Rex Heuermann has been charged in connection with the infamous Gilgo Beach serial killings. The case, which had puzzled investigators for over a decade, finally reached a significant breakthrough when new evidence emerged, linking Heuermann to the heinous crimes.
How did murdered by Rex Heuermann?
The Gilgo Beach killings, a series of brutal murders, took place in 2009 and 2010, leaving the entire Long Island community in fear and sorrow. The remains of the victims, including Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Costello, were discovered along the shoreline. Furthermore, reports from Crime Online state that in addition to the victims mentioned earlier, nine women, one man, and a toddler were also found deceased on the beach.
Recent revelations have solidified Rex Heuermann in this case. According to The New York Times, the four murder victims, whose bodies were wrapped in burlap and buried together as serial killers do after every murder and in the same process. An inside source informed the news outlet that the remains were discovered in close proximity to each other, strengthening the suspicion against Heuermann.
How all the evidence was linked to Rex Heuermann
The investigation into Heuermann has been exhaustive, involving more than 300 subpoenas, search warrants, and various legal procedures to gather evidence against him. The incriminating items discovered during the investigation include cellphone billing records that corresponded to locations of “burner” phones used to arrange meetings with the victims.
The cellphone records also uncovered taunting calls made to the relatives of the victims, further adding to the chilling nature of the case.
Furthermore, investigators found connections between Heuermann, the victims, and locations in Massapequa Park and midtown Manhattan, where Heuermann lived and worked.
In addition to the cellphone evidence, the court documents revealed that Heuermann had a series of online accounts under different fictitious names, allegedly used for illicit activities. Shockingly, on one of these burner email accounts, he conducted thousands of searches related to disturbing content, including sex workers, sadistic and torture-related pornography, and even imagery depicting child sexual abuse.
In investigation of Rex Heuermann
Investigators were particularly alarmed by the numerous searches made by Heuermann related to active and known serial killers, as well as detailed inquiries about the disappearances and murders of Brainard-Barnes, Barthelemy, Waterman, and Costello. Some of the search queries included information about law enforcement efforts to catch the Long Island serial killer.
The timeline of events leading up to Heuermann’s arrest paints a disturbing picture. The first victim, Shannan Gilbert, who worked as a sex worker, disappeared in May 2010 after meeting a client near Oak Beach. Her 911 call, in which she said, “They are trying to kill me,” was her last call.
Soon after Gilbert’s disappearance, police discovered the remains of four women, Barthelemy, Brainard-Barnes, Waterman, and Costello, all buried with burlap cloth on Gilgo Beach. The investigation intensified as more remains were found, including additional female sex workers, a man, and a toddler.
It was in March 2022 that police identified Heuermann as a suspect in the murder of Costello after linking him to a pickup truck seen near the crime scene in 2010. This breakthrough led detectives to further examine Heuermann’s activities, and they found that he had been using his American Express card in the same locations where he communicated with the victims using burner phones.
Moreover, Heuermann’s Tinder account was linked to one of the burner phones, and he made purchases and calls from the same locations where he checked voicemails and contacted Barthelemy’s family members.
The new evidence emerged when detectives recovered a pizza box discarded by Heuermann in a Manhattan trash can in January 2023. A DNA swab taken from the leftover pizza crust matched the DNA found on a hair used as a restraint in one of the murders. This crucial finding further solidified Heuermann’s connection to the crimes.
Subsequently, forensic analysis of hair found on the victims’ remains and on bottles recovered from Heuermann’s home matched the DNA profile of Heuermann’s wife, Asa Ellerup. This finding implicated her in the crimes, and she has since filed for divorce after Heuermann’s arrest.
Heuermann appeared in court, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.