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Heidi Balch and the Danger of Being a Sex Worker

The disappearance of Heidi Balch, a 25-year-old woman from New York City, has been a mystery for over three decades. The details of her disappearance are shrouded in darkness, and it was not until 2013 that her remains were identified, providing some closure to her family and friends. Although her killer, Joel Rifkin, has been convicted and is serving a life sentence for his crimes, the case of Heidi Balch continues to raise important questions about violence against women and the need for greater protection of vulnerable members of society.

Heidi Balch went missing on February 1, 1995, in New York City. For years, her family and friends searched for any sign of her, hoping that she would turn up alive and well. Unfortunately, their worst fears were confirmed when her severed head was found on a golf course in Hopewell Township, New Jersey, on March 5, 1989. It was later discovered that her legs had been severed as well and were found eighty miles away. DNA testing confirmed that the remains belonged to Balch, who had been missing for almost six years.

The discovery of Balch’s remains was a turning point in the investigation into her disappearance. It was soon discovered that Balch had been involved in prostitution, a risky lifestyle that made her more vulnerable to violence. The police suspected that she had been murdered by a serial killer, and they began to investigate other unsolved murders in the area. It was not long before they had a suspect: Joel Rifkin.

Joel Rifkin was a notorious serial killer who had been active in the New York City area in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was convicted of nine murders and sentenced to 203 years in prison. Rifkin had a history of violence against women, and he was known to have picked up prostitutes, just like Balch.