To TV’s sudden interest in the bodies found at Gilgo Beach and Oak Beach, now add this: People magazine will launch a new series on Investigation Discovery early next week which will begin with a two-hour telecast titled “The Long Island Serial Killer.”
The first hour of the 10-part “true crime” series “People Magazine Investigates” (9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7) is an overview, with dramatic re-enactments, of the death of Shannan Gilbert on May 1, 2010 in Oak Beach. The disappearance of the 24-year-old escort and upstate Ellenville native early that morning launched a search that ultimately uncovered 10 sets of human remains in Gilgo Beach and Oak Beach.
While unclear whether the broadcast uncovers any new developments in the case, it is notable for at least one reason — interviews with Gilbert’s mother, Mari, and her daughter, Sherre, are included. Mari Gilbert, 52, was found dead at her home in July, and another daughter, Sarra Elizabeth Gilbert, was charged in her killing. Shannan Gilbert’s remains were found in 2011, and while authorities believed she had died from accidental drowning, her mother had sought to have her death ruled a homicide.
Meanwhile A&E will launch the more substantive investigation into the bodies found at Gilgo Beach and Oak Beach beginning Saturday, Nov. 12 at 9 p.m. with the docuseries, “The Killing Season,” produced by Oscar winner Alex Gibney — one of TV’s most prolific and influential nonfiction producers — in association with Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills.
As opposed to being an “overview,” the A&E eight-parter claims to have established connections between the Long Island incidents and unsolved murders “in Atlantic City to Daytona Beach and beyond — revealing that serial killers are targeting sex workers in record numbers, while using the internet as their virtual hunting ground.”
A news release also notes: “Forging relationships with cyber-sleuths, journalists and victim’s families, Zeman and Mills uncover connections that suggest Long Island is just the beginning.”