31 Jan

Part of the thought for this post came to me earlier yesterday evening. By later yesterday night, just before I fell asleep, I came across a story, purely by chance or fate (whichever), that was both very sad and mysterious. It is a true-life story from 2006 with a documentary done on it, in 2011. However, I hadn’t heard anything about it until last night. From the information I found, it was a widely spread and discussed story at the time of its occurrence and again, when the documentary was done (Not sure how I missed it).

This is the story of Joyce Carol Vincent, a young woman of 38, whose skeletal remains was found on 25th January, 2006, in her bedsit flat, in Wood Green housing estate, London. Now, this is where it gets really spooky; she had died three years earlier in 2003 but wasn’t found until that fateful day in 2006 when Council officials had gone to her flat to repossess it due to unpaid bills. There she was, very dead, lying on the sofa in front of television which was still on and tuned in to BBC1, along with a still functional heating and electricity. She was so decomposed that she could only be identified by her dental records. Apparently, she had died with no one knowing or looking for her for three long years (true but unbelievable)!!!!

A major story with British Media at the time in 2006

A major story with British Media at the time in 2006

The moment I heard about the story, I instantly goggled her to get as much information as I could (I can’t share all the information without writing forever, so you can read more through the hyperlink ‘here’). From the story, she was once a joyous, vibrant, successful, beautiful woman who had lived a seemingly wonderful life. By all accounts, she had been very attractive and had no problem drawing in attention. She was well-spoken, very intelligent and wasn’t abusing alcohol or drugs. Had worked in Ernst & Young, met a couple of celebrities including a dinner with Stevie Wonder and shook hands with Nelson Mandela. She had family (four sisters and a father) and at a point in her life, had been engaged. Basically, in appearance, she was everything many women wanted to be and many men wanted to date.  As the story would have it, she suddenly resigned from her great job, gave up her  life as people knew it and moved into a shelter for domestic violence. At what point of her life did this abuse happen? No one knows or has shared (Although I have my speculations, I refrain from sharing them because they are just that). She eventually left the shelter and moved into the flat she died in.

Joyce Carol Vincent

Joyce Carol Vincent

Because of her badly decomposed body, actual cause of death was unknown, although the officials said there was no evidence of foul play. Of course, there are a lot of holes in her story that have not been filled up and may never be. Holes like, why she gave up her old life? If/who abused her? Why she was estranged from her family? Why did the housing association wait for so long before repossessing the house? Who/how were her bills (Electricity and Heating) paid for three long years? Why, at some stage, did she move houses every year? How could she have gone unnoticed for so long; the smell and all etc? There have been speculative answers to these questions but no one has given concrete ones. One thing is clear though; she was certainly a haunted young lady!

In line with my previous thought, I tried to go into the mind of this young lady.  I tried to understand what could have happened to her that she couldn’t move on from but eventually chose to live in isolation? It is assumable that the vibrant and seemly happy girl she was earlier known as, acted as part of a camouflage to cover up what truly haunted her. It is obvious that she couldn’t let go of whatever haunted her and she bottled it up inside until she eventually died. It is also deeply sad that no one could break the wall she had built around her heart/mind to truly see what was going on with her. Even worse that it took three years for her corpse to be found which further points out that she was truly alone. There are many sad elements of this story that could be written about forever.

Joyce Carol Vincent

Joyce Carol Vincent

However, coming back to my original thought; I believe that the potency of a lie is so great. Like someone rightly said, the biggest lies are not the ones we let others believe about us, but the ones we tell ourselves. I believe its damaging power is as deadly as an untreated cancer slowly growing and eating into one’s system. It has the subconscious ability to define our character and personality as well as direct our actions. And like all true lies, it compounds and like a volcano, finally explodes.

Like I said, I cannot speak to what was going on with Joyce Carol Vincent but whatever it was, I wish she had been able to talk to someone. I wish she had made just one true friend who had cared enough to break the barriers, stay close and notice she was missing. I wish a lot of things concerning her, but wishes aren’t horses and most importantly, can’t bring her back.

Bottom line, as easy as it is to live in/with a lie, it is far more rewarding to accept the truth. Which in turn is easier to handle if/when you have someone to talk to. So if you are in a situation like this, talk to someone and if you can’t find someone, talk to God, he will send you someone to talk to and give you peace.

Also, be a friend (put judgement and idealistic beliefs aside); you never know, you may just be saving a life.




Posted by on January 31, 2014 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , ,

8 responses to “A SILENT KILLER…

  1. sholz

    January 31, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Wow!!so. sad

  2. Ormainy

    February 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    What can I say? I had a situation this morning and I kept thinking about this lady and how she died at home all by herself. The thought gave me the extra push I needed to get up despite my pain and weakness. I sure know what it feels like to die alone.. It is not a good feeling. Everybody should have a support system, it’s very important. If I didn’t have that? Who knows… Don’t isolate yourself so much to the point that you are only one you can count on. Everybody needs somebody, nobody needs nobody. Great article girl!

    • journalofacomplexmind

      February 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      @ Ormainy, since I know about the situation this morning, I totally understand and yes, everyone needs somebody. Thanks for the comment

  3. lunartsd

    February 3, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    What a sad story! To live alone is bad enough, to die alone is a tragedy. But to live and die alone and not be missed by anyone, family or friends, for 3 years is quite possibly the saddest story ever. To think that she could have remained there another 3 years, if the council hadn’t moved to repossess the flat.

    The fact that the TV remained on for 3 years makes one wonder, though…

    • journalofacomplexmind

      February 3, 2014 at 9:22 pm

      @ Lunartsd, I know right. It breaks my heart just thinking about it. Many thing about the circumstances of her life and dead is a mystery and one can’t help but wonder. But like I said, wondering really wouldn’t rewrite the story, so why bother?

      On a lighter note, its good to have you back.

      • lunartsd

        February 5, 2014 at 11:53 pm

        It’s great to be back, and yes, apologies for not being so active here for awhile. Accessing wordpress from a mobile device can be frustrating sometimes. Coupled with bad network, loading pages can take ages, when it works. Commenting requires tightly crossed fingers as well!

        Thanks for keeping the spirit alive and the info fresh! Hope to see more great posts this year.

  4. katelikestocreate

    February 4, 2014 at 12:17 am

    I hadn’t heard this story either – it’s so sad! It raises so many questions and shows what a lack of community there is these days…

    • journalofacomplexmind

      February 4, 2014 at 8:57 am

      Thanks for the comment.

      It most certainly does and hearing stories like this always helps in reminding us of the essence of friendship and family.


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