The Gilgo Seashore Victims Have been At all times Extra Than Escorts

Simply as there isn’t any single type of poverty, there additionally is not any distinct set of household patterns or life circumstances that results in the alternatives these ladies made. No components exists to clarify what introduced them to Gilgo Seashore. Human trafficking was an element for one in all them, dependancy for an additional.

But when they shared one thing, it was that they by no means fell off the grid or lived on the streets the way in which the TV procedural stereotype dictates. All of them remained near their households. All of them got here from cities with narrowing choices and have been searching for a method out. That’s a technique of taking a look at “Misplaced Women,” the title of my guide about this case, later tailored right into a film: They have been solely “misplaced” insofar as we — the police, the media, the social security web — elected to lose them, by deciding they have been price discarding.

Serial killers perceive this, after all. Jack the Ripper focused the ladies he did for presumably the identical motive that the Inexperienced River Killer and Joel Rifkin mentioned they did: These have been ladies they believed nobody would ever go in search of. And most of the time, sadly, they have been proper.

Now, 16 years after Ms. Brainard-Barnes went lacking, now we have an arrest, a suspect: Rex Heuermann was, it appears, residing in plain sight, in a Lengthy Island city a brief drive from the place the our bodies have been discovered. He has a partner and kids, and a job with a comparatively excessive profile. In a spot as densely populated as New York, he stands accused of a double life that appears laborious to ponder.

His benefit, it will appear, was that nobody was in search of him, both. In instances involving escort work, the boys who’re clients typically look like footnotes, not less than to the general public. The police locked in on Mr. Heuermann solely final yr, greater than a decade after the 4 our bodies have been discovered on Gilgo Seashore.

For Ms. Cann and the opposite relations, that’s an eternity of questioning and ready, and feeling each bit as discarded because the family members they misplaced.

Robert Kolker is the creator of “Misplaced Women: An Unsolved American Thriller,” the best-selling nonfiction account of the Gilgo Seashore murders.