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Could a small town architect be the key to one of America's biggest unsolved serial murder cases? Let's find out more about Rex Heuermann.

Unveil the truth: Is Rex Heuermann the real Giglo Beach killer?

Could a small town architect be the key to one of America’s biggest unsolved serial murder cases? Amid the quiet suburban landscape of Amityville, detectives are combing through two storage units, chasing down leads related to the infamous Gilgo Beach serial killer case.

Tighter focus

These units, eerily situated within a stone’s throw from Massapequa Park, have been the lifelong home of prime suspect Rex Heuermann. As the investigation progresses, the dimensions and contents of the units remain a mystery; with the venue offering units from modest 4ft by 4ft cubicles to sprawling 20ft by 20ft spaces, some even boasting climate control.

While the search of these ominous storage units unfolds, police remain vigilant at Heuermann’s home. His residence, which has been his since the 1980s, is under heavy scrutiny while his wife, Asa Ellerup, and their adult children have vanished from the public eye since his shocking arrest last week.

Rex Heuermann, a Manhattan architect, has been accused of the horrific murders of Gilgo Beach victims Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Costello. Heuermann is also considered the main suspect in the murder of Maureen Brainard-Barnes and is under investigation for the possible murder of six other women whose bodies were found in 2011.

The grim saga reaches a pivotal moment last Thursday when police arrested Heuermann due to the fear of a possible recurring crime. His alleged habit of engaging with sex workers ’round the clock and his use of burner phones to hide his identity put him squarely in the investigative crosshairs.

Delve deeper

The breakthrough in this high-profile case was triggered by a small, yet significant clue: a first-generation Chevrolet Avalanche. A state trooper discovered Heuermann’s name registered to this vehicle, a model similar to the car linked to Amber Costello’s disappearance. More puzzle pieces fell into place as Heuermann’s physical description matched that of the man Amber was last seen with.

With the Avalanche parked openly outside his house and captured in satellite images by Bing Earth and Google Earth, Heuermann made no effort to disguise his ownership of the incriminating vehicle. His bold and unapologetic attitude eerily mirrored the descriptions given by witnesses and court documents, painting a haunting portrait of a “large, white male” with a dark, bushy hair, spectacles, and a fearsome presence “like an ogre.”

Heuermann’s implication in this spine-chilling case was a game-changer in a police investigation that started back in 2010 with the disappearance of sex worker Shannan Gilbert. The search for her body led to the horrifying discovery of multiple other bodies in the vicinity of Gilgo Beach. 

The remains of eight women, a man, and a child were unearthed between December 2010 and April 2011, throwing the town into a chilling maelstrom of dread and disbelief.

However, the case hit a roadblock in 2012 when medical examiners deemed Shannan’s death an accidental drowning due to a drug-induced panic. But the victim’s family wasn’t convinced and lodged a lawsuit against the police department. The case gained momentum once again in 2016 when an independent autopsy, initiated by the family, contradicted the initial findings.

Chilling memories

This grim and unsolved case has intrigued the public for years, even inspiring the Netflix’s 2020 film, Lost Girls. Today, Heuermann, who has lived a stone’s throw away from where the remains were discovered, stands accused of the killings of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Costello.

As the investigation unfolds, one question echoes louder: Why did it take so long to zero in on Rex Heuermann, when so many clues seemed to be hidden in plain sight? With the media spotlight trained on him, this once small-town architect is now the face of one of America’s most notorious murder cases. Is he the key to unlock the secrets of the Gilgo Beach murders?

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