On May 9, 1994, a jury found Rifkin guilty of killing nine women, though he is suspected in as many as 17 murders. During the trial, Rifkin’s lawyer described him as, “a paranoid schizophrenic who lived in the twilight zone, overwhelmed by violent, irresistible compulsions that took control of his life.” The jury disagreed, instead finding him responsible for his actions. He is serving a 203-year sentence for his crimes.
Interestingly, some of the remains found recently near Long Island’s Gilgo Beach are so old that police are investigating the possibility that they they may be those of two of the four Rifkin victims that were never found. Rifkin, 52, told Newsday, “I have nothing to do with those bodies,” and insisted that the lonely stretch of beach along the South Shore’s barrier island was not one of his dumping grounds. He spoke to the media for an hour and put forth his theory that the Long Island Ripper is someone whose work would allow him to go unnoticed while carrying burlap bags, “My guess is it would be someone like a landscaper, contractor or a fisherman.” Experts are not putting much stock in his musings.