Netflix’s new movie Lost Girls is based on a chilling true story about a serial killer in Long Island. Shannan Gilbert went missing after a terrifying 911 call in May 2010. In 2011, her body was found. But before her body was found, multiple other women’s bodies were found on Ocean Parkway between Gilgo and Oak Beach. Through it all, Shannan’s mother Mari Gilbert worked relentlessly to try to solve her daughter’s death — a story that is recounted in Netflix’s new movie. But Mari’s own life would end tragically too. (Above is a photo of actress Amy Ryan playing the role of Mari Gilbert in Netflix’s new movie.)
Many believe one killer is connected to the deaths of the women in that region. The killer has been referred to as the Long Island serial killer or the Gillgo Beach killer. Police had suspected that Shannan drowned although a county medical examiner’s autopsy showed an undetermined cause of death, The New York Times reported. Mari Gilbert sought an independent autopsy which ultimately suggested her daughter might have been murdered.
But as if her own daughter’s death wasn’t enough, Mari Gilbert would face more tragedy. She was found dead in her youngest daughter Sarra’s home. Sarra was ultimately charged and convicted of murdering her mother.
Mari Gilbert’s Daughter Sarra Was Found Guilty of Killing Her Mom
In 2016, just months after an independent autopsy raised more questions about Shannan’s death, Mari Gilbert was found dead in her daughter Sarra Gilbert’s apartment in Ellenville, CBS New York reported at the time. Mari, 52, lived on the same street as Sarra but in a different apartment.
Sarra was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession. Attorney John Ray told CBS that Sarra invited Mari to her home and “in the living room, she was knifed to death.”
During the trial, the jury learned that Sarra had stabbed her mother more than 200 times with a 15-inch kitchen knife. Then she beat her mother with a fire extinguisher, sprayed her with foam from the extinguisher, and took off her jewelry and clothes.
Sarra, diagnosed with schizophrenia, had been cycling out of mental hospitals, Ray said. But she had recently become dangerous, even drowning her pet puppy in front of her eight-year-old child. Ray also said that she was going to kill her own son, but her boyfriend stopped her.
Sarra heard voices that urged her to perform violent acts, New York Daily News reported.
The prosecution argued that Sarra killed her mother out of anger because Mari had Sarra arrested after Sarra drowned the puppy. Mari also may have had temporary custody of Sarra’s son, Daily Freeman reported. The father of her child said he was in jail for drug possession around that time and had not provided her with drugs, Record Online reported. He said he separated from Sarra because he thought she was going to kill him.
Sarra said her mom practiced witchcraft and she believed Mari was a demon. She believed the voices in her head were caused by her mom.
Her sister Sherre said they would try to get Sarra help, but she would get better for a short period of time and then get worse again, People reported. She believed her sister belonged in a place where she could be treated and not in a prison.