Authorities Say Rex Heuermann’s Killing Spree Began in ’90s

Suspected Serial Killer Rex Heuermann Appears In Court For Pre-Trial Hearing

Alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann.
Photo: James Carbone/Getty Images

Prosecutors have charged Gilgo Beach murders suspect Rex Heuermann in the deaths of two additional women whose remains had been discovered on Long Island, suggesting that his alleged crimes began as early as the 1990s.

On Thursday morning, Heuermann was charged in the 2003 death of Jessica Taylor and the 1993 killing of Sandra Costilla. Taylor’s dismembered remains were discovered in Manorville and, years later, along Ocean Parkway in 2011. Costilla, 28, who was found dead in 1993 in North Sea, was previously connected to another accused killer.

During a press conference, Suffolk County district attorney Ray Tierney said today’s charges were the result of the work his office had vowed to continue even after Heuermann was first indicted last year.

“My office, along with our partners, are not going to stop. This case continues,” Tierney said.

The announcement comes after a recent uptick in activity in the Gilgo Beach inquiry. In April, investigators were seen searching a wooded area just off the Long Island Expressway in Manorville. ABC7 reported that two K9s from the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit took part in the search. The search also expanded to the area of North Sea in Southampton. Then, in May, authorities combed Heuermann’s Massapequa Park home for days, removing boxes of evidence from the premises.

The district attorney said Heuermann was linked to Taylor and Costilla in a similar manner to the four other women he has been charged in connection with: DNA analysis of hairs found on the remains, which were later matched to a genetic profile that included Heuermann and his wife, Asa Ellerup. One female hair found on Costilla’s body was linked to a woman Heuermann had lived with in 1993 prior to Costilla’s murder. Tierney also said investigators confirmed that Heuermann’s family was out of town at the time Taylor was killed, matching the findings for the other four women.

Over the course of the investigation, Tierney said authorities had recovered data from electronics found in Heuermann’s home and workplace, including computers, external and internal hard drives, cell phones, and SIM cards. Heuermann amassed a significant collection of violent pornography, dating as far back as 1994, with some of the content appearing similar to the crime scenes of Taylor and Costilla.

Tierney confirmed that investigators had discovered what they describe in court papers as a “planning document” which they say Heuermann used to formulate his crimes. It was a Word document found among Heuermann’s files that had been modified multiple times. The disturbing document reportedly includes notes on how to clean bodies, potential dump sites, and how to evade capture, according to the New York Post. “His motivations, meticulous planning and clear intent is obvious. His intent was nothing short but to murder these victims,” Tierney said.

In July 2023, Heuermann, an architect who worked in Manhattan, was arrested and charged in connection with the deaths of three women: Melissa Barthelemy, 24; Amber Lynn Costello, 27; and Megan Waterman, 22. In January, Heuermann was named in the death of a fourth woman: 25-year-old Maureen Brainard-Barnes, who originally went missing in 2007. He was charged with second-degree murder. The four women, who were working as escorts at the time of their deaths, were frequently referred to as the “Gilgo Four.”

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