Breakthrough in Gilgo Beach killings shines light on many unsolved sex worker murders

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Breakthrough in Gilgo Beach killings shines light on many unsolved sex worker murders

Based on a best-selling book, this five-part true crime docu-series investigates the unsolved murders of 8 women whose bodies were discovered in drainage canals and on desolate back roads in and around Jennings, Louisiana. In examining the lives of the young victims the series uncovers secrets of this troubled town. These discoveries lead to even more shocking accusations by victims’ relatives and friends of corruption, bad actors and institutional injustices that have left the town still searching for truth. In examining the lives of the young victims, the series uncovers secrets of this troubled town. In 2012 the new Jefferson Davis sheriff claimed they still had no evidence that these deaths were all related or even homicides.

  • Eight people, including a man, his pregnant wife, their two children, and teenage deckhands, were shot to death aboard a fishing boat called the Investor on September 6, 1982, People Magazine reported.
  • You still see him around town,” Loretta’s brother Nick Chaisson said in the series.
  • According to case files, Jennings street hustlers with connections to Richard were suspected in the deaths of some of the other women.
  • In 2006, detectives investigating Lewis’s murder interrogated Kristen Gary Lopez (the third victim).
  • Despite following up on every lead, some that led them to other states, the case remains unsolved, but Jennings police hope to change that.

“Frankie Richard is still a person of interest in these investigations, we have not ruled him out of any of the cases,” they said. However, many of the women who allegedly worked for Richard did get hurt—ending up dead along desolate areas of the small community of about 11,000. Taylor said that adding to the frustration was the coroner’s result for what could have happened to Dubois —a cause of death couldn’t be determined. “I can tell you that we are investigating some leads and that we do have a short list of persons of interest and that we’re working on the case day and night,” said Mallett. “And we were asked to look into it separate from law enforcement and share whatever we may or may not find,” said Lead P.I. Michael Mallett. Arriving on horseback, four-wheelers and on foot, volunteers resumed the search for 17-year-old Brittney Gary.

Dark Truth Behind 8 Sex Workers Murdered in the Bayou

Though she had a child, and straightened out for awhile, she slipped again into using drugs. She was close to the other victims, according to her cousin. “They all got high together. They all hung out together,” said Sarah Benoit.


At one point in the book, a witness tells him, “Welcome to the Dirty South.” After all, for those in other corners of America, there’s something undeniably atmospheric about the bayou. It’s got some magical realism to it, with the power to represent the dark and unknowable – and maybe a little sinister – parts of our country. Nearly two years went by before victim No. 3 surfaced in 2007. In that time, the region battled the ravages and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Life stood still as residents scrambled to dig out of polluted floodwaters and decimated economies.

Less than a month later, the body of 30-year-old Ernestine Daniels Patterson was found 6 miles from the canal where Chaisson’s body floated up. Two men were arrested for her murder, but the charges were eventually dropped. Evelyn Daniels, the victim’s mother, says in the documentary that investigators have made no progress. “I feel like they don’t care. I don’t have no closure. No peace.” It’s a form of Recidivism you never hear discussed by politicians, probation officers, sheriffs or chiefs of police even though it is obviously a problem in law enforcement.

Her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, were suspects in the case, but DNA evidence processed from JonBenét’s underwear in 2003 indicated the involvement of two unrelated people. A man named John Mark Karr confessed to the murder in 2006, but it was ruled to be false since he couldn’t provide any additional details and his DNA didn’t match what was discovered at the scene. Eight people, including a man, his pregnant wife, their two children, and teenage deckhands, were shot to death aboard a fishing boat called the Investor on September 6, 1982, People Magazine reported. The killer is then believed to have returned to the scene the next afternoon to set the boat on fire. Richard would push back against the snitch label vigorously. But, in May 2012, Kirk Menard, the private investigator, sent a pair of female witnesses who said they had tips in the killings related to Richard to the task force offices to be interrogated.

Prosecutors in New York’s Suffolk County investigating the Gilgo Beach cases have been in touch with multiple law enforcement agencies, but District Attorney Ray Tierney would not say which ones. A reward of $100,000 has been offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case, which involved two victims who were just 15 years old. That is a sentiment echoed by Phoenix Calida, a former sex worker from Chicago who now advocates for them through the Sex Workers Outreach Project.

Their bodies were found in marshy areas in Jennings, a small town in the area known as Cajun Country, between 2005 and 2009. Myers, who was part of the multi-agency Task Force investigating the Jeff Davis 8 murders, said the unsolved cases are one of the reasons he is running for sheriff. The cases involve the deaths of eight young women whose bodies were found in local canals and swamps between 2005 and 2009. The body count in Jennings continues to grow, with four more victims discovered over the next year. Police state that the women lived “high risk lifestyles”, and all were known by one of the original suspects, Frankie Richard. After local journalist Scott Lewis breaks the story, the case gains national attention, and investigative journalist Ethan Brown becomes intrigued.

And they all ended up dead in cases that have never been solved. Danny Barry, a 12-year veteran of the sheriff’s office when he died in 2010 at the age of 63, was named a suspect by at least three separate task force witnesses in a single day of interrogations in November 2008. “Deputy Danny Barry would ride around on the south side with his wife,” one witness said. “And they would try to pick up girls….[Barry’s vehicle was] a small blue sports car…Barry would drop off his wife, Natalie, and she would get the girls. The couple would ‘spike’ a drink and then take the girls back to the Barrys’ house….” Although the tapes were never made public, Brown says he had listened to them in their entirety.

One reason Brown doesn’t believe this was the work of a serial killer is the connections between all of the victims. Generally, serial killers kill victims who have no relation to other victims. However, the women themselves all knew one another intimately.

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