Oxygen Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View
Crime News Serial Killers

Daughter of the Happy Face Killer is Raising Money for Wife of Alleged Gilgo Beach Killer Rex Heuermann

Melissa Moore, daughter of Happy Face Killer Keith Hunter Jesperson, created a fundraiser for Asa Ellerup, the wife of Gilgo Beach murders suspect Rex Heuermann.

By Elisabeth Ford
The Long Island Serial Killer Case, Explained

The daughter of the “Happy Face Killer” is raising money for Asa Ellerup, the wife of Gilgo Beach serial killer suspect Rex Heuermann, who was arrested last month for the murders of three sex workers.

Melissa Moore, the daughter of serial killer Keith Hunter Jesperson, who was active in the 1990s, created a GoFundMe page on behalf of Ellerup so that the accused Long Island murderer’s wife can “start a new life.”

On the fundraiser page, Moore described her own experience with learning about her father's actions.

RELATED: Prosecutors in Gilgo Beach Murders Case Turn Over "Massive Amount” of Evidence Against Rex Heuermann

“My mother and my family were and are victims. We did not know about his double life,” Moore wrote of her father.

Jesperson strangled eight women to death across the United States in the 1990s. The trucker was known as the "Happy Face Killer” due to his taunting letters to law enforcement and the media, which he signed with a sinister smiley face.

A photo of Melissa Moore

“Today, I have an opportunity to use my voice to help Asa, who isn't in a place to speak about the terror and horror she and her family are experiencing at this moment,” Moore wrote.

As of Thursday, more than $26,000 had been raised for Ellerup, whom Moore said she received consent from to post the fundraiser. Moore stated that the money raised would go though the law firm representing Ellerup, for her to decide whether to use it on "basic needs for ... herself and adult children" or "to restore the home" that she shared with Heuermann, which Ellerup has said was destroyed during the investigation there.

RELATED: "My Children Cry Themselves to Sleep": Wife of Accused Gilgo Beach Serial Killer Speaks Out about Police Raid

“I woke up in the middle of the night, shivering,” Ellerup previously said about the toll her husband’s arrest has taken on the family.

“My children cry themselves to sleep. I mean, they’re not children. They’re grown adults but they’re my children, and my son has developmental disabilities and he cried himself to sleep," she told the New York Post.

Serial killer Rex A. Heuermann's daughter Victoria Heuermann (left) and wife Asa Ellerup, 59.

Moore wrote on the GoFundMe page, "While people may assume Asa has the funds to start a new life, the assumption is just that. We don't know the financial and verbal abuse she may have suffered.

Investigators’ 12-day search of the family’s Massapequa Park residence, including excavating the backyard, started after authorities arrested Heuermann on July 13 for his alleged connection to the Gilgo Beach murders on Long Island’s Suffolk County more than a decade ago.

Ellerup filed for divorce following the arrest of Heuermann, who maintains his innocence in the three murders he's been charged with. Prosecutors turned over eight terabytes-worth of evidence against him in court on Tuesday.

RELATED: Rex Heuermann's Home Hasn't Been "Ruled Out" as Crime Scene, Prosecutors Say

Moore has offered support to other family members of killers and accused killers over the years. She published a memoir, Shattered Silence: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer's Daughter, in 2009.

In 2021, she released a podcast with criminologist Dr. Laura Pettler called Life After Happy Face.

It's been decades since Moore last spoke with her father, who was caught in 1995 and is currently serving seven consecutive life sentences at the Oregon State Penitentiary, Oxygen.com previously reported.

Read more about: