Several people inexplicably vanished in the same area over a short time in 2023, which naturally sparked fears of an active hunting predator.
Those fears are amplified by a booming true crime genre and the rising popularity of web sleuths, which can even create local boogeymen.
For decades, LISK – the Long Island Serial Killer – was a ghost story, until Rex Heuermann was arrested over the summer and charged with three of the “Gilgo Beach 4” murders. However, unexplained questions are still filled with myths and theories.
In Portland, Oregon, and around Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas, several mysterious deaths and disappearances led to active fears of a roaming serial killer, or killers, despite law enforcement’s denial of these claims.
REX HEUERMANN’S PECULIAR CONNECTION TO ‘MANORVILLE BUTCHER’ AND VICTIMS’ SCATTERED BODY PARTS
Lady Bird Lake
As of late June, five men were found dead this year in the social hot spot of downtown Austin, where their bodies have been found in and around the infamous lake.
The victims were men, and most were fished out of the lake or found dead along the shore.
ANOTHER BODY FOUND IN AUSTIN LAKE FOLLOWING FEARS OF A SERIAL KILLER
Several other lives have been claimed around that Texas lake in the last couple of years, and others have survived strange scenarios there with no recollection of what happened.
The community’s cries of a lurking killer preying on men had been downplayed for months by local police, who have said the incidents have been “accidental” and “coincidental.”
Victims’ families packed an Austin City Council hearing in April to push municipal leaders to take action.
Whether rumors of a predator are true or not, it is a fact that several men died in and around the lake in a short amount of time.
TEXAS SERIAL KILLER FEARS SPILL OVER INTO CITY COUNCIL AFTER ANOTHER MAN FOUND DEAD IN AUSTIN LAKE
“There are too many people that have gone missing,” resident Christopher Pugh said during April’s city council meeting.
Pugh’s 21-year-old son was reported missing in November 2019 after a night out on Rainey Street and was found days later with “serious” injuries by the lake.
“There are too many people that have been injured,” he said. “There are too many people that can walk off, and we still have absolutely no answers as to what has happened to any of those folks.”
Portland women vanish
Police found the remains of at least six women, including 32-year-old Joanna Speaks, whose death was ruled a homicide, were found within 100 miles of the Portland area.
Like in Austin, local police around the Portland area have downplayed rumors of an active hunter or hunters.
FEARS OF POSSIBLE OREGON SERIAL KILLER RISE AFTER 6 WOMEN FOUND DEAD IN PORTLAND AREA
The scope of missing women in and around Portland outpaced last year’s number of missing women by June, although some of the disappearances have been attributed to the city’s homeless and drug crisis.
What about at least 6 other victims in the infamous Gilgo Beach case?
Rex Heuermann, a New York City architect who lives just over a dozen miles from the dumping ground, was arrested and charged with three of the “Gilgo Beach 4” murders, and is still considered the prime suspect in the fourth case.
However, there are at least six more victims – including some who were dismembered – that were found in the same vicinity along the South Shore of Long Island by April 2011, which pushed a fiercely debated question back to the forefront.
GILGO BEACH MURDERS: INVESTIGATORS EYE POTENTIAL REX HEUERMANN VICTIMS IN UNSOLVED CASES IN OTHER STATES
“This is hard to talk about, but is this same killer or are there two?” said Josh Zeman, a filmmaker and producer who sunk his teeth into this case for a 2017 documentary called “The Killing Season.”
“It’s been really baffling to some of the best minds in the country.”
Further complicating the notorious New York cold case is when and where the body parts of the dismembered victims were found.
Some dismembered body parts of the Gilgo Beach victims were found in other areas of Long Island, including Manorville, which is about 45 miles from the dumping ground.
That has led to questions about whether there were one or more killers hunting on Long Island around the same time.
“So you have a killer who’s leaving torsos in Manorville, additional body parts in Gilgo Beach and the same person, theoretically, has left other body parts in other parts of Long Island,” Zeman said in a previous interview with Fox News Digital.
“It’s wicked confusing… The fact that these body parts, these torsos, were found in Manorville is why people call this killer, ‘The Manorville Butcher.’”