Posts Tagged ‘ New York Serial Killer ’

Heidi Balch murder connected to Joel Rifkin




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.”

Do You Know This Woman?

Image: Composite sketch of murder victim

Link here

This composite sketch provided by the Suffolk County Police Department shows an unidentified victim whose partial remains were discovered off Ocean Parkway in Nassau County in April 2011. Other remains of the same person were discovered in April 1996.
YAPHANK, N.Y. — Police have released a composite sketch of an unidentified victim whose skull was among the remains of 11 people found along a remote New York beach highway last year.

The artist’s rendering released Saturday is of a woman whose partial remains were found along Long Island’s Ocean Parkway last April. According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System online database, the same person’s left and right legs were found on Blue Point Beach, Fire Island, in April 1996.

The website describes the victim as a white woman aged between 18 and 50. The posting adds that she “may have had surgery on her left ankle” and had “red toenail polish on all toes.”

The online database notes that the woman’s hands have not been recovered.

When contacted by The New York Times, a spokeswoman for the Suffolk County Police Department would not comment on how the unidentified woman had been killed.

Investigators believe a possible serial killer is responsible for 10 of the bodies. The remains of an 11th victim — a 24-year-old woman named Shannan Gilbert — were found in late December. But authorities say Gilbert accidentally drowned.

Suffolk County police are asking anyone with information about the woman’s identity to contact them or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

Long Island Serial Killer Hunt: Police Release Sketches of Victims

By , JOSH EINIGER and  (@jesshop23)

Police released sketches of two unidentified victims dumped on a Long Island beach by at least one serial killer, including a man dressed as a woman and a woman who may have worked as a prostitute.

The skeletal remains of a female toddler found this past April were linked by DNA to the skeletal remains of a woman found seven miles away, police said.

“It is likely that these two individuals were mother and child,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said today.

In addition to the sketches, Dormer released pictures of jewelry and other personal details about the five unidentified sets of remains found along on a stretch of beach off of Ocean County Parkway in Long Island, N.Y.

“We are hopeful that the release of this additional information will aid our investigation in helping identify the unknown victims and their killer or killers,” Dormer said at a press conference.

Do You Know the Long Island Serial Killers Victims?

Since December of last year, New York investigators have found 10 sets of human remains in Suffolk and Nassau County. Five of those remains have been identified as prostitutes, and the rest remain a mystery.

One of the sketches released was of a slightly built male victim who police said was wearing female clothing at the time of his death. Police said the Asian man was between 17 and 23 years old and approximately 5- feet-6. The man was missing both his top and bottom molars and one of his top front teeth, police said.

The death could have occurred between five and 10 years ago, police said.

The toddler is non-Caucasian and was wearing hoop earrings and a rope necklace, Dormer said. She was between 16 and 32 months old. The child’s adult relative had two bracelets on when she was murdered, one bracelet with Xs and Os with stones resembling diamonds and a snake chain, police said.

The two could have disappeared between one and five years ago, police said.

Sketch of Jane Doe 6/Suffolk County Police

Another victim identified as Jane Doe 6 was described as having been between the ages of 18 and 35 and approximately 5-feet-2. Her head, hands and right foot were recovered on April 4. Dormer said that DNA taken from those remains were linked to a torso found in Manorville, N.Y., in November 2000. A sketch showed a Caucasian woman with hair to her shoulders.

“To narrow the focus this woman would have been last seen alive in the late summer or fall in 2000…Consider that this woman may have been working as a prostitute in New York City during that time…This woman may have had a tattoo or other identifiable characteristic on her right ankle,” Dormer said.

A forensic artist is working on a third sketch of a woman whose legs were found in April. DNA from her remains has been linked to remains discovered on Fire Island in Nassau County, N.Y., in 1996.

Suffolk County police, who are being assisted by Nassau County cops as well as state police and the FBI, have been tight-lipped about the investigation. Law enforcement sources told ABC News that all of the victims appear to have been slain elsewhere, dismembered and transported to the beaches for disposal.

Four of the identified bodies were found wrapped in burlap in December 2010 and were prostitutes. They have been identified as Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Lynn Costello. All of the women advertised their services on Craigslist.

The most recent set of remains to be identified belonged to prostitute Jessica Taylor. In April, authorities recovered Taylor’s skull and hands. The rest of her body had been found 30 miles away in Manorville, N.Y., in 2003, the same area where Jane Doe 6’s torso was found.

Dormer made an appeal for help from New York City’s escorts.

“We also want to reach out to the people in the escort business to come forward with information. We are not interested in their occupation and feel that their information will be very valuable to this investigation,” Dormer said.

The Suffolk Police have not identified any suspects in the killing and will not say how many killers they believe may have used the beach as a dumping ground.

In December of last year, police first began scouring the pristine Gilgo Beach in the search for missing prostitute Shannan Gilbert. Her remains have not been recovered and the investigation into her disappearance is ongoing, police said.

Long Island Serial Killings: New Details Released Watch Video
Bodies Found in Long Island Work of 3 Killers Watch Video
Long Island Serial Killer: New Witness? Watch Video
The page has quite a few photos and videos.
The possible connection to the Atlantic City Killer seems to have died out although with 10 bodies and at least 2 killers in NY who knows what will develop.

A few updates

Michael Wayne McGray has been charged in connection with the death of Jeremy Michael Phillips.

On the morning of Nov. 23, 2010, Phillips, 33, was found dead in the prison cell he shared with McGray–who had been previously convicted of six murders and recently moved from maximum-security Kent Institution to medium-security Mountain Institution.

Phillips had been serving a six-year, nine-month sentence for an aggravated assault that took place after a failed drug deal.

McGray has been moved to a new federal prison and is no longer in British Columbia.

Full Story

I just hope this time they have him in a cell by himself!! I also hope that they have put him into a maximum security prison.


The trial of Anthony Sowell is beginning. Jury selection has started.

About 200 prospective jurors are being divided into groups of 15 and brought to the courtroom for orientation. Individuals in each group are then being interviewed privately about their views on the death penalty, according to court officials.

Anthony Sowell, 51, a former Marine, stood at military attention to face jurors as they entered. He was dressed in a white golf shirt and wore a goatee. He has been charged with the murder of 11 women in an 85-count indictment.

If Sowell is found guilty, the jury must then decide whether to sentence him to death. The decision must be unanimous.

Sowell was arrested on October 29, 2009, two days after the initial discovery of bodies in and around his home. The decomposing bodies were found by police who were responding to a report by a woman who said she had been attacked in the home.

Full Story


If Sowell is not found guilty I hope we make the jurors share custody of him..

Here is a page with video clips regarding the Sowell trial. 

In New York police are searching the beaches of Long Island again.

Police in New York say they will resume a search for bodies in the ongoing investigation into a possible serial killer on Long Island.

State police say recent FBI aerial photography is prompting a return to the area on Tuesday. State police did not specifically say if the photos, taken in April, yielded additional evidence.

Full Story

I am going to take a guess and say that the photos showed them something. Maybe not more bodies but something had to be seen if they are going back out there.


Possible Victims of Serial Killer Rises to 8

Three additional sets of human remains have been discovered on the same New York beach where a serial killer is believed to have dumped the bodies of five other women.

Suffolk County police announced the discovery of the bodies today, raising the number of victims to at least eight.

Searchers used fire truck bucket ladders for an aerial view as others walked Oak Beach and Gilgo Beach in Long Island. They’ve waded through tall tick-infested vegetation since last week searching for more bodies and clues.

Cadaver dogs have had difficulty maneuvering through the thick brush, Dominich Varrone, Suffolk County’s chief of detectives, said at a news conference today.

“They don’t like getting smacked in the face with the bramble,” he said.

As many as 20 officers have already been treated for poison ivy during the searches.

Police first discovered four skeletal remains in December when searching for Shannan Gilbert. None of the remains have matched Gilbert. A fifth body was discovered last week, but that was determined to not to be the body of Gilbert either.

“We still believe that Shannan Gilbert is in this area,” Varrone said.

Police said the search would be continued Tuesday over a broader area.

If none of the three newly discovered remains are identified as Gilbert, it will leave the possibility that a ninth body remains to be found.

The victims who were previously identified were all prostitutes who had advertised on the internet site Craigslist.

The bodies are believed to the work of a serial killer. Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer told ABC News in December, “Four bodies found in the same location pretty much speaks for itself. It’s more than a coincidence. We could have a serial killer.”

Investigators had made little progess in the hunt for the serial killer, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

Detectives have conducted interviews with associates, neighbors, friends and relatives of the identified victims, sources familiar with the investigation told ABC News.

ABC News’ Russell Goldman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The entire article and a video here.

It will be interesting to see how for back the bodies go.

There is not enough information to even speculate about any connection to any of the other unsolved killing.

The named victims so far

Dissed by Rifkin

I found an online article today that states that Joel Rifkin is not impressed by the fiendish handiwork of a murderer who dumped the bodies of four women near Oak Beach.

Headlines of Rifkin

Joel Rifkin Headlines

Joel must be loving the attention. I am sure that he is thrilled that someone is showing an interest in him again.

Joel Rifkin on Nightline

With the air of a veteran schooling an amateur, Rifkin said the sicko being hunted by cops and the FBI should never have left all the corpses in one place.

“I dumped them hundreds of miles apart,” Rifkin proudly told the Daily News Wednesday in a 70-minute interview at the upstate prison where he will spend the rest of his life.

He proudly talked about disposing of his victims?

Rifkin killed 17 prostitutes in a four-year spree – and took pains to dispose of the bodies.

His victims were scattered in rivers and wooded areas from the east end of Long Island to upstate. Three were never found.

In Oak Beach, four decomposing bodies were found within a quarter-mile area just off a remote highway – and cops believe one killer is responsible.

Rifkin suggested the killer was sloppy for picking a single dumping ground because it alerted cops to the likelihood of a serial killer and brought more heat to the case.

Rifkin, who once lived in East Meadow, L.I., said he was always more frightened about dumping his bodies than strangling or dismembering his victims.

“I was surprised I didn’t get caught sooner,” said Rifkin, who was busted in 1993 with his final victim’s body in the back of his mother’s pickup truck.

He said his arrest was the result of “a 25-cent mistake” – a missing license plate.

He was worried only about being caught. The actual act of killing did not worry him, it was the disposal, the most ‘public’ part that worried him. He still considers the mistake to be getting caught, not the killing.

He gives a ‘profile’ of the suspect to the Daily News.

Rifkin, 51, said cops looking for the Oak Beach killer should probably focus on white men, aged 18 to 45, but acknowledged the magnitude of that challenge.

Then he admits to how ‘helpful’ he is.

“That’s like half the country,” he said.

He does go on to give insight not only about the recent serial killer but about himself.

He speculated that the suspect would have shared some of his experiences: growing up lonely in the suburbs, being mocked and bullied, grappling with anger.

Joel claims that he regrets what he did, but I don’t believe that at all. He regrets getting caught and that is all.

He said prostitutes are obvious targets for serial slayers.

“No family,” he explained, occasionally breaking into laughter as he discussed his bloody history. “They can be gone six or eight months, and no one is looking.”

The two missing women in the Suffolk County probe advertised their services on craigslist, which didn’t exist when Rifkin was hunting for victims.

Hookers made for easy targets because they were often on their backs, making it easy to overpower them, Rifkin recounted as cartoons played on the visiting room TV.

He said he paid the prostitutes as much for their temporary friendship as for sex – and never just to kill them.

“I became addicted to sex and companionship,” said Rifkin, a long, gray ponytail hanging down his back.

There was no sentimentality as he described what he did to the women after they were beaten and strangled. “You carve ’em like a turkey,” he said.

He said the slayings were a “primal urge” that he justified by reminding himself the women were drug-addicted hookers with no self-respect.

Rifkin says he regrets his rampage, but he sounded bizarrely nostalgic as he spoke about how much easier it was to kill his in his day.

He said technology like GPS in cell phones has given police a tremendous advantage in tracking victims.

Law enforcement is a lot more sophisticated now than it was when he was picking up prostitutes in Manhattan and spreading their remains across nine counties.

“They pull up the Jane Does and compare notes,” he said.

He sounds very remorseful, doesn’t he?

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