The Truth About The Long Island Serial Killer's Possible Murder Weapon

The Long Island Serial Killer, also called the Gilgo Beach Killer, after where he dumped his victims' bodies, was one of the most elusive serial killers in history — at least until a suspect was taken into custody on July 14, 2023 (via News 12). From what authorities can tell, this killer has been active since at least 2007. Likewise, they believe that, judging from his voice, the killer is a white male — it's a voice that has been heard on multiple phone calls in which he taunted his victims' family members.

This killer goes after the same type of victims as many other killers: He traps and murders sex workers, the kind of person, many assume, who won't be missed. Even the police have a tendency to judge these victims as less important and don't look too hard when they go missing, which 48 Hours makes clear with interviews of the victims' loved ones. Thanks to the media spotlight, though, this case has become publicized enough that authorities won't be able to shrug it off, as they've been accused of doing in the past.

It all started in 2010, as CBS News points out, when human remains were discovered, wrapped in burlap, near Gilgo Beach in Long Island, New York. Then other remains were found, and before long, investigators had 10 sets of human remains on their hands. Of these, eight were women and one was a toddler. Yet another victim is often reported as an adult male, but the individual was found in women's clothing. Most of these unfortunate victims were murdered in the same way.

His victims died gasping for air

Serial killers tend to have a modus operandi, a calling card — the way they kill, the weapons they use, the victims they target, or in the way they choose to dispose of the bodies. The MO for most serial killers is made up of unique attributes from each of the aforementioned categories. The Long Island Serial Killer preys on sex workers whom he contacts through Craigslist. Afterwards, he calls his victim's families to taunt them, uses police investigative methods against the authorities, and dumps the bodies of his victims near Gilgo Beach. Adding to the pattern, according to Rolling Stone, he kills his victims the same way each time.

The publication describes how the original four sets of human remains from this killer's victims, dubbed "The Gilgo Four," were each strangled to death before being buried. They also report that another possible victim was found in 2011 in the same area, which would bring the assumed kill-count up to 11 victims, but this victim, according to authorities, had drowned and was discovered half in the muck. Not quite the same MO, but some, like the victim's family, believe she was murdered by the Long Island Killer anyway.

Strangling victims is fairly common in the serial killer trade, and pinpointing a flexible murder weapon that kills in this manner isn't exactly easy, but in the course of the investigation, the authorities found what may have be the tool used in Long Island Killer's demented work.

The letters may be a break in the case

In January 2020, according to the Gothamist, the police came forward to divulge they'd found a potentially crucial piece of evidence. During the early stages of the investigation, around a decade ago, the authorities found a black leather belt. Belts are common, and "black leather" doesn't exactly narrow down its uniqueness, but this belt had something special: Embossed in the tip of the processed hide was a pair of letters: "HM," or possibly "WH," depending on which orientation it was meant to have. Pictures of the belt can be seen on the Suffolk County Police Department's Gilgo News website.

Not much more is known about the belt. The authorities have said they believe it belonged to the killer and that it didn't belong to any of the victims. They're withholding the other information, such as the size of the belt, where it was found, and, of course, whether or not it's believed to be the murder weapon, but the possibility still remains.

As of now, we don't know for sure what weapon the Long Island Killer used to murder his victims, but the authorities are asking for any information that may help them identify the belt. You can provide information to their Gilgo News website if you happen to have anything helpful.