Gilgo Beach serial killer suspect was a 'cipher who lacked empathy'

EXCLUSIVE: Gilgo Beach suspect Rex Heuermann was a ‘blank cipher who lacked empathy’ and rubbed peers the wrong way at work as a building code stickler, former colleagues reveal – but he still loved after-work happy hours in Manhattan pub

  • Designer Niv Miyasota, 62, described ex-colleague Rex Heuermann as a hard-nosed architect who ‘pissed off a lot of people because he liked to go to battle’
  • Speaking to, Miyasota said colleagues found the suspected serial killer ‘odd’ but Heuermann would still join them for drinks and social events
  • A former female colleague also told that the 59-year-old made no secret about his love for guns 

Suspected Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann was a ‘blank cipher’ who appeared to lack empathy and had a habit of rubbing his colleagues the wrong way, according to former peers. 

Design director Niv Miyasota, who worked with the architect for years after meeting him in the 1990s, revealed the two clashed at times while Heuermann was working with his firm to expedite architectural drawings through the New York City buildings department.

Speaking to on Monday, Miyasota, 62, described his co-worker as a hard-nosed architect who had ‘pissed off a lot of people because he liked to go to battle’ and minced no words as he directed people how to adhere to code.

Another former colleague who also spoke out shared similar sentiments, painting Heuermann as a stickler who liked to toot his own horn about his accomplishments in his field. 

‘We used to butt heads sometimes,’ Miyasota said. ‘I’m a creative so I wanted to maintain my creative position, and he would bring things back to reality.’

Designer Niv Miyasota, 62, has described ex-colleague Rex Heuermann as a hard-nosed architect who ‘pissed off a lot of people because he liked to go to battle’. He is pictured with the murder suspect and former peers, including interior designer Katherine Shepherd (left) during a happy hour event in 2005

Speaking to, Miyasota, who was the design director of his firm, said the two would at times ‘butt heads’ due to Heuermann’s ‘hard-nosed’ and apathetic work ethic 

According to the designer, the 59-year-old murder suspect was perceived as ‘odd’ among colleagues but would still join the team for lunches, happy hours, and other social events. 

‘He was socially awkward in many ways,’ Miyasota said. ‘I guess the word for it is, he just didn’t seem to have empathy. 

‘He was sort of like a cipher, like, what is this person? I didn’t get angry, kind or sad from him. I just got blank. I didn’t get his deal.’

Manhattan architect Rex Heuermann, 59, is charged with three murders attributed to the Gilgo Beach serial killer, and is the prime suspect in a fourth victim’s murder

Earlier on Monday, published exclusive photos showing Heuermann having a few pints and mingling with coworkers at a social gathering at Pete’s Tavern, a pub in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood. 

Heuermann, who ran RH Consultants & Associates, was arrested outside his Manhattan office last Thursday night, leaving colleagues ‘shocked’ by the sudden break in the unsolved Gilgo Beach murders. 

The married father-of-two, who lives in Massapequa Park on Long Island, is charged with killing victims Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello, whose bodies were found in 2010. 

Miyasota is one several of colleagues who have since come forward with their encounters with the now-accused killer who had managed to fly under investigators’ radar for nearly two decades. 

In his interview with, he also recalled the bizarre sight of Heuermann’s car, which was piled with clutter, discarded wrappers, boxes and coffee cups. published exclusive photos showing Heuermann having a few pints and mingling with coworkers at Pete’s Tavern, a pub in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood in 2005 

Several former colleagues have recalled their encounters with the ‘odd’ and ‘socially awkward’ architect who is now accused of murdering at least three women in 2009 and 2010

Heuermann, who ran RH Consultants & Associates, was arrested outside his Manhattan office on July 13, after investigators made a sudden break in the years-long cold case 

‘It was filled with garbage, stacked up to the top of the dash,’ he said. ‘I just thought what the f**k.’

The description of the car echoed statements from Heuermann’s neighbors, who said his house was also messy.

Miyasota also was aware Heuermann owned several guns and firearms. 

Colleagues would speculate that he was stockpiling weapons in preparation for some sort of doomsday, but did not suspect he might be violent.

A female colleague, who worked in his office for years, also told that Heuermann made no secret about his love for firearms, telling cohorts about the time he’d spend at the gun range and in the woods hunting deer, eating the venison from his kills.

He was odd, but also not shy, she explained. He liked to wax on about his work and demonstrate his prowess.

‘He was a little bit of a narcissist,’ said the woman, who asked not to be named. 

‘He liked to talk about himself, you know, pat himself on the shoulder for all his accomplishments, that he was an architect, that he knew building code well.’

‘He was socially awkward, but he liked to talk,’ she added. ‘He certainly wasn’t a recluse. If you saw him standing on line somewhere, he’d strike up a conversation.’

Heuermann had lived at the his Massapequa Park, Long Island, property since the 1980s with his wife, Asa Ellerup, and their two children

Drone footage of Heuermann’s home shows police outside the one-story building and the entrance to the basement 

Interior designer Katherine Shepherd, 47, worked with suspected serial killer Rex Heuermann, 59, off and on, for five years, including a project at his Massapequa Park home in 2005

But this former coworker never visited his home or went out with him socially, saying Heuermann would generally not mix his professional and personal life.

‘He kept professional and private life completely separate,’ she said. ‘I worked with him in the office together and we went to client meetings, and that was it.’

Days after his arrest cops were seen on Sunday morning carrying out at least four long-barreled firearms from Heuermann’s ‘dungeon’-like Massapequa home as well as several blue plastic boxes with weapons in them. 

And in exclusive interview with earlier on Monday, interior designer Katherine Shepherd who worked on projects with Heuermann, recalled how he once refused to let her into a locked room in his basement when she was assessing the property in 2005. 

Heuermann was planning to renovate the kitchen but also wanted precise measurements of the rest of the house, for which he enlisted Shepherd. 

She went room to room taking measurements and he followed her downstairs.

‘In the basement, there was this one room that was locked, and he said I couldn’t go into that room,’ she told 

‘I was like – what the hell? That’s weird. And he was kind of joking, like, oh you can’t go in there because there’s things in there. And then he said, ”I’ve got a bunch of guns.”

Heuermann, who has lived for decades across a bay from where the remains were found, is charged with killing (L to R): Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello

New York state police on Sunday removed a massive haul of weapons from Heuermann’s Long Island home a day after scouring the property to determine whether he left any ‘trophies’ from his alleged three victims

An officer was seen removing two additional firearms from the home on Sunday 

‘He was weird about it, and I was like okay, fine,’ Shepherd told ‘I could measure around it.’ 

She remembers finding his reaction odd at the time and now wonders what else he might have been hiding in the 12’x15′ space.

‘I didn’t understand why he was being so weird about it, and now I’m thinking  ‘What was he hiding?’ ‘ Shepherd said. 

‘It was a big room. What was happening in that room? Is that where he took the women?’

Shepherd described how she had developed a friendly, working relationship with the architect who even once took her to a firing range in the Bronx where he taught her how to fire a 9mm handgun. 

On another occasion when she slipped on ice, Heuermann accompanied her to a hospital and then back to her apartment in Manhattan where he gave her meds.

Shepherd worked with Heuermann, off and on, from 2002 to 2007 and shared office space with him for two of those years in Manhattan.

She would regularly travel with him to job sites as a freelance interior designer. At the time she found him smart and mostly friendly, and like his other colleagues caled him ‘socially awkward’. 

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