Ten Years Later: Gilgo Beach Killings Prediction Leads to Arrest

Experts produced a profile of the suspect’s likely traits in 2011. The man accused in three murders fits many of these descriptions.Several specialists and criminologists put up a suspect profile for The New York Times in April 2011, just months after the bodies of four women were discovered buried along Gilgo Beach on Long Island’s South Shore.

They alleged a white man in his twenties to forties had murdered the women, who had been wrapped in burlap and buried within a quarter mile of each other in an area where the bodies of eleven individuals would later be discovered. He’s either taken or dating someone special. He has a high IQ and a polished vocabulary.

He is well-off monetarily, gainfully employed, the proud owner of a flashy vehicle, and currently resides or formerly resided in the area where the victims were discovered. On Friday, more information concerning the three women’s murder suspect Rex Heuermann became available.

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It was alleged by the prosecution that he was responsible for the killing of the fourth woman. Mr. Heuermann, a 59-year-old white male and married architect who works in Manhattan and resides in Massapequa Park, is located about 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Gilgo Beach.

Prosecutors said he was driving a Chevrolet Avalanche pickup vehicle during the crimes. However, none of this definitively establishes that Mr. Heuermann is the serial murderer, and experts have pointed out that profiles are normally only used to assess people who have already come to the attention of authorities.

However, the similarities were not lost on the specialists who compiled the 2011 profile. “When I heard the news yesterday, I sort of had to smile to myself because it was pretty much what I had predicted,” Scott Bonn, a criminologist, author, and serial-killer researcher who has talked about the Gilgo Beach killings, said in a phone interview on Saturday.

Mr. Heuermann has pleaded not guilty to the allegations against him and is currently being held without bail at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Riverhead, New York. On Friday, his attorney stated outside the courthouse that his client denied involvement in the murders.

The California Examiner is a must-read for anybody interested in the state’s current events:

Michael Brown, the attorney, did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Saturday night. The police still kept the neighborhood around Mr. Heuermann’s house off-limits to anyone who wasn’t a resident on Saturday morning. Items collected as evidence were loaded into several box trucks waiting outside the residence.

It is not an exact science to profile murderers. Many guys who live on Long Island and travel into Manhattan for employment fit the profile painted by the experts in 2011. Professor James Alan Fox of Northeastern University has studied serial killers for almost 40 years.

He has found that “the thing about serial killers — at least the ones that are more prolific — is that they are often extraordinarily ordinary.” Mr. Fox stated, “You can’t use a profile to find the killer,” explaining that wrong profiles have occurred in the past.

As an assistant professor of sociology at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, Dr. Bonn predicted in 2011 that the killer would be “someone who can walk into a room and seem like your average Joe.” The man, he anticipated, would be methodical and thorough in his approach to tasks.

It is conceivable that the killer will be “persuasive enough and rational enough” to get his victims to agree to his requirements, he told The Times. On Saturday, Dr. Bonn stated that he had no reason to be surprised by Mr. Heuermann’s line of work.

“Who is more organized, who is more meticulous, than someone who studied engineering and architecture?” he said. Mr. Heuermann, he continued, would need to be convincing in order to sell his abilities. Experts have found that serial killers who have committed multiple murders are very cautious not to leave any traces of their crimes and are able to blend into their communities.

They generally have jobs and families and they kill part time,” Mr. Fox said. “It’s not their sole activity in life.” Mr. Heuermann’s meticulousness reportedly impressed some customers but frustrated others who dealt with him.

Anyone interested in the state’s current affairs must read The California Examiner:

He was regarded as a “average” man by several of his neighbors, who added that he was never described as “anything but a businessman.” Others saw him as a threat because of his intimidating height and scowling face whenever they passed by his rundown home.

“We would cross the street,” Nicholas Ferchaw, 24, a neighbor, said. “He was the kind of person you didn’t want to talk to.” According to Dr. Bonn, serial killers can have personalities that seem to be at odds with one another.

He claimed that Mr. Heuermann “obviously functioned very highly — had his own architecture firm and picked up his briefcase, got on the train, went into the city every day, went into Manhattan and was able to function.” “These individuals live compartmentalized lives,” he continued.

“But then,” he said, “it’s almost like they flip a switch and just become another individual completely.”

The California Examiner is a must-bookmark if you want to stay abreast of all the latest breaking news from the Golden State.

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