Oak Beach, New York
Oak Beach is a small community located on the eastern end of Jones Beach Island, a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Great South Bay of Long Island. The community is part of the town of Babylon in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The eastern part, the Oak Island Beach Association, is gated, whereas the western part is not. It is part of the Oak Beach–Captree census-designated place.
Oak Beach has been inhabited since at least the first decade of the 1900s, when a U.S. Coast Guard lifesaving station was located there, though it could not be reached overland at that time. Prior to that, marsh bird hunters had kept shacks in the area. Ferry access from Babylon enabled cottages to be built, and made more accessible by car after construction of Ocean Parkway, it was largely a summer community until the completion of the Robert Moses Causeway in 1951, which allowed much faster travel from the main part of Long Island. It has gradually evolved since then to where most residents live there year-round.
The land is not owned by the residents, but is on long-term lease from the Town of Babylon. In the early 1990s, there was litigation by the state against extension of the lease. After much negotiation, including detailed environmental impact statements, the lease was renewed (currently through 2050), though with a ramp up in costs. In 2012 the Town of Babylon agreed to extend the current leases through 2065.
Although now entirely residential, Oak Beach was also the location of the popular but controversial Oak Beach Inn, which was closed in 1999 and was torn down in 2003, along with a small general store ("The Store") and bait/tackle/surf shop that closed a decade earlier. There is now a public park at the site. The "park" is unusual, in that it lacks any amenities other than a fishing dock and a single portable toilet. While the park encompasses over nine acres of land, there are but two trees and nearly 300 parking spots. In the warmer months the park - or rather the parking lot - collects an informal early Sunday morning motor rally, attracting local motorcycle and car enthusiasts.
In April 2011, the community attracted much public attention as eight dead bodies were found along the adjacent highway in the course of a search for a missing prostitute, last seen fleeing the house of a client in the Oak Beach Association. The investigation is ongoing. ABC News says that the FBI is now officially on the case. The number of dead bodies would later be increased to ten total. Police reports and autopsy findings state the belief that it's the work of a single serial killer. The oldest dead body being dead for 8 years, but it's unknown whether it had been at the site since the killing. In early 2012 the body of the original missing prostitute was found in the marsh east of the community.