Car crashes to workers' comp: Court records offer glimpse into Gilgo Beach murder suspect's past

News 12 is learning more about Gilgo Beach murder suspect Rex Heuermann through court documents that range from workers' compensation to car accidents - not far from where the victims' bodies were discovered. 

Tara Rosenblum and Lee Danuff

Jul 18, 2023, 8:18 PM

Updated 315 days ago

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News 12 is learning more about Gilgo Beach murder suspect Rex Heuermann through court documents that range from workers' compensation to car accidents - not far from where the victims' bodies were discovered. 
Steve Vonduerring recalls a rainy, cold January night six years ago when he alleges that his longtime girlfriend, Barbara O'Sullivan, was the victim of a staged car accident close to their Massapequa Park home. 
"He just came out of nowhere, it was like behind a tree or something...and he just walked out in front of our bumper, and he didn't even fall down," he says. 
WATCH: DOCUMENTARY AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION - Gilgo Beach: Unsolved
Vonduerring said that the pedestrian was banging on the hood of the car. 
Court documents show that the angry pedestrian was Rex Heuermann, who sued O'Sullivan for $5 million a few weeks later. The documents claim that he suffered "severe and permanent personal injuries" and "a loss of enjoyment in life."

READ: Heuermann vs. Barbara O' Sullivan Court

Over a video chat, Vonduerring told News 12's Tara Rosenblum that he will never forget the day the couple faced Heuermann in court.
"When I first saw him at that hearing, I thought he was kind of odd...just his facial expressions... I expected that for someone like that who just stages accidents," he said. 
He claims Heuermann would walk away with far less than what he demanded - accepting a $55,000 insurance payout.
The whole experience haunted Vonduerring and his girlfriend long after.
"She was always afraid of retaliation after that...she was just afraid of him because she was afraid he might do something bad to our house," he says. "She was never comfortable that he lived right around the block from us. He was so creepy, so angry at that hearing. We just thought he would do something...kind of retaliation or vandalize her house or a car in the driveway."
Their encounter with Heuermann appears to be part of a pattern.
The Turn To Tara team reviewed court flings revealing the suspected Gilgo Beach serial killer was also involved in three similar lawsuits over the past decade - each involving allegations that Heuermann was hurt in car accident, along with demands for $5 million. 
In one incident in 2013, Heuermann accused a taxi driver from Yonkers of running over his foot.

READ: Heuermann vs. Singh

The case was dismissed. But three years later, the most recent suit is still winding its way through courts.
It involves an accident in Brooklyn last year in which Heuermann accused a Long Island couple of being "careless and reckless."

READ: Heuermann vs Cynthia Darlene Martin

News 12's investigation also led the team to documents from the state of New York Workers Compensation Board. 
It shows a judgment against Heuermann for $68,750 filed with the state Supreme Court. The workers' compensation was later resolved and he was held not responsible.

READ: Heuermann's Workers Compensation case

Heuermann has two local attorneys, Paul Edelman and Jonathan Shahabian. Neither have responded to News 12's repeated calls for comment.

READ: Heuermann vs Lindsay Fenimore & CD Fenimore



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