Terrified locals have offered a chilling insight into the world of accused serial killer Rex Heuerman, with his gruesome reputation leading a neighbor to joke that his dirty, dilapidated house was full of corpses.
The Manhattan architect apparently lived a nightmarish double life, as those who knew him often described the duality of a Manhattan architect who defied his job by living in a ‘dungeon’-like house.
The 59-year-old exhibited disturbing and threatening behavior in his sleepy Massapequa Park community, residents say, which terrified neighbors and led some to order their children to avoid his home.
‘We’ll cross the street,’ 24-year-old Nicolas Ferchow told the New York Times. ‘He was someone you didn’t want to go near.’
Heuerman remains in custody in New York facing three counts of first-degree murder, as investigators continue to try to link him to the notorious Gilgo Beach serial killer.
Manhattan architect Rex Heuerman, 59, is charged with three murders attributed to the Gilgo Beach serial killer, and is the prime suspect in the killing of a fourth victim.
Nicolas Ferchau (pictured) said the suspected killer was so terrifying that people in the neighborhood would ‘cross the street’
While those who lived near Heuermann described him as a cold, intimidating man who wore dirty clothes, others who encountered him as a Manhattan architect told a different story.
‘(He’s) a gem to deal with, very knowledgeable,’ said Steve Kramberg, a property manager in Brooklyn who worked with Human for 30 years.
She described him as a ‘big goofy guy’ who was ‘a bit on the nerdy side’, revealed as a dedicated worker who was detailed in his work.
According to his website, Heuerman counted American Airlines and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection among his lucrative clients.
But while Kramberg said his rounded availability and attention to detail were a bonus, others were rubbed the wrong way by his animosity.
Paul Tietelbaum, the former board president of a building that hired Heuerman to renovate, said he displayed an attitude: ‘I’m an expert, you’re lucky to have me.’
He added, ‘(He) was a really cold and distant person, kind of creepy.’
Another board member, Kelly Parisi, echoed this when she recalled how the building’s managers eventually fired Heuerman because he was ‘too rude’ and ‘antagonistic with everyone’.
This image of a tall, brooding Heuermann differs from the man known to his neighbors, however, who paint him as a restless loner.
After hearing the news of his arrest, Ferchau said he was ‘not surprised at all… because of all the horror.’
He adds a surprise run-in with Heuermann, where he goes to say hello to the architect on the street while chopping wood. He said the 59-year-old responded with silence, staring at his face as he continued to chop wood.
Those who knew Heuerman have given different descriptions, some seeing him as a successful but troubled Manhattan architect and others as a fearsome loner.
The disconnect between Heuerman’s life in Manhattan and his time on Long Island was noticed by neighbors soon after his arrest, when dozens of people flocked to catch a glimpse of his home.
Locals told Newstimesuk.com they felt like ‘living in a true crime documentary’ as details of the alleged killer’s secret crime emerged.
‘He was an architect, but his house looked like a dungeon,’ said Bonnie Petrone, 57, whose sister graduated high school with Heuerman in the nearby town of Buna.
Heuerman’s home, where he had lived since childhood, was referred to by all in the neighborhood as an eerie, dilapidated property, as one resident said it caused concern.
Rex Heuerman is featured in his Tinder profile picture. Police tracked down the fictitious email account used in his profile and his burner phone number in the case
Mike Schmidt, who has lived in the Massapequa Park neighborhood for a decade, said he often visits his friend whose property backs up to Heuerman.
He said that when they drank beer in the backyard, they would look at the house and comment: ‘There’s probably his body over there.’
Schmidt recalls that while children often avoid haunted houses on Halloween, last year she and her friend took their children to the house — purely to satisfy their curiosity and look inside.
She said they were greeted at the door by Heuerman, who surprised the kids with a full candy pumpkin.
However, Schmidt told the Times that his wife was horrified to find out where the candy came from, forcing him to throw it away.
Another resident, Tara Alonzo, recounts a disturbing run-in she had with Heuerman at the Whole Foods where she works in Long Island.
She told Newstimesuk.com that she stole the oranges from the store’s kids club, where parents leave their children while they shop. When he was confronted by staff, he says he replied: ‘If I was wearing a suit like I wear most days, you wouldn’t be talking to me like that.’
He said he then walked out of the store with five or six oranges in hand, leaving staff confused by the ‘strange’ customer.
The suspect’s home sits directly north of Gilgo Beach across South Oyster Bay
Forensic teams are working at Human’s home on Friday. A freezer was also among the items seized
Heuerman is being held on charges of first and second degree murder in connection with the deaths of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello. Authorities say he is the ‘prime suspect’ in another murder.
Police have released a laundry list of ‘red flags’ they say led them to Heuerman as a suspect, with the first piece of evidence linking a Chevrolet Avalanche he owned and Costello’s killing to a witness.
According to documents filed in Suffolk County Court, investigators were able to link that vehicle to Heumann’s cellphone records, which linked him to locations related to the murder, which ultimately led to a DNA sample.
Police say Heuerman used Melissa Barthelemy’s phone to make harassing calls to her family from the victim’s phone, with the calls being made from his Manhattan office.
After Heuerman was identified as the owner of the Chevrolet, police issued more than 300 subpoenas, search warrants and other legal processes to obtain more evidence.
After the decades-long hunt for the killer seemingly ended this week, dramatic aerial footage revealed a forensic search of his property as authorities continue to try to link him to more unsolved murders.
Read Full News Here