New information forces an uncomfortable conclusion
There have been a lot of conspiracy theories floating around as to why the Suffolk PD did not zero in on Rex Heuermann earlier. Having been asked this on-air a number of times, this writer has avoided speculating without knowing the answer to one particular question.
Now, I’m sorry to say, that question appears answered.
From all reports, the task force had two major breakthroughs. One was the exemplary work done by the State Police member of the team in going back over the phone records Suffolk PD had.
In a general sense, what this State Trooper was able to do was place Rex Heuermann’s personal phone in the same vicinity as the burner phones he allegedly used. Additionally, the trooper was able to place Heuermann’s personal phone in the same area as Melissa Barthelemy’s phone, at the times Heuermann is alleged to have used Barthelemy’s phone to call her family to taunt them about her murder.
When this task force member discovered a particular phone number was regularly near these other phones, she then simply tracked that number to its owner — Rex Heuermann. Great work.
(Would you remember this man — if you’d “scuffled” with him a year before?)
The second breakthrough was, according to Task Force leader Commissioner Rodney Harrison, Heuermann’s car. “The turning point was the car,” Rodney is quoted as saying. “Once we got that car, who it connected to, that’s when the investigation got legs.”
And therein the problem. Because the key question since Heuermann’s arrest has been: When did Suffolk PD get the information about the car?
In a new interview, David Schaller, housemate of Gilgo victim Amber Lynn Costello, answers that with: back in 2010.
According to Schaller, he gave detectives an “exact description” of Heuermann — and his car — 13 years ago. Schaller claims he actually “scuffled” with Heuermann at the time (reportedly, when he and Costello attemped to rip Heuermann off).
Now, reader, please consider. Amber Lynn was the most recent of the Gilgo killer’s victims when the bodies were being unearthed in 2010 and 2011. She was last seen by Schaller heading off to meet with this guy Schaller had tussled with — and who he had described as “an ogre.”
How is it possible the detectives back then did not show Schaller photos of vehicle types, until he recognized the “very distinct” green vehicle he saw as a Chevy Avalanche?
(a Chevy Avalanche. Source: Wikipedia)
And then, once the car was identified: How did they not pull the DMV on all green Avalanche owners in the area, and show the driver’s license photos to this witness? Starting with Avalanche owners who might be considered an “ogre”? (Recall that your driver’s license has your height printed right on it. Heuermann has been variously described as either 6’4” or 6’5”).
Clearly, the detectives back then would have interviewed Schaller — he was the last to see Amber Lynn alive. So he almost certainly did provide this information back in 2010 (he probably wanted to ensure he wasn’t a suspect).
And clearly, the vehicle type was identifiable — the Task Force just identified it. Thirteen years later.
And while phone forensics back in 2010 were not what they are today, a simple dump of the cell tower at the location where Schaller tussled with Heuermann, cross-referenced to green Avalanche owners, should also have turned up Heuermann’s name. (Note that that is the exact methodology which led to Bryan Kohberger in Idaho).
So with now having an answer as to when Suffolk PD got the car information, all I can say is: How the witness who was the last to see the case’s most recent victim alive was not shown DMV photos of possibles… I cannot explain.
I wish I could.
And suddenly all those conspiracy theories don’t sound quite so fanciful.
(In fact, these investigative steps seem so obvious, one is forced to ask: Is it possible the detectives working Amber Lynn Costello’s murder did unearth Heuermann’s name — and for some reason never pursued it?).
A Gilgo Subplot
Comes now reporting from a Long Island source that Asa Ellerup, wife of accused Gilgo Beach killer Rex Heuermann, has retained attorney Robert Macedonio as her divorce counsel as she seeks to dissolve her marriage.
Mr. Macedonio is himself no stranger to danger. According to this story — first reported in Newsday — Macedonio previously lost his law license after pleading guilty to felony cocaine possession.
What remains unclear is why the case — reportedly a major financial fraud investigation — only resulted in the drug charge. And how Macedonio was able to regain his law license after his charge was reduced to a misdemeanor (Macedonio claims to have entered a special “program”).
According to Newsday, Macedonio was close with Suffolk County DA Tom Spota and Suffolk’s law enforcement community — he apparently worked for Spota as an assistant DA.
Recall that it was both Spota and his close confidante — Chief James Burke — who were convicted of obstruction of justice and sent to federal prison after making enemies of the FBI during the Gilgo investigation.
So if I’ve got this right: Heuermann’s wife is now divorcing him using an attorney who was a reported associate of the guys who blew the Gilgo investigation to begin with.
Suffolk County is an interesting place.
Either way, expect a race to the courthouse on the civil side of things, as Heuermann’s victims’ families and the soon-to-be-ex-Mrs. Heuermann tussle for the assets.
This will be a side drama to the main criminal case. Whoever files first gets whatever there is of the estate. Don’t be surprised if Heuermann signs it all over to his wife, for the sake of his kids.
New York City reportedly faces a deficit of nearly $6 billion in fiscal 2024.
Now, it’s not all the fault of illegal aliens. But it is the fault of our leadership.
There’s the City Council of course. And — oh yeah, the Mayor:
Remember that when we start hearing about New York considering bankruptcy again.
As part of its criminal justice “reforms,” New York raised the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 — with predictable results (nearly one-in-five robbery perps last year was under 18, and underage shooting arrests doubled since the change).
Now comes word that Baltimore is competing to outpace even New York in youth violence. According to the (reliably leftist) Baltimore Sun, roughly once every two days a person under 19 is shot. They’re calling it “a new type of violence.”
You guys think that’s new, huh? How long you been at that job?
Add an entire generation of underaged kids having access to marijuana that is roughly four times stronger than the old days… and the fact that this is happening in all our major cities… and you see why the Chinese are so optimistic about the 21st century.
And finally…“Thought We Wouldn’t Notice?” Dept.
Your humble narrator — wearing a t-shirt gifted to me by a certain wise-ass in the family — took to the waters last week to explore a theory that Rex Heuermann may have approached his Gilgo beach dumping ground from the bay, rather than the nearby road (clink the image for the report).
While at first the theory might sound fanciful, consider:
1. Heuermann apparently had a small, maneuverable duck hunting boat;
2. The Avalanche had a trailer hitch;
3. The boat launch area is five minutes from his house;
4. He had a number of duck hunting guns;
5. He had a duck hunting license at the time of the homicides;
6. The bay area where the bodies were discovered is duck hunting grounds;
7. According to Task Force head Rodney Harrison, the burlap three of the bodies were wrapped in is camouflage burlap typically used in duck blinds (note: full credit to Foxnews.com crime writer extraordinaire Mike Ruiz for unearthing all this. See here for his piece).
There are online photos dating from the original investigation in 2010 showing Suffolk PD dragging the bay area we visited last week by boat, so we weren’t the only ones thinking along these lines.
And as long as we are on the topic of who else was thinking along these lines: I feel compelled to add that the below report came out on another network… two days AFTER our own appeared on the Fox website (click the image for the link):
Ah well. At least I didn’t get seasick.
Thanks for reading The Ops Desk!