"We're in the midst of rejuvenating Atlantic City," says local radio host and Atlantic City legend Pink Kravitz. "The casinos this past year generated $5 billion.This industry has created over 40,000 jobs for people right here in Atlantic City. Come see for yourself."
But a few short miles from the Atlantic City's glittering casinos sits a strip of low-rent motels. Behind them, a lonely path runs along a drainage ditch.
As correspondent Harold Dow reports, police in the Atlantic City suburb of Egg Harbor Township were alerted on Nov. 20, 2006, to a grisly discovery: spaced out along the drainage ditch were four dead women.
At the time, John DeAngelis was a captain on the force. When police examined the first body, they immediately noticed something strange. "They had discovered that the victim did not have shoes on and was barefoot," he explains.
In fact, it turned out that all four victims were methodically positioned in the same bizarre manner. "All facing east, all with no shoes on, no purse, no cell phone, no personal belongings," DeAngelis explains. "It appears that these women were killed just for the sake of being killed."
And DeAngelis believes that most likely, one killer was involved with all four victims.
Fear of a serial killer on the loose rocked Atlantic City and the entire Northeast. Police had a high profile case on their hands with few clues. And as they began to identify the victims, it took on a new and more troubling dimension. All four murdered women had friends and families who loved and supported them. So why and how did they end up in a place like this?
Barabra Breidor's sisters Francine and Valerie were not surprised when they learned that she was one of the victims; Barbara had been missing for weeks.
Fran and Val prefer to remember their sister in happier days, growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs, spending summers with Barbara on the Jersey shore. "Barbara was raised in a very stable, loving home," Val remembers.
But Barbara had trouble coping with the sudden death of her father. The death, says Val, completely devastated the family and left Barbara depressed.
After a tough year at Penn State University, Barbara left school and returned to the South Jersey shore. She held several steady jobs, and in 1997, achieved a life-long goal: motherhood.
Barbara Breidor was 42 years old. Her daughter Dominique is only 9.
Solving Barbara's murder was the job of Atlantic City Prosecutor Jeffrey Blitz. He formed a special task force to crack the case. Even before Blitz identified Barbara Breidor, he revealed the name of the first woman found in the ditch: 35-year-old Kim Raffo.
Kim's cousin Juliette remembers the two of them growing up on the streets of Brooklyn. "Always smiling, you know, always happy," Juliette recalls.
As Kim grew into a young adult, she seemed to be headed in the right direction. "She really had it together. I was so proud of her," Juliette says.
Hugh Auslander fell in love with Kim and married her in 1989. The young couple moved to Florida and had two children; Hugh worked a good construction job, while Kim devoted herself to the kids.
"Everything was about as good as it gets," Hugh remembers.
But then things began to fall apart. Kim fell in love with another man, a chef she'd met at a cooking class and by 2003, the marriage was over. Kim eventually moved to Atlantic City with her lover. Three years after they arrived in town, Kim Raffo was dead.
Kim was strangled to death. The second victim identified died similarly. She was 23-year-old Tracy Ann Roberts, who, according to DeAngelis, came from a small town in Delaware and trained to be a medical assistant.
Tracy had only moved to Atlantic City within the past year. "Everybody that knew her said that she was a really nice, pretty, young person that had her whole future ahead of her," DeAngelis says.