Prosecutors: LI Serial Killer Suspect Penned a Murder Guide

How-to manual reportedly includes lessons learned, reminders to check for cameras
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2024 8:43 AM CDT
Prosecutors: LI Serial Killer Suspect Penned a Murder Guide
Rex Heuermann, center, charged in the Gilgo Beach serial killings on Long Island, appears for a hearing at Suffolk County Court in Riverhead, NY, Thursday, June. 6, 2024.   (James Carbone/Newsday via AP, Pool)

When authorities charged alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann with his fifth and sixth murders earlier this month, they referred to a document that had helped the architect avoid detection. It was, in fact, a "blueprint for murder" that may now become "damning evidence against him," the New York Times reports. Recovered from a hard drive, the extensive document described in a bail application is broken into topics, including "pre-prep," with reminders to check the weather and locations of surveillance cameras; "prep" with notes about staging torture equipment; "body prep" with tips about packaging bodies for transport and mutilating identifying marks; and "post event" with tips to avoid capture, including by crafting an alibi and changing vehicle tires.

The methods outlined in "excruciating detail" correspond with the manner in which all six of Heuermann's alleged victims were killed and transported, Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney tells the Times. CNN notes a tattoo on victim Jessica Taylor's torso was indeed mutilated "with a sharp object." Created in 2000 and edited through 2002, the Microsoft Word document also provides insight into Heuermann's state of mind, prosecutors say. It refers to the search for a victim as a "hunt" and time spent with the bodies as "play time," the Times reports. It also logs lessons learned, recommending the use of heavy rope because lighter rope "broke under the stress of being tightend (sic)," per CNN.

The apparent murder manual, with a reminder to "distroy (sic) computer files," had been deleted, though investigators were able to recover it. That, in combination with DNA evidence, is "a kind of nail in the coffin" and is "going to be very difficult for the defense to overcome," criminologist Casey Jordan told CNN. Former homicide investigators say the document is as good as a confession, if not better since it can't be cross-examined. And it's "totally consistent" with Heuermann's "meticulous" personality type, criminologist Scott Bonn tells the Times. Heuermann's defense lawyer raised the possibility that someone else authored the document in an interview with the Times, without naming a scapegoat. Heuermann has pleaded not guilty to all six murders. (More Rex Heuermann stories.)

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