Joel Rifkin Serial Killer – NYC Serial Killer

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Joel Rifkin is a serial killer from New York that no one talks about. Joel Rifkin would start his murderous ways a few years after his father would die from suicide. Joel who was already spending a ton of time surrounded by prostitutes and soon it would lead to murder. Rifkin would invite a sex worker back to where he was staying and would murder the woman by bashing her head in with an artillery shell before strangling her. Rifkin would dismember her body and spread the parts throughout the five boroughs in New York. Rifkin would remove her teeth so when police found her head in a paint can they would not be able to identify her. Joel promised to stop killing but he would soon go back to it. The second victim was murdered sixteen months later in a similar fashion where Joel invited the woman back to where he was staying. When Rifkin realised he would be unable to pay the woman he beat her with a table leg and strangled her before dismembering the body. Following this murder Joel came to the conclusion that he liked to strangle the woman but did not like dismembering them as it was messy and time consuming. Over the next two years he would murder fifteen more women. During the process of getting rid of the last body Joel Rifkin was pulled over for an expired tag and police would discover the body. Police would search his mothers home where they found a wealth of items that belonged to the victims and would tie him to seventeen murders. Joel Rifkin would be convicted and sentenced to multiple life terms

Joel Rifkin 2020 Information

DIN (Department Identification Number)95A6514  
Inmate NameRIFKIN, JOEL  
Date of Birth01/20/1959  
Race / EthnicityWHITE  
Custody StatusIN CUSTODY  
Housing / Releasing FacilityCLINTON  
Date Received (Original)09/20/1995  
Date Received (Current)09/20/1995  
Admission TypeNEW COMMITMENT  
County of CommitmentSUFFOLK  
Latest Release Date / Type (Released Inmates Only)

Joel Rifkin Other News

New York State’s most prolific serial killer might not have been discovered on a hot summer night 25 years ago if the license plate on his pickup truck had not fallen off, authorities say.

It was, as Joel Rifkin said later, a 25-cent part that brought him down, but it caught the eye of two troopers patrolling the Southern State Parkway.

“They initiated a traffic stop and a high-speed chase ensues,” said Eugene Corcoran, then the State Police lieutenant who supervised the investigation. He is now the district executive for the federal courts in the Eastern District of New York. The chase covered about 20 miles through Nassau before Rifkin, a landscaper living with his mother and sister in East Meadow, hit a utility pole on Old Country Road in Mineola. The odor from the truck was immediately overwhelming, Corcoran said, and troopers peeked in the back to see what was under a tarp.

They could see part of a hand and the head” of Rifkin’s final victim. Corcoran had troopers take Rifkin to Troop L, located then on the grounds of Republic Airport in East Farmingdale — where Rifkin was headed that night to bury that body

In interviews this month, investigators and lawyers shared their memories of the case that stunned Long Island 25 years ago, and the effects it had on their lives.

Fred Klein, the major offense prosecutor on call, drove to the scene. Before the day was done, Rifkin, now 59, had written out a detailed description of how he had murdered 17 women who were working as prostitutes. He gave names when he knew them, dates, where he picked them up and, crucially, where he had dumped the bodies.

His guide enabled police all over the metropolitan area to find bodies they didn’t know existed or to explain how and why bodies had been found earlier. Rifkin had been bludgeoning or strangling women for five years, dismembering some of them.

Rifkin did not respond to a request sent to him at Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate Dannemora for comment for this story. Family members of his victims either could not be reached or declined to comment. 

The discovery of a serial killer on Long Island came in the midst of a year dominated by bizarre and disturbing stories here – it began with 10-year-old Katie Beers still captive in an underground dungeon and ended with Colin Ferguson shooting dozens of commuters going home on an evening train, killing six of them. In its year in review, Newsday described 1993 as “Long Island’s own annus horribilis — the year that violence, abuse, bloody mayhem and sexual perversion tore at the fabric of Nassau and Suffolk Counties’ suburban life.”

The night he was arrested, Rifkin told troopers where he had picked up the woman found in his truck, Tiffany Bresciani, 22, of Louisiana, and how he had killed her, but troopers wondered if he’d done this before, Corcoran said.

“Is there more than one? Is there less than 10?” they asked Rifkin, Corcoran said. He admitted dumping two women’s bodies in Suffolk County, but troopers continued to question him, Corcoran said.

“He kind of leaned back and said, ‘One or 100, what’s the difference?’” Corcoran said. Rifkin then asked for paper, a pen, a map and a calendar, and wrote out a list of 17 victims, how he killed them and where he left them.

With Rifkin’s detailed confession, investigators got to work. Police searched his mother’s home and discovered a room full of evidence — driver’s licenses of victims, their underwear, their jewelry and other trophies Rifkin had kept.

Some of the bodies already found had not been classified as homicides, Klein said. They were so decomposed that no signs of violence were visible, and medical examiners had mistakenly concluded that some had died of drug overdoses, he said. Within weeks, Rifkin faced murder charges not only in Nassau but in the numerous other counties where he had dumped other victims.

The confession and the evidence collected from Rifkin’s bedroom left him boxed in as his first trial approached in Nassau. His trial lawyer, John Lawrence of Mineola, planned an insanity defense, but that allowed Klein to introduce evidence of all of Rifkin’s murders.

Lawrence said preparing for hearings and the trial with Rifkin was bizarre.

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