In April 2011, just months after the bodies of four women were discovered buried near Gilgo Beach on the South Shore of Long Island, several experts and criminologists put together a sketch for The New York Times of the characteristics they expected to see in a suspect.

The women, wrapped in burlap and buried within a quarter mile of each other in an area where the remains of a total of 11 people would later be found, were believed to have been killed by a white man in his mid-20s to mid-40s. , they said. He is married or has a girlfriend. He is well educated and well spoken. He is financially secure, has a job, owns an expensive car or truck, and lives or used to live near where the bodies were found.

On Friday, details began to emerge about Rex Heuermann, who was arrested and charged with murder in the killings of three of the women. Prosecutors said he was the prime suspect in the death of the fourth woman. Mr. Heuermann, 59, is a married white man who works as an architect in Manhattan and lives in Massapequa Park, about 15 miles from Gilgo Beach. He owned a Chevrolet Avalanche truck at the time of the killings, prosecutors said.

None of this proves that Mr. Heuermann is the serial killer, and experts noted that profiles are typically used to evaluate individuals who have already come to the attention of investigators. But the similarities did not go unnoticed by some of the experts who compiled the 2011 profile.

“When I heard the news yesterday, I kind of had to smile to myself because it was pretty much what I predicted,” said Scott Bonn, a criminologist, author and serial killer researcher who spoke about the Gilgo Beach murders. telephone interview on Saturday.

Mr. Heuermann, who is being held without bail at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Riverhead, NY, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His lawyer said outside court Friday that he denied committing the killings.

The attorney, Michael Brown, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday evening. On Saturday morning, the block around Mr. Heuermann’s home remained closed by police to all but residents. Several box trucks were parked outside the house to take away items collected for evidence.

Profiling killers is not an exact science. And the portrait that the experts drew in 2011 could describe many men who live on Long Island and commute to Manhattan for work.

“The thing about serial killers — at least the ones who are more prolific — is that they’re often extraordinarily ordinary,” said James Alan Fox, a professor at Northeastern University who has studied serial killers for more than 40 years.

Rex HeuermannCredit…Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, via Associated Press

“You can’t use a profile to find the killer,” Mr Fox said, adding that there have been cases where profiles have been wrong.

In 2011, Dr. Bonn, then an assistant professor of sociology at Drew University in Madison, NJ, predicted that the killer would be “someone who can walk into a room and seem like your average Joe.”

The man would be organized, he believed, and careful about his work. He told The Times that the killer was likely to be “persuasive and reasonable enough” to persuade his victims to meet him on his terms.

Dr. Bonn said Saturday that he was not surprised to learn of Mr. Heuermann’s profession. “Who is more organized, who is more careful, than someone who studied engineering and architecture?” he said. Mr. Heuermann would have to be persuasive to sell his skills, he added.

Productive serial killers tend to be extremely careful not to leave evidence behind and can hide in plain sight, blending into their communities, the experts said.

“They generally have jobs and families and they’re killing part-time,” Mr Fox said. “It’s not their only activity in life.”

Those who worked with Mr. Heuermann said he was extremely meticulous, impressing some customers while exciting others with his attention to detail. Some of his neighbors described him as an “average” man who they wouldn’t think of as “anything but a businessman.” To others, he was someone to avoid – a fiery, towering individual who they would see in the front yard of a low, dilapidated house.

“We would cross the street,” said Nicholas Ferchaw, 24, a neighbor. “He was someone you don’t want to come in contact with.”

Serial killers can have seemingly contradictory personalities, Dr. Bonn said.

“These individuals live separate lives,” he said, noting that Mr. Heuermann “obviously was very high-functioning — had his own architecture firm and took his briefcase, got on the train, went into the city every day, went into Manhattan and could .to function.

“But then,” he said, “it’s almost like they flip a switch and just become a different individual entirely.”

Corey Kilgannon contributed reporting.

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