Timothy Bolger

Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.

5 Paranormal Oddities Reported on Long Island

Many think Long Island is a typical boring suburbia devoid of anything unusual besides the Big Duck, but looking deeper reveals a region replete with stories of aliens, ghosts and Bigfoot sightings.

Local reports of extraterrestrial, psychic and cryptozoological phenomena have been met with skeptics as well as believers, but some claims are easier to explain away than others. The sheer number of such purported sightings suggests the Island’s residents either have wild imaginations or are indeed living in a cauldron of metaphysical mysteries.

What follows is a roundup of five weird, bizarre things reported on Long Island:

Stranger Things Montauk Monster
The so-called ‘Montauk Monster’ that allegedly washed ashore on Long Island in 2008.

5. Montauk Monster
Some say it was just a decomposing animal carcass that beachgoers found washed up on the shore in Ditch Plains in July 2008. Others maintain it was viral marketing for a horror movie. Conspiracy theorists suggest it is some otherworldly experimental creature that escaped from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center. Either way, a legend was born when international media picked up on the story and the body of the enigmatic “monster” couldn’t be recovered for testing, leaving only speculation based on creepy photos of the beast.

Photograph of an alleged UFO in New Jersey, taken on July 31, 1952
Photograph of an alleged UFO in New Jersey, taken on July 31, 1952

4. Do You Believe?
With all the alien encounter allegations that originate from LI, some say the region is as much an antenna for extraterrestrial activity as Roswell, New Mexico, the infamous purported UFO crash site. Several local residents previously interviewed by the Press shared stories of spaceships landing on the Island. Some even said they were abducted by aliens, but few were willing to publicly share their stories, for fear of being ridiculed. Believers and sky watchers meet to swap stories of their sightings in the local chapter of MUFON, a national UFO research group.

Stranger Things Season Two
Netflix Stranger Things Season Two is coming in 2017! Stranger Things’ fictional town Hawkins, Indiana and its paranormal and psychokinetic scenarios share striking similarities to local lore surrounding Camp Hero (L) in Montauk, NY and Brookhaven National Laboratory (R) in Upton, NY, both on Long Island, NY. (Photos: Wikimedia Commons and Brookhaven National Laboratory)

3. Strange Island
The hit Netflix series Stranger Things was originally titled Montauk is based on local lore of children purportedly being abducted and taken to Camp Hero military base, where they were forced to participate in secret government experiments, including time travel, telekinesis, teleportation and mind-control. The show’s creators later changed the name and setting to the fictional town of Hawkins, Ind., but there are parallels aplenty between the series’ plot and LI suburban legend, chronicled in The Montauk Project book series. Skeptics say the books are science fiction, but author Preston Nichols continues to fuel speculation.

2. Bigfoot or Big Hoax?
Last year, the paranormal investigative unit of Scoopy Doo, a local dog poop collection company, released a video purporting to show footage of a Bigfoot sighting in Glen Cove, but the video appears to be a joke. One local newspaper picked up the story with a note at the end indicating that it “may or may not be completely true.” Patch.com posted a similar story recently about a sighting in the same area, but retracted the article. For what it’s worth, Scoopy Doo’s proprietors also predicted in 2012 that Mitt Romney would win the presidency because dog poop he picked up resembled the Republican.

Long Island Ghost Hunters
Long Island Ghost Hunters investigate paranormal hauntings.

1. Ghostly Encounters
There are so many purported specters on LI that the region has more than a half dozen ghost-hunting groups, a bus tour that visits the haunted sites and police increase patrols around the Kings Park and Pilgrim state psych centers around Halloween to deter thrill seekers. The infamous Amityville Horror house drew so many gawkers over the years that the owners changed its address and replaced its creepy windows. Besides Amityville, among LI’s the most infamous haunted locations are Sweet Hollow Road, Lake Ronkonkoma, Raynham Hall in Oyster Bay and Katie’s, a bar in Smithtown.

Home Invasions Probed in Elmont, Lindenhurst and Central Islip

Detectives are investigating three home invasions in the past week in Elmont, Lindenhurst and Central Islip, including two cases in which victims were assaulted, Nassau and Suffolk county police said.

In the first case, a man opened the front door of his Rossmore Avenue home in Central Islip when two men hit him, ripped the necklace from his neck and fled the scene at 11:25 p.m. Wednesday, police said. The necklace was later recovered in the street outside the home.

Then at 6 a.m. Saturday, three men armed with handguns entered an Indiana Avenue home in Lindenhurst, where they stole jewelry and long guns before they fled the scene, police said. There were no reported injuries in that case.

Lastly, at 12:45 a.m. Tuesday, four masked men armed with black handguns kicked in the side door of a home on 237th Street in Elmont, entered the basement apartment and pistol whipped a 28-year-old man on the back of the head after demanding money, police said. The victim refused treatment.

The trio stole cash, jewelry and car keys before they fled the scene. One of the men was wearing a wearing a white Scream Halloween mask and black hooded sweatshirt and the other three were wearing skis masks and black or gray hooded sweatshirts.

No arrests have been made in these cases and descriptions were not available for the two in Suffolk. Detectives are continuing the investigations.

Cops: 2 Nude Men Reported, Third Arrested in Massapequa Preserve

Nassau County police are beefing up patrols in Massapequa Preserve after a spate of nude men accosting women (Long Island Press photo)

Nassau County police are looking for at least two nude men wanted for scaring women in and around the Massapequa Preserve after a suspect was arrested for a similar incident over the weekend.

A woman was jogging in the preserve when she saw a man naked from the waist down running southbound along the path near Parkside Boulevard in Massapequa Park at 3:22 p.m. Sunday, police said. About 10 minutes later, another man committed a similar act on Linden Street, police said. Both incidents came after Andrew Parrucci, 57, of Amityville, was arrested for public lewdness in connection with a third such case last week.

“These are very, very serious crimes,” Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun told reporters at a news conference Monday outside the preserve. He said Bureau of Special Operations officers are beefing up patrols in the park as a result.

Parrucci had “aggressively walked toward the victim without any clothing on” while the 39-year-old woman was jogging on the preserve path just north of Jerusalem Avenue at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, police said in a news release. When a bicyclist approached, the suspect fled into the woods, police said. He was reportedly naked from the waist down and wearing only a hooded sweatshirt with the hood up.

Seventh Squad detectives arrested Parrucci on Friday. He was arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead on Saturday, when a judge released him without bail but ordered him to undergo pre-trial probation.

In the first case on Sunday, the victim described the suspect as a 5-foot, 10-inch tall black man between 40 and 50 years old with a skinny build, black hair and salt-and-pepper facial hair. He was wearing a dark green zip-up sweatshirt.

In the second case on Sunday, police are searching for a white man with dark skin wearing only a gray hooded sweatshirt that approached another woman in the park. Neither said anything to the victims.

LeBrun reminded joggers not to enter the park alone or wear headphones so they can be aware of their surroundings.

Detectives ask anyone with information regarding this incident to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.

Shoreham Crash Leaves Tow Truck Driver Dead

A 39-year-old tow truck driver was fatally hit by a car while hooking up a disabled vehicle in Shoreham over the weekend.

Suffolk County police said Gian Russo, of East Moriches, was preparing to tow an unoccupied, disabled vehicle parked on the shoulder of Route 25A when a westbound Ford Taurus struck Russo and the disabled vehicle east of Defense Hill Road at 8:20 p.m. Saturday.

Russo was pronounced dead at the scene. The other driver was treated for minor injuries.

Seventh Squad detectives impounded the vehicles, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on this crash to call them at 631-852-8752.

2 Coram Women Killed in Car Crash

A 73-year-old woman and her 96-year-old mother were killed in a car crash in Selden over the weekend.

Suffolk County police said Marie Sanacore was driving a Nissan Altima eastbound on Middle County Road when her car collided with a an Audi S4 that was making a left turn at the corner of Adirondack Drive at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Sanacore was pronounced dead at the scene. Her mother, Nellie Furino, was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, where she died shortly later. Both women were from Coram.

The other driver and her passenger were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Sixth Squad detectives impounded both vehicles, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on this crash to call them at 631-854-8652.

North Bellmore Man Killed in Parkway Crash

A 58-year-old North Bellmore man was killed in a truck crash on the Meadowbrook State Parkway in North Merrick over the weekend.

New York State police said Timothy Darwell was driving a Toyota Tacoma northbound when the truck lost control on slippery pavement and struck a tree on the shoulder of the parkway north of the Southern State Parkway at 3:11 p.m. Friday.

The victim was taken to Nassau University Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.

The New York State Police asking anyone who may have witnessed this crash call them at 631-756-3300.

Holbrook Man in Motorcycle Crash Dies

A 24-year-old man died the day after his motorcycle collided with another vehicle in his hometown of Holbrook over the weekend.

Suffolk County police said Jeffrey Montgomery was riding a Triumph southbound on Coates Avenue when his vehicle struck the right rear wheel of a Mercedes-Benz that was making a left turn onto Leonard Street at 12:32 p.m. Friday.

The victim was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he died Saturday, police said. The other driver was not injured.

Fifth Squad detectives impounded the vehicles, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on the crash to call them at 631-854-8552.

6th Brentwood Gang Violence Victim Found Dead in 5 Weeks

A teenager whose remains were discovered Monday is the sixth person believed to be killed by gang violence found dead in Brentwood in the past five weeks, Suffolk County police said.

The body of 18-year-old Jose Pena-Hernandez, an alleged MS-13 gang member from Brentwood who was reported missing on June 13, was found in a wooded area at Pilgrim Psychiatric Center on Crooked Hill Road, police announced Thursday. The Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office will perform an autopsy to determine his cause of death.

“We believe that there is gang involvement,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said. He added that after the victim was reported missing, “almost immediately my detectives recognized that there was foul play involved.”

The commissioner said that over the past month since police began cracking down on gangs in the community, police arrested 30 gang members—five of whom are facing federal charges, with the rest being prosecuted in county court. He declined to name the suspects.

The latest discovery comes a month after police found Nisa Mickens, 15, and Kayla Cuevas, 16, fatally beaten. Days after those findings, police uncovered the skeletal remains of 19-year-old Oscar Acosta, who was reported missing under suspicious circumstances in May, and Miguel Moran, 15.

Police have said Mickens’ and Cuevas’ deaths are believed to be gang-related. Sources have said that gang is MS-13, a notoriously violent street gang that has been linked to a string of murders in the community, but Sini would only confirm Thursday that the three boys are suspected MS-13 victims. All four teenagers were Brentwood High School students.

Last week, police said Dewann A.S. Stacks, 34, of Brentwood, was found beaten to death on American Boulevard in a case that investigators also suspect has gang involvement.

Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation into these cases and ask anyone with information is asked to call them at 631-852-6392 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

Nassau Exec Mangano, Wife and Oyster Bay Supervisor Indicted, Feds Say

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, his wife, Linda, and Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto have been indicted on federal charges that will be unsealed Thursday, prosecutors said.

Multiple New York news outlets quoting anonymous sources reported Wednesday that Mangano, a two-term Republican from Bethpage, would be charged in connection with the investigation into a Syosset restaurateur who’s been indicted for fraud and bribing a Town of Oyster Bay official.

“County Executive Mangano has the highest integrity, has done nothing wrong, has not been contacted and the accusations are preposterous,” Mangano’s spokesman, Brian Nevin, told the Press Wednesday night. After prosecutors confirmed the indictment Thursday morning, Nevin directed calls to Mangano’s criminal defense attorney, Kevin Keating.

Long Island state Senators Jack Martins, Carl Marcellino and Kemp Hannon, holding a press conference outside the Nassau County Legislature in Mineola Thursday morning, called on Mangano and Venditto to resign for the good of Nassau County and urged legislators and Oyster Bay Town Board to immediately begin the transition process to replace the indicted elected officials and ensure a smooth transition to new leadership.

“The public process has to continue,” Martins said, adding that it’s important government work continue “undistracted.”

“This is a sad day. It caught all of us by surprise,” said Marcellino, adding both must resign because “the people come first.”

Hannon echoed their sentiment and said there should be “zero tolerance” for corruption.

Nassau Republican Chair Joe Mondello did not return a request for comment.

Nassau County Democratic Committee Chair Jay Jacobs released the following statement regarding the arrests:

“This is a sad day for Nassau County and a sad day for Ed Mangano, John Venditto and their families. While we are adversaries in politics, I take no comfort or pleasure in what has happened today. If these allegations are true, they will represent a great widespread betrayal of the voters’ trust. Regardless of the legal outcome, there can no longer be any doubt that ‘business as usual’ in Nassau County politics and government must come to an end. The public’s demand for honest, credible and effective government requires it.”

WNBC New York broke the story, which the other New York metro newspapers later reported, citing unnamed sources suggesting that the charges have to do with favors from Harendra Singh, who was arrested last year. It’s unclear if the reported probe has anything to do with prior revelations in the county.

Chief Deputy Nassau County Executive Rob Walker said last year that federal investigators were probing his acceptance of donations from county contractors to Mangano’s re-election campaign. Walker testified as much while on the stand at the corruption trial of ex-New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), who was convicted of fraud and other charges for, among other things, using his power to help secure a $12 million Nassau contract for a company that paid his son, Adam Skelos, who was also found guilty at trial. Both the father and son are appealing their convictions.

Federal corruption investigations on Long Island of late haven’t been limited to Nassau, either. Across the county line, James Burke, the former Suffolk County chief of police, pleaded guilty in February to beating a suspect and orchestrating a cover up. He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 2.

Former Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Ed Walsh was convicted in March of theft and fraud for golfing, gambling and politicking while on the clock at his job as a county corrections lieutenant. He is appealing his conviction and scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 18.

Both the Burke and Walsh cases have reportedly spawned a federal investigation into the office of Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, which prompted Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone to call on Spota to resign in May—a call Spota rebuffed.

Drucker, Imbroto Running to Replace Nassau Legis. Judy Jacobs

From left: Arnold Drucker and Louis Imbroto.

Two lawyers from Plainview were recently nominated to run in the Nov. 8 special election to fill the seat vacated by Nassau County Legis. Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) when she died last month.

Democrats tapped Arnold Drucker, 59, a member of the Nassau Community College (NCC) Board of Trustees who has a Queens-based private law practice. Republicans picked Louis Imbroto, 32, associate general counsel at Nassau University Medical Center, who previously served as Assistant Town Attorney for the Town of Oyster Bay. Drucker also has the Independence and Work Families party lines while Imbroto has the Conservative and Tax Revolt party lines.

Residents will have a chance to hear the rivals’ positions on issues affecting the county when The League of Women Voters hosts a candidate forum 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library, located at 999 Old Country Rd. in Plainview.

Imbroto previously ran against Jacobs in 2013 and tried to unseat New York State Assemb. Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) in ’12 and ’14. He also chairs the Nassau County Youth Cabinet and previously worked at the Long Island Contractors’ Association as well as in private practice.

Drucker previously served as co-chair of a presidential search committee at NCC, which this summer tapped former Farmingdale State College President H. Hubert Keen as its new leader. This is Drucker’s first run for elected office.

Jacobs was an 11-term county legislator and 20-year veteran lawmaker who served seven years as the legislature’s first Democratic presiding officer before she died Sept. 13 at age 77. She was among four remaining county lawmakers that have been serving on the 19-member Nassau legislature since its inception in 1996. She got her start in politics as a civic leader.

Jacobs represented the 16th Legislative District, which encompassed the North Shore communities of Plainview, Old Bethpage, Jericho, Syosset, Woodbury, Hicksville, Old Westbury and Roslyn Heights.

County Executive Ed Mangano set the special election to fill her vacancy for Election Day. The winner will serve the remaining year of her last two-year term and will face re-election again in 2017. Republicans currently have a 12-6 majority in the chamber.

hofstra transfer day today
hofstra transfer day today