Gilgo Beach suspect charged with two more deaths

Rex Heuermann in court
[Getty Images]

A New York architect who is already charged with four murders has now been charged with two more deaths.

Rex Heuermann, 60, appeared in court accused of killing Jessica Taylor in 2003 and Sandra Costilla in 1993.

Prosecutors cited DNA evidence and a “blueprint” of the suspected serial killer's alleged crimes found on a computer.

Since 2010, police have been investigating a string of at least 10 deaths on Gilgo Beach, Long Island.

On Thursday, Mr Heuermann pleaded not guilty to the latest charges.

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney told a news conference that officials had found a document they believe the suspect used to "methodically" plan the crimes in "excruciating detail".

Warning: Some readers may find details in this report upsetting

It included columns labelled "problems" and "supplies". Under the "problems" column, "DNA", "tire marks" and "blood stains" were among items listed.

Terms like "booties" and "police scanner" were under the "supplies" column, according to court documents.

Police believe two other columns in the file labelled "DS" and "TRG" stood for "dump site" and "targets".

Mr Tierney said investigators had discovered the Microsoft Word document, which was created in 2000, on a laptop.

It broke down sections into “pre-prep”, “prep” and “post-event”, which prosecutors believe to be a guide to planning the murders.

“Post-event” included a checklist with items like “change tires”, “burn gloves” and “have story set”.

A section labelled “RECON” detailed steps to package a body for transport and listed items to dispose of after a murder.

One list labelled “body prep” noted to “remove head and hands”.

Police discovered Ms Taylor in 2003 decapitated and with her hands and arms severed below the elbows. A tattoo on her body had been obliterated by a sharp object.

The body of Ms Costilla was found on 20 November 1993 by two hunters in a wooded area of Southampton, New York, the prosecutor said.

She had 25 “sharp-force” injuries, which were believed to have been inflicted “post-mortem”, including to her face, torso, breast and genitals, he added.

According to court documents, Mr Heuermann appeared to make to-do lists for himself.

Lists of reminders on his planning file included "get sleep before hunt” and instructions on how to attack victims quickly and quietly.

Another reminder instructed Mr Heuermann to “use push pins to hang drop clothes from ceiling – not tape”.

The document highlighted lessons from past murders and the best killing methods that Mr Heuermann had researched.

He has been held without bail since he was arrested last July outside his Manhattan architecture office.

He was initially charged with the murders of three women: Melissa Barthelemy, 24, Megan Waterman, 22, and Amber Costello, 27.

Investigators filed new charges against him in January for the murder of a fourth woman: Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25.

The remains of the four, believed to be sex workers, were discovered near Gilgo Beach in 2010.

Investigators seized hundreds of electronic devices from Mr Heuermann's home that they believe he used to communicate with the women.

These included computers, laptops, cameras, hard drives, mobile phones and GPS devices.

An analysis of those devices found Mr Heuermann had a large collection of violent, bondage and torture pornography and "that material was very similar to the condition that the two latest victims were left in", said Mr Tierney.

Investigators also found nearly 300 guns in his home.

Officials said recent DNA tests on male hairs that were found under the body of Ms Taylor and on Ms Costilla's shirt indicate they came from Mr Heuermann.

Investigators believe Mr Heuermann's wife and children were out of the state during five of the murders, according to the most recent indictment.

This left the suspect with "unfettered" time to plot his alleged crimes from the family home in the Massapequa Park neighbourhood of Long Island.

Investigators initially accused a carpenter from Manorville, New York, of Ms Costilla's death, but have since cleared him.

That suspect, however, was convicted of killing two other women.

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