The moment when plainclothes New York police officers apprehended serial murder suspect Rex Heuermann on a busy Midtown Manhattan street was caught on camera.
Heuermann, 59, was arrested and later charged with the murders of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello more than a decade ago. He is also considered the prime suspect in the death of another woman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes.
The arrest occurred near his architectural offices, steps from where investigators say he made the phone calls arranging sexual encounters with the victims and also where he called and taunted the families of the dead women.
Meanwhile, neighbors in the middle-class community where Heuermann lived his entire life in Massapequa Park, near where the victim’s remains were found, have described him as a menacing figure whose home was shunned by the Halloween kids, whom one once expelled to Whole Foods for stealing oranges and that he owed thousands in back taxes.
‘We would cross the street. It was someone you didn’t want to be near,’ said neighbor Nicholas Ferchaw, 24. the New York Times.
On Thursday night, Long Island serial killer suspect Rex Heuermann walks nonchalantly down the street in Midtown Manhattan.
He is quickly confronted by plainclothes police officers tracking his movements.
Finally, the 59-year-old architect is surrounded by officers and arrested.
Recent video showing Heuermann’s arrest sees him walking down a busy street at dusk during rush hour with a bag slung over his back. He seems unaware that he is being chased by police officers.
Finally, a group of officers dressed in suits stop and surround Heuermann. The arrest occurred around 8:30 p.m. A little more than 12 hours later, he was arraigned on three counts of first-degree murder in a Long Island court.
A former colleague of Heuermann’s told the Times that he spoke with the suspect on Thursday night and noted that he was telling jokes. “That must have been right before he walked out of the office and was arrested,” Steve Kramberg told the Times.
The suspect’s neighbors were long wary of the mysterious architect. One, Mike Schmidt, said he would often share beers with another neighbor and point to Heuermann’s house and comment, “He probably has bodies there,” according to the Times.
Schmidt said last Halloween he finally decided to break years of tradition by taking his children trick-or-treating at the Heuermann home, where he lived with his wife, daughter and stepson. The house the suspect lived in as a child.
He said the burly architect opened the door for the children and gave them each a plastic pumpkin filled with candy. Schmidt added that when he told his wife where the candy came from, she made him throw it away.
Neighbors previously described the suspect’s house as “creepy” and “dungeon-like” in interviews with DailyMail.com.
In his professional life, some painted Heurmann as an arrogant character. Paul Teitelbaum, who worked with Heuermann on a project involving a building in Brooklyn Heights, commented that he had an ‘arrogance’ about him.
‘I’m the expert, you’re lucky to have me’ was Heuermann’s attitude, according to Teitelbaum.
Heuermann is charged with three murders attributed to the Gilgo Beach serial killer and is the prime suspect in the murder of a fourth victim.
In 2022, Heuermann was involved in a bizarre incident in which he was accused of stealing clementines intended for children from a bowl at a Whole Foods supermarket.
He took three and put them in his pocket, then took more. I said, “Sir, those are for the kids,” store worker Tara Alonzo told the Times. Alonzo said Heuermann got so upset that a manager had to escort him out.
Alonzo said the next time he heard about Heuermann was when he saw his face on television after his arrest. “My coworker said, ‘That’s the orange guy.’
Over the past decade, Heuermann has been involved in a series of lawsuits in which he has taken people to court, accusing them of hitting him with their cars and causing “serious and permanent injury,” he reports. CNN.
The network report says the cases were ‘resolved or discontinued’, a recent one is still open.
During a statement involving one such suit, Heuermann said the only sport he participated in was “competition rifle.”
CNN also revealed that Heuermann is in trouble with the IRS, at one point due to more than $425,000 in back taxes since 2005. As of October 2022, he has paid $215,078.
He and his wife also owe more than $81,000 to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.
He is also considered the prime suspect in the death of a fourth woman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, whose body was tied up and hidden in thick brush along a remote beach road.
Also among the victims were Shannan Gilbert (left) and an unidentified Asian man, who police believe is a transgender sex worker. Heuermann is a suspect, but has not been charged, in both deaths.
Heuermann was first identified as a suspect in March 2022, when detectives linked him to a van a witness said he saw when one of the victims went missing in 2010.
In March, detectives recovered Heuermann’s DNA from a discarded pizza crust and compared it to evidence found on one of the victims, authorities said.
“They never stopped working and will continue to work tirelessly until we bring justice to all the families involved,” said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison.
Heuermann was ordered held without bail after his attorney pleaded not guilty on his behalf at an arraignment Friday in state court in Riverhead. In denying bail, Judge Richard Ambro cited “the extreme depravity” of Heuermann’s alleged conduct.
Heuermann’s lawyer, Michael Brown, said his client told him: “I didn’t do this.”
Investigators were continuing to search Heuermann’s home, about a 25-minute drive across a causeway that stretches from South Oyster Bay to the sandy stretch known as Gilgo Beach, where the remains were found in 2010 and 2011.
Most of the victims were young women who had been sex workers. Their deaths long baffled investigators, and the mystery fueled immense public attention and led to Netflix’s 2020 Lost Girls.
The pizza box taken from a trash can outside Heuermann’s office in the city center
“We’re going to continue to work, investigate and try to get a little closure for all of the families of the victims,” Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said Friday.
Investigators were still working at Heuermann’s home that night, searching his garden for evidence and clues.
A series of canvas sheets and workers dressed in white covered their macabre property that had clearly fallen into disrepair.
A family-size refrigerator was among the items seized, and officers said they are still looking for 92 firearms that are registered to Heuermann but are currently missing.
At least one expert speculated that Heuermann could be behind an even higher number of murders.
Katherine Ramsland, an expert in forensic psychology, said the alleged killer’s death trail could extend well beyond what he is accused of.
She said NewsNation that people “don’t know” if he ever stopped killing, adding that “all we know is what he’s suspected of right now.”
Asked why it may not have been linked to other remains found in the area, Ramsland said it was possible another serial killer was on the loose.
“The other (murders) don’t seem to have been handled in the same way,” he said. Serial killers don’t always do the same thing all the time.
“There are a lot of differences in the way some of those victims were treated and then left. So, I’m not sure I’m attached to them. I couldn’t rule it out, but it doesn’t sound like the same kind of thing we’re seeing with the four victims we’re talking about.
Investigators have noticed a number of “red flags” in Heuermann’s behavior that ultimately led them to his Long Island home, which is about a 25-minute drive from Gilgo Beach.
This included blatant Google searches asking why cops were unable to trace calls made by the serial killer, who was known for taunting the families of his victims.