Long Island Serial Killer suspect identified and arrested

July 18, 2023

The Long Island Serial Killer (LISK) has been identified as 59-year-old Rex Heuermann, a husband, father and resident of Massapequa Park, Nassau County.

Heuermann, an architect, was charged last week with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of second-degree murder in connection with the slayings of Megan Waterman, Amber Costello, and Melissa Barthelemy. He is also the main suspect in the murder of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, who was reported missing by a friend on July 14, 2007.

Mother of one, Megan Waterman, twenty-two at the time, went missing from the Holiday Inn she was staying at in the summer of 2010. Waterman, a sex worker, was scheduled to meet a client but failed to return. The hotel was no more than fifteen miles from Gilgo Beach. She was from Scarborough in Maine and was last seen getting on a bus to New York on June 6, 2010, before she went missing. Her remains were found 13 December 2010, on Ocean Parkway, nearby Gilgo Beach, where she had been staying when she disappeared.

Amber Lynn Costello also went missing from her home just three months later.
Costello was slightly older than the others, at 27, and resided in West Babylon, Long Island. She was reportedly an addict who worked as an escort to fuel her addiction and, like the other victims, advertised her services on Backpage and Craigslist. After leaving to meet with a client on 2 September 2010, she was never seen again, nor was she reported missing by her roommates, who were also addicts. Her remains were discovered near Gilgo Beach on 13 December 2010.

Melissa Barthelemy's cause of death was long questioned. According to police, the victim had drowned, however it was suspected that she may have been strangled to death.

The victim's mother, Lynn Barthelemy, said that not long after Melissa had disappeared, the family began receiving phone calls from an unknown male, taunting them, and describing how he had raped and murdered Melissa.

The calls were made from the victim's burner phone, and traced back to a location in Midtown Manhattan, which was later revealed to be a work office used by Rex Heuermann. Phone records also indicated that the victims were each murdered when the suspects wife and children were elsewhere in the country.

Burner phones connected to the victims were said to have moved between Midtown and Massapequa Park.

Ms. Brainard-Barnes, 25, whom Heuermann is also suspected in the death of, was a mother of two and an escort, who, like the other girls, advertised her services on Craigslist and Backpage.
Although she had quit escorting for several months, she picked it back up again to make mortgage payments on her house and met with clients at motels around the area. She also worked at a Manhattan motel. Brainard-Barnes went missing on July 6, 2007, after boarding a train to Grand Central. She was never seen alive again and her remains were eventually discovered near Gilgo Beach in late 2010.

Over 2010 – 2011, the remains of eleven individuals were found along Gilgo Beach.

(Please see the previous post on the LISK for more details.)

In early 2022, police began to investigate the Long Island Serial Killer again, and uncovered a significant piece of witness evidence in mid-March that same year regarding the murder of Amber Costello. Police believed they had identified a possible vehicle that the killer may have used in Costello’s death- a Chevrolet Avalanche. Rex Heuermann owned the same type of vehicle around this time.
It was this tip that led police in his direction

Police launched an investigation into Heuermann and were eventually able to obtain his DNA from a slice of discarded pizza. This DNA matched the evidence found on three of the victims. More than three hundred search warrants, subpoenas and other legal processes were executed during this investigation.
It was also discovered that Heuermann had allegedly transferred a strand of his own wife’s hair onto one of the victims.

According to documents, the suspect had looked up pictures of the victims online, as well as pictures of their family members. It appeared he followed the Long Island Serial Killer case closely, often searching online for details and possibly updates. These searches have been described as “compulsive.” He was also reported as having a disturbing search history, as well as images of child abuse. Suffolk County District Attorney Ray, Tierney revealed, at a News conference this week that "depictions of women being abused and being killed" as well as "torture porn" were also found on Heuermann’s computer.

So, who is Rex Heuermann?

Heuermann was born in 1964 and grew up in Massapequa Park, Long Island. He lives in his childhood home on First Avenue. The neighborhood is described as quiet, peaceful and largely uneventful. Heuermann was married in the late nineties and gained a stepson, before having a daughter of his own. As an architect, he ran his own company, R. H. Consultants. He was seen leaving for work in a suit several times per week.
The BBC reports that Heuermann had a large safe packed with guns and had "lisences for 92 firearms."

Heuermann pleaded not guilty to the charges and is being held without bail. If convicted he will face multiple life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Heuerman reportedly broke down and denied all guilt, rejecting responsibility for the murders. Through tears in court, he said, "I didn't do this."

Check back for future updates and details on this case

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