Rex Heuermann has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder for the killings of three women whose bodies were found near Long Island’s Gilgo Beach in 2009 and 2010. Keep reading for details on Heuermann’s history, including his family life, career and more.
Where Was Rex Heuermann Born and Raised?
He’s a native of Long Island, New York, and attended Berner High School in Massapequa. One of his former classmates, James Pagano, described Heuermann as a teen to CBS News.
“I was like, holy crap, unbelievable, right in our town,” he said. “He was very quiet, dark, kept to himself and extremely intelligent, very smart.”
What Did Rex Heuermann Do for a Living?
The murder suspect was a successful Manhattan architect at RH Consultants and Associates after receiving his architecture license in 1996. His clients have included American Airlines, Catholic Charities and New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection.
In a 2022 interview with Bonjour Realty posted to YouTube, Heuermann detailed the work qualities that made him stand out. “I don’t like to use the word tolerance, but sometimes you have to. And it’s not just with the city. It’s also with the client, because most clients, they don’t understand what I have to do, why I have to do it, and what it takes to get done.”
He also described learning how to construct items thanks to his aerospace engineer father.
“I build furniture at home and I still build it in the same exact workshop,” he said. “I have one tool that’s pretty much used in almost every job, and it’s actually a cabinet maker’s hammer. It is persuasive enough when I need to persuade something.”
Antoine Amira, who conducted the interview, told CBS News on July 14 about his experience with Heuermann. “Really what stood out is his attention to details. He was very knowledgeable, very detail-oriented,” he shared.
Amira also described Heuermann’s physicality. “Intimidating, no. Imposing, yes. Very, very imposing … He’s a head above me, a very large person,” he said. “I still remember his handshake when we met. Very strong. Very strong handshake. It’s like you were shaking a very big piece of marble. That’s how strong his hand was.”
Is Rex Heuermann Married?
His second wife, Asa Ellerup, stood by his side in court on July 14 as he pleaded not guilty to the murder charges. She’s also a Long Island native, attending Farmingdale High School and once worked at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center. Heuermann wed first wife Elizabeth Ryan in 1990, although little is known about that marriage.
What Crimes Is Rex Heuermann Accused of Committing?
Heuermann is the prime suspect in the deaths of three women, murders of which took place as part of an 11-person killing spree in Long Island. He was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of second-degree murder for the deaths of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello — the women were 24, 22 and 27 respectively at the time of the deaths. Their bodies were found in December 2010 along Ocean Parkway near Gilgo State Park. Heuermann is also the prime suspect in the killing of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, who was 25 at the time of her disappearance and death.
“Rex Heuermann is a demon that walks amongst us, a predator that ruined families,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison told reporters after the architect pleaded not guilty.
Heuermann‘s attorney, Michael J. Brown, told reporters after his initial court appearance, “He has entered a not guilty plea and has indicted he did not commit these crimes. There is nothing about Mr. Heuermann that would suggest that he is involved in these incidents. And while the government has decided to focus on him despite more significant and stronger leads, we are looking forward to defending him in a court of law before a fair and impartial jury of his peers.”
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