The Long Island Serial Killer Victims Deserve More — Let’s Start With Jessica Taylor

It's time we stop treating victims as "less than" and start saying their names, sharing their stories, and demanding justice.

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After the recent arrest of Rex Heuermann, the individual connected to the Gilgo Beach murders case that has stumped law enforcement and detectives for years, there has been much buzz in the media surrounding Heuermann’s personal life. However, what about his alleged victims? 

Unfortunately, many of their names and their stories have been swept under the rug due to their occupations as sex workers. Not much is known about them besides the fact that they were “prostitutes” at the time of their deaths. 


Now, it is time that their individualities, hobbies, who they were, and what they meant to their loved ones are brought to light. Because as long as these stories continued to be ignored by the media, justice will never truly be served. 

One of the victims of the Gilgo Beach murders was 20-year-old Jessica Taylor, who vanished in July 2003 while working as a sex worker in New York City. Until now, there were very few details beyond her occupation that were remembered by the public. To her family, she was much more than that. 


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Jessica Taylor was found murdered on July 26, 2003 in Manorville, New York. 

Jessica Taylor was born on July 14, 1985. Originally from Poughkeepsie, New York, she later moved to Brooklyn. At 17 years old, she began working as a sex worker and spent three years under the control of Khalil White, a pimp known as “Remy.” 

Taylor had reportedly expressed her desire to escape her lifestyle and pursue a greater life. 

During a trip to Washington D.C., Taylor decided to return to New York City. She left on July 15, 2003, and was reported missing by White later that day.


Taylor was reportedly seen a few days later, between July 18-21, at the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan. Although, a few days later on July 26, her mutilated body was discovered by a dog walker at the end of an access road off Halsey Manor Road, just north of the Long Island Expressway in Manorville. Taylor was discovered in a sheet of plastic, nude, decapitated, and missing her hands.

A medical examiner concluded that she had been murdered about two to three days before her corpse was found. She was later identified by a tattoo on her right hip, a red heart with an angel wing with the words, “Remy’s angel,” written inside the heart, a reference to White. 

Taylor’s skull, hands, and forearm were found years later in 2011 on Gilgo Beach. 

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While many people may only know Taylor as a sex worker, her family shared that she was much more than that and made a profound impact on them. 

Like many of the other victims allegedly murdered at the hands of Heuermann, Taylor was a sex worker, with the rest of her backstory being neglected. However, her family and other families who have lost loved ones to similar crimes are changing their narratives and sharing personal stories regarding who they were and the impact they had on their lives.

Lauren Lee Malloy knows all too well the pain that the Taylor family has suffered for nearly two decades. In 1993, her mother, Lori Lee Malloy, was discovered dead in her apartment.

A medical examiner had originally concluded that her death was related to drugs since she had a history of cocaine use and took medication for schizophrenia. She was also allegedly a sex worker. 


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Malloy’s daughter Lauren and many others, however, suspect that she had been raped and murdered, and have re-opened the cold case in hopes of finding more definitive answers.

In light of Rex Heuermann’s arrest, Lauren has also been thinking much about his victims. “One thing I noticed is how many media outlets refer to them simply as ‘sex workers’ and ‘addicts’ and how their suspected killer’s name and face is shared so much more than theirs,” she shared in a Twitter post. “This bugs me.” 

“When I made my mom’s cold case public, I chose to share the full reports because I wanted the facts known. These facts included her alleged sex work, substance use struggles, and more,” she added. “I was afraid people would judge her and not care about her case, so also chose to tell what I learned about her life and who she was as a person in the hopes others would understand.” 


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To Lauren’s pleasant surprise, most people who learned about her mother’s story were “accepting” and “loving.” Now, she wants the same treatment for the Gilgo Beach murder victims, since many of them were sex workers or struggled with drug use as well. 


“The LISK [Long Island Serial Killer] victims deserve that same acceptance and love, not just ‘[Name], a XX-year-old sex worker,’” Lauren wrote. “If I died tomorrow, I hope my job wouldn’t be how I was remembered or defined.” 

Lauren decided to reach out to @morethanlala, a Twitter account run by Jessica Taylor’s family, to promote awareness of her story and to remember her. 

According to Taylor’s family, there was much more to her story than her occupation. 

“She was a true force, one who wouldn’t easily take disrespect. She was somebody that I looked up to. I always think of her eyes first when I think of her, so big and beautiful, matching a smile that lit up her face,” one of her family members told Lauren about Taylor. “We used to have sleepovers all the time where we’d drink soda milk and watch Nick at Nite. She taught me how to double Dutch.” 

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Through the painful road Taylor’s family has been on since losing her, they realize that finally having answers will not bring her back. 

“It’s been so hard to process through all of these emotions, it’s like living it all over again from the beginning,” they noted. “She is very loved and missed.” 

jessica taylor long island serial killer victim


The rest of the victims deserve to have their stories heard. 

Lauren emphasizes that this is the story that all of Heuermann’s victims deserve.

“That’s the story that deserves to be told for all the Jessica Taylors and Lori Lee Malloys out there — who they were as people,” she shares. “Everyone has struggles, but no one deserves to have their life taken. I’d like to see the LISK victims’ names and faces shared more than their suspected killer’s because they deserve to be known and remembered more.” 

It is time that we look beyond these women’s work and their struggles and learn more about their families, hobbies, interests, and memories rather than their occupations. It is also time we say their names, share their stories and demand justice. 

It all starts now with Jessica Taylor.


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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.