Many murders go unsolved, and many murderers are reluctant to reveal the extent of their crimes, even when they have no hope of being released from prison. This week, New York police have revealed that a severed head found in 1989 has been linked to one of New York’s most notorious serial killers.
According to an Associated Press report, New York state police have revealed that a woman named Heidi Balch was likely serial killer Joel Rifkin’s first victim. The 25-year-old’s head was found on a New Jersey golf course in 1989. She, like most of Rifkin’s victims, was a New York City prostitute. Police cited physical evidence and statements by Rifkin in making their determination that Balch was murdered by Rifkin.
Joel Rifkin is believed to have killed more than a dozen women from 1989 to 1993, most of them prostitutes. He was convicted of nine of the murders in 1994 and sentenced to 203 years to life in prison. He is currently serving his sentence in the Clinton Correctional Facility in Clinton County, New York.