Could it be true? That’s what John Ray, attorney for Shannan Gilbert’s family, is suggesting. In an explosive news conference on Thursday, Ray brought forth a Long Island escort named “Leanne” who claims about a year after Gilbert went missing, she was roughed up in a sexual encounter with former Suffolk Police Chief James Burke in an Oak Beach house party where alcohol and cocaine were prevalent. Leanne claims Burke choked her and forced her into oral sex after calling her a “not a good whore” and paying her for her services in 2011, just months before he assumed the role of police chief. Leanne also claims to have had several other Suffolk County police officers as clients and offered to take a lie detector test to back up her story.
James Burke, as we all know, is now serving out a 46-month federal prison sentence after pleading guilty to beating a man in custody who stole a duffel bag filled with sex toys and pornography out of his SUV and then conspiring with officers to cover up his actions. He also is reported to have refused help from the FBI to work the LISK case, an act that makes many suspicious of what he might have been hiding.
In his press conference yesterday, John Ray said Leanne’s account, “brings a direct connection between Burke and those poor dead victims lying along Ocean Parkway.” When asked if he was “outright accusing Jimmy Burke of possibly being the Gilgo Beach serial killer,” Ray answered quickly and calmly, “Yes,” and further explained that he believes it is possible Burke and Dr. Peter Hackett could have worked together to murder and dispose of the victims along Gilgo Beach. Guys, I am telling you this is an OUTRAGEOUS claim. Look, I’m not saying he isn’t on to something here–but the fact that this guy just called a press conference basically accusing the former chief of police of being a serial killer? That’s not something you see every day. You can watch the full press conference here (and I do recommend watching the entire thing):
I’d like to make it known that James Burke’s attorney, Joseph Conway, was quick to dismiss the claims as made at the press conference “completely outrageous.” Additionally, John Ray claimed he hasn’t taken any of this to the FBI or authorities yet, though he plans to.
Now, I don’t really know what to make of all this. Honestly, I don’t even know where to start. I’m pretty much blown away by all this. Many have long suspected that when the DA’s office refused help from the FBI on the LISK case, Burke was the reason behind that. Maybe he was afraid the FBI would uncover his private life was intertwined with the escort scene on Gilgo Beach. Or maybe it was something even more sinister than that. Whatever the reason, I do feel like everyone needs to be investigated to the fullest extent in this case, no matter how small the lead or outrageous the claims might seem.
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