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Crime News Murders

Gilgo Beach Suspect Rex Heuermann Charged with 2 More Murders After Alleged "Planning Document" Is Uncovered

An indictment reveals new details about an electronic document seemingly outlining Heuermann's methods of evading capture.

By Cydney Contreras
The Long Island Serial Killer Case, Explained

Rex Heuermann, a suspect in the killings dubbed the Gilgo Beach murders, has been charged in two additional murders after investigators said they uncovered a "planning document" in the suspect's Massapequa home.

The disgraced architect appeared in court Thursday, where he was indicted on two additional charges of second-degree murder by a grand jury. The charges are connected to the killings of Jessica Taylor and Sandra Castillo, per court documents obtained by Oxygen.com.

Following the court hearing, Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney spoke to reporters about the evidence presented to the grand jury, revealing that investigators allegedly uncovered an electronic "planning document" on a laptop during a recent search of Heuermann's Long Island home, NBC News reported.

"The task force believes this is a planning document that was utilized by Heuermann to methodically blueprint and plan out his kills with excruciating detail," Tierney told reporters outside court.

The Planning Document

The planning document was found on a laptop in the Heuermann family home and appeared to have been created in 2000, according to Tierney. The district attorney added that the document had seemingly been edited as recently as 2002. 

In the document, four categories are listed: Problems, supplies, DS, and TRG, according to the court documents. Problems seemingly refer to "be a guide on issues to avoid apprehension," supplies are the tools used to commit the crime, "DS" stands for "dump site," and "TRG" is likely a reference to the "target," investigators wrote in the indictment. 

Under the category "TRG," it's written that "small is good," leading investigators to believe that he is referring to a victim's size. "It is important to note that the known victims thus far are all petite women, which is consistent with the 'SMALL IS GOOD' entry in the document," according to the documents. 

The document then goes into further detail, with the categories "pre-prep," "prep," and "post event." Under each category, details like "change tires" and "dispose of pics" are written.

Crime laboratory officers outside a Long Island home.

Additionally, a separate section apparently details the steps taken to dispose of the body. "Remove head and hands," "remove marks from tourture," and "package for transport" are included under the category labeled "body prep."

It's noted in the court documents that the steps seemingly match up with the conditions that victims Jessica Taylor and Valerie Mack were found in.

"His intent, specifically, was to locate these victims, to hunt them down and to bring them under his control and to kill them. His motivations, meticulous planning and clear intent is obvious," Tierney said.

There is a final section in which Heuermann appeared to have taken notes on the books by criminal profiler John Douglas, whose books were found in Heuermann's Massapequa home, investigators said. In this section, there are writings about "spur of the moment" and "cover."

Other Evidence

Investigators also outlined the whereabouts of Heuermann's wife, Asa Ellerup, and children at or around the time of Jessica Taylor's murder in July 2003. Using Heuermann's date book, investigators determined his wife was vacationing in Vermont with another family from their daughter's school. 

"Accordingly, the murders of all four charged victims, and now the murder of Ms. Taylor, occurred at times when Defendant Heuermann’s wife and children were located out of state, which would have allowed Defendant Heuermann unfettered time to execute his plans for Ms. Taylor, which included the decapitation, dismemberment, and transportation of her remains, without any fear that his family would uncover or learn of his involvement in these crimes," according to the court documents.

Rex Heuermann appears in court with his lawyer

What happened to Jessica Taylor?

A 20-year-old from New York City, Taylor was working as an escort at the time of her disappearance in July 2003.

Her dismembered remains were later found on two separate occasions in 2003 and March 2011. Per the indictment, a person walking their dog made the discovery of her head and arms in 2003, while the remaining body parts were uncovered in March 2011.

A hair found on Taylor's remains were tested and matched to Heuermann with 99.96-percent certainty, authorities alleged in the indictment.

Who is Sandro Costilla?

Similarly, hairs found on the remains of Sandra Costilla, a native of Trinidad and Tobago living in New York at the time of her disappearance, were found to match Heuermann with 99.96-percent certainty, authorities alleged.

Costilla's remains were found by two hunters in a wooded area of Southampton in 1993. 

Heuermann, who is being held without bail, was initially arrested in July 2023 and has since been charged in the killings of Melissa Barthelemy, 24, Megan Waterman, 22, Amber Lynn Costello, 27, and Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25. He has pleaded not guilty all charges.

He is next due to appear in court July 30. 

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