The Geeky Serial Killer

Illustration for article titled The Geeky Serial Killer

A serial killer already linked to the murders of four Long Island area Craigslist prostitutes is so intimately familiar with police investigation techniques that law enforcement officials are now openly speculating he may be one of their own.

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The absolutely chilling admission arrives in the wake of several untraceable calls made to members of the victims' families, during which a "calm and bland" voice told one victim's twin sister numerous vulgar things about the crime and expressed anger about women who worked as prostitutes.

All calls were kept under three minutes and were made from disposable cellphones, so as to thwart call tracing techniques presently employed by New York authorities. The full content of those calls was not released to the public as part of an effort to discourage copycats and false confessions.

"He is a guy who is aware of how we utilize technology," one investigator said [in an interview with the New York Times]. "Frankly, people are thinking maybe he could be a cop" - either one still in law enforcement or one who has moved on.

"Without question, this guy is smart, this guy is not a dope," the investigator continued. "It's a guy who thinks about things."

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What's especially frightening about this case is that, while the killer is admittedly very familiar with how police investigate these heinous crimes, the tactics authorities have revealed to the public thus far are ones an everyday citizen could easily pick up after watching an episode of C.S.I. or that show with the obvious parallels, Dexter.

Keeping calls under three minutes to thwart phone traces; calls made to the victims' families from disposable cellphones; calls made from high traffic areas like Madison Square Garden to foil surveillance attempts—these are all techniques that I've learned about through the years simply by watching summer blockbuster movies or Showtime dramas. The evidence presented here seems to indicate they actually work in the real world.

Admittedly, authorities have not revealed everything they know about this case, so there could be even more, expert-level techniques that this killer could is employing to keep the police off his tracks. This makes everything even more frightening!

To date, efforts to corner or even track the rough location of the Long Island serial killer's calls have been ineffective. No suspect has been identified nor have any pesons of interest been floated to the public. What we do know, thanks to the aforementioned phone calls, is that the killer has it in for prostitutes and is incredibly put out by their way of life.

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This is all very unsettling, as serial killer cases always are, but with the tools and media available to sickos today, can anyone really claim to be surprised? [NYT]

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DISCUSSION

You can't trace calls under three minutes? Give me a break.

Anyways, killers aren't smart, as Horatio Caine would say "if they were smart, they wouldn't be killing people". (Cue Won't Get Fooled Again, please).

Obviously, our killer knows a little bit about technology, but with every move he makes, he leaves a piece of evidence. Every cellphone has an ID number, and those numbers can be traced to the stores that sold the phones. If the killer is clever, he will change stores. But then he would have to deal with several different stores keeping video records of him, and different witnesses who could identify him.

Women are rarely murdered by women, so we know he is a man. He searches Craiglist, so we know he uses a computer, at work or at home. He must be employed since he apparently has some money and some education. Probably lives alone or with one or a couple of elderly persons. He could be married, but if he treats women like this (he hires them) probably his marriage wouldn't last, due to a history of violence or abuse. This puts him in his late thirties/early forties. The fact that he calls the relatives speaks of a sadistic nature, and that probably shows in his relationship with other people.

Serial killers usually have orbital cortex disfunction, so they aren't able to feel empathy towards anyone. They are usually the "odd" guy at work, never gets out or hangs around with friends. They are usually good at jobs that don't involve dealing with people. They are good janitors, people who work with data input, or technicians. I don't believe for this reason for him to be a police officer, but he could have had military training at some point in his life. These people are usually underachievers; they can be brilliant at some areas, but lack the social skills to be succesful as a person. Rarely these people are politicians or journalists (these tend to kill people in fits of rage, not as a serial activity).

His relationship with prostitutes points to the fact that he can't relate with women in a normal way (too shy, has a physical defect or something that he perceives as a defect) so he has to pay women to be near him, and he has probaby escalated from verbal abuse to physical abuse later and then into murder. Prostitutes who have suffered agression from a client could be potential witnesses.

And he's probably reading Gizmodo, after this flattering headline.