Nearly 25 years later, the severed head of a woman found on March 5, 1989, on a golf course in Hopewell, New Jersey, has finally been identified. Known until now as only Jane Doe, authorities confirmed on March 27, 2013, that the head belonged to Heidi Balch, prostitute and first victim of Joel Rifkin.
A jury in 1994 found Rifkin guilty of killing nine women, though he is suspected in as many as 17 murders. During the trial, Rifkin’s lawyer described him as, “a paranoid schizophrenic who lived in the twilight zone, overwhelmed by violent, irresistible compulsions that took control of his life.” The jury disagreed, instead finding him responsible for his actions. He is serving a 203-year sentence for his crimes.