Joel Rifkin Serial Killer Home Finally Sells

joel rifkinSerial killer Joel Rifkin is said to have slaughtered some of his victims in the East Meadow, N.Y., home he shared with his parents, but that apparently doesn't bother the new owners who closed Feb. 24 on the sale of the notorious home, pictured left, and in the photo gallery below.

Identified only as a school teacher named Tracy and her fiance Jim, the buyers hope to finish raising their four children in this 1951-built home, they told Newsday.

"A house is a house. People die all the time in houses," said Tracy. "We're bringing all positive vibes ... no more bad."

Not everyone is so eager to live in the home of a serial killer, as AOL Real Estate previously reported about Rita and Anthony Bucklew in "Buyers Want Out of Serial Killer's Former Home."


If you side more with the Bucklews than with the buyers of Rifkin's house, you might want to check out "Is Listed Home a Crime Scene? How to Know Before You Buy," as there are ways potential buyers can discover the history of a home, or the "Fate of a Murder House."

But with the Rifkin home, the modified four-bedroom, two-bath ranch took just under a year to Search Homes for Sale See photos of homes for sale in your area and across the country on AOL Real Estate sell, which is pretty good given the rocky housing market, and the home's stigmatized past. Marketed as an "excellent handy man special," the 1,675-square-foot home was originally listed for $424,500 in May 2010. It was last listed for $334,998 and sold for $322,000 by listing agent Greg Berkowitz of Laffey Fine Homes Real Estate.

"It's a great house, and we got it for a great price," said Tracy.

There were one or two other potential buyers who reportedly in the past year made offers higher than $350,000, but backed out after they learned of the home's sordid history, reported AOL's East Meadow Patch.

The sale of the home, which has annual property taxes of $8,381, was prompted by the death of Rifkin's mother, Jeanne Rifkin, Newsday reports. His father, Ben Rifkin, died in 1987, four days after he was found unconscious in the kitchen after a failed suicide attempt. He had been suffering from prostate cancer.

Rifkin, now 52, makes his new home in Clinton Correctional Facility in Clinton County, N.Y. He was convicted in May 1994 of murdering nine women between 1989 to 1993, although he confessed to killing 17 women, mostly prostitutes (whose lives would've been just as valuable to their loved ones even if they had a different profession).

Rifkin was caught after authorities stopped his truck for a traffic violation in June 1993, and found a dead woman in the back. He was sentenced to 203 years to life in prison.

Prosecutors said at the time that Rifkin stored one of his victim's bodies in the home's one-car garage and that he murdered some of his victims in the basement. (See virtual tour of the Rifkin home from when it was listed.)

Rifkin's sister, Jan Tsistinas, still lives in East Meadow in a different home, reported Newsday. "Please don't," said the man who answered the phone there when a reporter from that paper called with questions about the sale.

AOL Real Estate left a message for Berkowitz, but did not hear back. However, other than verifying the sale price, the listing agent declined to give further details to a reporter at our sister site AOL News. "I've gone down this road already with [the media] and I'm not doing it anymore," he said.

Berkowitz directed further inquiries to Peter Hirschhorn, the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage employee who represented the buyer. Hirschhorn told AOL News he was "not allowed" to discuss the sale.

If Tracy and Jim ever decide that their new home needs a little cleansing, we know of a witch who makes house calls for just this sort of thing.



Sheree R. Curry
, who has slept many times in at least one home where a death occurred, is a three-time award-winning journalist who has covered real estate for six years. During her 20-year career, her articles have appeared regularly in the
Wall Street Journal, TV Week, and Fortune. She's been writing for AOL Real Estate since 2009 from a Minneapolis-area rental. She seeks a book publisher -- or at least a lender who'll give a reasonable mortgage rate to a self-employed mom.

More on AOL Real Estate:
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21 Comments

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David S.

Always found it odd that Rifkin's mother was completely unaware of what her son was doing in her own home. Good lord, was she deaf and blind? This man was letting dead women rot in her home....yet she claimed complete ignorance. Stunning. As to the home being sold, keep in mind it is just a house, made of the same materials most are.

March 06 2011 at 4:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
samantha

there is another house on log island syosset long island for sale its been on the market about 1 year there was a double homicise in this residence this nhomicise needs to be revealed to potential buyers its the law if someone passes in a house that doesnt need to be disclosed this home should be a knock down and redone

March 06 2011 at 2:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JUDY

There is no house grand enough or cheap enough to entice me to buy it and live there, where a heinous crime against humanity has been committed. I don't have to have the "American Dream" that badly. The woman is in so much denial that I wonder about who SHE is.

March 06 2011 at 1:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jay love

pretty weird people, I also thought it sounds as if they intend to write a book about their experience there?

March 06 2011 at 1:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
matt

Is listing agent Greg Berkowitz any relation to New York City serial killer David Berkowitz (aka Son of Sam)?

March 05 2011 at 9:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nonyabusiness

are you kidding me?!?!, this place should have been burnt to the ground or bull dozed!!

March 05 2011 at 8:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
g0phukyourselves

pictrure #15 if you look on the right side of the window there is a face and what looks like a person standing there on the wooden wall. NICE.

March 05 2011 at 8:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to g0phukyourselves's comment
Tracey Furtado

I saw that too.

March 05 2011 at 11:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe Observantsob

Serial killer Joel Rifkin's house is sold by a guy named Berkowitz? Maybe it would have been a good idea by the Rifkin family to hire someone WITHOUT the last name of another N.Y, serial killer?

March 05 2011 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dino

This couple has the right attitude. They are bringing positive vibes into the house, and not focusing on the past. Not to mention, they probably got a huge discount on the house. As an adult I visited my mother in a different state, and slept in the same bed my father had died in. No one else in the family would do that. But hey, I had good memories of my dad, we had had a wonderful relationship, and I was honored to sleep in the same bed he died in. It goes to how we feel about death-our own and the deaths of others.

March 05 2011 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dino's comment
Susan

Your dad wasn't a serial killer who buried his victims around that house. There's a BIG difference.

March 05 2011 at 9:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nick

this scum ,should die a slow death. now this scum is has to get fed get health care taking years before some laywer start with his chid hood days of slavery.............this country is sick it dosent happen in italy sweeden and on and on.......to women who want to marry killers they should be sent to an island off the coast of anartica.

March 05 2011 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply