Irish- born, Suffolk County Police Commissioner, Richard Dormer, has appeared on the CBS Series "48 Hour Mystery". appealing for help to find the 'Long Island Ripper' the suspected killer of the 10 people whose remains were discovered along the coastline of Long Island.
This was the first time in over two months that Richard Dormer has spoken in public about the tragic case. He told the national TV audience "An arrest is not imminent, but we're making progress".
After these four women's remains were found the police located the remains of six other people, related to at least two other murders. The cases are all ongoing.
The show profiled each of the four victims who are believed to have died at the hands of the same killer. All four women worked as escorts and advertised on Craigslist.com, a classifieds site. They were also all buried in the same manner. These women were are Megan Waterman, 22, of Scarborough, Maine; Melissa Barthelemy, 24, of Buffalo; Maureen Brainerd-Barnes, 25, of Norwich, Connecticut; and Amber Costello, 27, of West Babylon.
The show also discussed Shannan Gilbert. It was Gilbert's disappearance in May 2010 which prompted the Long Island search, which started in December 2010. Gilbert, a 24-year-old, from New Jersey, was also an escort.
The show highlighted the actions of an Oak Beach, Long Island, doctor who formerly worked within the Suffolk County emergency service. According to Shannan's mother, Mari Gilbert, the doctor Peter Hackett, called her just after Shannan's disappearance. Hackett told her that Shannan had shown up at a half-way house that he ran.
Hackett then denied that he made this phone call. He was confronted by the "48 Hours Mystery" camera crews and admitted to having made the calls. He said that he only called to offer his assistance as a board member of the Oak Beach homeowners association. Dormer confirmed that Hackett had made that call.
Speaking to the local newspaper, Newsday, he said "I had nothing to do with anything occurring the night Shannan went missing… "I never saw her that night; she never came to my house, I never offered her assistance."
Police maintain that he is not a suspect. His home and property were searched with cadaver-sniffing dogs.
During the show it was suggested by Robin Sax, an attorney hired by the Gilbert family, that Gilbert's case was not given priorty as she was an escort.
Interviewer Erin Moriarty spoke to Dormer. She said "This is a tough question Commissioner, but, if that had been a wife of a resident there who had made this panicked 911 call and then suddenly disappears, wouldn't there have been much more of a search than there was for Shannan Gilbert?"
He responded by saying "No, I disagree with you - strongly…Number one, when the officer responded, he didn't know that that was a sex worker. ...he conducted a search in that area. ... this was a normal - if there is such a thing - normal missing case of an adult. And the officer responded…I don't want to, in any way, say that we didn't do the right thing that morning…The officer - we looked at his actions and he searched that area that morning, which was appropriate. ...our missing persons."