Long Island murders suspect Rex Heuermann had history of tax issues and lawsuits

ByJeff Winter, Curt Devine, Casey Tolan and Daniel Medina, CNN, CNNWire
Saturday, July 15, 2023
Person in custody in connection with Gilgo Beach murders on Long Island
Kristin Thorne reports from Massapequa Park on the arrest of a person in connection with some of the Gilgo Beach murders.

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. -- The architect accused in a string of Long Island killings has been years late in paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes, repeatedly filed lawsuits accusing drivers of injuring him in car accidents, and still lives in his childhood home, according to a review of public records and court documents, CNN reported.

The above video is from a previous report.

Rex Heuermann, who police say murdered at least three women, lived in the same house he was raised in - a few miles across the bay from the beach where bodies were unearthed more than a decade ago - he said in a 2018 deposition.

SEE MORE: Gilgo Beach murders: Suspect identified, charged with murder of 3 women

Between 2014 and 2022, Heuermann filed four lawsuits in New York courts against drivers who he said had hit him with their cars, causing him "serious and permanent personal injuries," court records show. Three of the cases were settled or discontinued, while the most recent one is ongoing.

In his April 2018 deposition in one of the cases, Heuermann discussed his life and work, saying that he lived at his childhood home in the Long Island suburb of Massapequa Park with his wife of then 22 years, daughter and stepson.

At one point in the deposition, when asked if he played sports, he said, "Really only thing I competed in was competition rifle."

Heuermann appears to have had issues paying his taxes going back more than a decade. Nassau County records show Heuermann was subject to six tax liens filed by the IRS in Nassau County between 2010 and 2021. According to the liens, Heuermann owed a total of more than $425,000 for taxes he had failed to pay going back to 2005.

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The IRS later filed tax lien releases showing that Heuermann repaid or no longer owed about $215,078 of that debt, with the most recent documents being filed in October 2022.

According to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, Heuermann and his wife, Asa Ellerup, also currently owe a total of more than $81,500 in personal income tax to the state, with the tax bills having accrued since November 2020.

Other court records shed light on the technical and at times mundane work Heuermann has done as an architect. Heuermann examined water damage on a building in Manhattan last year and offered an analysis of proposed waterproofing, according to a letter he wrote to an attorney. Records filed in another case show emails he sent coordinating a renovation project in the Bronx in 2017.

In a civil court hearing in 2018, Heuermann described his work as "general architecture" and said he works for clients to resolve issues with the state Department of Buildings. An associate described the work as, "not a pleasant process. I don't want to be Mr. Heuermann in that respect for a minute."

In September 2007, a Harlem apartment building that Heuermann had been hired to renovate was declared unsafe by fire officials, who ordered two dozen families to evacuate, the New York Daily News reported at the time. The New York City Buildings Department commissioner said the agency was investigating whether Heuermann falsely identified the building as vacant, according to the Daily News.

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Heuermann is listed on city documents related to the building that say it would remain vacant during construction. A spokesperson for the buildings department told CNN that in 2007, the department conducted audits of multiple jobs where Heuermann was the architect of record, but did not find "any pattern of false filings nor significant disregard for DOB regulations," and no disciplinary actions were taken.

The website of Heuermann's firm, RH Architecture, listed his daughter as an employee there. The page listing employees has since been taken offline.

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