As the search for the Long Island serial killer continues police are keeping their minds "open" to the possibility that there is more than one killer at work.
Their theory raises the frightening possibility that the bodies found along the Long island beach were dumped by different killers at different times, that the remote place had somehow become known as a convenient place to dump bodies.
According to reports in the New York Post the skull and bones found on the Nassau County beach on Tuesday are not connected to the eight victims from in Suffolk County since last December. It is now believed that these remains could be linked to the Long Island butcher Joel David Rifkin.
A source told the newspaper "These are so old that roots were growing around the vertebrae and the skull…These could be one or two of Joel Rifkin's victims who were never found," or the work of another killer.
In 1993 Joel David Rifkin (52) confessed to murdering 17 prostitutes. He strangled and dismembered them having picked them up on the streets of New York City. He dumped their bodies in upstate New York and along Long Island's East End.
Investigators, led by Irish-born Suffolk County Police Commissioner, Richard Dormer, are also now saying that it is possible that the other eight bodies found along the coast at Long Island were dumped by different killers.
Dormer told the press on Wednesday that they are yet to find any connection between the bodies found on Long Island and those found in 2006 in Atlantic City. He said "The indications we have right now is that there is no connection."
A cop working the investigation said "There are at least two persons of interest." He declined to say whether he believes the murderers are working independently or together.
The police caught Rifkin when they stopped him for a missing license plate. They found the body of a dead woman in his trunk. He is serving a life sentence in an upstate New York prison.
So far, since the search began in December 2010, the police have found nine, possibly ten, bodies. This depends on whether the skull and bones found in Suffolk County are from the same person.
A small child, which could even have been a fetus, was also found. A source told the New York Post "One of the theories is that one of the women [victims] was pregnant."