Summer on Long Island brings out crowds of sun catchers to the famous beaches that line its south shore. Could one of those seasonal visitors be the infamous serial killer who is responsible for the death of nearly a dozen people, many of them believed to be prostitutes?

Police in New York have spent the last 14 months trying to determine who is responsible for the murders of nearly a dozen individuals whose remains have been found discarded on Long Island beaches.

While opinions vary as to whether a single serial killer is responsible, The Huffington Post spoke with an expert who believes it is possible that a seasonal serial slayer is to blame -- someone who has committed crimes between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when the beaches are filled.

"I believe that there is one killer that is haunting Long Island, and I believe there is a really good chance he is a seasonal visitor," said Dr. Scott A. Bonn, a serial killer expert and assistant professor of sociology at Drew University.

"[The killer] is intimately familiar with the area and comfortable with it. I think there is a very good chance that he grew up in the area," Bonn added.

Eleven sets of human remains have been found on Long Island beaches from as early as 1996, with a majority of the discoveries having come since Dec. 2010. Of the 11, only five have been identified. Those victims were missing female prostitutes who were reported missing between Memorial Day and Labor Days over the years:

  • Jessica Taylor, 20, of Manhattan, was reported missing in July 2003. Her partial remains were discovered that same month. Additional remains belonging to Taylor were found in March 2011.
  • Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, of Norwhich, Conn., was reported missing in July 2007. Her remains were found in December 2010.
  • Melissa Barthelemy, 24, of the Bronx, was reported missing in July 2009. Her remains were found in December 2010.
  • Megan Waterman, 22, of Scarborough, Maine, was reported missing in June 2010. Her remains were found in December 2010.
  • Amber Costello, 27, of North Babylon, was reported missing in September 2010. Her remains were found in December 2010.
  • Jane Doe 1, partial remains found in November 2000. Additional remains discovered in April 2011.
  • Jane Doe 2, a toddler found in April 2011.
  • Jane Doe 3, mother of toddler, remains found in April 2011.
  • Jane Doe 4, partial remains found in 1996. Additional remains found in April 2011.
  • John Doe 1, remains of an adult male, wearing women's clothing, found in April 2011.

The most recent remains were discovered last week on the eastern end of Long Island. Authorities estimate the unidentified victim had been at the location for about five years.

The remains of another woman, Shannan Gilbert, 24, of Jersey City, were found in December 2011. Despite similarities to the other cases, police believe Gilbert accidentally drowned.

While some experts have speculated that the toddler and the male victim are not connected to any of the other slayings -- they do not appear to fit a particular MO -- Bonn said he has a simple explanation for why they should be included.

"It's not uncommon for prostitutes to take a child along. There's no prostitute daycare I am aware of," Bonn explained. In regard to the male victim's remains, Bonn said, "This person was cross-dressed. Think about it. Let's say the serial killer picked up this [individual], not knowing this was a man. When he found out, he bashed the victim's head in, which is contrary to how the other victims were killed, which appears to be strangulation."

Bonn also believes Gilbert is likely linked to the other victims.

"[Authorities] seem to dismiss Gilbert as one of the victims, and that does not make sense to me," Bonn said. "Unless there is evidence we don't know about, it seems too eerily similar to dismiss."

If the cases are all connected -- several of the victims were disposed of in burlap sacks or wrapped in plastic -- the responsible individual has been using Long Island beaches as his dumping ground since at least 1996.

L.I. SERIAL KILLER CASE PHOTOS: (Article Continues Below)

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  • Long Island Human Remains

    An aerial view of the area near Gilgo Beach and Ocean Parkway on Long Island where police have been conducting a prolonged search after finding ten sets of human remains.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    Articles about the discovery of bodies near a Long Island, New York beach as seen in April 6 issues of Newsday and the New York Daily News newspapers on April 7, 2011 in N.Y. Four bodies recently found near the town of Gilgo Beach on Long Island, about 45 miles from New York City, brings the count to eight bodies discovered in the area, including four last December, leading authorities to speculate there is a serial killer at work. The disappearance of prostitute Shannan Gilbert of Jersey City, New Jersey started the search by local officials that led to the discovery of the bodies. (Stan Honda, AFP / Getty images)

  • Long Island Human Remains

    Investigators search for remains in a marsh area just east of Oak Beach, N.Y., in December 2011.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    A Long Island police officer sits at the entrance to a road during a December 2011 search.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    In a photograph provided by the Suffolk County Police Department, a map of the crime scene shows where several bodies have been discovered along Ocean Parkway in Suffolk County, N.Y.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    An aerial view of the area near Gilgo Beach and Ocean Parkway on Long Island where police have been conducting a prolonged search after finding multiple sets of human remains.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    An undated photograph of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, provided by the Suffolk County Police Department during a press conference held at Suffolk County Police Headquarters. Brainard-Barnes's was one of several bodies discovered along Ocean Parkway in Suffolk County.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    An undated photograph of Megan Waterman, provided by the Suffolk County Police Department during a press conference held at Suffolk County Police Headquarters. Waterman was one of several bodies discovered along Ocean Parkway in Suffolk County.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    An undated photograph of Melissa Barthelemy, provided by the Suffolk County Police Department during a press conference held at Suffolk County Police Headquarters. Barthelemy was one of several bodies discovered along Ocean Parkway in Suffolk County.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    An undated photograph of Amber Lynn Costello, provided by the Suffolk County Police Department.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    Photograph provided by the Suffolk County Police Department of an unidentified male, one of several bodies discovered along Ocean Parkway in Suffolk County, N.Y. Police released the sketch in hopes that someone might recognize him.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    In this artist's rendering provided by the Suffolk County Police Department, a composite sketch of an unidentified victim in the investigation of the remains discovered off Ocean Parkway in April 2011.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    This photo provided by the Suffolk County Police Department shows Jessica Taylor. On May 9, 2011 the head and hands of Jessica Taylor were found along a Long Island highway. Her headless, handless body was found in July 2003, in Manorville.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    Two undated photos of Shannan Gilbert released by the Suffolk County Police Department.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    Suffolk County Police and police recruits search an area of beach on April 5, 2011, in Babylon, N.Y.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    A Suffolk County Police officer searches through brush along a stretch of beach highway in April 2011.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    Police use a bucket lift near a crime scene during a search on Jones Beach Island in April 2011.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    Suffolk County Police divers search for human remains in the waters of Hemlock Cove.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    Suffolk County Police divers search for human remains in the waters of Hemlock Cove.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    An aerial view of police cars near near Gilgo Beach and Ocean Parkway on Long Island in April 2011.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    K-9 unit police use a cadaver dog to search an area in Oak Beach.

  • Long Island Human Remains

    Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer points out photographs of jewelry recovered from bodies found along Ocean Parkway in Suffolk County during a September 2011 news conference.

  • Video's "Vigil For Missing Woman Feared Victim of Serial Killer" info

    A vigil for woman feared victim of a serial killer.

While authorities still don't know if a single serial killer is responsible or whether multiple murderers are using the island for a dumping ground, it is hard to ignore the fact that the identified victims all disappeared between Memorial Day and Labor Day. A clue to the killer's lifestyle? Bonn believes so.

"There is an obvious seasonal aspect of this that warrants consideration," Bonn said. "This is a vacation area. [The killer] may be a seasonal visitor. He could also be a Manhattan resident who has a summer home."

If the serial killer is a seasonal visitor, Bonn said there are likely additional victims elsewhere.

"As somebody who studies serial killers, I can tell you their urges do not come seasonal," Bonn said. "The FBI should be looking at similar patterns elsewhere."

If a single serial killer is responsible, the methodology of past killers suggests he is likely following the case very closely in the media and is basking in the attention, Bonn reasons. But sooner or later that attention will no longer suffice. Once that happens, he will likely strike again.

"This guy is meticulous, sadistic and smart. I suspect he's probably a professional -- extremely charming and disarming," Bonn said. "He's not going to stop, and the nature of the victims' lifestyle (the fact that prostitutes often go unreported when they are missing) makes them the ideal prey. For all we know, he may have another dumping ground already."

Earlier on HuffPost: