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Long Island Serial Killer Suspect Rex Heuermann Allegedly Kept Tabs on Victims' Families
Police said Heuermann was also monitoring the news for information on the Gilgo Beach murder investigations.
The Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said that Gilgo Beach murder suspect Rex Heuermann, 59, routinely monitored the social media profiles of not just the victims, but also their families.
In a press conference held Friday, July 14, Tierney shared that Heuermann repeatedly looked up photos of three women, Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello, whose remains were found buried along a stretch of Long Island's South Shore in 2010.
"He was compulsively searching pictures of the victims, but not only pictures of the victims, pictures of their relatives, their sisters, their children, and he was trying to locate those individuals," Tierney said.
It's reported that the families were taunted by an unknown caller in the days and months following the victim's disappearances. In one instance, the killer purportedly called the Barthelemy's 15-year-old sister, CNN reported in 2011.
"Do you think you'll ever see her again?" the unidentified male caller taunted. "You won't. I killed her."
Heuermann was arrested at his workplace in Manhattan on Thursday evening and has since appeared in court, where he pleaded not guilty to charges of first- and second-degree murder in the deaths of Barthelemy, Waterman and Costello. He's also the prime suspect in the murder of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, according to a bail application from Suffolk County prosecutors.
His lawyer, Michael Brown, spoke to reporters outside of the courthouse on Friday, sharing that Heuermann insists he's innocent.
"The only thing he did say, as he was in tears, was 'I didn’t do this,'" Brown said, according to NBC News. "He's distraught. He's clearly distraught about the charges here."
Tierney shared that Heuermann, a father of two, additionally Googled coverage of the murder investigations, including podcasts and documentaries, and sought out torture porn.
Heuermann's bail application further revealed that he allegedly created a new email account under an alias for said searches, according to CNN. The outlet reported that, from March to April 2022, he conducted at least 200 searches for information on serial killers and the investigation.
Since Heuermann's arrest, authorities have executed warrants at his home in Massapequa Park, Long Island, as well as a storage facility in Amityville, Long Island, CNN reported.
"Right now, we have a flood of information and a flood of evidence coming in, and it’s going to take us a while to sort of go through all of that," Tierney said of the ongoing efforts.
Though authorities have not been able to conclusively link Heuermann to the deaths of other individuals found buried on the South Shore — Shannan Gilbert, Jessica Taylor, Valerie Mack, an Asian male, a Jane Doe known as "Peaches," and a toddler — Suffolk County Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Carter told CNN, “As we continue to gather evidence, anything is possible.”