Rex Heuermann, charged in the Gilgo Beach serial killings, might have begun targeting women earlier than believed, and not just on Long Island’s South Shore.

In 1993, when Heuermann was 29 and three years away from his architecture license, Sandra Costilla’s remains were found in Southampton. This case, among others, links him to killings stretching back over three decades.

Criminologist Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant, suggests Heuermann could become one of Long Island’s most prolific serial killers. With potentially 50 more unsolved murders fitting his modus operandi, the investigation continues to widen. Heuermann is also being investigated for the 2000 death of Valeria Mack.

Heuermann, 60, lived a seemingly quiet life, commuting from Massapequa Park to Manhattan since 1987. Despite his low profile, his indictment reveals a dark past. Costilla, a Trinidad and Tobago native, was killed in 1993. Her DNA matches hairs found on her body.

Long Island’s Dark Secret: New Evidence Suggests Decades-Long Killing Spree
One of Rex Heuermann’s victims, Jessica Taylor

Heuermann’s recent charges include the 2003 murder of Jessica Taylor, whose dismembered body was discovered near Gilgo Beach in 2011. Taylor was a sex worker who vanished after arranging to meet her mother in Poughkeepsie. Her remains were found with Heuermann’s DNA.

Last year, Heuermann was charged with the murders of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, Amber Lynn Costello, and Maureen Brainard-Barnes, known as the “Gilgo Four.” These cases, dating back to 2010, were initially stalled due to biases against sex workers but revived in 2022 by a dedicated task force.

On the surface, Heuermann appeared to be an ordinary family man. He lived with his wife Asa Ellerup and their children in the home he grew up in. Professionally, he maintained a low profile, with his only public interview discussing his work as an architect and consultant.

Heuermann’s chilling fascination with unsolved murder cases surfaced during the investigation. Police found a copy of a book by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker titled “The Cases That Haunt Us.”