Predictions About Alleged Serial Killer Were Eerily On-Point

Criminologists turned out to be right about what the suspect might be like
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2023 3:00 AM CDT
It's a Bit Eerie to Look Back at Predictions About Alleged Serial Killer
This booking image provided by Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, shows Rex Heuermann, a Long Island architect who was charged Friday, July 14, 2023, with murder in the deaths of three of the 11 victims in a long-unsolved string of killings known as the Gilgo Beach murders.   (Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office via AP0)

The New York Times takes a look back at its own 2011 article on the Gilgo Beach serial killer, and the results are eerie: Criminologists interviewed by the paper at the time said the suspect would be a white man in his mid-20s to mid-40s who was either married or had a girlfriend and lived near the area where the bodies of four women—Melissa Barthelemy, 24, Megan Waterman, 22, Amber Lynn Costello, 27, and Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25—had been found months prior, in December 2010. He was expected to be well-educated, well-spoken, employed, financially secure, and the owner of an expensive vehicle. When suspect Rex Heuermann was arrested last week, many of those predictions were borne out.

Heuermann is now 59; he's a married, white architect who lives about 15 miles away from Gilgo Beach and owned a Chevrolet Avalanche truck when the murders he is accused of took place. "When I heard the news yesterday, I sort of had to smile to myself because it was pretty much what I had predicted," says one criminologist. Speaking about Heuermann's profession, the criminologist adds, "Who is more organized, who is more meticulous, than someone who studied engineering and architecture?" Heuermann is charged with the murders of three of the women who came to be known as the "Gilgo Four," and is the prime suspect in the slaying of the fourth. See the Times' full article here, or check out more coverage:

  • Authorities say Heuermann "compulsively" searched for pictures of his victims and their relatives, People reports.
  • In fact, he's accused of calling the family of one victim at least five times over the two months following her disappearance, before her body had been found. He allegedly told them he sexually assaulted and killed her, Fox News reports.
  • CNN takes a look at public records and documents related to Heuermann and finds a history of tax problems and other issues.
  • A woman who belonged to the same networking group as Heuermann says he once asked her about the Gilgo Beach murders, the New York Post reports.
(More Gilgo Beach killer stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.