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Long Island Serial Killer: ‘Law & Order SVU’ Episode Mirrors Gilgo Beach Case


This combination of photos provided by the Suffolk County Police Department shows, from left, Melissa Barthelemy, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Megan Waterman, and Amber Lynn Costello. Investigators believe that all four young women were prostitutes who advertised online and were slain by a serial killer who later dumped their bodies on the desolate stretch of beach. The Feb. 22, 2012 episode of Law and Order: SVU is also about a serial killer who dumps the prostitutes he kills on a beach. (AP Photo/Suffolk County Police Department)

Popular television series Law and Order: SVU will air a new episode Wednesday night that should look eerily familiar to Long Islanders.

The episode, titled “Hunting Ground,” follows Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) as she leads the search for a serial killer who has been killing young prostitutes and dumping their remains at the beach.


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“Each of these victims was someone’s sister, daughter, mother,” guest star Harry Connick Jr. says at the beginning of the promo. “They will not be forgotten.”

During the episode, all of the women placed ads on the same website, much like how the four victims found at Gilgo all listed their services on Craigslist.

While the show doesn’t directly say the episode is based on the current case, it alludes to it by calling it “ripped from the headlines” and describing it as “the case that rocked America.”

long-island-serial-killer-law-and-order-svuPraying for Shannan Gilbert, a Facebook page run by Gilbert’s family, has been pushing the episode. The link for the promo was posted on Feb. 16 with the caption, “New episode of Law & Order about the ‘Long Island Serial Killer.’” On Wednesday, the promo was posted again on the page with the message, “It airs tonight!”

“Hunting Ground” will air on NBC at 10 p.m. EST.

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