Debatable Assertion In The Gilgo Beach Serial Murder Case Might Free The Suspect

The family lawyer for two unresolved cases involving Gilgo Beach victims is questioning the prosecutors’ conclusions about the death of one of his clients and whether the wife of the alleged killer was indeed out of town at the time of the killings, as investigators have claimed.

Debatable Assertion In The Gilgo Beach Serial Murderer Case Might Free The Suspect

Asa Ellerup’s lawyer argues—while refuting the allegations—that if the lawyer representing the families of multiple Gilgo victims is correct in claiming that Rex Heuermann’s wife assisted her husband, a suspected serial killer, the case against him would collapse under the weight of “reasonable doubt.”

During a Tuesday night symposium that he hosted at St. John’s University in Queens, attorney John Ray questioned Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney’s repeated assertion that Ellerup was out of town during each of the killings her husband is accused of committing.

According to Tierney’s attorney Bob Macedonio, if she is mistaken about Ellerup, the case could collapse, as reported by Fox News Digital.

“When, in the course of any investigations on any criminal matters, do they do that up front in a bail application?” he said. “Very, very rarely. … If he’s wrong, it creates reasonable doubt in his whole case.”

However, Ray claims to have spoken with a hotel manager who informed him that Ellerup and her kids arrived in Atlantic City later than the detectives think, indicating that they would have been in the city during at least one of the killings.

Macedonio flatly refuted that allegation and demanded in a letter addressed to the hotel Ray that it either provide the name of the employee in charge of a “breach” of his client’s private data or provide an explanation for any inaccuracies in the claim.

Ray also claimed to have a witness who went to a “swinger party” in 1996 and met the alleged killer and his wife; Macedonio has categorically denied both of these claims.

“The DA’s statement would be a potential problem if it were wrong,” said Neama Rahmani, a Los Angeles-based former federal prosecutor with no ties to the case. “But why would the DA argue something they were unsure of?”

The family of Shannan Gilbert, a twenty-five-year-old who disappeared on May 1, 2010, is represented by Ray. Shannan told a 911 dispatcher, “There’s somebody after me.” Following Gilbert’s disappearance, an inquiry was launched, and 11 remains were eventually found along a section of the Ocean Parkway, approximately 45 miles east of New York City.

Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, Melissa Barthelemy, 24, Megan Waterman, 22, and Amber Costello, 27, were among the “Gilgo Four” whose corpses were discovered. Gloria Allred, another well-known lawyer, is representing their families. She unexpectedly showed up at Heuermann’s most recent court appearance in January, the same month that Suffolk County prosecutors revealed the allegations related to Brainard-Barnes’ death.

They were buried close to one another and in comparable conditions. For each of their deaths, Heuermann is accused of murder.

“The FBI, Suffolk detectives, deputy sheriffs, everybody across the law enforcement board has eliminated Asa and Victoria (Heuermann) as suspects and as even being in the jurisdiction during any of the four homicides,” Macedonio said.

Police discovered seven more sets of remains, including Gilbert’s, further down the highway.

After making an odd 911 call in which Gilbert sounded extremely drunk and confused and begged for assistance, police stated in 2022 that they thought Gilbert died unintentionally while running in the marsh.

According to Tierney, a task force looking into the Gilgo Beach murders is currently looking into the other deaths.

“Shannan came from a house party, which was no relation to any of Rex’s allegations of being at house parties up there,” Macedonio said. “And you look at serial killers, serial killers work alone. They don’t work in teams.”

Ray claimed to have witnesses who connected Heuermann to both Gilbert’s demise and Karen Vergata’s abduction, the latter of which was last observed on Valentine’s Day in 1996.

In 1996, the hands and feet of Vergata were found on Fire Island, east of Gilgo Beach.

But it wasn’t until early this year that her identity was revealed.

If Ellerup is connected in any way to the atrocities, the families of the victims may get financial compensation. She recently inked a contract to produce a streaming documentary with 50 Cent, and she is divorcing her architect spouse.

“A lot of people think Ellerup knew what Heuermann was up to, even if she didn’t participate in the murders as an accomplice or accessory,” Rahmani said. “At a minimum, there are allegations that Ellerup was present at the sex parties and lied about being out of town when the murders happened.”

An unnamed witness made such claims in an affidavit from the previous year; the witness made an in-person appearance at Ray’s symposium on Tuesday and provided further details.

“That’s why I’m surprised Ellerup is participating in the Peacock documentary,” Rahmani added. “She may need the money, but she also has potential criminal exposure.”

In response, Tierney’s office released a press release clarifying that private solicitors for families are not a part of the law enforcement task force, although former Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison had stood next to Ray during a press conference on the explosive claims.

“Any citizen who believes that they have relevant evidence regarding the Gilgo Beach investigation should report it to the investigative agencies that comprise the Task Force,” he said at the time. “Those agencies are the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the Suffolk County Police Department’s Homicide Bureau, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

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