Update on Shannan Gilbert Search

on December 8, 2011 in Unsubs by

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said Wednesday that while no remains of Shannan Gilbert were found, they did find her clothing, a cellphone, and a pocketbook with an ID.

They believe Shannan drowned, and has nothing to do with the ten bodies found on nearby Gilgo Beach. Said Dormer:

It’s very easy to get engulfed with water, muck, and fall down and not be able to get out of there. We surmise that’s what happened to Shannan and she’s in there some place and we’re going to do everything we can to find her.

Based upon the information given by witnesses, it seems to me that Shannan had some sort of psychotic break or drug induced panic, and ran out into the water and drowned.

Truly a sad story, but I don’t think she was murdered.


  • Di says:

    Do you still believe Shannan Gilbert’s death to be accidental, Brian? Obviously the public aren’t privy to all the facts but there just seems to be too many coincidences for her death not to be connected to the others. I can buy her getting stuck in the marsh and drowning, but would she really have taken her clothes off first?
    I guess I feel particularly bad for Shannan’s family as she seems to have gotten the most media attention and has therefore been subject to the most rumour and innuendo.

    • Brian Combs says:

      Well, several months in a tidal swamp could remove the clothes, but I don’t know enough about the crime scene to know whether that’s viable in Shannan’s case.

      Here’s the thing, if we accept the stories of the people that saw her those last few hours, it’s hard to see how her death was not accidental. So, is either Joseph Brewer or Michael Pak the Gilgo Beach killer?

      Or did she run from Brewer’s house and somehow run into the killer?

      Occham’s Razor says it was accidental.

      If Brewer or Pak is lying in some substantive way, then all bets are off.

      • Wildflower says:

        So you think accidental is the most likely scenario?

        I think the most likely scenario is that she ran from Brewer’s because something did legitimately freak her out (remember NO drugs were found in her system at autopsy so she wasn’t hallucinating or tripping.). She had been calling Pak multiple times for minutes on end before finally trying to flee. The fact that Pak downplayed the content of those calls (made before she had tried to escape Brewer’s) tells me that Pak was aware of the nefarious situation, but was intent on keeping Shannan at the John’s home. Perhaps he is so cold that he wanted her to just finish the deal so he could get his money and get home and did not take her calls for help seriously.

        Shannan runs down the street, knocks on a door, but runs as soon as PAK pulls up. This is because she was afraid he would take her back to Brewer’s OR that he might harm her as well. Hackett runs into her when she hides near his house and offers to watch her and supervise her as he is a Doctor. He does not give her drugs bc no drugs were found in her system. He simply is monitoring her. He claimed to ask her for emergency contact info in case he didn’t hear from her after she left. I believe the Doctor legitimately wanted to help. The Doctor Hackett says she then decided to leave with her driver. She didn’t stay very long. Somehow the driver was able to convince her that he did not want to harm her and would drive her home. In reality, the driver Pak was enraged that she not only screwed them out of their money that night, but also that she had made a scene that could have gotten them arrested.

        She leaves Oak Beach with Pak and somewhere between the neighborhood and where her body was found not far off the causeway she is strangled. Her body was found on he side of the road he would have been driving to get back to NY.

        The new autopsy suggests that she may have been strangled. She was on her back when found.

        I think It’s Pak for now.

        I’m sure it’ll change tomorrow when I find out more info.

  • Di says:

    Personally, I don’t find Pak to be at all credible. If he was sincerely looking for Shannan, why didn’t he wait for the police to arrive when he knew that they had been called? I don’t personally feel that he was responsible for her death, but I would not put any faith in what he has to say.
    It was reported in the Australian media that her belongings were found in a neat pile, which would obviously proclude them from ‘falling off’, but try as I might I cannot find this report again, so I am assuming that this was not accurate.
    It could be that this is all a coincidence, but there are too many unanswered questions for me to believe without a doubt that her death was accidental.
    The addition of Dr Hackett’s strange behaviour doesn’t help to clarify the situation either.
    Additionally, I truly believe that if Shannan Gilbert were not a sex worker but a doctor, lawyer or resident of the gated community, then people wouldn’t be quite so ready to believe that she had a psychotic break and simply ran off and drowned. The comment by Suffolk County polive that her clothes could have fallen off while she was running and unprofessional at best.
    Regardless of whether Shannan was a victim of the serial killer or not, I hope that this person is caught asap.

    • Brian Combs says:

      I think there is plenty of reason to question Pak. We know he beat Shannan up at least once (according to 48 Hours, if memory serves), so that makes him a scumbag. But, the police seem to be taking his statement as accurate.

      And, not waiting for the police is easy to explain. He was engaged in criminal activity. If he thought Shannan had run off, and was unable to find her, not waiting around to be questioned about his involvement in prostitution is perfectly understandable. He had no reason to think she was in danger (again, if we accept his story).

      Obviously, if her clothes were found in a neat pile, that would be another thing. But, I’m trying to focus on what we know to be facts. If I go down the path of rumors, anything is possible.

      And, I have a hard time believing that even if they were placed in a neat pile when she died/was killed, they wouldn’t be in a neat pile so many month’s later.

      As for Dr. Hackett, I agree, it’s strange. I don’t what to make of him.

      And, certainly the police and the public react differently when the victim is a prostitute. And the Suffolk County Police were clearly slow to take up the search for Shannan Gilbert.

      But, the reason I think she had a psychotic break is because of her behavior. She ran to Gus Coletti’s house, and felt safe enough there that she spent some 20 minutes on the phone with 911. Then, she panics and runs out of the house.

      This is not the action of someone of sound mind.

      I’d really like to hear the tape on that 911 call…

      • Tina P says:

        Ditto. Hearing Dr Bonn’s take on the situation was brilliant as well. It’s opened my eyes to a whole world of possibilities on this case and does make me wonder why the feds are trying to say there are multiple killers.

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