Rex Heuermann Due In Court Wednesday: What To Know

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Accused Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex A. Heuermann appears in Judge Tim Mazzei’s courtroom at Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023. His lawyer, Michael J. Brown, is at left.
James Carbone/Newsday via Pool

Suspected Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann is due back in court Wednesday. Since his Sept. 27 appearance, there have been several developments in the case.

Heuermann currently remains charged with the murders of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Costello, and is a prime suspect in the murder of Maureen Brainard-Barnes. The four women were found dead in Gilgo Beach in 2010 and police found seven more sets of human remains along Ocean Parkway the following year.

Is Rex Heuermann Connected To Other Victims?

In an Oct. 18 press conference, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison joined up with attorney John Ray, who represents Shannan Gilbert’s family and had represented Jessica Taylor’s family. Ray had two affidavits claiming links between Karen Vergata and Shannan Gilbert.

Vergata’s dismembered remains were partially found on Fire Island in 1996 and on Tobay Beach in 2011. She was unidentified and known as “Fire Island Jane Doe” until August. In the first affidavit, an unnamed woman claims she saw Vergata at a swingers party at Heuermann’s house on Valentine’s Day in 1996. If true, this was the last time she was seen alive — two months before her partial remains were found. This was reportedly around the same time Vergata’s family last heard from her.

Shannan Gilbert disappeared on Oak Beach in 2010 following a frantic 911 call. Medical examiners have said her cause of death is inconclusive, but her family maintains that she was murdered. Police found the other victims while searching for Gilbert. In Ray’s second affidavit, an unnamed taxi driver claims Gilbert was a client of Heuermann’s — and had received numerous threats to her life from him.

Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney criticized Harrison and Ray without directly naming them.

“Without providing any advance notice to the prosecutors pursuing this case in court or the Gilgo Beach Homicide Task Force members investigating these murders day in and day out, we watched today’s press conference not knowing what was going to be reported,” Tierney said. “We will continue to investigate this case through the Grand Jury process and not through press conferences. No private attorneys are or have ever been members or agents of the Task Force.”

In October, it was also reported that Heuermann was being investigated in connection to Valerie Mack, whose remains were partially found on Gilgo Beach and partially in Manorville.

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Shannan Gilbert, left, and Karen Vergata.

Asa Ellerup Visited Rex Heuermann

Asa Ellerup, Heuermann’s estranged wife, filed for divorce shortly following Heuermann’s arrest. She has been largely silent on the case and spoken through her attorney, Robert Macedonio.

Macedonio confirmed in November that Ellerup had visited Heuermann in jail, but refused to elaborate on the details of the visit.

Additionally, News 12 reported that Ellerup was working with a streaming service, with cameera crews seen at their Massapequa Park home. The details of this are not clear at this time.

A New Leader In The Gilgo Beach Task Force?

Rodney Harrison announced his intention to resign as police commissioner on Nov. 2, saying he wanted to allow whoever was elected Suffolk County Executive the freedom to appoint their own commissioner. Harrison had created the Gilgo Beach Task Force.

Harrison was appointed by term-limited, outgoing County Executive Steve Bellone, a Democrat.

On Nov. 7, Republican Ed Romaine soundly defeated Democrat Dave Calone for the vacant seat. Harrison is expected to officially step down in December.

Potential Charges in Nassau County

When authorities searched Heuermann’s home in July, they found well over 200 firearms, with a significant number of them determined to be illegal. 

In early November, Suffolk County Judge Richard Ambro ruled that they could be transferred to Nassau County investigators, where Heuermann could potentially face illegal possession charges.

Through Macedonio, Ellerup has argued that these guns are marital assets and should be given to her during the divorce proceedings.

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Rex Heuermann’s Massapequa Park home.Michael Malaszczyk/Long Island Press