Gilgo Beach serial killer suspect’s family to make $1m from documentary deal, says report

The Gilgo Beach serial killer suspect’s family is set to make more than $1m from a documentary in the works, say reports.

Rex Heuermann is accused of murdering Amber Lynn Costello, 27, Melissa Barthelemy, 24, and Megan Waterman, 22, whose remains were found at Gilgo Beach in Long Island, New York between 2010 and 2011.

He has also been named the prime suspect in the murder of Maureen Brainard-Barnes – who was last seen alive in early June 2007 in New York City.

The documentary is being worked on at the NBCUniversal-owned Peacock streaming network, according to NewsNation.

Mr Heuermann’s estranged wife, Asa Ellerup, and their two adult children, Victoria and Christopher, have reportedly sold their life rights for the documentary, reported the outlet.

His lawyers are also reportedly receiving payments for taking part in the documentary.

The four victims, together known as the “Gilgo Four”, all worked as sex workers and disappeared after going to meet a client.

Their bodies were found in December 2010 within one-quarter mile of each other, bound by belts or tape and some wrapped in burlap – all dumped along Gilgo Beach.

Rex Heuermann, right, appears in Suffolk County Supreme Court with his attorney, Michael Brown, Wednesday 15 November 2023, in Riverhead, New York (AP)
Rex Heuermann, right, appears in Suffolk County Supreme Court with his attorney, Michael Brown, Wednesday 15 November 2023, in Riverhead, New York (AP)

In total, the remains of 11 victims were found along the shores of Long Island in 2010 and 2011, sparking fears of one or more serial killers.

The case began back in May 2010 when Shannan Gilbert, a young woman working as a sex worker, vanished after leaving a client’s house on foot near Gilgo Beach. She called 911 for help saying she feared for her life and was never seen alive again.

During a search for Gilbert in dense thicket close to the beach, police discovered human remains. Within days, four victims had been found.

By spring 2011, the number of victims rose to 10.

Gilbert’s body was then found in December 2011. Her cause of death is widely contested with authorities long claiming that it is not connected to the serial killer or killers but that she died from accidental drowning as she fled from the client’s home.

However, an independent autopsy commissioned by her family ruled that she died by strangulation and her family continues to believe she was murdered.

No charges have been brought in connection to the other victims also found along the shores.

Court records show that Mr Heuermann was linked to the “Gilgo Four” murders through a tip about his pickup truck, a stash of burner phones, “sadistic” online searches and phone calls taunting victims’ families.

His DNA was also found on one of the victims, while his wife’s hair was found on three of the four women he is connected to, according to prosecutors.

Investigators are continuing to work to determine if Mr Heuermann is also linked to any of the other victims – while law enforcement officials across the country are probing cold case murders for any potential ties.

The Independent has reached out to Peacock for comment.