Most people around the world are very familiar with “Jack The Ripper”. He was an unidentified serial killer active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888.
Trinidad and Tobago has now seen the emergence of a similar type of serial criminal in Joel Balcon. He’s now deceased after suffering multiple blunt force trauma while in police custody after being detained in connection with the murder of Andrea Bharatt. Several other women have now come forward recounting horrific incidents and have all positively identified Balcon as either attempting to rape or multiple assaults and rapes at his hands.
Many have also questioned how and why anyone becomes associated with such heinous behaviour, inflicting so much pain, suffering and carnage on unsuspecting women. Izzso media examines a few of these cases through the eyes and testimony of victims who have survived the attacks of Joel Balcon.
One of the women who spoke to Izzso media under the condition of anonymity was one we can consider lucky. Her ordeal started in simpler fashion to the now at least six women who have come forward and given horrific testimonies about having been either raped and assaulted by Joel Balcon, or having escaped his evil ways. We will call her “Sharon” (not her real name). She did not want to be identified because the attempted rape occurred over ten years ago and she has moved on with her life and does not want to be associated with this unfolding story as a victim.
Sharon’s story started like many others when she boarded a taxi in Arima. The taxi already had two other passengers, one female and one male. Sharon did not feel unsafe at first because of the other female the car. The male passenger exited the taxi first, followed five minutes later by the second passenger (the female). It was at this point that Sharon started feeling anxious. She asked the driver to take that main road route, to which he replied : “that route has traffic’ and he could get her to her destination faster. The situation too a more dire turn when he turned off route and told her that he was going to pick up a passenger in Wallerfield. She said she was not comfortable with that but he ignored her. She started screaming at him, she said he remained a cold calm. She said that it was at this point she realised she was in trouble and started hitting him with her handbag. She grabbed and punched him forcing him to pull over. At this point he grabbed her out of the car, punched her repeatedly until she was almost unconscious and jumped back int the car and drove off. Sharon was stunned and disoriented, she managed to drag herself up and walked for about 20 minutes to the main road where she was able to get the attention of a driver who saw that she was in distress. The driver who was in the company of his female friend drive her to the Arima police station, where she made an official report.
She was able to positively identify Balcon after his photographs were circulated in connection with the Andrea Bharatt abduction and murder case. She was absolutely sure that Joel Balcon was the person who tried to abduct her. She was also sure that she was going to be raped and possibly murdered, if she did not escape.
Another victim we spoke to was ‘Camille’. ‘Camille’s ordeal started early in January , about the first week in January she said crying when she told the story of having boarded a taxi after work late in the night. The driver picked up another man who seemed to know the driver as they began talking. ‘An uneasy feeling came over me as the car started moving out of the area.
She quietly asked the driver why he was moving in that direction’ and he ignored her, at that point she started fumbling with her phone to call her family. She knew she was in trouble when the other man in the back grabbed the phone and put a knife to her neck and told her to be quiet. She started to beg for her life, telling them she just had a baby and to please let her go.
Even reliving the experience is traumatizing for ‘Camille’ , she had to stop several times to catch her breath. During the journey she kept begging the men to please let her go to her child, they ignored her and took her to a guest house.
Her worst nightmare came to reality when the man she identified as Balcon took her to a room and repeatedly raped her for hours, sodomized her and in a bizarre twist ‘lay on top of her and slept’. He told her ‘if you move and wake me, I will kill you’.
She lay motionless for hours barely breathing, so as not to wake the monster lying on top of her, the monster who had just raped her.
It’s something you can imagine she said and all she could think of was getting home to her baby.
She continued telling the horrific ordeal where he woke up after some hours and raped her again. So how did she escape death? ‘Camille” begged and begged to be released for her child,s sake, and he…this monster relented.She was dropped off one day later in Arima, bruised and crying but
She in a daze, stumbled out of the car, but not before being warned: “if you report this to police I will find you and kill you”. He said he was and his ‘friends’ would easily find and kill her.“Camille” quickly walked away, asked a stranger she saw to use his phone and called her family, who had logged a missing persons report.They quickly came to her and took her to hospital where she related the horrific ordeal.
The nurses insisted she report the ordeal to police. She was still extremely traumatized and resisted initial until her family convinced her she was safe.