Gilgo Beach Murders Suspect Has 'Practiced Mask' In Resurfaced Video, Expert Says - Exclusive

Rex Heuermann has been arrested and charged with the murders of three women who were found near Gilgo Beach on Long Island, New York, more than 10 years ago. "Rex Heuermann is a demon that walks amongst us, a predator that ruined families," Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said of the suspect, according to NBC News. Investigators said that DNA evidence as well as technology helped lead them to Heuermann, who's been charged with murdering Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello. He is also considered a prime suspect in the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes.

Following Heuermann's arrest, video of an interview he did in February 2022 with "L'INTERVIEW" resurfaced on social media (editor's note: the video our expert responded to is no longer available on YouTube). We reached out to Mark Bowden, a co-founder of TRUTHPLANE and panelist on The Behavior Panel, for some exclusive insight into the suspect's prior body language. Bowden noted that "it is important to note that while many people will share similar neurology to this person, the majority are absolutely able to moderate any violent feelings they may have. Murderers are outliers." Bowden continued, "Criminal psychopaths or sociopaths are rarer than a scan of the media would make us think. Yet those that do exist can hide in plain sight. It is possible that Heuermann may turn out to be such an example ...The way we all conduct our work can be indicative of the way we conduct much of our life." 

However, as he noted, "a behavioral analyst can uncover the potential value system that underlies all of our behaviors, both benign and criminal" — and that's certainly the case with this clip.

Rex Heuermann's superiority complex comes through, expert says

After seeing the video of Rex Heuermann (since removed from YouTube), Mark Bowden told Grunge exclusively that the murder suspect has "big upper body strength," making it "easy to dominate physically." However, the "mismatched handshake rhythm" could indicate that "Heuermann is not able to pick up on the social cue of the rhythm presented to him by the interviewer. He may like to dominate situations or has to dominate them because he is not good at picking up nonverbal and verbal social cues, which makes him feel uneasy or out of control in situations. All this may hint towards a neurological disorder with either a lack of emotional understanding or an overwhelm of it."

Bowden also suggests that Heuermann appears to be a good actor thanks to his "big open gestures displaying upper body strength and confidence." But as Bowden added, "These fundamental gestures are mistimed to his words. They consistently come early. This could indicate that he is performing his conversation. It is a practiced mask that hides his personality or compensates for his mismatch with the world. Again, all this may hint towards a neurological disorder." At one point in his chat with "L"INTERVIEW," Heuermann appears to put others down by saying things like "they don't read" and "they don't listen," which Bowden says is part of the suspect's complex. "The idea that other people lack fundamental abilities they should have. This superiority complex and the desire to control others' experiences without participating emotionally, as seen align with his preference for maintaining power and influence," he stated.

Rex Heuermann showed a 'lack of respect for authority'

Mark Bowden also noticed a few telling moments in Rex Heuermann's interview, including his apparent desire to control the emotions of others. "He is happy to tell stories that produce placating laughter from his interviewer, but he does not laugh along. He likes to feel that he can control others' emotions but will not join in on that emotion with them. This looks like dominance and an antisocial personality. His own lack of laughter suggests a detached control-seeking nature. He derives satisfaction from manipulating others' experiences while remaining emotionally detached himself," Bowden told Grunge. 

Bowden added that Heuermann showed a "lack of respect for authority," which seems to come through in various parts of the interview. "Heuermann's disregard for rules, willingness to circumvent them, and view of others as inferior indicate a belief that he is above social norms. He is used to getting his way and is prepared to physically move people who are in the way, regardless of the social norm implications. He likes things to be under his control and to be methodical. He is uneasy around social interaction and has little ability to match rhythm and emotion with those around him. He has ways of dealing with this by performing methodical stories he knows and has practiced, and can be controlled. This behavior serves as a mask or compensation for this," Bowden said. 

Heuermann, who pled not guilty to all charges brought against him, is due back in court on August 1.