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Gilgo Beach murders: 3 serial killers whose mundane lives hid dark truth

A phantom persona of LISK – Long Island Serial Killer – was created after law enforcement found the remains of 10 victims along New York’s Gilgo Beach in 2010 and 2011.

For the next 12-plus years, LISK’s persona become more sinister. Theories turned into conspiratorial ghost stories, and LISK became a boogeyman who could be hunting anywhere.

Little did anyone know, LISK is allegedly Rex Heuermann, a married father of two living about 16 miles from his alleged dumping ground among a neighborhood with current and former cops. The 59-year-old commuted to Manhattan, where he worked as an architect.

But that’s actually the norm for serial killers, according to a 2005 FBI report, which noted that many live “boring” lives on the surface.

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The phrase some experts use is “extraordinarily ordinary,” which describes these three notorious serial killers’ lives before they were convicted murderers.

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His daughter, Kerri Rawson, said she and her family were “completely blindsided.”

“They were looking for him for 31 years, and I didn’t even know what BTK was, that acronym, until 2004, when my dad came back into the media to play games,” Rawson told Fox News Digital. “My dad would go murder somebody and then come over to dinner with a family.”

BTK murders suspect Dennis Rader is led out of his arraignment in Wichita Kansas.

BTK killer Dennis Rader is led from a Sedgwick County, Kansasc, courtroom after his arraignment on 10 counts of murder, May 3, 2005. (Reuters/Pool/Bo Rader-The Wichita Eagle  BR/JRB)

Before his arrest, Rader was just her dad. He gardened, camped, hiked, fished and went to church. There are pictures of him with Rawson when she was a young girl, fishing and holding her on his shoulder, so she could top the Christmas tree with a star.

He killed at least 33 teenage boys and young men in Cook County, Illinois, in the 1970s, and buried most of his victims under his house.

Before he was the “Killer Clown,” Gacy was a building constructor in Chicago and a neighborhood hit as “Pogo the Clown,” which was his character that he used to perform at kids’ parties and charity shows for sick children.

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Joseph DeAngelo

Joseph DeAngelo’s first crime is believed to be a break-in rape in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova, California, on June 18, 1976.

Known as the “Golden State Killer” and “East Area Rapist,” he was linked to nearly 40 attacks in the Sacramento and Stockton areas. He stalked his victims for days, breaking into their homes to leave twine and unlock windows, and then come back to use the twine as a weapon. 

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Rapes escalated to murders, and he became known as “the Night Stalker” in the papers. He ultimately admitted to killing 13 people in the late ‘70s and ’80s. 

He was an old man in a wheelchair by the time he pleaded guilty to 13 murders and was sentenced to life in prison

He agreed to admit to multiple uncharged crimes, including rapes, in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table.

For 27 years, he was a “regular Joe,” a former coworker told The Sacramento Bee, while he worked in a supermarket distribution warehouse for 27 years.

How DNA website helped crack Golden State Killer cold case Video

His case revolutionized cold case investigations after law enforcement used GEDmatch, a genealogy website that allows people to submit their DNA samples to explore their family tree.

About 20 distant relatives used the site, which narrowed the suspect pool. He was finally cuffed in 2018 when he was 72 years old and sentenced to life in prison in 2020.

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said investigators had five “hairs of significance,” which were further studied thanks to mitochondrial DNA technology.

“When people think of DNA, it’s nuclear DNA that’s the traditional DNA analysis that is done,” Tierney said. “But as the science advanced and although the hairs were [too] degraded for nuclear DNA, we were able to use them for mitochondrial DNA.”

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