The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

When They’re Dead, They’re Just Hookers

Posted on | July 17, 2023 | 1 Comment

Archer: Oh, my God! You killed a hooker!
Cyril: Call girl! She was a call girl!
Archer: No, Cyril. When they’re dead, they’re just hookers.
Archer, Season 1 (2010)

Why is it that the Long Island serial killer case keeps reminding me of sitcom gags? My irreverent sense of humor has been getting me in trouble since grade school, and of course, as a professional journalist, I know that one is supposed to speak respectfully of murder victims, even when they’re dead hookers. But today I was reading a CNN report today about a “flood of evidence” in the case since the arrest of New York architect Art Vandelay — I’m sorry, of course I meant Rex Heuermann — as the prime suspect in the case. And what annoyed me in that story was that not once did they mention what it was these three women had in common, besides being dead. Hence, the Archer dialogue.

Just so we’re clear, here are the known facts via WABC-TV News:

  • Melissa Barthelemy was last seen at her residence, a basement apartment at 1149 Underhill Ave. in the Unionport section of the Bronx on July 12, 2009. She was 4 feet 10 inches tall and was 24 years old when she was last seen.
    Barthelemy was a sex worker who advertised on Adult Friend Finder as well as other sites. She used the aliases Chloe and VerySexyChloe. She had tattoos of the words “Blaze” and “Focus” on her back, and letters on her chest. She was also known to meet clients at bars, restaurants and hotels on the West Side of Manhattan.
    On July 12, 2009, the night she was last seen, Barthelemy told a friend she was going to see a man and would be back in the morning. This friend was aware she was a sex worker, but Barthelemy offered no other details. Her cellphone records show she traveled from the Bronx to Manhattan, most likely via taxi.
    Barthelemy’s mother had not heard from her or been able to contact her for a few days so she reported her missing to the NYPD on July 18, 2009. The investigation showed cellphone activity in Manhattan, Freeport, Massapequa and Lindenhurst. Motels in and near these neighborhoods were investigated.
    After Barthelemy had been reported missing, her younger sister received a series of taunting phone calls from someone using Barthelemy’s phone. These calls are believed to have come from the killer and were made from the area near the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 8th Avenue, and also from near Penn Station. These areas were thoroughly canvassed immediately following the calls, however, due to the large amount of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, no leads were developed.
    On December 11, 2010, Barthelemy’s body was found on the north side of Ocean Parkway, near Gilgo Beach . . .
  • Megan Waterman was 22 years old when she was last seen on June 6, 2010. Waterman was a resident of Scarborough, Maine and was a sex worker who advertised on Craigslist and Backpage. She used the names Lexxy and Sexy Lexi. She was last seen by her family boarding a New York-bound Concord Trailways bus in Maine, possibly with her pimp.
    Waterman was staying at the Holiday Inn Express, located at 2050 Express Drive South in Hauppauge. Waterman was known to stay at other hotels and motels on Long Island, including the Extended Stay America in Bethpage. Waterman left the Holiday Inn Express at 1:30 a.m. on June 6, 2010 to meet a client. Waterman called her pimp, who was in Brooklyn at the time, to tell him she was going to a convenience store near the hotel.
    Waterman was reported missing to the Scarborough Maine Police Department on June 8, 2010. Family members felt it was unlike her not to call them to check on her then-3-year-old daughter. The Scarborough Maine Police Department contacted the Suffolk County Police to assist in the missing person investigation.
    Waterman’s body was found on December 13, 2010 on the north side of Ocean Parkway, near Gilgo Beach . . .
    Waterman’s pimp was arrested on federal charges of Interstate Trafficking of Prostitutes on April 11, 2012 and was sentenced to three years in federal prison in January 2013. There is no information to suggest he had any knowledge or participated in any way in Waterman’s murder.
  • Amber Lynn Costello was 27 years old and lived at 1112 America Ave. in West Babylon when she was last seen by acquaintances. Costello was a heroin addict who lived at the house with another female and two men, who were also heroin addicts. Costello, who was 4 feet 11 inches tall, and was a sex worker who advertised on Craigslist and Backpage to support her and her roommates’ heroin addiction. Costello used the names Carolina or Mia and had tattoos of “Kaos” on her neck, a butterfly on her lower back and the word “Margeret” on her leg.
    Costello had moved to New York from Clearwater Florida and had completed a 28-day drug rehab, but had relapsed not long before her disappearance.
    Costello and her roommates shared a cellphone. The other female roommate was also a sex worker supporting a heroin addiction and the two male roommates would arrange dates with clients for the women. Costello did “in-calls” at her home, as well as “out-calls.”
    When Costello would meet clients at her home, the two male roommates would often arrange a scam, during which, once a client had paid money, and before any sex acts occurred, they would confront the client saying Costello was their girlfriend and the client would flee.
    Costello was last seen leaving her residence on foot on September 2, 2010 to meet a client who was picking her up at her house. Costello did not have her cellphone with her at the time and she was never reported missing.
    Costello was found on December 13, 2010 on the north side of Ocean Parkway, near Gilgo Beach . . .

Is this situation sufficiently clear? All three of these women were advertising their services via Internet sites like Craigslist and Backpage, which is presumably how the killer found them. And it would seem to me that, in reporting on a “flood of evidence” received by detectives investigating the case, CNN should have seen fit to mention this.

Police say they suspect Heuermann in at least one other murder — Maureen Brainard-Barnes, who was also a sex worker call girl hooker — and it is important to note that these women did not become victims randomly. It appears that, in using the Internet to advertise their services as prostitutes, these women made themselves targets.

The moral of the story? Don’t be a hooker.

Also, never trust CNN.



One Response to “When They’re Dead, They’re Just Hookers”

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