LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK — A Suffolk County judge has ordered police to produce the recording of the 911 call made by Shannan Gilbert, the woman whose disappearance led to the discovery of several suspected victims of the Long Island Serial Killer.
Judge Sanford Berland directed the attorneys for Suffolk police to produce a copy of the recording for review by March 19. The tapes were requested as part of a lawsuit filed by Gilbert’s family.
Gilbert, a 24-year-old sex worker, was reported missing from Oak Beach in May 2010. She disappeared after a meeting with Joseph Brewer, a client she first made contact with on Craiglist. Police were searching for her when they found the remains of 10 murder victims along Ocean Parkway. Gilbert’s remains were found in a Gilgo Beach marsh in 2011.Despite the fact that it was the search for Gilbert that led to the discovery of 10 other bodies, most of which were also determined to be escorts, police maintain that Gilbert perished by drowning in the marsh, and she was not a victim of the Long Island Serial Killer.
An attorney for Gilbert’s family, John Ray, said that they are seeking the recording of Gilbert’s 23-minute call — in which she reportedly told a 911 operator “they’re trying to kill me” — as well as 911 calls made by Brewer and two other Oak Beach residents, Barbara Brennan and Gus Coletti, on the night of Gilbert’s disappearance.
Ray told the court that detectives may be trying to hide information relating to this case. But the county’s defense attorney, Elaine Barraga, has denied this allegation and argued that the investigation would be compromised by releasing the tapes. She insists that there has been “certainly no effort in trying to hide or ‘fudge’ information.”
Gilbert’s family members have stated that they believe that she was murdered. In 2016, the family had a second autopsy conducted in which an independent medical examiner found that Shannan may have been victim of a homicide.
Police have disputed these findings. Her official cause of death is “undetermined.”
For more on this case, watch “The Long Island Serial Killer: New Revelations” episode of People Magazine Investigates on ID GO now!
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Main photo: Shannan Gilbert [People Magazine Investigates (screenshot)]