The Serial Killer Sisterhood
Relatives of the prostitutes found dead on Long Island talk about calls from the alleged killer, finding each other on Facebook, and why they'll be at the crime scene in June.
Last December, Melissa Cann’s heart dropped when she saw a TV news report that the bodies of four unidentified women in their 20s were discovered in the thick undergrowth along a secluded beach on Long Island, just an hour away from the frenzy of New York City. The bodies, which were found within 500 feet of each other, were all in various states of decomposition and stripped of their jewelry, identification, purses, and clothing. It appeared that they had been killed elsewhere, robbing detectives of valuable clues.
At the time, police suspected that one of the possible victims, Megan Waterman, had disappeared after advertising for clients on Craigslist. Waterman was last seen with her boyfriend at a hotel in Hauppauge, New York. It didn't take long for detectives to decide they were looking at the grisly work of a serial killer.
Cann’s sister, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, had gone missing from her Manhattan hotel room nearly three years earlier, in July 2007. Police had subsequently linked her phone activity to a cell phone tower on Long Island. In 2008, police helicopters and cadaver dogs had scoured the same marshy, desolate area, but found no signs of Brainard-Barnes, a sweet-faced brunette with a passion for poetry.