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Profiler: Lust, power provoke L.I. killer

Forty miles east of New York City, Long Island residents are terrified that a serial killer is on the loose - and will strike again.

The search for human remains continues on Long Island, after three more bodies were found Monday, bringing the total to eight.

N.Y. police to resume search for bodies near beach

Who could be behind these murders?

Criminologist Casey Jordan said on "The Early Show" Tuesday the killer or killers have a sexual motivation.

Jordan said the police are likely dealing with a "power control killer" or "hedonistic lust killer," because the women were lured through Craigslist.

The disturbing new discovery was made on a remote beach highway, CBS News correspondent Betty Nguyen reported. Helicopters and cadaver-sniffing dogs led investigators working in thick brush to the remains of three bodies.

The case began last May, with authorities searching the scenic beachfront area for Shannon Gilbert, an escort who advertised on Craigslist and who had disappeared.

In December, during their search, police made a grisly discovery: four female victims were each wrapped in burlap. The women - all in their 20's - were also identified as escorts soliciting on Craigslist. Investigators attribute the murders to a serial killer.

Adrienne Smith, a Gilgo Beach resident, told CBS News, "It makes you a little concerned that this predator could possibly be living among us in one of the beach communities."

Police say time is of the essence.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said, "We want to do this before the spring foliage grows in and makes it more difficult. And if there are any more bodies out there, we want to find them."

Jordan said on "The Early Show" the killer may have placed the bodies in this area because he or she may have known the elements - the salt spray and constant hurricane-style winds in the winter - will expedite decomposition.

However, Jordan said, the more likely reason for the location is because it's familiar and convenient to the perpetrator.

"He knows it well," she said. "And everything is found within a mile range. I wouldn't be surprised if we find more bodies soon."

Investigators say they have no known suspects, but are hoping the most recent discoveries will lead them to the killer.

Jordan said the police may be deliberately keeping details about the killings out of the public eye on purpose.

"I think (the police) know a lot more than we know," Jordan said. "Number one, this all started because of the missing woman, Shannon Gilbert. And we haven't found her yet, which is still this huge question mark. Is she out there, is she alive? And if all -- if you have eight women within a year and a half, you're talking about a certain type of killer who is perhaps even speeding things up or decompensating or putting the murders a little bit closer together. If there's a cooling off period, it would probably be getting shorter right about now."

To catch the killer or killers, Jordan said police will begin by learning the manner of the women's deaths.

"We don't know if they were shot, stabbed, strangled - that would tell us a lot," Jordan said. "We don't know because of the state of the remains being so decompensated whether or not they were posed, tossed, dismembered. We don't know any of that."

If the police begin to learn the identities of the bodies, Jordan said a pattern may emerge - or not.

"It will be interesting, because we know that the other five were linked by the common variable of Craigslist," she said. "These three -- it will be interesting to get the DNA, their dental records, find out who they are, are they female? Are they in the same 20-something age range. Were they also on Craigslist? And any diversion from that, which is completely possible, will make this more complicated. But if it fits that pattern, you can be sure it's the work of the same person or persons."

"The state of the remains going to be the key," she continued. "They could be an older set of remains than the ones that were found several months ago. Dental records are the very best thing you can have. If you have to do mitochondrial DNA off of a femur - a large chunk of bones, if you put it on rush could take days or weeks. Having information on women you can match that to is really the key to getting it done quickly. "

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