If you're thinking of buying a residential rental property, ICS Mortgages can provide an excellent range of flexible, buy to let mortgages, including interest only terms of up to 15 years. We will also help you to refinance your existing portfolio and grow your property investments. Call 0818-427-427, visit ICS Mortgages. Ie or contact your local mortgage broker. Ics Mortgages, the property investor's choice, winner of the Best Buy to let mortgage provider 2023 award, as voted by the AIMA. Lending criterias and terms and conditions applying and are subject to change. The entire amount that you have borrowed will still be outstanding at the end of the interest-only period. The loss stack, trading as the loss, and ICS Mortgages is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Rex, did you do it? Tonight, on DateLine. I was like, Oh, my God, it was him. I knew it was him. You sat face-to-face with the man police believe is a serial killer. Yeah. It's been a mystery for 13 years, the murders along Gilgo Beach. Now, revealing new details. This is your war room? Yeah, so this is our war room. Crucial information is behind the door. The victims. Loved ones speak out.
Some for the first time. Oh, this just makes me cry. She did not deserve that. I'm none of them did. The suspect. Who is he? I'm an architect. I'm an architectural consultant. The scariest part for me was he took that path past my house every day. I was alone in that apartment with him. There's no way I could have fought back. Completely bonechilling. And the investigation. Crucial questions. You've got a chief of detectives who's keeping the FBI away from the case. Why would he do that? Inside the biggest serial killer case in a generation. I'm Lester Holt, and this is Dayline. Here's Andrea Canning with The Hunt for The Gilgo Beach Killer. There's a beautiful rhythm to the ocean. A predictable rise and fall of the tides. But on this stretch of beach, 50 miles from New York City, that peaceful rhythm was shattered when a 911 call pierced the night. Hello, you dialed into the 911 system. Do you need the police? Yeah, somebody is after me. Somebody is harassing you? After me. On the line, a desperate young woman begging for help. There's somebody after me. Where are you? There's somebody after me.
Okay, where are you? She was disoriented, calling 911 as she ran. There's somebody after me. Where are you, ma'am? I don't know. These people are trying to kill me. The young woman was 23-year-old Shannon Gilbert, an escort on a job in Oak Beach, Long Island. She never said exactly who was after her, but she was clearly in trouble. Robert Colker is a journalist and author who has covered this story extensively. The night that Shannon disappeared, she got a call from a guy named Joseph Brewer. Joe Brewer arranges for her to come to Oak Beach. Her driver takes her there. Her driver waits outside Joe's house during the length of the call. The call goes on for hours, but then suddenly, out of nowhere, the driver gets a knock on his windshield, and it's Joe Brewer saying that Shannon won't leave. The driver goes into the house to try to get Shannon to leave and sees that Shannon is very upset, is terrified. And then she goes bolting out of the house and running down the street. She knocks on doors saying, Help me. Help me. She eventually ran back to the car and her driver, Mike.
Mike, please. I just want to go home. Something's going to happen to me. There's nobody outside. But the driver couldn't convince Shannon to get in the car and leave. Before he knew it, she was off and running again. Still on the line with 911, Shannon ran to the house of Joe Brewer's neighbor, Gus Kaletti. I can't help you. Somebody hit you? You are… Don't keep yourself. Where are you doing? Wait a minute. What are you doing? Keep going. Shannon left Gus Kalette's house, still sounding panicked. She was lost in the unfamiliar area, surrounded by Marsh. The temperature had dipped into the low 50s. Then the call suddenly dropped. Early the next morning, police arrived and spoke to people who had seen Shannon that night. But all anyone knew for sure was that she had disappeared from Oak Beach, Long Island. A long way from the blue-collar town she grew up in. My sister, Shannon, she was just a good person. She was funny. She would make us laugh. We listened to our first R&B and hip hop CDs because of her. We would play dress-up. We would watch Taylor Moon together. Cherie Gilbert says her sister, older by just 11 months, was someone she looked up to.
She taught us how to cook. There was just so many things that we did together as sisters. We were really best friends. We were very close. Shannon had big dreams. She did. She wanted to be a singer since as long as I could remember. We used to make fun of her because we used to say that she sounded like Kermit the Frog. She was just trying to find her voice. And find it, she did. Shannon definitely didn't want to be in any small town. She saw herself on big screens. She saw herself being an actress, being a singer. She wanted all of that. So, of course, her voice evolved. So she wasn't Kerman anymore? No. So Shannon set off to New York City to chase the bright lights and try to make it on Broadway. But like so many, she struggled to break through. And eventually, Shannon turned to sex work to make money. Cherie noticed some changes in her sister. She was wearing nice clothes and makeup and buying lots of gifts for the family. Cherie grew suspicious. You were on to her like you're doing something to get this money. And so she came clean.
Yeah. It must be so hard for you to hear this because for you, you can't even fathom being in that world. Once she found the world, it was easy money to her. Hard to break away. Exactly. Once you're in it, you're getting the money. Exactly. You're paying the bills. Yeah, you're getting the money. You can now manage your lifestyle. You can go partying. You can do things that you couldn't do before. It was easy for her. It was fast for her. She was also going to school on the side. So I mean, she was definitely trying to better her life. It's not like she wanted to be in there forever. All I say is just please be safe. And usually she was. But now Shannon was missing. Where was she? The search for that answer would take months and lead to one of the most gruesome discoveries in Suffolk County history. It was an absolutely, truly shocking day. It was a Saturday morning in May 2010. Daybreak in Oak Beach, Long Island was peaceful, beautiful, but there was also a darkness to it. The night before, Shannon Gilbert had disappeared after a frantic call to 911.
She said someone was after her. Before she disappeared, Shannon ran to the home of Gus Kaladi. He spoke to her affiliate, WNBC, shortly afterward. I think she ran off out on a jetty trying to escape those guys, and she fell in. She was gone. It bothers me that possibly I could have saved that girl. It's not easy. Shannon's boyfriend came to Oak Beach the next day to look for her. He spoke to neighbors, but left when he couldn't find her or anyone who knew anything about her disappearance. Shannon's family was starting to worry. When do you realize that either Shannon's not answering or Shannon's not reaching out to me? I actually got a phone call from her boyfriend at the time who told me that she was missing. So I actually pretty much knew almost right away. So where do you go from there when you're not able to reach her? I reached out to my mom and I told her, I said, Mom, I think we have to file a missing persons report. Shannon's missing. And she said, I'm working right now. When I get home first thing in the morning, I'll go to the police and we'll file a report.
But that, says Cherie, turned out to be complicated because multiple jurisdictions were involved. Still, the family kept pushing to find Shannon. Did you feel like as you're trying to get attention for your sister that you're not getting it because of why she was in Oak Beach that night? Because of her profession. Yeah, absolutely. I definitely felt like they weren't taking us serious because I feel like if it was an educated lawyer or a mom of three, police officer, anybody else, I feel like they would have definitely had a whole search party. It would be weeks before the case finally landed in the proper jurisdiction of Suffolk County. More than a month after Shannon went missing, the first searches began. Stewart Cameron was the chief in charge of the Special Patrol at the time, which included Marine, Air, and K-9 search teams. We wanted to obviously give her family closure, and we wanted to see if she had been involved in a crime. That was the main purpose of the search. We were very committed to finding her. But it wasn't going to be easy. Shannon had run off into a Marshy area next to the coastal road that hugs Gilgo Beach.
It's very heavily, densely vegetated. It's got sticker bushes, it's got poison Ivy, it's got vines, it's got ticks. As you're walking along the shoulder of Ocean Parkway, you simply cannot see into this area more than six inches. It's just that heavily, densely vegetated. The perfect place, police feared to hide evidence of foul play. It's very desolate, very isolated, lonely. The other thing about it is this highway is a straight line. It's flat. And so if you want to leave a body at night, you know when you're alone, you could pull over and you would know when a car is coming because you would see their headlines from miles away. Creepy. Yeah, and also smart. Undeterred, the police continued searching. One officer, John Maliah, took his search dog, Blue, out regularly to look for Shannon. John Maliah, he was perhaps the best a handler, but he was also a very good human being. He truly wanted to give this family closure. For six long months, they searched on and off. Then one morning, Blue got a hit. Human remains discarded by the roadside. The presumption was when John Maliya found these remains that he had found Shannon Gilbert.
They called and said, We're like 99 % sure we just found Shannon. Oh, my gosh. Which was very shocking to us. We were crying and upset. The body was found tied up with strips of burlap and tape. Identifying whether it was Shannon would be quick. What did they tell you as far as what they're doing to be sure it's Shannon? What we had told them is that my sister was in a domestic dispute, so she actually had a metal plate in her jaw. So if you were to find Shannon, you'll see the metal titanium plate in her jaw. So that would be their way of ruling out whether or not that was Shannon. But when investigators checked, there was no titanium plate. How does your family handle this? We're devastated. We don't know what to think. We don't know what to feel. So who was it? Sergeant, Malya and Blue headed back to the crime scene. We thought we had one homicide. Let's search for potential items of evidence that could help us solve this crime. John started working towards the west along Ocean Parkway, where we're located a second set of remains, which was in shock.
We're looking for evidence and we find the second set of human remains. It's very, very, very uncommon. Then John started working to the east of the remains. He goes just under a tenth of a mile, and he finds a third set of remains. Then John continues working east of that set of remains and finds a fourth set of remains. It was an absolutely, truly shocking day. Four murder victims, all placed within a few feet of each other, all young women, mostly petite between 4/11 and 5/5. Three of them bound with similar burlap and tape. Did you have a serial killer on the loose? Was the big question. Yeah, the question that came to mind is, are they all connected? Is this a serial killer case? Or was this a dumping ground? Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison was with the NYPD back then. So what started out as a search for one woman uncovered a hornet's nest? Yeah, pretty much. And then we continued our search because we still were in the process of looking for Ms. Gilbert's remains. But they didn't find Shannon that day or the next. Her mother, Mary, visited the site.
What's running through your mind to be here? It's evil. This place is evil. It's crazy. I couldn't believe it. I just was like, How do you go looking for my sister? This one woman is now uncovering a serial killer's dumping ground. I couldn't believe it. As the search for Shannon continued, police began the grim task of identifying the four victims. Maybe some detail from their lives would help police catch a serial killer on the loose. I knew that she was going out to Long Island. That was a possible clue for police. Right. Yes. While searching for Shannon Gilbert, police uncovered four other bodies, all female victims of homicide. And investigators would learn. All working as escorts when they disappeared. They became known as the Gilgo Four. The first to be discovered was Melissa Bartholomew. Her best friend, Critzia Luguau, is telling her story on camera for the first time. How did you meet Melissa? I met Melissa, I think I was maybe 19 years old. We lived in the same household. At the time, both were struggling to make a living. How did you emotionally support each other? It's good to have someone who's going through the same thing you're going through.
We're going to get out of here. We're going to be okay. And she had dreams like, I'm going to have a beauty salon. Melissa brought that dream with her from her hometown of Buffalo to the Bronx. That's where the two friends bonded. Melissa, the outgoing one, and Critzia, the quiet one. Melissa was always happy. She was always laughing. She was great. She was real. She had a family of mom and sister. What did she tell you about her family? She just loved her sister so much. Did she talk about her sister a lot? Oh, tell me. Yeah. It makes me cry because I had two little sisters too, and they also were teenagers. It just makes me cry because she did love her little sister. She had a good family. Better than mine. I wouldn't say better than mine. But once in New York, Melissa was having a hard time turning her dream into a reality. I think her idea was that she would work at a strip club and make money, but she just met other people and started getting into what they call the street life. Melissa and Kritsia both turned to escort work to make ends meet.
Did you two have each other's backs on the streets? I'm not sure I did. You watched out for Melissa. She watched out for you. We took care of each other. We had to. What were some of the hazards of the job? Death, rape, getting drugged. I think the worst part was jail and the cops. For us, that was the real nightmare. Critzia says they experienced that nightmare firsthand when she and Melissa were arrested and spent a night in jail. But it was more money than they'd earned at any other job, and the work was getting easier to find. Backpatient, Cragsless was like the thing going. They charge like a dollar and you can post all these ads and your phone would not stop ringing. These girls would have, I'm not lying, 300 missed calls in five hours. It was insane. By 2008, Melissa had given up on the hair salon and was trying to make enough money to go back home. So she goes to Craigslist? Exactly. She goes to Craigslist. She's living in the Bronx. She's living independently. She's like a half step toward making enough money to go back to Buffalo. And then one day, she disappears.
Let's talk about July 12th, 2009, Melissa goes missing. When do you first realize something has happened to her? She's not responding. I remember going to the police and trying to say, Hey, I'm looking for this girl. Do you guys know if she's in jail? I'll look her up in the NYC in May. We looked her up. She was not in jail. And then we went back to the prison, and some of the night sergeants yelled at us and told us to get out. I'm like, Why are you over here? Why are you over here? She's a girl of women. She's a ho. She could do what she wants. She's probably getting high. I'm like, Y'all are listening to this and do drugs. The NYPD told us they can't comment on Kritsia's story without more details, like the exact date and officer's names. All Kritsia knew for sure Melissa was missing. What did the police know as far as who she had been in contact with that day? Was there any evidence to show who she'd been talking to? Her old boyfriend, her former pimp, apparently told the police that Melissa had said something about how she had a client in Long Island.
You knew Melissa was supposed to be at a job in Long Island? I knew that she was going out to Long Island. That was a possible clue for police, the fact that you knew that she was supposed to be going out to Long Island for a job. Right? Yes. Melissa's family and friends wouldn't find out what happened for another six months. When she was one of the four women identified from Gilgo Beach. How devastating when you find out that her body has been found. This is your friend that you've been looking for. This was the woman who had your back, and now she's gone. I was really numb for a long time because I didn't want to think about it, so I just pushed it in the back of my head. Christiane has a very different life now. She's moved away from New York, works as a health care professional, and is raising her children in a happy home. She wishes Melissa could have done the same. Imagine who she would have been now. If I'm who I am, and I love who I am, and I love where I am, and I love the life that I'm living, I never even thought that this was going to be possible.
Imagine what she would have done. She was more courageous than I am. She was stronger in a way, smarter and more motivated. Yeah, she should have had her hair salon. Oh, God. She would have had a chain of them. She would have been up with the Kredassians. She would have done so good. One month after finding the remains by the beach, authorities announced the identity of another woman from the Gilgo four, 22-year-old Megan Waterman. Would this video of her last day provide a clue as to who killed her and the rest of the women? Did you hope that video could possibly solve this case? Yeah, that was the only hope. If you're thinking of buying a residential rental property, ICS Mortgages can provide an excellent range of flexible buy to let mortgages, including interest only terms of up to 15 years. We will also help you to refinance your existing portfolio and grow your property investments. Call 0818-427-427, visiticsmortgages. Ie or contact your local mortgage broker. Ics Mortgages, the property investor's choice, winner of the Best Buy to Let Mortgage Provider 2023 Award, as voted by the AIMA. Lending criteria, terms and conditions applying, and are subject to change.
The entire amount that you have will still be outstanding at the end of the interest-only period. The LossDAC, trading as the Lossdac, and ICS Mortgages is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. The Toyota Corolla Range now comes with something more, even more hybrid electric models to choose from. From the spacious Corolla Cross SUV to the dynamic hatchback and the stunning saloon, you can decide on the perfect hybrid for you. Make the move today and feel the freedom of never having to plug in. The new Corolla Hybrid Electric Range. With flexible payment options available, order now for January delivery. Toyota, built for a better world. Seven hours. That's how long it took Megan Waterman to travel from Maine to find work on Long Island. That's how determined she was to provide for her three-year-old daughter, Lily. She was trying to make ends meet. She was doing that for Lily. Amanda Gove is Megan's half sister. Not long before that trip, she'd heard a rumor about what Megan was doing to make extra money. I called her and I asked her. I said, Are you prostituting? She's like, I don't want to talk about it. Did she finally admit to you what she'd been doing?
That was the last time we had talked. It was only later she found out Megan had gone to New York for a few days, likely to find new clients. My dad called me around seven and asked me if I had talked to Megan. And I'm like, No, why? I've been trying to call her all day and her phone keeps going to voicemail. He said that's because she's missing. What is he telling you as far as how they know she's missing, when she went missing, what they're thinking? She walked out of a hotel room and never came back. Then this surfaced a grainy image of Megan leaving the hotel, possibly to meet one of those clients. The last image of Megan Waterman. She was wearing a yellow shirt and jeans and she was walking out of the hotel. It looked like she went to the right. A woman walked out shortly after her. And that's it. It could have been a possibility that maybe that woman is like, Yeah, she got in this car. Do you hope that that video could possibly solve this case? Yeah. That was the last. That was the only hope. But Suffolk County police didn't go public with the video until many years later.
A police spokesman told Dateline he doesn't know why it wasn't released sooner. Amanda says one officer back then even told her the chances of finding Megan alive were slim. He tells me, I'm not going to sugarcoat this for you, Amanda. You need to prepare your sofa the worst. Did you feel like he was treating it that way because of your sister's profession? Oh, yeah. She didn't matter. She did not matter. Because she was because of her profession. Exactly. Still, Amanda held out hope until her sister's body was identified as one of those found on Gilgo Beach. What's going through your mind when you learn that she was dumped on a beach in such a horrific way? She did not deserve that. And none of them did. One of those women, Amber Costello, had only been missing a few months when police stumbled across her remains. She was last seen alive about 20 miles away, walking down her street. And then there was Maureen Brainerd-Barns. Our last weekend, Maureen's last weekend together, we were here. We walked all around Times Square. It was the summer of 2007. Sarah Khan says she and Maureen were escorts together, working out of hotel rooms in the city.
The close friends were going to get their own apartment in the coming days. And we're making a lot of money. It's not like McDonalds. I was super excited. And she had made an appointment for us to go see the apartment on Tuesday. But first, Sarah needed to take care of a few things back home in Connecticut. She's like, All right, well, I'll just stay here in the room and keep it paid up until you come back on Wednesday. But when Sarah came back two days later, Maureen was gone. Yeah, well, when I came back on Wednesday, she didn't answer the phone. She wasn't at the hotel. She vanished. She says police shrugged off Maureen's disappearance. For three years, she wondered what had happened to her friend until the discoveries on Gilgo Beach. She blames herself for leaving Maureen behind in the city that day. She would have been alive. I have no doubt in mind about that. And I think about that every day. Sorry for swearing. Police believed Maureen was the first of the four victims, all murdered over the span of three years. What once had been a scenic stretch along the Atlantic was now a crime scene.
One not finished giving up its dead. To date, the remains of 10 people have been found along Ocean Parkway. Eight women, one man, one female toddler. Coming to you from New York. Police were hoping to find one woman, Shannon Gilbert, when they began combing through the brush along this highway in 2010. Instead, they found the bodies of four other women, strangers in life who shared this ragged patch of earth and death. Melissa Bartholomew, Megan Waterman, Amber Costello, and Maureen Brainerd-Barns. As Maureen's friend, Sarah, struggled to process her death, she remembered a phone call. It came just after Maureen vanished in 2007. The man had a blocked number. He described Maureen in very specific detail down to the tattoo that she had. I remember going, That's my friend. She's been missing for two weeks. And he's like, Well, she's not missing. I just saw her the other day at a courthouse in Queens. Yeah, that doesn't sound right, dude. I literally was like, That doesn't make any sense. Can you call me back on blocks so I can call the police so I can give the police your phone number? And he's like, Yeah, sure. He never called back.
At the time, Sarah says she reported it to the police in Norwich, Connecticut, Marine's last official residence, but never heard more about it. A police spokesman told Datae line he wouldn't comment on an active investigation. Then, two years later, in 2009, another strange call. This one to the sister of Melissa Bartholomew. The caller wouldn't identify himself. And then he says that he's watching her sister's body rot. -he gets very graphic. -oh, my gosh. And this, of course, sends the family into action. They call a lawyer and they call the police, and the police try to trace the calls. But by the time the calls are over, the best that they can do is trace the cell phone pings to Midtown Manhattan to Madison Square Garden, again, which is basically Penn Station, which is where Maureen Brayner-Barns disappeared. It sounded like a link between the two victims. Was the man who called Maureen's friend the same one who called Melissa's sister? Robert Coler says the sad truth is that neither woman's disappearance got much attention at the time. You have to wonder if Melissa's demographic were slightly different, if her profile were slightly different, then maybe it would be a national news, but it just wasn't.
Of course it would. Yeah. And these people live in the shadows where they're vulnerable, and something needs to be done about that. And these women walked right into a trap. That's right. It was only when police found their bodies and realized how these women had been killed that the world took notice. There is something so ritualistic about how it was done. Dr. Gary Brukato was a clinical psychologist and is widely regarded as an expert on serial killings. You see the burlap and the binding. One of the things I was able to guess about this offender is that he would have been a pretty intelligent guy. This would be a highly technical individual that probably did something for a living that involved some visual, spatial skills. An individual who was probably slithering underneath our feet. In other words, someone who could blend in. So many conspiracy theories were floating around about who the killer could be. I remember hearing that it could be a lobsterman, it could be a police officer, it could be a doctor. It was all these people guessing of who might have done this and trying to connect the dots. I think one of the problems with profiling serial killers is that it gets a little too much like a parlor game, and then you really start to project and think things like, Oh, if he's out at the beach, that means he must be a clamor or a lobsterman because he can use a boat.
Those theories took on new urgency because as police continued to search for Shannon Gilbert, they made more appalling discoveries. By April of 2011, they'd located six more bodies along this road. To date, the remains of 10 people have been found along Ocean Parkway. Eight women, one man, one female toddler. These victims, however, were not tied with burlap like the others, which meant it was possible more than one killer was at work here. They're finding more bodies on the beach. They're left to speculate about whether there's one killer or two killers or three killers. If they're all linked or if those first four were just the ones that are linked. Ten victims in Ulm, and incredibly, not one of them was Shannon, her sister, Cherie. It's crazy. I couldn't believe it. I just was like, How do you go looking for my sister, this one woman, to now uncovering a serial killer's dumping ground? I couldn't believe it. Then several months later, one more body. Had they finally found her? And would it bring them any closer to an arrest? Families of the victims had their doubts for good reason. You've got a chief who's keeping the FBI away from the biggest serial killer case to happen in New York in a generation.
Why would he do that? To cover his own tracks, obviously. Today, we have an announcement on the search for Shannon Gilbert. More than a year and a half after Shannon Gilbert disappeared, her family got the news they'd been dreading. After an exhaustive, methodical, massive search, we have located a set of skeletal remains. We believe at this time to belong to the missing Shannon Gilbert. I remember getting a phone call. I believe it was from my mom, and she said they think they found Shannon, and this time it's really Shannon. I just remember breaking down. And then I left to go be down there with my mom so we can take a look at everything. Why did you feel like you needed to be there? I felt like if I went down there, maybe it would give me some closure, just to see where her final resting place was. But I didn't get that sense of closure, and I still don't have that sense of closure, and I don't think I ever will. From the moment Shannon went missing, her family had poured everything they had into finding her. A lot of people feel that if it wasn't for you, for your mom, and all of your pushing and demanding answers for Shannon, that those other women may never have been found.
Yeah, I think my sister was a really big catalyst and those women being found. And I also think that my mom bringing awareness and being an advocate, it really helped out a lot. But it hadn't been easy. For months, Shannon's mother, Mary, had felt ignored, pushed aside by the police while her daughter was missing. And after Shannon's remains were found, she worried investigators wouldn't do enough to find out how she died. How do you get brought into this? Mary needed somebody to speak for her, and that was because the Suffolk County police had grossly bundled the investigation. Enter attorney John Ray. We are asking for the Department of Justice to order the FBI to come into this case and to investigate. Apparently, they've been boxed out and told to stay away by Suffolk County. It didn't seem to make sense. The FBI had initially been involved in the case. Why would they be boxed out now? I think it was clear that Jim Burke did not want the FBI anywhere near him or the investigation. Jim Burke was the Suffolk County Police Chief back then. Geraldine Hart, an FBI agent in Long Island at the time, who later went on to become head of the office, believes Burke didn't want the FBI's help because he was in a lot of trouble himself.
That seemed to me to be the only reason why we wouldn't be brought in, why the tools that we had to offer wouldn't be something that they would be looking for. Burke was once the subject of an internal probe for having a relationship with a sex worker and leaving his gun with her unattended. And while he was chief and in charge of the Gilgo Beach case, he was being investigated again, this time by the feds for assaulting a man he accused of stealing pornography and sex toys from his department vehicle in 2012 and then pressuring officers to keep quiet about the event. You've got a chief of detectives who's keeping the FBI away from the biggest serial killer case to happen in New York in a generation. Why would he do that? To cover his own tracks, obviously. Chief, do you have anything else to say? Burke's attorney told us Burke was not responsible for keeping the FBI away from the Gilgo Beach investigation. Burke resigned in 2015 amid federal charges of violating civil rights and conspiracy to obstruct justice, to which he eventually pleaded guilty. What a mess. Attorney Stephen Cohen represents Melissa Bartholomew's family.
And the family was just numb. They were numb from this. That's during the period of time where we heard nothing. It wasn't just the police scandal infuriating the families. It was how their loved ones were viewed. We tend to put people like this in a box and decide that they're plot devices in some mysterious serial killer procedural. But in fact, these were people. These were mothers, these were daughters. These were people who had close relationships with their families, even as they went missing. It's not like they had fallen off the grid. And then once they were missing, it was hard for the families to even get anybody to care. Melissa's friend, Critzia, agrees that police didn't pay enough attention to Melissa's disappearance because she was a sex worker. It's really sad. Like, Oh, my God, I don't want to cry. It's so sad because she didn't deserve that. She was doing no harm. She wasn't robbing people. She wasn't setting people up. She wasn't doing things like that. She thought she was providing a service. Well, there are people think it's moral, immoral, whether people agree it's legal or illegal, whether people think it's right or wrong, it was just a service being provided.
Embroiled in frustration and scandal, it seemed the killings might never be solved. After the work's departure, the FBI did rejoin the investigation. And in 2018, Geraldine Hart left the Bureau to become the new Suffolk County Police Commissioner and Head of the Gilgo Beach investigation. I had a sense that it needed to be reinvigorated, and we needed to message not only internally to the police department and the officers, but externally to the public that this was a priority case. Today, we are sharing information with the public that we hope will shed new light on this investigation. Hartt released a piece of evidence discovered at the crime scene. A black leather belt embossed with the letters H. M. Or W. H, was recovered during the initial stages of this investigation. The belt had been used to bind one of the victims. Detectives wondered if the initials belonged to the killer. It was potentially a huge lead. But despite Hartt's focus on the case, it remained unsolved. She left the department in 2021. And then a year later. New people came in and fresh eyes took a look at it. And I think some very talented people came into the Suffolk County Police and the Suffolk County district Attorney's office.
The new team was led by two former New York City crime investigators, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison and Suffolk County DA Ray Tierney. I felt confident working in conjunction with a bunch of really great law enforcement organizations and a bunch of really great investigators that we could make progress. You felt like, Hey, this is a case we could possibly solve. All cases could possibly be solved. So you just don't know until you dig in. This is a war room. Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison was also ready for battle. This is where the dedicated officers assigned from the different law enforcement agencies came every single day. There's a lot of important information behind this door. Actually, all the information regarding the investigation is behind this door. Mountains of it and buried deep within was another important clue. One that would crack the whole case wide open. I covered this story back when the bodies were found. I was out here, and I remember what a frightening time it was for people. It was definitely a frightening time. And this is not something that was just frightening for the residents of Suffolk County. This was for all Long Island and even the state of New York.
There's a serial killer on the loose, dumping bodies over here in the Ocean Parkway. Rodney Harrison, a 30-year veteran of the NYPD who'd risen to chief of detectives, was in 2021, the new Suffolk County Police Commissioner. One of his first orders of business, get that serial killer off the streets and bring the family some answers. He teamed up with Suffolk County DA, Ray Tierney. The first thing you do is you take all of 12 years worth of investigations, which is a massive amount of documentation. We digitalized it, so that way we could make it searchable. And then you have to go through all of these reams of documents and just follow the evidence and see what seems likely and what doesn't seem likely. With fresh eyes and a colossal collaboration, they broke the case down and started from scratch, painstakingly reviewing the evidence one piece at a time. With regard to all of the four murders, I mean, there were striking similarities. The most striking of which were there were four separate burner phones being used. Burners, phones that can be bought at convenience stores and used anonymously. The task force did a deep dive on cell phone data compiled years earlier.
It revealed the Gilgo killer used burner phones to set up dates with his victims. A different phone for each woman. They zeroed in on those calls and began connecting the dots. So the cell phone data was instrumental because we were able to figure out that our perpetrator that called our victims during the time frame, several time frames, was either in Massapico Park or in Midtown, Manhattan. Those two locations became key for the task force. They also noted, Melissa Bartholomew's phone was pinging between Massapiquo Park and Manhattan on the day she disappeared. Now, of course, Midtown, Manhattan has a million people walking through a day, but that Massapiquo Park was something that we could really focus in on. It was a puzzle, finding someone who had connections to both locations. So we came up with a box where we had to see what can we do to connect a potential suspect inside that box and a residence inside that location. Right, because Masapiqua Park is a lot smaller than Manhattan, and you could find someone in Masapiqua Park who's working in Manhattan. Correct. As the task force scoured through the old case file, something stood out, an old clue from back in 2010, something Amber Costello's roommates observed and told police about.
Those friends saw her the night she disappeared. They saw her on the phone a lot with the John, and they saw her leave the house and meet somebody in a car a fair distance away. They described the driver as Ogarish-looking, extremely tall with glasses, and his car? A first-generation Green Chevy Avalanche. We wanted to take a look at that Green Avalanche and see if we could maybe match it up to somebody inside that Masapico Park area of the box. We brought the state police in. One of the state police investigators had access to a database that allowed us to identify who was the owner of that Green Avalanche. And in March 2022, they got a hit. And she was able to put one and one together and get that green avalanche attached to that Masapico box, and then eventually attached it to Rex Hureman. Rex Hureman, a name they'd never come across before, one entirely new to this investigation. Someone who seemed like an average guy. As they looked into him, they discovered Rex had a wife, two grown children. He was a respected architect. But what really caught their attention? He commuted between Massapiqua Park and Manhattan.
Once we identified Rex Heurman and we saw where he worked, and then we were able to attach that to the other cell sites, which is where he resided, that helped a lot of positivity in the case saying, Oh, it now makes sense. His office just blocks from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station, the same area where Maureen Brainerd-Barns was last seen and where those calls were made to Melissa's sister. In fact, when you pull up his office in Google Maps, look what comes up. Rex Heurman himself on the sidewalk near his building, blending into the crowd. Now the pieces are really starting to come together. Investigators went back into the digital past and searched Google Maps for Rex's residence. Right there in a picture from 2011, was the green avalanche next to Rex's house. What's more? Detectives learned Huerman's grandfather had the initials, W-H. The same ones found on that belt used to bind one of the victims. The evidence against Huerman was mounting, but nothing directly tied him to the victims. Not yet, anyway. Did you get a match? We did. For 16 years, the Gilgo Beach killer had looted police until a new interagency task force dug into the old case file, and a suspect emerged.
Once we got the Green Avalanche and then we were able to text to the Red Shearman, and then we saw that, Oh, wow, he lives in Matts, Peekle Park. He also works in Midtown Manhattan. That's where we were like, This could possibly be our suspect. Investigators worked for months piecing together the evidence, Rex's avalanche, his phone records, and so much more. I mean, as you started doing searches of email accounts associated with him, I was just looking at some of the things he searched, and I mean, they're disgusting. Very disturbing. Most of these I can't read on television, but I mean, things like Pretty Girl with bruised face porn, girl hogtied, torture, blonde haired girl, young, depressed. That's just a very small sampling of some horrible, horrible things. Once again, once we saw his activities as a second part of his life, disturbing is the only word I could come up with. Investigators discovered a complicated web of fictitious email addresses and numerous burner phones, which police say human used to contact sex workers and look up details about the Gilgo Beach investigation. Certainly suspicious, having that many burner phones when you're an architect. Everything from having dual phones to internet searches really showed you what type of disturbed person he was.
And just eight weeks before his arrest, here he was, caught on security video, adding extra minutes to a burner phone. But what investigators still really needed was evidence directly tying Rex to the murders. That wouldn't be easy. When the women were discovered in 2010, their remains were skeletonized. So there wasn't really all that much of forensic worth found at the scene other than what we've referred to as these five question hairs. Five unknown hairs discovered on the tape used to bind the victims. But you still need a suspect. So the next step is to get a DNA sample to test it against. They got eyes on Hureman and waited. Basically, what you do is you fail the defendant and then you wait until he discards something that he puts DNA on, whether it be something that he drinks or something that he eats. After months of surveillance, investigators finally got what they wanted. Rex tossed something into the trash outside of his office. What did you take? We got bottles and we got bottles and we got a pizza box. Did you find DNA on these items? We were able to obtain DNA samples. When they compared those samples to the five hairs found on the victims, did you get a match?
We did. A direct match, he says, to the male hair found on Megan Waterman. This is your bingo moment here. Yes, I remember receiving that report, reading it over twice, three times, four times, making sure, in my own mind, this is actually saying what I think it's saying. Rex Hureman had been under secret surveillance. Detectives were now just steps behind him, afraid to let him out of their sight, afraid of being caught themselves. Volves. When is the decision made or how is it made that, okay, it's go time? It was a concern that the information may get out. Ray Churney gave me a call say, Hey, listen, we have to move now. We suddenly decided to make that arrest on a Thursday evening in Manhattan. Was he coming out of work? He was coming out of work, yeah. There was a strategic reason why we did it over there. One of the fears that I had is, is he going to be carrying a firearm? Is there going to be some type of resistance? And how is that going to work if we're engaging a man that's 6'6, 275 pounds? Hureman didn't put up a fight and was taken into custody without incident on July 13th, 2023.
Good afternoon. Today is a good day. You stepped up to the podium this year and you said, Today is a good day. Take us to that moment when you were able to make this announcement that there had been an arrest. It was a day of a good day for the family members. We were able to bring a little level of comfort, just being able to bring closure for the families. The families who had waited more than a decade for this moment shared the stage with the commissioner. I would first and foremost like to offer my deepest condolences to the family members. I can only imagine what you had to adore over the last decade regarding knowing that your killer was still loose. God bless you. After longing for answers for 14 years, the arrest still left Melissa Bartholomew's friend, Critzia, with questions. Some people are just messed up. But how can you do that to someone? Or as a man, how can you do that to a woman? Any woman. How can you do that to your wife, to your children? Rex Hureman was charged with the murders of Melissa Bartholomew, Megan Waterman, and Amber Lynn Costello.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He remains the prime suspect in Maureen Brainerd-Barns' murder, but was not charged in Shannon's death. Even with Rex behind bars, the investigation was far from over. Police discovered a potentially disturbing clue on one of the women. They wondered, did Rex have help? There were two question hares that were recovered from Megan Warderman. One of those hares matched or was consistent with the profile of the defendant. The other was consistent with the profile of the wife. Her name is Assa Ellarup. Has his wife been cleared? Is she not involved in this? We don't have anything at this time to believe that Rick Schumer's wife was connected to any of these murders. A lot of his actions were done while she was out of town. So it looked like he was living what we call a double-life, working man, husband, father. But when the family went out of town, he turned into a predator. Asa's attorney, Robert Macedonia. What do you say to anyone who says, How could she not have known? If it's true, it was a complete double life. And the allegations, as put forth by the prosecutor, they took place while she was out of town.
So he really was very good at living a secret double life that she was unaware of. And his family members weren't the only ones left in the dark. There he is. Got him with my colleague right there. If you're thinking of buying a residential rental property, ICS Mortgages can provide an excellent range of flexible, buy to let mortgages, including interest only terms of up to 15 years. We'll also help you to refinance your existing portfolio and grow your property investments. Call 0818-427-427. Visit ICS Mortgages. Ie or contact your local mortgage broker. Ics Mortgages, the property investor's choice, winner of the Best Buy to Let Mortgage Provider 2023 award, as voted by the AIMA. Lending criteria terms and conditions applying and are subject to change. The entire amount that you have borrowed will still be outstanding at the end of the interest-only period. The Loss Stack, trading as the Lossnack, and ICS Mortgages is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. What's the point in blending in? Be bold. Choose to stand out in the new Toyota CHR Hybrid Electric, built using more sustainable materials with fifth-generation hybrid electric technology, fresh style, and outstanding design that leaves Ordinary behind.
The all new Toyota CHR, ordered today for January delivery. Toyota, built for a better world. After those grim discoveries at Gilgo Beach. Rex, did you do it? Finally, an arrest. 59-year-old Lex Heurman, father of two, Manhattan architect. Who would have thought? Certainly not Lex's many coworkers. Completely bonechilling. If this is true, he's lied to us. There he is. Got him. My colleague, right there. Perhaps no one was more stunned than Katherine Shepard. Katherine worked closely with Lex for five years. It's horrifying. Was this the man you knew? No, and that's the whole thing. I mean, he was just a normal person, just a normal guy. His office was more towards the back. Katherine first met Rex Hearman back in 2002. They shared an office space in Manhattan. Katherine worked as an interior designer. Rex had his own architecture firm. We're on the 14th floor in the fashion district, and it was all open. So no one had offices. Everyone could hear each other's business. How would you describe his personality? He liked to make jokes. He likes to tell stories, and he was friendly. As the months passed, the two became work friends. He was married, had kids.
He was very good at his job, and he was very successful for decades. Rex had an act for pushing renovation projects through the often arcane world of New York City's building code. Rex, hello. Hi, how are you doing? Good to see you. Likewise. Here he is in 2022, speaking with a YouTube interviewer about his work. Rex Heurman, I'm an architect. I'm an architectural consultant. I'm a troubleshooter. Born and raised on Long Island. Okay. Been working in Manhattan since 1987. If you were a tool to bring your business to greater heights, what would it be? A cabinet-maker's hammer. It is persuasive enough when I need to persuade something. Not someone. Something. The only thing Katherine seemed to find unusual about Rex was his lack of social skill. Architects can often be a little geeky. So it's not a shocker that he's a little awkward or a little nerdy. So much so, Katherine remembers some of Rex's office mates teasing him with a playful nickname. They called him Sexy Lexie. But yeah, I mean, he would come out and have drinks with us, and we would all talk and laugh and just like any normal person. Katherine says Lex also had a chivalrous side.
One winter morning while walking to work, Katherine slipped on some black ice. About three hours later, I couldn't walk. And Lex told me he was going to take me to the hospital. He waited there while I got my MRI, and I was in a lot of pain. This is my apartment. Lex then brought Katherine back to her apartment. He got me up there and got me settled in my bedroom and then went to the drugstore to get my medication and then came back and made sure I had some food to take it with, and then he went home. You trusted him enough to have him in your apartment. Yeah, sure. Yeah, I was thankful that he was there taking care of me. Katherine and Rex got along so well that in 2005, when Katherine decided to branch off and work for herself, Rex hired her as a freelancer. You did design jobs for him on properties he was serving as the architect on? Yep, all over New York. What would you two talk about when you were driving around working? It was always super professional. I mean, we'd always be talking about the job that we were going to work on.
Things got more personal. When Rex asked Katherine to come to his home in Masapuwa Park, he wanted her input on renovation plans of his own. I do remember meeting his wife. What did you think of her? She was very nice. She was smiling and she said hello, very polite. Kids were there? Kids were there. Katherine and Rex parted ways when she moved out of state in 2007. It was right around the time Maureen Brainerd-Barns went missing. During the entire time, Katherine knew Rex. Nothing about him sounded an alarm. Did it ever cross your mind that this man could be living a double life? Never. Never. Mary Shell worked with Rex in the summer of 2010. The same summer, Megan Waterman went missing. Mary learned of the arrest while scrolling through social media. She also couldn't believe what she was reading. Your jaw must have just dropped to the floor. It did, I thought. It's crazy that there's two people with that name. And then I realized I was looking at his photo. The man in the mugshot seemed very different from the man Mary knew back in 2010. Did Rex seem nice? Yeah. I mean, his interest was always in getting a job done.
Rex always made me feel like I was an asset. There wasn't anything about him that was scary or creepy. Rex didn't share much with about his personal life, but it was common knowledge in the office that he did have a hobby. He loved guns. He loved hunting. It seemed like that was his passion. Mary may not have had any issues with Rex, but after the arrest, she says she learned some colleagues in her office did. Rex, they said, had another side. My colleagues speak about it very generally, but they describe somebody who has a temper office tantrums like kicking a printer. Jeffrey St. Arimond got a taste firsthand of Rex' temper a year before his arrest. This was not an easy road with Rex, Hureman. No, it definitely wasn't easy at all. Jeffrey sells high-end real estate. He worked with Rex, preparing a house for sale. What were your initial impressions of him when you met him? He was very assertive, maybe even leaning to the point of being aggressive. According to Jeffrey, Rex was so aggressive, another person involved in the project refused to work with him. She just didn't feel comfortable with him at all.
She's like, I do not want to be in the office when he comes and pick up the check. For Lex's coworkers, it took weeks to process the shock of his arrest. For Mary Shell, the emotions that followed were just as intense. You feel afraid. Just of the world. Of the world. Everything. Everything. And also, there's an element of anger. The idea that as a woman, that you have to be suspicious and be afraid all the time just to stay alive is enraging. It's something this woman learned the hard way. She saw an even darker side to Lex Hureman. You sat face to face with the man police believe is a serial killer. Yeah. While Lex Hureman's coworkers wrestled with news of his arrest, so did his neighbors. Overnight, sleepy Masapiqua Park was transformed. The small New York City suburb became the center of national attention. News crews and satellite trucks lined the street outside of the home of the alleged serial killer. Well, I was shocked, but when I found out who it was, I wasn't surprised because he was a very weird guy, very creepy vibe. He gave off. Nicholas Ferchow left the big city for the suburbs looking for a more peaceful, safe lifestyle.
He ended up living just a few blocks away from the Heurmans. Every time I walked my dog around the corner, she would always go crazy barking at him, and he would just stare me down every time. The neighbors we spoke to said Rax and his family kept to themselves and were pretty much a mystery. They never engaged with anybody in the area. Not that you have to be in your neighbor's face all the time, believe me, but at least high or something, right? Not even a hi to Frankie Musto, who's lived two doors down from the Heuromans for 40 years. I didn't even know their last name. I swear I had no idea. I didn't even know his first name until they arrested him. If you and Masapiqua Park got to know the Heuromans, everyone, it seemed, knew the Hewerman howhouse. His home is just very run-down. It looks like a cabin in the woods. You're a big architect in the city, and you live like a hillbilly in Masapiqua. The joke was, Look at this guy. What is he? A serial killer? No one in Masapuwa Park jokes about it anymore. There's a different vibe in the entire neighborhood now, and it's scary.
He's obviously welcome. Jimmy Mack is one neighbor who did have a run-in with Rex. He remembers it happening right in front of his house just four months before Rex was arrested. You had a bad feeling about this guy. Immediately. Jimmy says Rex was irritated because a car parked in Jimmy's driveway partially blocked the sidewalk. What was he so upset about? Could you tell? Yeah, he was mad because my car was halfway into this walkway. So apparently, I had to walk a foot around my car. -he wasn't too happy with that. He didn't like that. Yeah, he didn't like that too much. According to Jimmy, things got so tense they almost came to blows. He said, Oh, you all that owns this car. And I said, Yeah. And he goes, I'm going to be back in 15 minutes. I'm going to cut the tire. Oh, so- And I said, Excuse me? I was in shock at that point. That's a real threat. Yeah. Is he yelling or raising his voice? He was actually very calm about it, which struck me as weird. Jimmy wasn't about to let it go. You followed him. I followed him to about four houses down.
That's when I stood in front of him, and that's when we had the confrontation. I said, If you want to handle our business, let's get it over with now, or I never see you again on this block. Oh, my gosh. I said, Whichever way you want to do it. At that point, I was so heated. And he said, No, no, no, we're good. And with that, Rex walked away. Maybe he thought I was going to take a picture of him and call the cops. Nikki Brass says back in 2015, she, too, had an unforgettable encounter with Rex Heurman. I never felt fear for my life. I did with him. Today, Nikki loves her job as a makeup artist. But back then, she says she was in a very dark place. I had one child at the time I had to support her. So I got and resorted to escorting. That's so sad that that's how that happened, that you felt like you had no other options. Yeah. Nicky says she advertised her services on multiple websites, which is how she came in contact with Rex. This is what she said happened one night. He gave me a fake name initially, and he asked me to come straight to his house in Massapiqua.
He didn't want to go meet in a public place. What did you say to him? I was like, If you want to meet, you're going to have to come meet me somewhere where I feel comfortable in public. And I was like, And if I'm comfortable, I'll come back to your house afterwards. They agreed to meet at the seafood restaurant, about an hour's drive from Massapiqua Park. When we walked up, we just said, Hi, it's nice to meet you. My real name is Nikki. And he said, Rex. He didn't say his last name, just Rex. Did you ask him, What are you looking for? Why are you here? Yeah, well, we usually talk about that beforehand, but he did say he was looking for somebody he could essentially be intimate with multiple times a month. With those details settled, the two sat down for dinner. He seemed very normal. He seemed like every other guy. We talked about how he was an architect. I mean, he seemed like he liked his job, but he seemed very bored with life. Rex then changed the subject, asking Nikki if she liked, of all things, true crime. I'm a big serial killer buff, actually.
So when you brought up true crime, I was like, Actually-Actually, yes. Yeah. I was like, This is something I could talk about for hours. So we talked about a couple of serial killers. The Gilgo Beach case, does that come up? He's the one that brought it up. Really? Yeah. He was like, Well, have you heard of the Gilgo Beach murders? And I was like, Of course, I'm from Long Island. That's when Nicky noticed a change in Rex's demeanor. The way we spoke about the other killers was not the same way he spoke about the Gilgo Beach murders. He spoke about it as if it was a memory that he was reliving and enjoying. What was he doing exactly that made you feel like he was reliving it? So you know when somebody's really deep in their heart and a memory and their eyes are different? That's how his eyes were. He was almost reliving it in his mind. Nicky also noticed how much Rex seemed to know about the murders. He said to me, What about Shannon Gilbert, that Jersey girl? Do you think that's connected? And I was like, Yeah, I do. And he was like, Yeah, I think it's connected too.
After saying all of this, he said, I live by Gilgo Beach. And he said, It's a very dark and desolate area. And that was really, really weird to me. Is that setting off alarm bells? The whole conversation itself set off alarm bells just because his body language, the way he spoke about it, I feel like he was in his mind, picturing what he had done. Nicky couldn't leave the restaurant fast enough. Your instincts were just screaming no. Yeah. My girl was telling me I needed to get out of there. She says Rox was livid. She wouldn't go back to his house as planned and finish the transaction. Eight years later came the news of the arrest. And I was like, Oh, my God, it was him. I knew it was him. You sat face to face with the man police believe is a serial killer. Yeah. You're one of the lucky ones. Katherine Shepard considers herself lucky too. She shudders at the thought of her close encounter with Rax when she toured his home, especially after learning what may have happened inside. He physically stood in front of the door, and he just said, You can't go in there.
A DNA hit, disturbing internet searches, secret burner phones. For Cherie Gilbert, the evidence was both compelling and chilling. What did you think when you read all the details? I thought it was horrific. I just can't believe that there's these people, these murderous, just monsters that are like in the shadows, in the background, and just waiting for their next victim. I feel bad for those girls that they're just trying to make some money, make their ends meet. They had families, they had people that love them, and they didn't deserve this. The headlines and heartache following Lex Humerman's arrest had Katherine Shepard rethinking everything about her former colleague and her world. I mean, I used to trust my instincts, and now I'm questioning that. When you think back now to being alone in your apartment with him that day, when you injured yourself, crazy. I was very vulnerable, and there's no way I could have fought back. Knowing that I was alone in that apartment with him, it's terrifying. But it's the thought of Huerman's house and what might have gone on in there that leaves Catherine truly shaken. There's been a lot of talk about the basement.
Yes. Catherine remembers following Rex through that basement and how his behavior changed when they came to one room in particular. Catherine calls it the mystery room. Did he get up tight when you got near the mystery room? Yes. I mean, he physically stood in front of the door, and he just said, You can't go in there. Whenever I would think about Rex, I would remember that time and think, God, it's really weird. What would be in there? Police are investigating the possibility that one or more of the victims were killed in the Hureman home. It's terrifying. It's disgusting. It's sick. There's a lot of different potentials of where the bodies might have been killed. Could it have been in the Green Avalanche? Could it have been at his residence over in West Peekle Park? We don't know at this time. We're still investigating. Investigator spent weeks going through Rex's house. Is it true that you found a soundproof room in the basement? The defendant owned a great many guns, and it was just under 300 guns, I think, in total that were recovered. So to store all those guns, he did have a gun safe, which was a block cement room with a metal door in which this large number of guns were stored.
Was that then soundproof, that room? I don't think it was specifically soundproof, but it was certainly sturdy built. Katherine now considers herself lucky that she never saw Lex's alleged other side. He had his other face on when he was with me. I was a colleague. I wasn't part of his dark side. She realizes she may never know just why. I have no idea. I don't know what goes on in the mind of a monster. Understanding the mind of a monster is left to people like psychologist Gary Brukato, who sees in Serial Killers a remarkable ability to compartmentalize their lives. The person can leave the dinner table, kiss their wife on the head, and kiss the kids, and then get in the car and go out and kill a prostitute. Whether Rex Hureman is guilty will be determined in a court of law. Until then, the question on everyone's mind is, if he killed these women, why did he do it? Brucado suggests the answer can be found in the crime scene where the victims were left in thick brush, close together, some 20 minutes from Hureman's house. When we see people bound and all collected together in a little group, that's a way of rendering people permanent.
They won't leave you. You always know where they are. According to Percato, that often means the killer experienced a profound loss at one point. Point. It's no small coincidence, he says, that Hearman's father died when Rex was very young. The death of his father, when he would have been between 11 and 12 years old, would have been extremely difficult for him. That might have been a pivotal event for him. Another crime scene Clue Brucato found significant? The leather belt used to bind Marine Brainerd Barnes. The belt is a commonly used disciplinary instrument in a household, particularly of the time he grew up in. And we don't know if that's how he would have been punished, hit with a belt, that thing. John Parise met Wrexon Elementary School. They grew up together in Massapiqua Park. The way John remembers it, punishment at the Heurman household was pretty severe. His father was very, very hard on him. We were actually scared of him. I mean, we would be playing on the block, and you would hear Yellow screaming, and everyone would stop and be like, Oh, my God, I'm glad that's not my dad. John says school provided no relief for Rex.
He was picked on a lot, and he was such a big kid that three or four kids would bully him. They would beat him up. They called him Four Eyes. They called him Sasquash, and they were just merciless. I used to feel really bad for the kid. He says the girls in high school weren't much nicer. The girls used to make fun of him, too. I remember him trying to find a date for a senior prom, and he asked out a couple of girls, and they laughed at him. Brucato says such verbal and physical abuse early on in life could be the seeds of violent rage expressed later on. We immediately begin to get the picture of someone getting revenge against people who remind him of the people who hurt him. We may never know the motive behind the Gilgo killings, but for Robert Colker, there is a far more pressing question. Do you think we'll see more bodies, remains connected to Rex? This is the big question, that if these four women were found at the end of 2010, and he wasn't arrested until 2023, what's he been doing all that time? Rex Heurman once freely lived amongst the treeline streets of Masapiqua Park, but now sits in the Suffolk County Jail with a view of cold steel and razor wire.
From July 14th, when he came into our custody until now, it's the same demeanor, very quiet, doesn't talk much. Sheriff Erol Toolen is in charge of the facility. Almost like a blank look on his face when you're talking to him. He's seen countless inmates come and go over his 30-year career, but few with the notoriety of Rex Huerman. We have to make sure that there are no johns, there are no pimps, there are no sex workers that really can come into contact with them because there may be some retribution that someone may want. By all appearances, Huerman has settled into a daily routine. The sheriff says that includes studying his case file for up to three hours a day and reviewing it again and again with his attorney. He has many visits from his attorney. As for his wife, Assa, her attorney says she visited Rex for the first time this week. Since the arrest, the two have split. She filed for divorce pretty quickly after this happened. Yes. Why? Obviously, if any of the allegations are true, there's been an irrevocable breakdown on the marriage, and we need to protect her and the children and their assets going forward.
So we filed to protect her. Would you said that was more of an emotional decision or more of a legal decision? Ms. Bow. According to Macedonia, Assa has no income. Rex was the sole supporter. Their daughter, Victoria, worked for Rex. She and her brother lost their jobs after their father's arrest. Assa now struggles with the unwanted attention of being the wife of an accused serial killer. She cannot walk outside of her house. There is news media that's shouting questions at her. Are you staying in the house? Please leave me alone. That's none of your business. There have been people picking through their garbage, trying to sell murder memorabilia, they call it. Macedonia also says investigators left the house a mess after they searched it for clues. To move back into your residence after two and a half weeks and have everything in it destroyed. The vinyl bathtub was cut open, mattresses removed, the couches, the backyard dug up. Police and prosecutors continue to build their murder case against Rex Hureman. He may have been charged with killing three women, but a total of 10 bodies were discovered in the Gilgo Beach area. They've identified seven.
One was ID'd just last August as Karen Virgada. Another sex worker? Yes, another sex worker. Many wonder why it took over 10 years to arrest Rex Hureman. Was it misconduct at the top? Overlooked evidence? And there's the lingering sense among the victim's families that authorities, early on, put a case involving sex workers on the back burner. How much do you think the questionable actions of law enforcement of the DA's office complicated this case? Prior to 2022, there was a disconnect in that the agencies weren't communicating. They were siloing themselves off from each other. And I think that really hindered the progress of the case. Whatever the reason, the question remains. Could lives have been saved had authorities made an arrest sooner? I think if it turned out that the person accused in this case really only had as few victims as are currently being linked, it would make him an anomaly because men of this type generally are rather insatiable over years and years until they're caught. Authorities are now looking into whether Huberman may have struck outside of New York. He owned a timeshare in Las Vegas and property in South Carolina. A tip has them investigating a possible link to the disappearance of Julia Ann Bean, a young woman who vanished in Sumter County, South Carolina, back in 2017.
As for Shannon Gilbert, the woman whose missing persons case launched one of the biggest serial killer investigations in New York history, police don't think was responsible for her death. In fact, they don't even believe she was murdered. We believe that Shane and Gilbert drowned over in the marsh. Accidentally. Accidentally. Correct. They think that she was hysterical and that she dove into this marsh because she saw lights on the other side of the marsh and thought that that could get her to the highway. They think that she just kept going and going until she collapsed and died of exposure. To me, I just feel like that's such BS. I don't really believe that they've done enough for my sister's case at all. Cherie isn't the only one. I continue to maintain that there are neighbors in Oak Beach that know more about what happened to her than they let on. And that mystery continues. What do you want from the Suffolk County Police Department? I want them to reopen my sister's case. I want them to really give it a fresh set of eyes. I want them to be extremely transparent about the investigation. I just want answers.
In a case already riddled with twists and turns over the last 10 years, just last month, more unexpected, stunning allegations. We're here today because new information has arisen in this case. Gilbert family attorney John Ray, along with Commissioner Harrison, announced new witnesses have come forward. One is a taxi driver who says back in 2009, she picked up a crying and shaking woman she is certain was Shannon Gilbert from this motel. The driver says this happened just after a very large man who looked like Rex ran out of the same motel room. Another witness claims she and a woman resembling Karen Virgota, the most recently identified victim, attended a sex party at the Heurman Home when both Rex and Assa were present. She said it happened around the same time Karen Virgota disappeared. This is something that we need to investigate, and I'm sure everybody can understand we are not done with this investigation. We'll make sure that that's very clear. Asa's attorney denied the allegation, calling it completely outlandish. As for all of the allegations made against Rex Hureman, we reached out to his attorney, Michael Brown, for comment. We did not receive a response.
He did have this to say about his client following a court hearing last August. He's a man who's never been arrested before. He's maintained his innocence from the inception of this case, so he's doing the best he can at this point in time. He's looking forward to having his day in court. Shannon's mother, Mary, died in 2016 with questions about Shannon's death still unanswered. How sad that she died without knowing her conclusion to the investigation. Mary did not despair. Right up until the end, she continued to fight to find Shannon's killer or killers. She was relentless in that regard. Cherise says she's now determined to keep the memory of her sister alive. One of the biggest memories in my mind is her saying I'm going to be famous one day. She is famous, but not for the reasons that she wanted. For all the wrong reasons. Exactly. And that's just what always pains to me because I just feel like this isn't how it was supposed to go. Just last week, yet another unexpected twist in this investigation. Commissioner Harrison, the man many consider the driving force behind Rex Heurman's arrest— announced he's resigning to spend more time with his family.
His last day will be later this year, long before Hureman will face a jury of his peers. A trial is still a long way off. Are you confident that Rex Heurman will spend the rest of his life behind bars? If you ask me, I'm sure that he'll never see the light of day again. And after waiting over a decade for answers, that's exactly what loved ones of the Gilgo Beach victims want to hear. What do you want people to remember about Megan? I want people to remember her for who she was and not what she did. She was so caring, so kind, so thoughtful. Melissa was your loyal friend. She didn't care if you messed up. She didn't care if it was your fault. She wasn't judging you. Melissa was loyal. What I want people to know about Maureen is the same thing I want them to know about Megan, Amber, and Melissa. They're not the gilgo fort. They're not sex workers. They were all beautiful human beings trying to make their way in life. That's for this edition of Dateline. We'll see you again Thursday at 10:00, 9:00 Central. And of course, I'll see you each weeknight for BBC Nightly News.
I'm Lester Holt. For all of us at BBC News, good night. If you're thinking of buying a residential rental property, ICS Mortgages can provide an excellent range of flexible, buy to let mortgages, including interest only terms of up to 15 years. We will also help you to refinance your existing portfolio and grow your property investments. Call 0818-427-427. Visit ICS Mortgages. Ie or contact your local mortgage broker. Ics Mortgages, the property investor's choice, winner of the Best Buy to let mortgage provider 2023 award, as voted by the AIMA. Lending criteria, terms and conditions applying and they're subject to change. The entire amount that you have borrowed will still be outstanding at the end of the interest only period. The loss stack, trading as the loss, and ICS mortgages is regulated by the Central Bank of.