Cops search Gilgo Beach serial killer suspect's home 'for trophies'

Cops search Gilgo Beach serial killer suspect Rex Heuermann’s home ‘for any trophies’ from his victims – as they carry out a creepy child-like doll – as profiler who painted him as ‘an average Joe’ in 2011 says it’s ‘gratifying’ to see he was spot-on

  • Cops were seen Saturday carrying out a child-sized blonde doll from Rex Heuermann’s Long Island home
  • Heuermann is facing three murder charges in connection with the deaths of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello
  • A criminal profiler now says he was spot-on in his assessment of the serial killer in 2011

Long Island police are scouring the home of suspected serial killer Rex Heuermann to determine whether he left any ‘trophies’ from his three victims.

Cops were seen on Saturday outside the 59-year-old architect’s ‘dungeon’-like Massapequa home carrying out a child-sized blonde doll that was kept in a large wooden and glass case adorned with flowers.

The creepy doll with a red bow adorned on top of its head, wearing a red outfit, was just one of several items officers clad in hazmat suits, gloves and masks took out of the home and filled into a truck.

‘We’re just going through his house, looking to see if there’s any evidence,’ a police source told the New York Post. ‘If he has any trophies’ from the victims whose bodies he dumped at Gilgo Beach.

He is now facing three charges of first-degree and second degree murder in connection with the deaths of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello. Authorities say he is also the ‘prime suspect’ in another killing.

Heuermann has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

Manhattan architect Rex Heuermann, 59, is charged with three murders attributed to the Gilgo Beach serial killer, and is the prime suspect in a fourth victim’s murder

Investigators were seen Saturday outside Heuermann’s Massapequa home removing various items as they try to see if he left behind any ‘trophies’ from his alleged victims

Heuermann, who has lived for decades across a bay from where the remains were found, is charged with killing (L to R): Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello

Neighbors have previously said that the suspected serial killer had always been creepy, leading some adults to instruct their children to avoid the suburban home.

Now, a criminal profiler who pegged the serial killer as an ‘average Joe’ back in 2011 says it is ‘gratifying’ to see he was spot-on.

‘When I heard the news yesterday, I sort of had to smile to myself because it was pretty much what I had predicted,’ Scott Bonn, a criminologist, author and serial-killer researcher who has spoken about the Gilgo Beach killings, said.

Scott Bonn, a criminologist, author and serial-killer researcher who has spoken about the Gilgo Beach killings, predicted the serial killer was an ‘average Joe’

He predicted back in 2011 — when the investigation into a possible serial killer began — that the killer would be ‘someone who can walk into a room and seem like your average Joe.’

Bonn added that the man would be well-organized and careful about his work.

Additionally, he said, the killer was ‘persuasive enough and rational enough’ to convince his victims to met him on his terms.

‘Who is more organized, who is more meticulous than someone who studied engineering and architecture?’ 

Others told the New York Times that the suspect was likely either married or in a long-term relationship, well-educated, financially secure with a steady job, owning an expensive car or truck and living near where the bodies were found.

At the time of the slayings, police have said, Heuermann owned a Chevrolet Avalanche.

‘The thing about serial killers — at least the ones that are more prolific — is that they are often extraordinarily ordinary,’ said James Alan Fox, a professor at Northeastern University who has studied serial killers for more than 40 years.

He added that they tend to be extremely careful not to leave behind any evidence.

‘They generally have jobs and families and they kill part time,’ Fox explained. ‘It’s not their sole activity in life.’

New York State police are pictured loading a truck with items from Heuermann’s suburban home on Saturday

Investigators filled blue bins full of items from the house before they loaded them into a truck

A New York State police officer moved a wooden panel as law enforcement searched the house

One item that the police carried out was so large it needed two men to carry it

New York State police officers move a metal cabinet outside of the home

The suspect’s house sits directly north of Gilgo Beach across the South Oyster Bay

Those who have worked with Heuermann say he was fastidious, impressing some of his clients while annoying others with his attention to detail.

‘(He is) a gem to deal with, highly knowledgeable,’ said Steve Kramberg, a property manager in Brooklyn who worked with Heuermann for 30 years. 

He described him as a ‘big goofy guy’ who was ‘a little bit on the nerdy side’, which manifested as a dedicated worker who was more than detailed in his work.

According to his website, Heuermann counted American Airlines and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection among his lucrative clients. 

But while Kramberg said his round-the-clock availability and attention to specifics was a bonus, others were rubbed the wrong way by his antics. 

Paul Tietelbaun, a former president of a building’s board that hired Heuermann for renovations, said he exhibited an attitude of: ‘I’m the expert, you’re lucky to have me.’ 

‘(He was) a really kind of cold and distant person, kind of creepy,’ he added. 

Another member of the board, Kelly Parisi, echoed this as she recalled how the building’s managers eventually fired Heuermann because he was ‘overly fastidious’ and ‘adversarial with everyone.’ 

But neighbors saw him differently, with Nicholas Ferchaw saying that when he was a kid ‘we would cross the street,’ calling Heuermann ‘somebody you don’t want to approach.’  

A crime laboratory officer removed evidence in a small envelope from Heuermann’s home

All of the items were packaged into blue crates and loaded onto a truck

Drone footage of Heuermann’s home shows police outside the one-story building

Others told they weren’t surprised when they found out about Heuermann’s alleged crimes.

Mike Schmidt, who has lived in the Massapequa Park neighborhood for a decade, said he often visits his friend whose property backs onto Heuermann’s.

He said when they drink beers in the backyard, they would look at the home and remark: ‘He probably has bodies there.’ 

Schmidt recalled that while children often avoid the creepy home on Halloween, last year he and his friend took their kids to the home – purely to satisfy their curiosity and take a look inside. 

He said they were greeted by Heuermann at the door, who surprised them by giving out full pumpkins of candy to the children. 

However, Schmidt told the Times that his wife was appalled to find out where the candy was from and made him throw it out. 

Another resident, Tara Alonzo, revealed she had a disturbing run-in with Heuermann in the Whole Foods where she works in Long Island. 

She told that he stole oranges from the store’s kid’s club, where parents leave their children while they shop. When he was confronted by staff, she says he responded: ‘If I was wearing a suit like I wear most days, you wouldn’t be talking to me like this.’

She said he then strolled out of the store with five or six oranges in his hands, leaving the staff perplexed by the ‘weird’ customer.

Those who knew Heuermann have given varying descriptions, with some seeing him as a successful but cumbersome Manhattan architect while others saw him as a creepy loner

Cops have released a laundry list of ‘red flags’ that they say led them to Heuermann as a suspect, with the first piece of evidence being a Chevrolet Avalanche owned by him and linked to the murder of Costello by a witness.

According to documents filed in Suffolk County court, investigators were then able to link that car to Heuermann’s cellphone records, which tied him to locations related to the murders, which eventually led to a DNA sample.

Cops say that Heuermann used Melissa Barthelemy’s phone to make taunting phone calls to her family from the victim’s phone, calls that were made steps from his swanky Manhattan office.

Following the identification of Heuermann as the owner of the Chevrolet, cops issued over 300 subpoenas, search warrants and other legal processes to obtain further evidence.

After the decade-long hunt for the killer seemingly ended this week, dramatic aerial footage revealed forensic searches of his property were being carried out as authorities continue to try and link him to more unsolved homicides.

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