Scarlett Facetti approached the dilapidated red house as if it were a temple.
“I can't wait to see it. I really like this,” said Ms. Fascetti, 51, a teacher who has traveled 30 miles from his town on Long Island to a section of Massapequa Park that has become an instant tourist attraction for dark reasons: It is the home of Rex Heuermann, the architect who was charged last week in the Gilgo Beach serial murders.
Ms. Fascetti was able to recount details of the murder and quickly accelerated the three murder charges against Mr. Heuermann. He knows everything from how the 11 bodies were found along Ocean Parkway to the vehicle Mr. Heuermann in his driveway.
Mr Heuermann, who is being held without bail in the Suffolk County Jail, pleaded not guilty to charges that he met women working as escorts, then killed them and wrapped them in burlap to bury them along the stretch of barrier island on the South Shore.
Since his arrest on July 13, hundreds of wide-eyed people from across Long Island and beyond have come daily to the home, about five miles from Gilgo Beach, where Mr. Heuermann lives with his wife and two adult children. They had huddled outside the police tape at the edge of his block.
The site at the unremarkable corner of First and Michigan Avenues in this sleepy bedroom community allows views into the red house, a crime scene that investigators have been searching for days while Mr. Heuermann has not been seen at home. His wife, Asa Ellerup, has filed for divorce, her attorney, Robert A. Macedonio, said on Wednesday.
Some bike or walk the dog from a nearby block; some trips from distant cities or other states. The once nearly empty street was filled with cars from sunrise to sunset, parked by true crime addicts, serial killer fans, and a few people especially obsessed with the Gilgo Beach murders.
“It's part of history,” said Lidia Feldman, 26, who lives several towns away. His 2 year old daughter gleefully drives her plastic toy car into the yellow tape of the crime scene.
“It gives you chills,” said Ms. Feldman.
Some don't care about Gilgo Beach, the red house or the arsenal brought by the investigator in white. A group of women showed up Tuesday night to announce they had only been there to see police officers so far.
This offer was met with a mixture of smirks and glares from the line of guard officers.
Some parents view the house as an educational site. Mayra Urema of Farmingdale brought her daughter Veronica Medina, 14, because, she says, “I want to teach my daughter that there are scary people in this world.”
As for himself, said Mrs. Urema. “I've been following this story since Day 1.”'
He stared past the crime scene footage and muttered, “I'd love to go in there, just to see.”
The audience looked horrified and fascinated.
“Coming here made it real for me,” says Lori Gargiulo, who mentions her serendipitous connection to a notorious crime. That serial killer Joel Rifkin were classmates at East Meadow High School, he said, and Colin Ferguson, who shot 25 people, six dead, on a Long Island Rail Road train in 1993, was a colleague at a burglar alarm company in Syosset.
For Michael Iavarone, from Huntington, visiting this neighborhood of simple, well-kept homes in neat rows brings home the idea that “this man lives among people.”
Mr. Iavarone, co-owner of the champion racehorse Big Brown and very striking internet personalitylooking out at the red house, engrossed in watching investigators pull out evidence.
“I feel bad for the neighbors,” he said. “It's become a tourist spot.”
Marianne Patino, 59, who lives in Babylon, likens the Heuermann house to the Dutch colonial house two miles away made famous by the film “Amityville Horror”, which is based on the true story of a young man who killed six members of his family in 1974.
“This will be the next ‘Amityville Horror House,' which will remain in history,” he says—a prospect that neighbors dread. Decades after the Amityville crime, hawkers still drive by and take photos, which worries the current owner.
On Tuesday, a reporter visiting the original Amityville home encountered a woman on the balcony who shouted, “private property!”
Nick Marsi and Jake Goodhart, both 18 years old from Hauppauge, parked in front of the house chatting about movies. They enjoy exploring serial killer hotbeds, they say.
The youths said they were not aware of the Gilgo Beach killings, but were shocked to learn that the suspect lived only two miles away.
“Sounds amazing,” said Mr. Marsi.
Back at her Massapequa Park home, Bernadette Paredes, 53, an office manager from Levittown, brought her 18-year-old daughter, Brooke, who had been watching the Netflix movie, “Lost Girls,” based on the Gilgo Beach case.
“It's weird watching it and coming here and seeing it in real life,” said Brooke Paredes. “That's creepy.”
Her mother takes photos for Facebook.
“I guess I'm cool now,” he said. “I have to see Rex's house.”
Chelsea Rose Marcius reporting contribution.