Sister of missing young woman who led police to serial killer dumping ground stabs mother to death, sprays her body with fire extinguisher

Sarra Gilbert’s attorney said the murder victim practiced black magic, leading her mentally disturbed daughter to believe she was a demon

A young woman connected to the unsolved Long Island Serial Killer case is facing possible life in prison for the stabbing death of her mother.

The Daily Freeman reports that Sarra Gilbert, 28, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the brutal stabbing murder of her mother Mari Gilbert last July.

Sarra’s older sister Shannan Gilbert disappeared in Oak Beach, Long Island, in 2010. Several months later, investigators searching for her discovered a dumping ground of dead bodies on the same barrier island where Shannan went missing. A year after that, Shannan was found dead in a marshy area not far from where she was last seen in Oak Beach. A medical examiner determined that her death was likely from natural causes, and investigators have said they believe she was not a victim of the Long Island Serial Killer, although she matched in some ways the victim profiles of the other online escorts who were found dead along a beach highway.

Shannan’s mother Mari was outspokenly opposed to law enforcement’s claims that Shannan was not murdered, and filed a civil suit against an Oak Beach doctor she believed was responsible for her daughter’s death.

The civil suit was still pending last July when Mari Gilbert was found stabbed to death in Sarra’s Ellenville, New York, home. Sarra Gilbert was quickly taken into custody, and her attorney John Ray argued that her actions were a result of a lifetime of abuse and mental illness. Sarra had previously been charged with animal cruelty and child endangerment after she allegedly drowned a puppy in front of her young son.

According to the Daily Freeman, Sarra’s sister Stevie Smith wrote a letter read in court saying that her sister was “wicked.”

“The way she took my mom out of this world is beyond human,” Smith wrote. “This was not a result of mental illness. This was the result of long term hate and not a mental breakdown.”

Sarra’s own attorney reportedly said in court that his client “was raised in one of the worst families this county has ever had in its bosom.” He claimed that Mari Gilbert practiced “black magic,” which led her troubled daughter to believe her mother was a demon.

On July 26, 2016, Sarra Gilbert reportedly stabbed her mother 227 times with kitchen knife. She also beat her with a fire extinguisher and sprayed her body with the extinguisher foam.

Ultimately, Judge Donald Williams determined that Sarra Gilbert should be given the maximum sentence.

“This court will not permit or contribute to that terrible situation happening again,” Williams said.

The judge said the sentence was not given out of an intent to punish “but instead an overwhelming desire to protect other people by taking you off the streets for as long as I can.”


Feature photo: Associated Press/Sarra Gilbert rear center; Mari Gilbert front left