Psychological Markers

Discussion in 'Long Island Serial Killer' started by shadowraiths, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. shadowraiths

    shadowraiths LISK Liaison, Verified Forensic Psychology Special Staff Member Moderator

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    This is an opinion thread with regard to psychological markers. What does victimology tell us? What about the events leading up to the victims' disappearance? The body dispositions?
     
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  3. Sonya610

    Sonya610 Former Member

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    Sorry if this is an ignorant question but please illucidate.

    Is this about the markers that make for an appealing victim?
     
  4. shadowraiths

    shadowraiths LISK Liaison, Verified Forensic Psychology Special Staff Member Moderator

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    To save time (and be lazy), here is an overview I posted a bit back:
    I'll write more in context of this case in a follow-up post.
     
  5. Just K

    Just K New Member

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    Just K
    Registered User

    I have been reading here since the "2nd" set of bodies were discovered dumped by the side of the OP. I have a few theories about this case as it relates to other cities (Wilmington, NC, AC NJ, Daytona Beach, Florida and possibly in the Maine/NH border) and the killing and dumping of prostitutes.

    One theory is there is a Serial Killer who has reason to be in different resort areas at certain times of the year and whose presence and type of vehicle, along the side of a highway, does not draw attention.

    The other theory entails organized groups of people who may initially work together as independents in the sex trade industry. At some point, someone, say a guy who owns lots of rental properties, hooks up with the independant girls and their drivers/pimps/drug dealers. Then lets say the property owner suggests that the women can use his properties when they aren't booked by actual vacationers (ie: typically in between guests just after the big holiday weekends - Mon, Tues, & Weds evenings.) At some point, let's say, the property owner or even his business "associates" try to recruit the call girls but for some reason they find the women to be a risk to the business and reputation of the other players and if they won't play along with, a few robbery scams, etc. or if they just want out and say "if I can't leave I will bust this thing wide open." Once this or a similar scenario occurs, then they are killed.

    Another theory is that another group is trying to eliminate the independent competition. When they can't recruit them they spread rumors of scams and STDs, etc and when that doesn't work the competition sets the women up and they walk right into the ugly trap which is meant to send a message to other independent call girls.

    These last two scenarios don't really fit the SK profile and are related to a national or area-wide sex trade industry. If either of these theories turns out to be the case then it may be that whoever is in charge just wants this to look like a serial killer.
    Last edited by Just K; 04-24-2011 at 04:50 PM. Reason: typos, of course
     
  6. shadowraiths

    shadowraiths LISK Liaison, Verified Forensic Psychology Special Staff Member Moderator

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    Before I delve into the profile, here is some info (between and below) wrt aforementioned "Defining Characteristics" of the first four victims. Please feel free to augment/correct.


    Victimology: This is a key component when profiling a crime. For example, did the victims live high-risk lifestyles? Did they have an internet presence (i.e., myspace, facebook, xanga, usenet, online classifieds)? Do they share physical appearance? Are they related or known to each other? Knowing the answers to these type of questions can help to narrow down the suspect typology.

    While the Oak Beach victims used various online ad services, all 4 used Craigslist ( link ), 3 were small in stature (4'11"-5'0", 95-105lbs) ( link,link,link ), 3 were early to mid 20s ( link ), 3 men linked to victims ( link )​

    Number of Crimes Scenes: This number can be as few as one. Multiple crime scenes might include where the victim met the unsub, where they were held/tortured/assaulted, where they were murdered, where their body was dumped.

    At least 3, possibly 4: 1) the online classified to include electronic communication; both internet & phone, 2) F2F location 3) murder site (could be same as F2F, though unlikely) 4) dump site​

    Environment/Place/Times of Crimes: This area addresses when and where each part of the crime occurred. For example, was the victim assaulted at home, in the middle of the night? Were they abducted in the middle of a busy intersection in broad daylight? Do the body dumps indicate any sort of pattern? For example, are the crimes clustered close together or far apart? The goal of this section is to determine the unsub's degree of risk taking, as well as determine the unsub's comfort zone.

    2 of the 4 victims reportedly left with someone ( link, link ), though cell phone records of the latter indicate pings near Massapequa Best Western & Budget Inn ( link ). One victim reportedly disappeared from the Hauppauge Holiday Inn ( link ) and the other from the NY Port Authority Bus Terminal ( link ) though, an alleged family member of the latter claims LE told them their sister's phone pinged near a "water town on LI" ( link ). All four were found in the brush, spaced at approximately 500ft, on the north side of Ocean Beach parkway between Gilgo Beach Park and Cedar Beach Park.​

    Number of Offenders: Was the crime committed by one, two, or more individuals working together?

    Unknown​

    Organized or Disorganized: Does the crime scene indicate the unsub is organized or disorganized? Was the unsub very methodical, leaving little to no trace evidence... Or did they seem disorganized, leaving the crime scene in disarray, such as a blitz attack, with no attention paid to leaving trace evidence. Most crime scenes are a mix, btw. So the key here is to identify anything that notably deviates.

    Meeting arrangement and body disposition, indicates offender(s) is organized.​

    Physical (trace) Evidence: Were fingerprints, blood, or items left at the crime scene that could help to identify the unsub?

    Unknown​

    Weapons Used: What type of weapons were used? Were the weapons brought with, or did the unsub use whatever weapons were available? For example, did s/he bring a .45 calibur firearm as opposed to killing the victim with a knife that was in the victim's kitchen? Disorganized unsubs are more likely to use a weapon found at the scene. Also, knives are more up close and personal than firearms.

    Hands, possibly garrotte​

    Body Disposition: How and where was the body disposed? For example, was the body weighted and dumped in a lake? Left at the side of a busy thouroughfare? Was the body posed? This determination helps to indicate the unsub's level of desire to hide their crime as well as possible motive.

    Nude, wrapped in burlap ( link )​

    Items Left/Missing: Was anything left at the crimescene (a calling card) or taken from the crime scene (a trophy)?

    Unknown​

    Staging (if applicable): Staging often refers to modifying the crime scene in a way to divert investigators. For example, a staged kidnapping to cover for a murder. Staging is not to be confused with "posing" the victim's body.

    Unknown​

    Posing (if applicable): Posing refers to arranging the body after death. For example, a sexual sadist may lay his victim on his/or her back, bend the knees and tilt them outwards and to the side, to "expose" his victim, in death, to the public. Posing tends to be a compulsive act (i.e., must be done to complete the ritual) and may be indicative psychological markers that can be used to narrow down the unsub pool. Furthermore, those who pose their victims will be more compelled to revisit the crime scene. Just so they can "admire" their work.

    Unknown​

    Cause of Death: How did the victim die? For example, were they stabbed multiple times (i.e., overkill), shot once through the head (i.e., execution style)? The cause of death can lend insight into the unsub's preferred killing habits.

    Strangulation ( link )​

    Trauma: Exclusive of the cause of death, what other trauma did the victim suffer? Were they raped and/or tortured? Were they disemboweld? Did the trauma occur before or after death? The amount and type of torture as well as when it was executed indicates the degree sadistic personality characteristics.

    Unknown​

    Sexual Assault: Was the victim sexually assaulted? If so, was the assault before or after they died. What was the nature of the assault? If present, this indicates sexual motivation component of the murder.

    Unknown​
     
  7. stillwatersc

    stillwatersc New Member

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  8. shadowraiths

    shadowraiths LISK Liaison, Verified Forensic Psychology Special Staff Member Moderator

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    From the Newsday article ( link ), this sounds like a signature:
    Taylor's body was found there by a woman walking her dog. The remains were missing her head, hands and forearm.

    [...]

    unidentified woman discovered in November 2000 in Manorville, missing her head, hands and right foot
    And is reminiscent of this 1964 unsolved case ( link )

    The nude body of a blonde was found washed ashore on Jones Beach, Long Island last Friday [13th]. Both legs had been severed below the knees, and the right arm had been taken off above the elbow.
     
  9. tapu

    tapu Pretty scary.

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    Dismemberment is also a way to thwart identification. I was sort of free-associating about the body parts part:

    I was thinking at first about how no crime scene of the type where a victim had been stabbed or cut has been found--all that blood must be somewhere. Then when I learned the women were strangled, I didn't spend much time thinking about the crime scene. It wouldn't be as identifiable as a scene of multiple bloody murders.

    But now, considering that some bodies were dismembered, I'm wondering if he would have dismembered them right out there on the beach. Highly doubtful. So he would have created one or more very bloody scenes. The most likely place for this, of course, would be in his own home, say, in the tub. Even then, it would be pretty hard to get bodies out of there with no one noticing and with no signs of blood ever. And the bodies were wrapped in burlap, not in plastic. Of course, there could have been a switch, but still.... where? could this guy be using a vehicle equipped for all this?

    Now, taking off from JK's first scenario: is there an occupation that would give the guy a truck or van, that would be routine to see along the road?

    p.s.
    I would love it if someone would do some wandering around in this and add (or subtract) from these thoughts. I want to keep thinking along these lines, but input would sure help.
     
  10. shadowraiths

    shadowraiths LISK Liaison, Verified Forensic Psychology Special Staff Member Moderator

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    Right. The big however in this case are the extra body part displacements (a single forearm as opposed to both forearms, a single foot as opposed to both feet). This, in and of itself, strongly indicates these displacements carry a significance beyond thwarting identification. Whether said significance is specific to the unsub's psychological makeup or meant as an unspoken message to others, is debatable. But, imnsho, it def has a meaning.
     
  11. tapu

    tapu Pretty scary.

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    Yeah, I think you're right that the asymmetricality of the limb dismemberment seems awfully specifically. Symbolic, as you point out. I think that your argument that the pattern is psychologically significant, rather than expedient, is the strong.

    Even so, what do you think about the where/how of the nitty-gritty? It was only in thinking of disguising identity through dismemberment that I got into the practical details and pursued how he would carry that out.

    Leaving aside the deeper psychological possibilities, how do you think this is done? The line of thought may suggest some tangible aspect to look for--like blood in a certain place, something about obtaining/working with burlap, housing type, vehicle type....
     
  12. Just K

    Just K New Member

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    IDK, these arms, legs and feet probably had tattoos or some identifying marks on them.
     
  13. relay

    relay Member

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    Or it could be something as simple as stray dogs or coyotes carrying off the limbs that were not found.
     
  14. tapu

    tapu Pretty scary.

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    I think the location and placement of the sets of limbs vs. the placement of the matching bodies (well, mostly torso in one case--one set of limbs had the head with them) rule out animal interference. Also, the limbs must show cut marks or something, although... Shadowwraiths--is that so?

    Hey, JK-- what were you alluding to about the vehicle in your first post? That's one thing I'm trying to focus on, too.
     
  15. Just K

    Just K New Member

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    If you meant me, I have been thinking all along that whoever is dumping these people by the side of the road is doing it in broad daylight and from a vehicle that would not seem suspicious if it were pulled off onto the grassy shoulder. Like a highway or land maintenance, animal control vehicle, a DEC vehicle or a construction or utility vehicle...any type of vehicle that would not draw the attention of LE or a citizen stopping to lend/assistance a hand, etc.
     
  16. shadowraiths

    shadowraiths LISK Liaison, Verified Forensic Psychology Special Staff Member Moderator

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    Doubtful.

    4 Bodies Leave Hamlet On Edge
    December 14, 2003, New York Times ( link, emphasis added, mine )

    On Nov. 19, 2000, three hunters walking in the woods about a half-mile west of Halsey Manor Road, north of the Long Island Expressway, discovered plastic trash bags containing human remains. They were later determined to be those of a female who died several weeks before. She was nude, her body was chopped into pieces and her head, hands and right foot were missing. A forensic exam determined she was a brunette, white or Hispanic, no more than 5-foot-5 or 125 pounds, and between 35 and 40 years old.

    On July 26, 2003, a woman walking her dog, again near Halsey Manor Road and the expressway, found a second female body -- also white or Hispanic, no taller than 5-foot-5 and under 125 pounds -- an estimated week after she died. She was between 20 and 30 years old. Unlike the first female body, this one was left in the open, on a paved access road to a sump. But like the first female, this victim was nude, decapitated and had her hands chopped off. Detectives later released photos of part of a wing tattoo near her right kidney and a purple and silver decal on one of her toenails.

    DA: Remains belonged to dismembered bodies found in Manorville in 2000 & 2003
    May 9, 2011, Riverhead Local ( link, emphasis added, mine )


    One of the women was identified through DNA as Jessica Taylor, 20, whose torso, without a head, hands and forearm, was found near LIE in Manorville on July 26, 2003. Police search teams recovered the missing body parts along Ocean Parkway on March 29, Spota said.

    [...]

    Police also found the head, right foot and hands of another victim in that area on April 4, Spota said. Investigators believe the remains to belong to the victim whose dismembered body was found near Halsey-Manor Road in 2000.
     
  17. Just K

    Just K New Member

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    Whoever committed any or all of these murders is a heartless coward.
     
  18. marie-chantal

    marie-chantal Language analyst

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    I completely agree. They are sick lunatics who need to be locked up.
     
  19. shadowraiths

    shadowraiths LISK Liaison, Verified Forensic Psychology Special Staff Member Moderator

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    The Gothamist, May 11, 2011 12:34 PM

    Meanwhile, the Daily News has rounded up a former detectives and a forensic psychologist who doubt the current theory of there being multiple killers—one who killed the four women found in December, one who killed the two dismembered women, one who killed the young Asian man and, assuming it was murdered, one who killed the toddler.

    "I wouldn't be so quick to be talking about multiple killers," retired NYPD detective and textbook author Vernon Geberth told the tabloid. "The probability of having two serial killers using the same dumping ground is very, very remote—to the point where I don't buy into it."

    And a forensic psychologist, N.G. Berrill, cautiously agrees saying that "That coincidence, in and of itself, would be remarkable."

    The two point out that bodies disposed of in different ways don't necessarily mean different killers. Instead they could simply imply that the one killer tried out decapitation and then found he could get his rocks off without it. "I am looking at a serial killer who has basically progressed," said Geberth. "He has become more effective at disposing of the bodies. He doesn't have to go through all the work of decapitating his victims."

    But others think there is a good chance the police are on the right track seeking out at least two killers. Forensic psychologist Barbara Kirwin chimes in with this chilling point: "We are not talking about a person as much as we are talking about a place. That desolate stretch of Gilgo Beach is a haunted graveyard, and what holds it all together is that it is an unpatrolled, completely private and deserted place where you can dump a body."
    Article link
     
  20. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    IDK, I tend towards the theory that we are dealing with one SK or a two individual SK team. My bet is one single male perp. The different locations of body disposal does not deter me from this thought as I feel the perp may be familiar with both areas and it is as simple as that. I agree with your thoughts Tapu, on the vehicle, van, or some such, that would not raise a red flag if seen pulled over on the side of the road. This guy fits in, he looks like he has every reason to be there and is not given a second glance when at the dump sites.
     
  21. scandi

    scandi New Member

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    Do you think he might have lost an appendage where the initial injury was caused by a prostitute?
     

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