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New York. The Gilgo Beach Killer. The detainee fits the profile of the killer created 12 years ago

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New York police say there has been a “significant breakthrough” in the Gilgo Beach serial killer case. A suspect in the murders of women whose bodies were found more than a decade ago on a New York beach has been arrested. In 2011, experts made a profile of the killer. It turns out that the 59-year-old who heard the allegations fits him almost perfectly, reports the New York Times. This, however, as the newspaper adds, does not determine anything. And Rex Heuermann pleads not guilty.

In 2010-2011, the bodies of 11 women were found on Gilgo Beach, located on the south coast of New York’s Long Island. The corpses were wrapped in linen and buried several hundred meters apart. The perpetrator of the crimes that shocked New Yorkers and the whole of America remained unknown for over a decade. This week, the American media circulated information about the arrest of a suspect.

Police investigators in Gilgo Beach, New York, April 5, 2011ANDREW GOMBERT/EPA/PAP

The media overseas revealed his identity. This is Rex Heuermann. The man, who has been formally charged with three murders so far, is being held at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Riverhead, New York. He pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

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Killer profile

It turns out that Heuermann fits the profile of the killer, created in April 2011 by a group of experts and criminologists commissioned by the “New York Times”.

According to their findings, the killer was probably a white male between the ages of 20 and 40, in a relationship with a woman, well educated, with a well-paying job, driving an expensive, large car, living near where the bodies were found.

Rex Hauermann is 59, which means he was in his forties at the time of the murders. He is a married white man who works as an architect in Manhattan and lives in Massapequa Park, about 25 kilometers from Gilgo Beach, where the bodies were discovered. Prosecutors say Heuermann owned a Chevrolet Avalanche pick-up truck in 2011.

Rex HeuermannReuters

None of this proves that Heuermann is indeed a wanted murderer, notes the New York Times. But he adds that the coincidence with the characteristics of the detainee caught the attention of experts who 12 years ago compiled a profile of the Gilgo Beach killer

“When I heard the news, I smiled to myself because it was more or less what I had predicted,” criminologist Scott Bonn told the New York Times by telephone.

The area around Heuermann’s house has been secured by the police and only local residents are allowed to enter. On Saturday morning, several trucks were parked in front of the building, in which the collected evidence was packed, the “NYT” reports.

Security camera image of Rex HeuermannReuters

The “ordinary” killer

In 2011, Dr. Bonn, who profiled the Gilgo Beach killer, then an assistant professor of sociology at Drew University in Madison, predicted that the perpetrator was someone who “could walk into a room and look like your average Joe.” He judged him to be well-organized and careful, “persuasive enough and rational enough” to convince his victims to meet him on his terms, writes the New York Times.

Bonn told the journal that he was not surprised to learn of Heuermann’s profession. – Who is better organized, who is more meticulous than someone who studied engineering and architecture? he said.

The New York Times, however, points out that profiling killers “is not an exact science,” and a portrait drawn up by experts in 2011 could describe many men living on Long Island and commuting to work in Manhattan.

“It’s often the case with serial killers that they’re extremely ordinary,” explains James Alan Fox, a professor at Northeastern University who has studied forensics for more than 40 years. He adds that the search for a killer cannot be based solely on the profile created by the investigators. It often happens that it is not hit, he notes.

“He was someone you’d rather not get close to”

Experts point out that serial killers are generally very careful not to leave evidence behind, and often hide in plain sight, blending into their communities. “They generally have jobs and families, and they kill after hours,” says James Fox, adding that killing is “not their only occupation in life.”

Heuermann had his own architectural firm, and every morning he would take a briefcase under his arm, board a train and go to the city center. Like millions of New Yorkers. People who worked with Heuermann say he was “extremely meticulous,” which impressed some clients but infuriated others.

Some of his neighbors described him as an “ordinary” man, while others said they preferred to avoid him, pointing to his menacing appearance and tall stature. – When we saw him, we crossed the street. He was someone you wouldn’t want to get close to,” Nicholas Ferchaw, 24, a neighbor of the suspect, told the newspaper.

Dr. Brown points out that serial killers can have “contradictory personalities.” “These people lead double lives,” he notes. At first glance, they seem ordinary. “But then they act like someone flipped a switch and they become a completely different person.”

11 dead bodies on New York’s Gilgo Beach

Gilgo Beach is located on a sandbar near the very popular beaches of New York – Jones Beach and Robert Moses State Park. Thousands of metropolitan and Long Island residents come here on hot summer days. However, when the first bodies began to be found in 2010, it was winter and the beaches were empty.

Victims of the Gilgo Beach Killer Reuters

The first corpse was found on December 11, it belonged to 24-year-old Melissa. Two days later, the bodies of 22-year-old Megan, 27-year-old Amber and 25-year-old Maureen were found. In March 2011, police found Jessica’s remains on a nearby expressway. In April, three more bodies – 24-year-old Valerie, a few-year-old girl and a man. And finally, in late 2011, 24-year-old Shannan. According to the police at the time, some of the victims allegedly provided sexual services.

Main photo source: Reuters

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