takes a look at the top 3 serial killers that remain loose and could be closer than you think.
The Smiley Face Killings
Although this entry is not necessarily about one particular serial killer, it does potentially refer to a gang of them. The Smiley Face Murders or Smiley Face Killings were so-named for placing graffiti markings on bridges and other structures near where the remains of young men were pulled from rivers.
The theory was started by retired Boston detective Kevin Gannon, former NYPD detective Anthony Duarte, and professor of criminal justice Lee Gilbertson. Mr. Gannon was even quoted saying in an interview with A&E True Crime that he’s “confident” that more than 100 murders across “at least 30 states” have been committed by there organized killers from the late 1990s to the late 2010s.
We feel there is nothing more eerie than a group of individuals that seem to move from state to state committing murders. Moreover, it is quite logical to assume that if you are living in the United States, there is a pretty good chance one of these gang members could be mowing the lawn right next door.
The Long Island Serial Killer
Long Island, New York is renown for its gorgeous shorelines with sandy beaches. That all changed on May 1, 2010, with a panicked 911. Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old sex worker was visiting a client on Jones Beach. Her last words to the operator; “They’re trying to kill me.”…
Seven months passed and what had started as a missing person’s report led detectives to the bodies of four other missing women along a quarter-mile stretch of Gilgo-Oak Beach. The victims were Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Lynn Costello.
All 4 victims were women, around the same age as Shannon and advertised through Craigslist their escort services.
Weirdly, all victims had received calls to their phones on the night or the following days after their disappearance from the same unidentified man. The suspect had no discernible New York or Boston accent and refused to identify himself. The calls were often poking fun of the victims or tormenting family members.
During the period of December 2010 to December 2011 six more bodies were found along the same stretch of shoreline; five of those still remain unidentified to this day. Finally in 2011 Shannon’s body was found.
Criminal profiler John Kelly has been quoted saying that the way this killer operates points to a highly organized, potentially in law enforcement, methodical individual.
We think that although there has been no new murders attributed to the case in years, this killer is so analytical that there is no certainty he will never strike again. To those once again in the USA and more specifically New York, keep in eye out for those you invite to your neighborhood barbecues.
Sleepy Hollow Killer
We felt it was unfair to continue testing the nerves of our American readers. This case happened in South Africa, between the 1990s and early 2000s. Unlike the movie you may be associating with the name, this killer did not go around killing his victims on a horse headless. The perpetrator sexually assaulted women and then strangled them with their own panties. The bodies were found near N3 Highway.
In 2001, authorities exhumed the bodies of the seven murdered women in the hope that facial reconstruction would identify them. However, the investigation led nowhere, and authorities had no choice but to close the case in the following year.
In 2007, the bodies of three more women were found near the N3 Highway’s vicinity. All three victims had been sexually assaulted and strangled in the same fashion as the initial seven. The only difference, the killer had decided to severely burn their bodies post-mortem.
Back then it was rumored that a lack of support and resources such as transport were some of the reasons why investigators could not dedicate as much efforts as originally expected. Allegedly, officers were not allowed to focus their efforts on the serial killer, they were expected to carry on with their normal duties while the investigation took place.
The question hanging over police management is whether the fate of these women was not regarded as sufficiently important to warrant an ongoing inquiry, and if other lives could have been saved had the investigation not been stopped seven years prior.
We hope this article shed some light onto some of the most intriguing and highly allusive serial killers still out there. From potential serial killer groups to killers that seemed to evolve as investigators closed in. Although, it is important to note that things like IQ don’t necessarily determine someone’s field of expertise. It is nearly impossible not to admit that these three killers were experts in the arts of committing crimes and vanishing into thin air.