What we know about Rex Heuermann, identified as the suspect in the Gilgo Beach murders


The suspect in custody Friday in connection with a series of long-unsolved murders of women on Long Island, New York, lived in a cozy South Shore suburb, not far from the beach road where human remains were found for first time over a decade ago.

The suspect was identified in court documents as Rex Heuermann, 59, of Massapequa Park, a town in Nassau County. His arrest shocked his quiet bedroom community when neighbors described a well-dressed man who would be traveling to work in Manhattan as an architect, and they had no reason to believe he might be involved in a series of murders that have stumped investigators and attracted national attention.

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If convicted, «he was living a double life,» said Rosemarie Kafka, 56, a former neighbor who lived near the Heuermann family before moving in last year. «You know, the normal guy who goes to work, has kids at the local school, and in a good neighborhood, but he’s killing people.»

Heuermann is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of three women. He is also a suspect in the disappearance and death of a fourth woman, but that investigation is ongoing, according to a bail request.

During a news conference Friday, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison did not name the suspect, but said he was arrested in midtown Manhattan Thursday night and transported to Suffolk County.

It was not immediately clear if Heuermann had an attorney. The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office said there had been «significant development in the case» but declined to comment further until after court proceedings later on Friday.

The case dogged investigators for years after the 2010 discovery of human remains near Gilgo Beach led to the discovery of as many as 16 victims, 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 belts or duct tape, according to court documents. The bodies of three of those women were also wrapped in burlap-like material.

DNA and cell phone evidence played a key role, according to authorities.

Crime lab officers arrive at the suspect’s home in Massapequa Park.Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / AP

Who is Rex Heuermann?

Authorities locked down Heuermann’s Massapequa Park home on Friday. Officials in hazmat suits could be seen entering the modest one-story house, located in a block of larger, well-kept residences. Investigators were searching the property as well as Heuermann’s offices in midtown Manhattan.

Some neighbors said they had brief interactions with Heuermann and his family over the years, but they generally 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 home for more than two decades.

«I’m still shocked that this is happening,» she said, adding: «It’s a very quiet neighborhood. At night, you could hear a pin drop.»

Heuermann’s house is also listed in connection with his business, RH Consultants & Associates. He received his architectural license in 1996, and New York State records show that he does not have any listed enforcement actions.

His clients include Catholic Charities, the New York City 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 «problem solver,» born and raised on Long Island and working in Manhattan since 1987. He spoke about the practicalities of his profession and how he educated building entities. the city on architectural codes.

Asked what qualities someone would need in his job, he said: «I don’t like to use the word tolerance, but sometimes you have to. And it’s not just with the city. It’s also with the client, because most clients They don’t understand what I have to do, why I have to do it, and what it takes to do it.»

Heuermann also spoke about learning to build 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 exact same workshop,» he said. «I have a tool that is used for just about every job, and it’s actually a cabinet hammer. It’s persuasive enough when I need to persuade something.»

«Not someone?» asked the interviewer.

«Some,» said Heuermann, «and it always gives excellent results.»

At least one person who knows Heuermann said his arrest is at odds with the man he met through weekly networking meetups.

“I knew him as a friend and colleague. And I am completely shocked,” the woman said, adding that she last spoke to him Tuesday via Zoom.

«He was very organized. He was very nice,» she said. «I did not see him coming».

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