A suspect in the so-called Long Island Serial Killer case – a series of murders near Gilgo Beach on New York’s Long Island South Shore depicted in the 2020 Netflix film Lost Girls – has been arrested, more than 10 years after the first body was found.
Police sources have confirmed to local media that the Suffolk County Police Department had one suspect in custody in connection with the murders. A large police presence had gathered at the suspect’s home in Long Island’s Massapequa Park Friday morning.
Rex Heuermann of Massapequa Park reportedly was taken into custody and will be arraigned today. The New York Times reports that Heuermann, an architect, has lived most of his life in Nassau County – the location of Massapequa Park – but worked in Manhattan.
District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney and other law enforcement officials announced this morning that a new conference will be held at 4 p.m. ET.
In 2010, 24-year-old sex worker Shannan Gilbert of New Jersey was reported missing after she had traveled to Long Island’s Oak Beach, a gated community near Gilgo Beach, for an escort job. Over the next year, four bodies of young women were found in the thick brush of the Gilgo Beach area. In all, the remains of nine women were eventually discovered, as well as the bodies of a man and a toddler.
Gilbert’s remains were found in December 2011.
The killings have been widely believed to be the work of a serial killer targeting female sex workers, although families of some victims have disputed that characterization.
Last year a multi-agency law enforcement task force was formed after local police had made little progress in the case.
In addition to numerous documentaries and episodes of true-crime TV series, the case inspired the 2020 Netflix drama Lost Girls, directed by Liz Garbus from a screenplay by Michael Werwie and based on the book Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker. Amy Ryan starred as the real-life activist Mari Gilbert, mother of the murdered Shannan Gilbert. (Mari Gilbert died in 2016).
The film premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival was released the same year on Netflix.
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