Sick checklist linked to Rex Heuermann, newly accused of 2 more slayings in Gilgo Beach case

In chilling detail, accused Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann created harrowing “pre-prep” and “post event” checklists that reveal how he methodically planned out his kills — which he sickly called “hunts” — Suffolk County prosecutors said Thursday.

The digital evidence came to light as Heuermann, 60, was linked to two more cold case murders on Long Island, one of which occurred 15 years before the deaths of the “Gilgo Four.”

Hairs recovered from the remains of victims Jessica Taylor and Sandra Costilla were linked via DNA evidence to Heuermann, who was already charged in the deaths of four women.

His attorney Michael Brown said the new killings his client is accused of change “the dynamics” of the theory of the case.

“You have 20 years prior, you have a completely different location, you have dismembered bodies,” he said. “It’s inconsistent with the initial theory. I’d like to see the evidence that they have in terms of establishing that.”

As they mined a huge trove of electronic devices recovered from Heuermann’s home, members of the Gilgo Homicide Task Force recovered horrific, detailed checklists Heuermann allegedly created to ensure he wouldn’t be caught.

The lists are categorized by supplies he would need, “pre-prep work” and “DS” — dump sites where he had left victims’ remains — prosecutors said.

The pre-prep work checklist included mundane tasks like getting his vehicle inspected, reviewing weather reports and picking routes without any traffic cameras. He even wrote reminders based on what he learned from his previous killings, according to prosecutors.

“Things to remember: Sound travels (IE: Bird outside),” Heuermann allegedly wrote. “Get sleep before hunt. Too tired creates problems. Consider a hit to the face or neck next time for take down.

“More sleep & noise control = more playtime,” the sick checklists stated. “Use heavy rope for neck — light rope broke under stress of being tightened.”

Prosecutors believe “playtime” in the files, which were full of misspellings, denoted the point at which Heuermann bound and tortured his victims.

Documents found on Heuermann’s computer even listed steps he should take after disposing of bodies, including “change tires” to his vehicle, “have a story set” and “destroy” the files investigators ultimately found, prosecutors said.

The lists were “utilized by Heuermann to methodically blueprint and ‘plan out’ his ‘kills.'” the indictment states.

“This document not only speaks to the strength of the people’s case, it also demonstrates the heinous nature of this defendant’s actions,” Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Santomartino said in court.

Heuermann allegedly attempted to delete the documents, as well as a trove of pornographic images featuring torture that dated back to 1994, but investigators were able to recover them from his computers using state-of-the-art digital retrieval software, prosecutors said.

Violence depicted in the stomach-churning pornographic images “notably and largely coincide with how the remains of Sandra Costilla, Jessica Taylor, and Valerie Mack were discovered,” prosecutors said in their indictment.

Heuermann created the Microsoft Word checklists on his laptop in 2000, modifying them between 2001 and 2002, Suffolk County DA Raymond Tierney said.

“This document evinces the defendant’s intent in committing the charged crimes,” Tierney said, explaining that the tasks outlined in the checklists were in many cases “identical” to the methodology used in the six murders.

“That his intent was specifically to locate these victims, to hunt them down and to bring them under his control and to kill them. His motivations, meticulous planning and clear intent is obvious. His intent was nothing short but to murder these victims.”

Wearing a blue button-down shirt, a blue patterned tie and gray suit, Heuermann said nothing as he was indicted on second-degree murder charges in the two additional slayings in Suffolk County Superior Court on Thursday morning. As prosecutors recounted the cases, he looked down at his feet and twiddled his fingers handcuffed behind his back.

Heuermann has already pleaded not guilty in the deaths of Megan Waterman, 22; Melissa Barthelemy, 24; Amber Lynn Costello, 27; and Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25. Their remains were found near each other along a stretch of Ocean Parkway known as Gilgo Beach between late fall 2010 and early spring 2011.

Taylor, a 20-year-old sex worker, died between July 21 and July 26 of 2003, prosecutors said in an indictment unsealed Thursday. Costilla, 28, was murdered a decade earlier, between Nov. 19 and 20, 1993.

Brainard-Barnes and Barthelemy were last seen in 2007 and 2009, respectively, investigators said. Waterman and Costello both disappeared in 2010, just a few months before their remains were found.

Investigators are trying to determine if Heuermann killed anyone else in the 10 years between Costilla and Taylor’s deaths, as well as after the remains of the Gilgo Four were recovered, prosecutors said.

Judge Timothy Mazzei ordered Heuermann held without bail on the new murder charges.

The newly revealed files include several references to the book “Mindhunter” by former FBI serial killer profiler John Douglas, prosecutors said, though the volume wasn’t found in Heuermann’s home.

He allegedly flagged pages in the book that referenced “sexual substitution, torture and Stockholm syndrome,” Tierney said.

“(He) was referencing that ‘Mindhunter’ book not to gain insight into his own behavior or to modify or change it, but rather to use it as a means of improving his methodology and to avoid capture by the authorities,” the DA said.

A person walking their dog in Manorville found Taylor’s remains on July 26, 2003. Her body, which was decapitated with her arms severed below her elbows, remained unidentified for eight years until her head and arms were found in another location. A tattoo on her body had been mutilated.

Taylor’s head and arms were found along Ocean Parkway in 2011 — just east of Gilgo Beach, prosecutors said.

In April, a hair police found under Taylor’s body back in 2003 was genetically linked to Heuermann, prosecutors said.

Costilla’s remains were found in a wooded area in Southampton by a pair of hunters. Hairs recovered from her body were also linked via DNA evidence to the suspect, prosecutors said.

The new indictments came within weeks of a search by Gilgo Beach Task Force investigators in an area of Manorville where the partial remains of two victims — Taylor and Valerie Mack — were found more than two decades ago.

Just two weeks ago, investigators were back at Heuermann’s Massapequa Park home executing a new search warrant connected to the case. Police were seen removing a large rectangular object covered in blue cloth and loading it onto the back of a truck parked in the driveway.

In 2010 and 2011, the bodies of 11 people were found on and near Gilgo Beach. Heuermann has not, until now, been linked to any of the other seven victims.

Cops said it was a Long Island pimp — and pizza crust DNA — that steered investigators toward Heuermann, a husband and father who had been living quietly in the Nassau County town of Massapequa Park and commuting to Manhattan, where he worked as an architect.

The pimp described the suspect’s vehicle to authorities, giving them details about a green Chevrolet Avalanche during a spring 2022 meeting with investigators.

Cops also retrieved DNA from a pizza crust found in a Manhattan trash can near Heuermann’s work office and matched it with a hair found on Waterman’s body.

The 350 electronic devices recovered in the investigation included 27 computers, 58 internal hard drives, 22 external hard drives and 46 cellphones.

Investigators are still digging through some of the devices, Tierney said.

“We’re not going to stop. We can’t stop,” the DA said. “We owe that to the victims.”

Heuermann’s lawyer said Thursday he had just learned of the alleged “planning documents” and that neither he nor his client had been informed of the two new homicide charges until Thursday morning.

“He’s obviously horrified by new charges, new murder allegations,” Brown said. “He’s in a bad place in terms of the new charges.”

The trial over the Gilgo Four murders had yet to begin as of Thursday, when the new charges were added. Heuermann has been in custody since his arrest last July, and no date has been set for his trial.