Is there a real-life "Dexter" on the loose? Cop by day, serial killer by night?
"We have a sexually sadistic serial killer who's had an awful lot of good luck. He found a good burial ground and he's had a good thing going," says criminal profiler Pat Brown.
As police scour densely wooded area along the coastline outside New York City, authorities are wondering if perhaps they are searching for one of their own. The killer is so adept at avoiding detection, some are wondering whether or not he might be a police officer.
Authorities say the killer has made taunting phone calls to the family of one victim, Melissa Barthelemy. And it is triggering fears that he has an insider's knowledge of police investigations and how to foil them.
His calls were so brief they can't be traced, he phoned from densely crowded areas where surveillance cameras can't pick him out, and he used disposable cell phones.
"He's very methodical, very, very careful," Brown says.
In the Showtime series Dexter, the main character works in a police crime lab, but uses his knowledge of police techniques to mask the fact that he is secretly a serial killer.
But Brown is not convinced the New York killer is really a cop.
"He's pretty smart about what he does, but anybody can learn that from CSI," she says.
Lynn Barthelemy, mother of victim Melissa Barthelemy, says, "He seems very intelligent, not to stay on the phone more than three minutes, to be in public areas."
Police say several of the victims were prostitutes who advertised on Craigslist.
INSIDE EDITION found out how easy it is to lure unsuspecting Craigslist escorts when we covered a police sting in 2007 on Long Island, where the eight current victims have been dumped.
Again and again, women who listed their services on Craigslist showed up at the hotel room.
The man they arranged to meet was actually an undercover cop, but he could just as easily have been a psychotic killer, for all they knew.
When he gave the signal, uniformed officers would burst into the room and arrest the women.
They were busted, but at least they were not the victims of a serial killer.
County executive Edward Mangano gave INSIDE EDITION this pledge: "We will use every resource that we have to bring this animal to justice."