New Law Aims To Keep Serial Killer Spouses From Profiting Off Crimes

In response to the suspect’s ex-wife’s contract signing with a production firm in the Gilgo Beach murder case, two New York senators are attempting to expand a provision that prohibits convicted criminals from benefiting from their crime to include wives.

To ensure that murderers convicted of crimes in New York cannot benefit from any book or film deals related to their crimes, the state passed the Son of Sam law. David Berkowitz, an infamous serial killer in New York City in the 1970s who went by the moniker Son of Sam, is the inspiration for the statute.

Although the law had been in effect in New York since 1977, it was invalidated in 1991 by the US Supreme Court along with similar legislation. Revisions to the Act were made in 2001 to allow the Office of Victim Services to inform the victims’ relatives so that they may sue the offenders for amounts above $10,000, as the Long Island Press reported.

New York Senator Kevin Thomas and Assemblyman Fred Thiele are now working to expand the bar on gains to include family members of convicted offenders.

It is expected that the proposed bill will be considered in early 2024.

Asa Ellerup is the estranged wife of Gilgo Beach murder suspect Rex Heuermann; her lawyer states that she is now under contract with a production company.

A film crew followed her to Heuermann’s most recent court appearance. It appears she is profiting from her husband’s murders.

The bodies of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Costello were found on Long Island in 2010, and it is alleged that Heuermann killed them.

Heuermann is also the primary suspect in the 2007 disappearance of a fourth lady, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, even though he has not been brought to justice in that instance. Prosecutors have said that they have not yet finished looking into Brainard-Barnes’s murder.

It is expected that the proposed bill will be considered in early 2024. Upon passing, the bill would take effect immediately.