A truck driver who got the nickname the ‘Happy Face Killer’ after murdering eight women has become pen pals with accused Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann.
Keith Jesperson, now 68, was given multiple life sentences in 1995, and from his Oregon cell now writes to others behind bars.
Jesperson wrote to Heuermann, 59, in his Long Island jail, and on August 31 Heuermann, awaiting trial for the murder of three sex workers, wrote back.
Jesperson recommended Heuermann confess to avoid giving prosecutors the chance to ‘gloat’ about finding evidence, and to avoid the spectacle of a trial.
He told podcast host Keith Rovere that Heuermann moaned about conditions in jail – from dry bread to a gloomy exercise yard.
Rex Heuermann, the accused Gilgo Beach serial killer, is seen in court in Riverhead, New York, on November 15. Heuermann has written to ‘Happy Face Killer’ Keith Jesperson
Video posted October 3, 2023 by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office shows Keith Jesperson, the notorious murderer known as the Happy Face Killer, claiming Rex Heuermann has written to him from jail
Rovere, who specializes in interviewing serial killers from prison, told DailyMail.com he was not seeking to glamorize or justify their actions.
He said he wants to explain them as people and rarely discusses the detail of their crimes.
He said he had known Jesperson for many years and since he launched his podcast ‘The Lighter Side of Serial Killers’ had spoken to him several times.
Jesperson sent Rovere the letter, which Heuermann had sent him. Heuermann, in his response to Jesperson, thanked him for his ‘letters and advise.’
‘They have been a help and comfort to me,’ said Heuermann, who was arrested in July. ‘I do understand what you have said and taken it to heart.’
Heuermann, who was in court on November 15, watched for the first time by his wife Asa Ellerup, told Jesperson he had been busy for the weeks since his initial arrest.
Ellerup has filed for divorce, and Heuermann has signed over their marital home to her: she is now being followed by a documentary crew, having reportedly signed a $1 million deal for the film.
Heuermann told Jesperson he had been inundated with letters and requests.
‘You were right about letter – I have gotten a number of them, asking for interviews, to be friends, pen pals, and one guy who sent me three letters asking me to write back to add to his collection of letters,’ wrote Heuermann.
Heuermann told Jesperson that he was the only person he had replied to.
‘So it sounds like OSP (Oregon State Prison) is not such a bad place to be,’ he continued.
‘Do you have butter for your bread? How is the day-to-day food – I will admit that food on SCCF (Suffolk County Correctional Facility) is not much to look forward to each day.
‘Also yard is just walking in circles outside.’
Jesperson is seen on November 2, 1995 when he was given two life sentences. He has since been given more
Keith Rovere, who produces The Lighter Side of Serial Killers podcast
Heuermann concluded with a brief update of his case, and thanked Jesperson once again.
Jesperson told Rovere that he expected to hear from the 59-year-old again.
‘The message I’m sending him is to own it,’ said Jesperson.
‘They want the letter to get to him. They want him to listen to this guy who is telling him how the system is.
‘So when you finally get to it, the police can go out and solve all the other cases with him.
‘So that’s what I’m telling him to do: don’t hold anything back. Details, or a few more laying out there.’
Jesperson said that Heuermann should confess to avoid the spectacle of a trial, and to try and get to prison quickly – where conditions would be better than in jail.
‘You now get into a routine: you already know what your convictions are, you’re set up,’ he said.
‘And you’re not moving out going to court. You’re not doing any of this moving back and forth on court. And you don’t have the jail. ‘Shuffling you around going everywhere you go on for hearings.
‘The food is different. The food is better in prison.
‘You know what? He’s what he’s worried about butter on his gray. Well, he’ll get larger.’
Asa Ellerup, Heuermann’s wife – who has filed for divorce – is seen attending the November 15 hearing in New York
Jesperson, who Rovere said was extremely dangerous and would certainly kill again if ever freed, said he told Heuermann to be braced for a lengthy process.
‘I told him, I think Biden has time to see how it plays out,’ said Jesperson, apparently believing that the president was involved in the case.
‘The system runs really slow. So he might need about six months or a year before you before he goes to trial.
‘You may have to sit down and assess with lawyers, right. There’s no real defense here. This is what we need to do. Let’s just go ahead and make a deal. And then the lawyers come off like they made a deal.’
Heuermann has pleaded not guilty, but Jesperson said he should be honest, telling Heuermann that there was no concealing what he had done.
He said his life behind bars would be easier without a trial. ‘If you want press, you’re going to get it,’ said Jesperson.
‘If you want to be on the news, go to trial. ‘For the next six months or year they’ll know.
‘When you hit prison, everybody will know. It’s a bad thing. Everybody knows what is going on.’