Heidi Balch murder connected to Joel Rifkin


 

 

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http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57576616/severed-head-found-in-1989-identified-linked-to-serial-killer/

A woman whose severed head was found on a New Jersey golf course more than 20 years ago has been identified, and police say the trail leads to a notorious serial killer.

 Authorities say 25-year-old Heidi Balch likely was the first victim of Joel Rifkin, who is in prison in New York after admitting he killed 17 women in the early 1990s. They cite physical evidence and Rifkin’s statements in linking Balch’s killing to him.

 State Police Sgt. Stephen Urbanski says Balch worked as a prostitute in New York City and used numerous aliases.

 The severed head was found in 1989 in Hopewell, a town north of Trenton.

 State and local detectives found Balch’s aunt in New York, who identified her picture this month. DNA tests confirmed her identity.

 Hopewell Police Chief George Meyer tells The Times of Trenton that New York authorities have no interest in prosecuting the case because Rifkin is already behind bars.

 Rifkin, a former landscaper, was stopped by police on a routine traffic stop when a Long Island officer noticed his front license plate was missing, CBS New York reports.

 An odor in Rifkin’s truck led to the discovery of a body. Rifkin admitted to the 17 slayings after his May 1994 murder conviction in Nassau County. He also pleaded guilty to two murders in neighboring Suffolk County.

“Certain things are very hard to stop,” Rifkin said. “You think of people as things.”

 He said he disposed of the bodies in threes.

 “There were mini clusters, little sets of three,” Rifkin said. “Three were dismembered. Three were in oil drums. Some were in water. Some were on land. It’s like my own little nightmare scenarios.”

 Rifkin painstakingly covered up his crimes. He researched past crimes for details.

 “Water is harder to investigate than land because it washes everything,” he said.

 Throughout his trial and incarceration, Rifkin still could not explain one thing: why.

 “I don’t know. Why do people try to quit smoking for their entire lives?” Rifkin said. “As much as I say I wanted to stop, there probably would’ve been others.”

  1. March 28th, 2013

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