A british woman was found dead in her flat with her TV and air conditioning still running. She had been dead for 2 years before her corpse was discovered.

The film and Vincent’s life inspired musician Steven Wilson’s album Hand.

In 1985, Vincent began working as a secretary at OCL in the City of London.[1] She then worked at C.Itoh and Law Debenture before joining Ernst & Young.[2] She worked in the treasury department of Ernst & Young for four years, but resigned in March 2001 for unknown reasons.[1] Shortly afterwards, Vincent spent some time in a domestic abuse shelter in Haringey and worked as a cleaner in a budget hotel.[1] During this period, she became estranged from her family.[6] A source involved in the investigation said: “She detached herself from her family but there was no bust up.

As a victim of domestic violence, Vincent was moved into a bedsit flat above Wood Green Shopping City in February 2003.[9] The flat was owned by the Metropolitan Housing Trust and was used to house victims of abuse.[10] In November 2003, after vomiting blood, she was hospitalised at North Middlesex Hospital for two days due to a peptic ulcer.[11]

Vincent died of unknown causes around December 2003.[9] She was an asthma sufferer, and an asthma attack, or complications surrounding her recent peptic ulcer, have been suggested as a possible cause of death.[12] Her remains were described as “mostly skeletal” according to the pathologist, and she was lying on her back, next to a shopping bag, surrounded by Christmas presents she had wrapped but never delivered.[6] It is not known to whom the presents were addressed, and the police report regarding the case has been disposed of.[13]

The Metropolitan Housing Trust said that due to housing benefits covering the costs of rent for some period after Vincent’s death, arrears had not been realised until much later.[2] The Trust also said that no concerns were raised by neighbours or visitors at any time during the two years between her death and discovery of the body.[2]

Vincent’s remains were too badly decomposed to conduct a full post-mortem, and she had to be identified from dental records.[10] Police ruled death by natural causes as there was nothing to suggest foul play: the front door was double locked and there was no sign of a break-in.[12] At the time of her death she had a boyfriend, but the police were unable to trace him.[17] Her sisters had hired a private detective to look for her and contacted the Salvation Army, but these attempts proved unsuccessful.[4] The detective found the house where Vincent was living, and the family wrote letters to her.

A film about Vincent, Dreams of a Life, written and directed by Carol Morley with Zawe Ashton playing Vincent, was released in 2011.[1] Morley tracked down and interviewed people who had known Vincent.

Erase., would be based on the life of Vincent.[19] According to Wilson, he was inspired to create a concept album after seeing Dreams of a Life.[20] From the book that accompanied the deluxe release of the album it is clear that the central character is a highly fictionalised version of Vincent: she is born on 8 October 1978 to an Italian mother and dies or disappears 22 December 2014.

Miss Vincent[edit]


Source: Joyce Vincent