Gilgo Beach LISK Serial Killer, Rex Heuermann, charged with 6 murders, July 2023 #14

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On Karen Vergata's remains, I believe that's February and the cold water preserved the remains. Did RH actually go up to Fire Island or did the remains drift there? That's what I'm wondering. There was a fierce, fierce blizzard in NY that year, but it was in January. But Fire Island is supposed to be unbearably cold during the winter months. When the waters freeze over, they can't even operate the ferries. All these people that live there on Fire Island year-round stock up on supplies like "Life Below Zero." But I looked up NY weather for Feb and it doesn't at all look especially bad for that week in Feb 1996. (But it's usually worse on Fire Island, which is so open to the elements.) Mobility on the island for those who'd drive in is very, very limited. Still, I believe this is open and as far as I can see, accessible by vehicle:

Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness​


Who'd be out there in February other than an SK?? Maybe a few adventurers. Depending on how he concealed remains, would anyone even catch on?

This trail for the Otis Pike Wilderness is very near to Mastic Beach, where John Bittrolff grew up. He went to William Floyd High School, Mastic Beach. I'm really, really starting to think it perhaps wasn't just RH. Not sure on anything at this point, but finding this pretty interesting.
So close to large bodies of water, temperatures are moderated by the ocean. (Less hot on summer, less cold in winter.) but the exposure to wind, storm swells, and the bad effect of the moderation being snow on mainland can be crippling ice on the island make them very vulnerable to weather, particularly wind, flooding and ice.

I guess it is possible Karen's legs were preserved by being frozen, but as a person with no forensic expertise, I can't comment on whether the difference between flash frozen remains and fresh remains would be obvious.

MOO
 
On other threads here on WS I always had the impression, it would be rather luck to not get stopped by police, so very risky to have a dead body in the car. My impression might be wrong. Idk, I'm living in another country.
I suspect it may depend on what area of the US you live in. I'm small town in a rural area, but have lived in two city locations and driven all over the country.

I've been driving since I was 15 (drivers ed in high school) and am now 75. The number of times I've been stopped can be counted on both hands with fingers left over. The only time I was requested to pop the trunk was at a border crossing with Canada. I, too, speed and have for many years. Only one ticket.

So, for me, interaction with LE is almost always positive.
 
On Karen Vergata's remains, I believe that's February and the cold water preserved the remains. Did RH actually go up to Fire Island or did the remains drift there? That's what I'm wondering. There was a fierce, fierce blizzard in NY that year, but it was in January. But Fire Island is supposed to be unbearably cold during the winter months. When the waters freeze over, they can't even operate the ferries. All these people that live there on Fire Island year-round stock up on supplies like "Life Below Zero." But I looked up NY weather for Feb and it doesn't at all look especially bad for that week in Feb 1996. (But it's usually worse on Fire Island, which is so open to the elements.) Mobility on the island for those who'd drive in is very, very limited. Still, I believe this is open and as far as I can see, accessible by vehicle:

Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness​


Who'd be out there in February other than an SK?? Maybe a few adventurers. Depending on how he concealed remains, would anyone even catch on?

This trail for the Otis Pike Wilderness is very near to Mastic Beach, where John Bittrolff grew up. He went to William Floyd High School, Mastic Beach. I'm really, really starting to think it perhaps wasn't just RH. Not sure on anything at this point, but finding this pretty interesting.
Can't help being curious . . . are you saying you are considering that perhaps JB and RH may have worked together some?
 
Can't help being curious . . . are you saying you are considering that perhaps JB and RH may have worked together some?
Possibly. The same hand, the same twisted "vibe" runs through those three murders of SCostilla, CMcNamee, and RTangredi. But RH is charged on one and JB convicted of the other two. There has to be a tie-in somewhere. I mean like RH was stalking JB to frame him? And I mean, it's possible. But why stalk JB? RH would have to know JB's personal business to begin with to stalk him. If he knew JB's personal business, there's still some link/association between them.

RH was a very "hands on" type of guy in his architectural firm. He was out there with the construction crews "getting his hands dirty." JB was a carpenter.

So maybe. I'm one of the last you'll see looking for collusion on crimes of this magnitude, but at this point, even I'm wondering. And it frightens me to think about it because if you get two cooperating like that-- are they the only two? Or are there more?
 
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RH was a very "hands on" type of guy in his architectural firm. He was out there with the construction crews "getting his hands dirty." JB was a carpenter.
They were both hunters also. Maybe they shot together at a range or hunted together at some point, and maybe while hunting, they shared "stories" about their experiences with sex workers and maybe RH researched and stalked JBs patterns like he did the SWs. And maybe RH set him up to take the rap for those dead SWs in the eastern range of LI. RH might have started out trying to frame other men (miss-leaders), and ended up changing his MO over time to suit his current circumstances.
MOO.
 
Possibly. The same hand, the same twisted "vibe" runs through those three murders of SCostilla, CMcNamee, and RTangredi. But RH is charged on one and JB convicted of the other two. There has to be a tie-in somewhere. I mean like RH was stalking JB to frame him? And I mean, it's possible. But why stalk JB? RH would have to know JB's personal business to begin with to stalk him. If he knew JB's personal business, there's still some link/association between them.

RH was a very "hands on" type of guy in his architectural firm. He was out there with the construction crews "getting his hands dirty." JB was a carpenter.

So maybe. I'm one of the last you'll see looking for collusion on crimes of this magnitude, but at this point, even I'm wondering. And it frightens me to think about it because if you get two cooperating like that-- are they the only two? Or are there more?
I am still of the thinking that it was a sex ring and yes I think the dirty cops were involve. My belief LE can't have just been so stupid to bungle the investigations so bad.
 
So close to large bodies of water, temperatures are moderated by the ocean. (Less hot on summer, less cold in winter.) but the exposure to wind, storm swells, and the bad effect of the moderation being snow on mainland can be crippling ice on the island make them very vulnerable to weather, particularly wind, flooding and ice.

I guess it is possible Karen's legs were preserved by being frozen, but as a person with no forensic expertise, I can't comment on whether the difference between flash frozen remains and fresh remains would be obvious.

MOO
Also consider the plastic bag, floating, sinking, in the currents of the Great South Bay. How long would it retain the contents before breaking apart? The men who found it, walking looking for driftwood, ripped it open, saw toes, & secured it to shore by the “string” on the bag. Reports don’t say if it was normal garbage bag, lawn & leaf type bag, double bagged or heavy duty builders waste bag. Could the bag keep contents & keep preserved for 2 months given exposure to sea currents and winter elements?

By keeping the date of disappearance “open” from 14 Feb to 20 April, then can consider dates when a suspect could have done the crime. Isolate to 14 Feb, and suspect has an alibi for that day, that limits investigation & ability to tie to suspect.
 
On other threads here on WS I always had the impression, it would be rather luck to not get stopped by police, so very risky to have a dead body in the car. My impression might be wrong. Idk, I'm living in another country.
There are marked disparities for who gets stopped in the USA, but the disparities favor Rex H and John B.

MOO
 
Possibly. The same hand, the same twisted "vibe" runs through those three murders of SCostilla, CMcNamee, and RTangredi. But RH is charged on one and JB convicted of the other two. There has to be a tie-in somewhere. I mean like RH was stalking JB to frame him? And I mean, it's possible. But why stalk JB? RH would have to know JB's personal business to begin with to stalk him. If he knew JB's personal business, there's still some link/association between them.

RH was a very "hands on" type of guy in his architectural firm. He was out there with the construction crews "getting his hands dirty." JB was a carpenter.

So maybe. I'm one of the last you'll see looking for collusion on crimes of this magnitude, but at this point, even I'm wondering. And it frightens me to think about it because if you get two cooperating like that-- are they the only two? Or are there more?
The SWs could have talked to RH. Certainly he knew ways to inquire about other clients. You know: knowledge means power. RH could have used his knowledge then to his advantage, when it suited him well. Family relationships, profession, education, property, owned buildings, hobbies - maybe, the girls knew a lot and weren't always discreet? Maybe, it was well worth an extra sum of money to RH. IMO
 
Possibly. The same hand, the same twisted "vibe" runs through those three murders of SCostilla, CMcNamee, and RTangredi. But RH is charged on one and JB convicted of the other two. There has to be a tie-in somewhere. I mean like RH was stalking JB to frame him? And I mean, it's possible. But why stalk JB? RH would have to know JB's personal business to begin with to stalk him. If he knew JB's personal business, there's still some link/association between them.

RH was a very "hands on" type of guy in his architectural firm. He was out there with the construction crews "getting his hands dirty." JB was a carpenter.

So maybe. I'm one of the last you'll see looking for collusion on crimes of this magnitude, but at this point, even I'm wondering. And it frightens me to think about it because if you get two cooperating like that-- are they the only two? Or are there more?
And, remember, RH included Bittrolff in his many web searches.

Edited by me: Added images:
IMG_1668.jpeg
 
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And, remember, RH included Bittrolff in his many web searches.
Wouldn't it be interesting to know the dates of the searches? Or do we? We know RH enjoyed games of scaring people, hunting, stalking . . . and from Amber, he was spiteful. So, if Bittrolff had "wronged" or cheated him in some way, I can see RH coming up with a plan.

The Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo, as a member of LE, recognized that DNA was dangerous to him, probably in the early 80s as he stopped killing in 1981, then in 1986 committed one more murder -- per Wikipedia. BTW, DeAngelo was mainly a rapist.

So, killers outside LE could have been learning that a little later. I can see RH thinking of the benefit of having a more likely suspect if DNA was ever used to solve a case. From memory, in those early days DNA was widely used to prove parentage from semen. At that time, the testing was only on 12, then 25, markers.

By the time Bittrolff came to the attention of LE, DNA understanding was considerably more advanced. However, IF RH wanted a fall guy for an early murder and if JB had angered him, I can see him stalking JB.

Apparently, after the early 1990s murders, RH changed his methods, using dismemberment to hide victims' identities and to make disposal easier. Later on, we know he moved to bagging his victims (the Gilgo 4) without dismembering them.

Does anyone else wonder if he had a close call that might have led him to decide to rig up a safe, more secure place in his home? I think he thought that a man in his position would never be suspected, so his home was a safe location.

Or perhaps he wanted an indoor location to experiment more and keep the victims alive longer. I think there were good and logical reasons for the changes in MO over the years.
 
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i feel like I have to point out:

Karen was reported missing but LE agencies were unwilling to take the report.

This happens sometimes, so whenever I hear, "_____ was never reported missing," I assume it to mean, "Missing persons reports were not accepted."

I feel like it must be so hurtful to loved ones when they hear that no one reported their relatives missing when the reality is they tried and were told it was the wrong thing to do for some reason.

MOO
I read the same thing and her dad hired a private investigator named Jacquelyn Buda Moss who came up with nothing. Her family was DEF trying to find her and LE refused so many people to file a missing persons report in NY. Yet in MD, police took a report for Jessica Taylor from a pimp and SW, who then recognized the tattoo. Looks Like NY is a big part of the problem
 
I can't see Rex and Bittrolff working together. How would they even start that conversation? "So... what are you into?" Bittrolff was a Manorville carpenter, while Rex was an office worker in Manhattan. Yes, they both enjoyed hunting, but that's an extremely popular past time on Long Island.
 
On Karen Vergata's remains, I believe that's February and the cold water preserved the remains. Did RH actually go up to Fire Island or did the remains drift there? That's what I'm wondering. There was a fierce, fierce blizzard in NY that year, but it was in January. But Fire Island is supposed to be unbearably cold during the winter months. When the waters freeze over, they can't even operate the ferries. All these people that live there on Fire Island year-round stock up on supplies like "Life Below Zero." But I looked up NY weather for Feb and it doesn't at all look especially bad for that week in Feb 1996. (But it's usually worse on Fire Island, which is so open to the elements.) Mobility on the island for those who'd drive in is very, very limited. Still, I believe this is open and as far as I can see, accessible by vehicle:

Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness​


Who'd be out there in February other than an SK?? Maybe a few adventurers. Depending on how he concealed remains, would anyone even catch on?

This trail for the Otis Pike Wilderness is very near to Mastic Beach, where John Bittrolff grew up. He went to William Floyd High School, Mastic Beach. I'm really, really starting to think it perhaps wasn't just RH. Not sure on anything at this point, but finding this pretty interesting.
 
The two brothers who discovered Vergata's remains said that garbage is constantly floating across the bay. Heuermann seems to have preferred roadside drop-offs. The beach where Vergata was found didn't have immediate road access, so he probably tossed the bag over the bridge while travelling between Gilgo and LI.
 
The two brothers who discovered Vergata's remains said that garbage is constantly floating across the bay. Heuermann seems to have preferred roadside drop-offs. The beach where Vergata was found didn't have immediate road access, so he probably tossed the bag over the bridge while travelling between Gilgo and LI.

See attached a map of the bridge in question.

Edit: Websleuths won't let me upload the image directly for some reason: https://oddstops.com/i/2022/04/14/20220414094917-bridge.webp
 
I can't see Rex and Bittrolff working together. How would they even start that conversation? "So... what are you into?" Bittrolff was a Manorville carpenter, while Rex was an office worker in Manhattan. Yes, they both enjoyed hunting, but that's an extremely popular past time on Long Island.
Totally agreed on this, I find it difficult to picture as well. But RH was out at all his job sites busily working away. He enjoys cabinetmaking and woodwork, per himself. (JB's a carpenter.) RH loves guns, JB is a gun enthusiast. They're both hunters. They're both married in LI with wives and kids. They both make good money. RH frequented sex workers, so did JB. And if JB's conviction was not in error, they both murder sex workers and leave victims' remains-- staged almost identically-- in Manorville.

Again, I never look for collusion because I know it's almost impossible to prove. Here, where RH murdered one of three victims that were so unusually staged, I just think there has to be some association. There has to be, MOO. Maybe RH did stalk & frame JB, no doubt about it that's one possibility. But I'd still think the better possibility is they killed together. I think this is the more likely scenario because if these two started moving to such a level of intimacy of even discussing visits to sex workers, it probably went beyond the "frequenting sex workers" and moved into "killing them" too. Why do I think this? Because at least one of the people in this intimate conversation about sex workers was already murdering sex workers (probably RH). And that person would now be discussing sex worker visits with another party who will also coincidentally end up being convicted of murdering sex workers. So somewhere along the line, one person who already murders sex workers (I'm guessing RH) decided to "open up" to another person about visiting sex workers. I would think if he had the nerve to "open up" at all, he may have moved further into disclosures depending on the reception he received.

It could go either way. Weirdly in terms of the particulars of this situation, I'd say the odds might actually be better that they worked together rather than the stalking of JB. But again, I have no way of knowing, and it's pure speculation based on what's unfolded. If it's true, it still aligns with the "single killer" theory. But the "single killer" was actually a team.
 
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RH could have used JB as a supplier for wood, he needed for his hobby or his hobby (woodworking or murdering). Maybe, RH knew JB because of that, and they talked about things (big talker, that RH is) and their main theme was "killing on LI" and what to think of it.
If JB's 2 proven victims were petite young girls, then it maybe just a coincidence, that RH's victims also were petite girls. Schoolgirls (likely preferred by the killers) would have been missed and searched for by their parents and families, so weren't smart to have them kidnapped. SWs with the optics like a schoolgirl (?) were the better alternative for these killers - and there were mannny of them to choose from, it seems.
If the victims were "stored" somewhere, the killers had to drive with them to and from the store-place to put them to their final destination. First a victim nearly alive or just murdered, later the same victim, no longer in intact condition. Wasn't that too much of a risk to have them in their car?

Vulnerable women with possible addiction histories are often not reported missing as quickly as a young school girl/teen which is true.
I'd look to see how man runaway teens that are missing during his reign of terror too.
 
Totally agreed on this, I find it difficult to picture as well. But RH was out at all his job sites busily working away. He enjoys cabinetmaking and woodwork, per himself. (JB's a carpenter.) RH loves guns, JB is a gun enthusiast. They're both hunters. They're both married in LI with wives and kids. They both make good money. RH frequented sex workers, so did JB. And if JB's conviction was not in error, they both murder sex workers and leave victims' remains-- staged almost identically-- in Manorville.

Again, I never look for collusion because I know it's almost impossible to prove. Here, where RH murdered one of three victims that were so unusually staged, I just think there has to be some association. There has to be, MOO. Maybe RH did stalk & frame JB, no doubt about it that's one possibility. But I'd still think the better possibility is they killed together. I think this is the more likely scenario because if these two started moving to such a level of intimacy of even discussing visits to sex workers, it probably went beyond the "frequenting sex workers" and moved into "killing them" too. Why do I think this? Because at least one of the people in this intimate conversation about sex workers was already murdering sex workers (probably RH). And that person would now be discussing sex worker visits with another party who will also coincidentally end up being convicted of murdering sex workers. So somewhere along the line, one person who already murders sex workers (I'm guessing RH) decided to "open up" to another person about visiting sex workers. I would think if he had the nerve to "open up" at all, he may have moved further into disclosures depending on the reception he received.

It could go either way. Weirdly in terms of the particulars of this situation, I'd say the odds might actually be better that they worked together rather than the stalking of JB. But again, I have no way of knowing, and it's pure speculation based on what's unfolded. If it's true, it still aligns with the "single killer" theory. But the "single killer" was actually a team.

I wonder if they met a local bar?
 
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