Massapequa Park residents were shocked to learn that one of their neighbors has been accused of being one of the most notorious serial murderers in the nation: the Gilgo Beach serial killer
Neighbors gathered at the corner of Michigan and 1st avenues Friday morning to sneak a peek at the intense police presence as news broke that investigators had finally arrested Rex Heuermann, who is alleged to be the elusive suspect also known as the Long Island Serial Killer.
“It’s weird. Everyone knows everyone around here, but we don’t know who this person is,” said lifelong Massapequa resident Bonnie Petrone, whose sister went to high school with the suspect and whose daughters went to high school with his daughter. “No one hung out with him in high school, and no one knows him.”
On a calm neighborhood street where houses are clean and landscaping is well maintained, the suspect’s house stuck out. Bushes were overgrown over exposed woodwork on the porch. There also appeared to be structural issues with the roof. All of which is odd considering the married father of two is a professional architect with an office in Manhattan.
Neighbors and residents close by described the house as “creepy” but never thought any suspicious activity occurred while passing by on their walks. Their main concern was the effect the house had on the aesthetic of the neighborhood, not that an alleged serial killer lived inside.
“Growing up, my family would always call it the Christmas house because it’s a green and red house,” said Sarah Campbell, who lives a couple blocks away. “When I was walking him [her dog] last week, I saw the guy in his driveway, but that’s it.”
The consensus among neighbors this reporter spoke to is that few, if any, expected anything of this magnitude from their neighbor down the street. Heuermann pleaded not guilty to murdering three women and prosecutors suggested he may be implicated in at least one more homicide involving victims dumped in the brush at Gilgo Beach.
“The family is very to themselves, quiet,” said neighbor, Frankie Musto, who lives two houses down the street from the suspect. “My daughter went to school with their daughter, but we never saw anything suspicious.”
Many onlookers brought cameras or their cellphones to film authorities walking in and out of the house with hazmat suits or when removing a black pickup truck from the premises.
“People are passing around his graduation photo, and no one knows much about him,” said Petrone. “In a town where we all know each other, you would think someone would know something.”