What is known about Rex Heuermann, who has been named as a suspect in the Gilgo Beach murders.
The suspect in custody on Friday
in connection with a string of long-unsolved slayings of women on Long Island, New York, lived in a cozy South Shore suburb not far from the beach highway where human remains were first found more than a decade ago.
The suspect was identified in court documents as Rex Heuermann, 59, of Massapequa Park, a village in Nassau County. His arrest sent shockwaves through his quiet bedroom community as neighbors described a well-dressed man who would commute to work in Manhattan as an architect, and they had no reason to believe he could be involved in a series of killings that have stumped investigators and drawn national attention. For More Information….
If he is found guilty, “he was living a double life,” said Rosemarie Kafka, 56, a former neighbor who had lived near the Heuermann family before moving last year. “You know, the regular guy who goes to work, has kids in the local school and in a good neighborhood, but he’s killing people on the side.”
Three ladies were murdered. Heuermann faces three first degree murder accusations and three second degree murder charges. According to a bail application he is also implicated in the disappearance and death of a fourth lady although that investigation is still underway.
The guy was captured in midtown Manhattan on Thursday night and transferred to Suffolk County according to Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison who did not name him at a news conference on Friday.
It was unclear if Heuermann had an attorney. A significant alteration in the case according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office although more details would not be released until after a court hearing later on Friday.
The case dogged investigators for years after the discovery of human remains in 2010 near Gilgo Beach led to as many as 16 victims being found, many of them known sex workers. Police do not believe all of those deaths are linked to the same person, but that Heuermann is involved in four slayings in which the women were found in similar positions and bound with either belts or tape, according to court documents. The bodies of three of those women were also wrapped in burlap-type material.
DNA and cellphone evidence played a key role, according to authorities.
Who is Rex Heuermann?
Authorities blocked off Heuermann’s Massapequa Park home on Friday. Officials in hazmat suits could be seen entering the modest single-story house, located on a block of larger well-kept residences. Investigators were searching the property in addition to Heuermann’s offices in midtown Manhattan.
Some neighbors said they had short interactions with Heuermann and his family over the years, but they typically kept to themselves.
Heuermann stood out as a “tall, big, big guy. Always well dressed,” said Patrica Maressa, 64, who has lived next door to Heuermann’s house for more than two decades.
I’m still shocked that this is going on she said adding It’s a very quiet neighborhood. At night, you could hear a pin drop.”
Heuermann’s home is also listed in connection with his business, RH Consultants & Associates. He received his architecture license in 1996, and New York state records show he does not have any enforcement actions listed.
Among his clients have been Catholic Charities, New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection, American Airlines and other major tenants at John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to an online biography.
In an interview from his Manhattan office posted on YouTube by Bonjour Realty in early 2022, Heuermann said he was an architectural consultant and “troubleshooter,” born and raised on Long Island and working in Manhattan since 1987. He spoke about the nuts and bolts of his profession and how he educated city entities about local architectural codes.
When asked about what qualities someone in his job would need he said I don’t like to use the word tolerance but sometimes you have to. And not only in the city either. Numerous individuals are unaware of what I must do why I must do it and when I will be finished. This is a different issue.
Heuermann also spoke about learning to construct furniture from his father, whom he described as an aerospace engineer who built satellites.
“I build furniture at home and I still build it in the same exact workshop,” he said. “I have one tool that’s pretty much used in almost every job, and it’s actually a cabinet maker’s hammer. It is persuasive enough when I need to persuade something.”
“Not someone?” the interviewer asked.
“Something,” Heuermann said, “and it always yields excellent results.”
At least one person who knows Heuermann said his arrest is at odds with the man she has come to know through weekly networking meetings.
He was my colleague and friend. And I am completely surprised,” the woman said, adding that she last spoke with him Tuesday via Zoom.