A seedy party atmosphere has erupted outside the home of accused Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann, with one woman even bringing her pet pig to join in the ghoulish festivities.
The stunned neighbors of the alleged killer say they feel like they are living “in a true crime documentary” as huge crowds gathered on the sleepy street.
Mackenzie Richards, 29, of Boston, said she and her pig Stella were on their way to visit her mother in New York when she heard about the killer, and immediately began “searching, searching, searching” to run home.
“Next thing you know, here we are,” he said, as dozens of beer-drinking true-crime fans partied in the street around him.
The bizarre scenes came the day after Heuermann, 59, was arrested in midtown Manhattan for the gruesome murders, about an hour’s drive from his home in Massapequa Park, New York.
Mackenzie Richards (left) brought her pet pig Stella to join the seedy party scene with her mother Monica Richards (center) and boyfriend James Sweeney (right)
Large crowds have flocked to Heuermann’s Massapequa Park home to get a peek into the suspected serial killer’s lair.
Manhattan architect Rex Heuermann, 59, is charged with three murders attributed to the Gilgo Beach serial killer, and is the prime suspect in the murder of a fourth victim.
Neighbors in the area described the suspected serial killer as a quiet family man, who could often be seen tinkering in his garage while keeping to himself.
Many also called the home he shared with his wife and daughter “scary,” with one local feeling the abandoned property resembled a “dungeon.”
Tara and Tom Stafford, who have lived in the Massapequa Park neighborhood for 45 years, told DailyMail.com they “always felt (their house) was creepy.”
“We are shocked that this has happened,” they added, expressing concern that the gruesome murders could give the healthy neighborhood a bleak reputation.
Bonnie Petrone, 57, a schoolteacher in New York City, called the situation “chilling,” especially since Heuerman graduated from high school with her sister.
“I wouldn’t expect something like this to happen in our small town,” he said. Petrone also commented that her ruined home left a lot to be desired, adding, “He was an architect, but his house looks like a dungeon.”
Her daughter Aliyah, 24, said she was haunted by the Gilgo Beach murders as a child, having occurred when she was around 11 years old.
“It feels like I’m watching a true crime documentary and I’m in it,” he said.
Bonnie Petrone (left) described the home of the suspected serial killer as a “dungeon”. She is pictured with her daughter Aliyah (center) and a friend of hers.
Michelle Lombardi and Angelina Flahtery said the accused murderer seemed like a ‘normal father’
Forensic teams working on Heuermann’s home on Friday. A freezer was one of the items seized.
Neighbors said the killer was a quiet family man who lived in a dilapidated abandoned house with his wife and daughter that resembled a ‘dungeon’.
Thanks to the suspected serial killer’s imposing 6ft 6in frame, many in the local area had seen him around, though most said he was a loner and gave off a ‘creepy’ vibe to others.
Michelle Lombardi, a real estate broker who sells homes in the neighborhood, said it was “disturbing” to learn that the killer may have been in the area for decades.
“This is a big community where everyone is rallying for each other, it’s really unfortunate,” he said.
His daughter Angela Flaherty, 22, said he “seemed like a normal dad” and that she would see him at school football games because her daughter was a few grades ahead of her in high school.
However, he added that his house looks “scary”, and that he often wondered who the infamous Gilgo Beach killer was, since the murders were so close to home.
She continued: ‘It’s really scary. As a local resident, many of us would drive down Ocean Parkway for fun and always wondered if the Gilgo Beach serial killer was around.
I was also wondering where you live. There are a lot of little houses in Gilgo Beach and I always wondered if one of those little houses in the swamp was the one for the serial killers.
Rex Heuermann is shown in one of his Tinder profile photos. Police traced the fictitious email account he used in the profile and his phone number for the case.
Heuermann’s truck was removed from the home on Friday afternoon.
Investigators revealed Friday that they moved to arrest Heuermann out of fear the suspected killer could strike again.
Cops had had Heuermann under surveillance since last year and had planned to tail him as they built their case, but decided to step in and make the arrest in the interest of “public safety,” Suffolk County District Attorney Ray told reporters. Tierney.
Tierney cited a number of red flags, saying Heuermann “continued to patronize sex workers,” was using fake IDs and disposable phones, and had permits for a staggering 92 firearms.
“Which of course made us very nervous,” said Tierney, who has led a secret investigative task force focused on Heuermann since spring 2022.
Flanked by relatives of the victims as he addressed reporters, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison gave a grim assessment of the suspect, saying: “Rex Heuermann is a demon who walks among us, a predator who ruined families. “.
Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said Heuermann had been under surveillance since last year and police moved in to arrest him out of fear he would strike again.
Questions have been raised as to why it took investigators so long to finally catch the suspected killer after more than a decade on the loose.
He has been named as the prime suspect in the murder of Maureen Brainar-Barnes, and is also being investigated for the murders of six other women found dead near the beach in 2011.
Prior to his appearance, prosecutors released their bombshell evidence against him which includes;
- His wife’s DNA was found on three of the victims’ bodies.
- One of his own hairs was found on the body of one of the victims.
- Cell phone calls made from a disposable phone to the victims were traced back to his office.
- A call made to one of the victims’ sisters after their deaths was traced to her office.
- His Tinder profile with photos of him was linked to the disposable phone.
- His Chevrolet pickup was seen by a witness to a missing victim.
- Matches the description of the ‘ogre’ as a man seen with a victim before she disappeared
- Heuermann conducted graphic searches for child pornography and images of sexually abused women.
- She also Googled updates on the case, searching for “why couldn’t law enforcement trace the calls made by the Long Island serial killer?”