Establishing a link between John Bittrolff and the Long Island Serial Killer

john_bittrolffIt bothers me that police have been so quick to dismiss any connections between John Bittrolff, the man arrested earlier this week for two cold case murders in the 90s, and the Long Island Serial Killer. Maybe they are just taking their time to piece together a strong case against him. Or maybe they do have some sort of evidence that clearly proves he’s not the killer and they are keeping it from the public so as not to compromise the case. In my last post, I noted that Suffolk County DA Thomas Spota told the media this week, “There is no evidentiary or investigative link between these two murders and any of the Gilgo victims. The evidence recovered from Tangredi and McNamee, the manner in which their bodies were found and the crime scenes are unique to them and distinctly different from the Gilgo crime scenes.” This may be true, but there is a rather large connection that the police are failing to bring up, mainly that torsos from two of the LISK victims were recovered in the Manorville pine barrens, a mere three miles from where Bittrolff lived. UPDATE: Check out an interactive map I put together of the victims’ locations in relation to Bittrolff’s known residences here.

Let’s journey back before anyone ever knew a serial killer was leaving bodies around the beaches of Long Island. In November of 2000, a decomposing body of a woman was discovered in garbage bags in a wooded area off Halsey Manor Road in Manorville, NY. She was approximately 5’2″ and between the ages of 18 and 35. Her identity remains unknown. Her head and her hands were missing.

In 2003, another female body was found in the Manorville pine barrens. She too was found headless, with no hands, but police were able to determine her identity–she was a twenty-year-old woman named Jessica Taylor who had been working as a prostitute. On her lower right back, she had a tattoo that appeared to have been mutilated, possibly to discourage identification of the body. It said, ‘Remy’s girl.’ Police later announced that ‘Remy’ was a friend of Jessica’s, but they refused to release any additional information about him.

Then, in March and April of 2011, while looking for more remains in the Gilgo Beach area, police discovered the heads and hands of both Jessica Taylor and the unknown female (now dubbed Jane Doe #6) from the Manorville crime scenes. While these two victims were disposed of differently from the other eight victims, they were found in such close proximity of a number of the other victims, and so were included in the count of ten LISK victims. And they have a distinct link to Manorville.

In addition, the third victim police are trying to link Bittrolff to, Sandra Costilla, who was found in North Sea in December of 1993, was posed in a similar manner to the other two victims that are linked to his DNA, but unlike those two victims, there are reports that her body was mutilated in some manner after her death. If they are able to link Bittrolff to Costilla’s murder, they then have a killer in custody who mutilates some of his victims, but not all–a killer whose MO changes from victim to victim.

While police can tell the media that the crime scenes are unique and the evidence collected from the victims doesn’t suggest a link, it seems to me the Manorville connection, the fact that all of the identified victims were prostitutes (or living similar lifestyles), and the fact that a number of the bodies were mutilated or dismembered in some way are three extremely BIG links. In addition to Jessica Taylor and Jane Doe #6, four other victims were found in the Manorville area between the years of 2000 and 2012 (two more females and two males).  In all, there are a total of seventeen bodies possibly linked here–four men, twelve women, and one toddler.

If Bittrolff has been killing for over twenty years, I think it’s likely his methods of killing and disposal of the bodies could have evolved over time. I don’t believe comparing the crime scenes and the manner in which the bodies were discarded is terribly important when you are dealing with someone who allegedly started killing in his twenties and has since grown into a middle-aged man. Just some food for thought.


Interested in reading more about the Long Island Serial Killer? Check out RJ Parker’s Serial Killers Abridged, which published May 31, 2014. I wrote the 101st case file in the book, highlighting the details of this particular case.

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25 thoughts on “Establishing a link between John Bittrolff and the Long Island Serial Killer

  1. Good investigative deduction and a well written piece. It’s a complicated case and I like how you break it down for us. Look forward to your next instalment. It’s like trying to connect the dots.

    • I agree with you that this guy is the real deal. Only because i have also been a serial offender for the same period of time but in a different part of the world, his hunting ground & manner in hiding is 100% him. Also the third body connected to him just happens to be connected to the actual Gilgo beach bodies which is pretty hard to not seem odd.

      • The third body has nothing to do with gilgo beach, you people have no clue what you are talking about, this guy is a family man and one of the nicest people in the world. And the police obviously have evidence to prove he is not the LISK so stop with your random deductions. You have no clue what you are talking about.

  2. I agree emphatically with what you’re saying here. I have been saying the same exact thing in many of the discussions about this case, that I’ve had with others. I don’t think they way they were “posed” has anything to do with the fact that they very well could’ve been the same murderer. These police should know that just like any other person, they evolve with time. In fact disposing of the gilgo victims (ie., the fact they were so close to the road) suggest that the killer could have gained a sense of arrogance and security over time. Someone who had already gotten away with killing three other victims for over a decade, may have assumed he didn’t have to go to such great lengths to conceal identities and such. Also the “significant” article of clothing that was missing on the 90’s bodies may have been missing because he was able to keep them somewhere in his home. Maybe he wasn’t married at the time and didn’t have to worry about them being found. He was however, married during the time when the gilgo victims were killed and if the gilgo girls were found with that article of clothing, that could explain why. The manorville girls also lead me to believe it was all the work of him. Maybe he went dormant for some time. I find it hard to believe that this man killed two girls, possibly three and then just stopped altogether. If you got away with three why not do more? It’s just so scary to think there may be more than one of these deranged psychopaths living on Long Island!

    • Totally agree with you. The likelyhood of being more than one serial killer on Long Island killing and disposing of females in particular, who many were call girls, is highly slim. This guy changed. He evolved. His circumstances changed like you pointed out. In the beginning he was probably keeping trophies. He was easily getting away with the crimes and started taunting the authorities by not working so hard at concealing the bodies.

      It’s a known fact that serial killers constantly change their MO to throw off police. They don’t want to be caught. So unless there’s something symbolic or ritual, they will change.

      For the most part, a serial killer will not stop after two or three kills. They are wired to continue their visions and temptations.

      • I agree with both of you. I haven’t even mentioned the “missing article of clothing” because I just don’t even believe it is necessary to tie all the cases together. The only thing I can think of that would make sense to me as to the reason why police are so quick to dismiss a link between Bittrolff and the LISK is DNA. Maybe they did get some sort of DNA evidence off a few of the LISK victims and they know for certain it’s not Bittrolff. But since they haven’t exactly been forthcoming to the public about what they’ve been doing to solve the case, there is no way to know.

        I just find it too strange that Bittrolff would kill two or three prostitutes in the 90s and then suddenly change his ways. If he didn’t get caught right away, why would he stop?

        • Could a link be the wood chips at one scene and burlap bags at others. Both found at nurseries. Was the mulch found at crime scene match the mulch found in police mobile

      • Very true. Joel Rifkin evolved from dismembering victims to disposing of them whole. He said after a while of none of the body parts being found he decided he was probably doing too much work and started disposing of his victims with all anatomy Intact. However, I think that the mother and toddler found were not victims of the serial killer, but maybe victims of some domestic/personal squabble that turned to murder.
        Also, the way the male prostitute was killed seems to be different from the way the other victims died – blunt force trauma rather than strangulation. However the change in MO might be bc the murderer did not know the Prostitute was a man and hit him hard in the head out of rage. He wouldn’t strangle him to get the sexual thrill he received when strangling women.
        I hope they solve it soon.

      • Why is it hard to believe there could be two serial killers of sex workers in that region? It’s absolutely a possibility. Serial killers see sex workers as easy prey. They are as long as they do not have the benefit of equal protection under law (the legacy of criminalizing prostitution and addiction).

        On the other hand law enforcement has often deprioritized the murders of sex workers, and the arrogance of some ‘investigators’ certainly doesn’t help.

        Decrimnow.com support this legal challenge if you care about these victims and would like these killers and abusers to think twice before preying on sex workers (they realize sex workers likely won’t report if they are assaulted or get away from a murder attempt).

    • See this is the problem, gilgo beach has been a known mob dumping ground for years and years. U people jump on anything thinking you are detectives when the truth is you do not have a quarter of the evidence the police have. You all need a life

  3. maybe they dont have evidences to tie him to the latest murders and are hoping that after he gets life for the earlier murders he will confess, sometimes cops exclude a suspect to make him feel safe so that he talks or that he stays wreckless, maybe he passed a lie detector… but good argument. and lets not forget that someone eard the voice of the lisk so she maybe could identify him and maybe she didnt…

  4. Also with the Jessica Taylor murder. She was killed in 2003 and that’s the same year this guy moved to mannorville. I also think the LSK evolved and adapted with all the advances in Technology over a period of time. The LSK obviously started out picking up women off the streets and continued doing that into the early 2000s. Probably somtime after 2003 he started using computers and realized how easy he could find a girl on Craig’s list.

  5. There were a few things that struck me here. I won’t remember them all, but to begin with, this article was very well written.
    Giving a polygraph to a psychopath or sociopath proves nothing. I have dealt with that issue multiple times in my career.
    Changing M.O. is just a part of the evolution of most serial killers.
    I had a very close family member who confessed many murders to me when he was dying. I do not know the motivation for him doing this, but one thing it did bring me to understand is that not all “serial” murdering is sexually motivated. His story was that it was just part of his business.
    It also proved to me that someone can kill one or many and with a modicum of caution, one can escape detection. I think the ones that leave victims ANYWHERE that they could be found is because they are either lazy or want to enjoy the ability to sit back, gloat and enjoy the attention. My family member was never questioned by law enforcement. He was careful and thoughtful in his behavior.

  6. In a Google search of Remy’s Angel it brings up an adult film site. I wonder if Jessica Taylor was in someway involved with that being that her profession was prostitution.

  7. Iv’e known John Bitrolf for ten years prior to his arrest. I used to call him killer for good reason. He had a variety of animals in his back yard that people thought were pets but they had no names. Instead he brought them in his garage and would slaughter them by sliceing their throat. Although this is done elsewhere it very unusual for someone on long island to do this. The manner he would do was gruesome. He would rip the heads off chickens with his bare hands. Any animal that tresspassed on his property would get shot. A girl i met who grew up with john told us he killed his family cat when they were younger. He always thought he was invincible at getting caught at any thing. He had a pot growing buisness at his home that got way out of control and i told him just the smell from all the plants would get him caught but he started telling me about his lawyer told him different and he would never go to jail. He was into al kinds of crime like robbing construction sites at night for material for his own company. He hunted in the woods here in Manorville where they found the body parts of jessica Taylor and jane doe and their torso’s was found at Gilgo. I know that there is a connection here. And like it has been said over the years he has evolved as a killer. Maybe he did home improvments for his buissness in North sea and Gilgo. I have a whole list of things about him that i can go on and on. I feel i can answer alot of questions on this case but who wants to get involved and have my life put into the unforgiving media spotlight. At least he is in jail.

    • Hey, thanks for the info!

      I have some important questions about John Bittrolff. What exactly is his connection to Vision Ministries Open Arms, the home for pregnant women run by Phyllis Librizzi? I see that Bittrolff and Librizzi’s husband both grew up in Mastic Beach blocks from where Kim Raffo’s childhood home was. Did they know each other? Is there a connection between Bittrolff and the construction company Hugh Auslander was working for when him and Kim stayed on LI shortly before her murder? Police had announced they had a suspect in April 2011 after looking into Raffo’s stay on LI. I feel like this may have been JB.
      What about Rita Tangredi’s daughter being friends with Melissa Barthelemy? What type of hunter was JB? Was he a duck hunter? I know atleast one of the bodies, I believe Jane Doe 2000 was found by pheasant hunters, and I think two more bodies were found by hunters as well. There was a bag of dismembered pit bulls found on North St & Wading River which is where the 2012 John Doe was found. And there was a bag of decapitated chickens found along OP. What exactly is Bittrolff’s connection to Gilgo, Oak Beach? What about his connection to Penn Station, times square? Is there any connection to Brooklyn that you know of? Is JB familiar with any of the people connected to the LISK case, Hackett, Brewer, any of the islip crew etc? Did he own a boat? Have you seen the report of the skull they found in North Sea within the last few years? Did JB own a home upstate? Do you think he’s connected to the AC murders, I mean would he have been able to spend a month there in Oct/Nov 2006? Does he haveany kind of internet foot print? There is like no trace of him. But I am really specifically interested in the “home for wayward girls” that Phyllis Librizzi runs? Can you please please tell me as much as you can? Really helpful! Thank you!

      • I hate to tell you this but i know who that guy who claimed to know john is. He and john had a falling out and he is very jealous of john. I know john and he is a great man. Not in a million years could he have done this. No way no how. I may come across mean or nasty on some of my posts it just bothers me that people with no law enforcement background make conclusions that could affect someones life without any thought for his kids or family. If the police said no its no. Johns name should have never even been brought up in connection with the lisk. i can tell u for a fact he could never do something like this. Did your hear the police when they first arrested him? They said they have enhanced dna, meaning they had to add to it to try and make it fit to a specific person. Anyway the point is dont listen to the people on here claiming to know john, cause there are maybe three people in the whole world who can say something bad about him cause they are jealous of him. A lot of people go hunting that means they are all killers? No. And he used every part he could of every deer he ever killed. No waste.

    • This always happens, someone posts saying “i know all about John Bittrolff ask me anything I have tons of info” and then they just disappear and ignore all the questions lol

    • U are a straight lying piece of crap, i know who u are. Why dont u meet me somewhere tough guy. All his animals had names, he treated them like gold. You are a troll. Plain and simple. Don’t balme others for u being a liar your whole life.

  8. Hi Rainbow. This is convinced there are more. Yes he has a house upstate. He hunted all kinds of animals from ground hogs to deer. He does not own a boat. Never heard of phyliss librizzi. The more i look back at things he said and done i know he killed those three girls and more. they found the taylor girl the same year he moved to manorville and the first week i moved in he was telling me about a body they found down the block on the dirt road with her tattoo someone tried carve out. Its hard for me to answer questions and keep myself from being involved. Im just glad they have his D N A. Ask me anything i can help you with

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