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“Dreams Of A Life” – An Investigation Into The Mysterious Life & Death Of Joyce Vincent

“Dreams Of A Life” - An Investigation Into The Mysterious Life & Death Of Joyce Vincent

An intriguing-looking project, titled Dreams Of A Life that just came across my virtual desk.

The short story goes… Joyce Carol Vincent was born in Hammersmith, in West London (UK) in 1965 to Lyris and Lawrence, a young couple from Grenada in the Caribbean.

By all accounts, she lived an average life, working corporate jobs for much of her life, living all over London.

In 2006, Joyce’s skeleton was discovered in her apartment, cause of death unknown. However, it was later determined that Joyce actually died 3 years earlier, in 2003, at age 38. So, essentially her skeleton was found in her London flat three years after she died. However, little to nothing was known about her at the time of her death.

This film is said to be “a quest to discover who she was,” essentially piecing back together the puzzle that was her life, and how she could have laid dead, forgotten in her apartment for 3 years, before being discovered.

It’s NOT a documentary by the way. Directed by Carol Morley, the film stars British actress Zawe Ashton, as Joyce Vincent. I wasn’t familiar with Ashton before today, but learned that she’s done a lot of mostly British TV – at least, that’s what her IMDB resume says.

The feature film, which was backed by Film4, the UK Film Council and the Irish Film Board, is said to be in post-production at the moment, with no release date specified.

I found a 2006 Telegraph article on Vincent, which tries to make sense of the young lady’s mysterious life and death. In it, the writer ponders many of the same things that I think a lot of us would in this case.

Here’s a snippet:

Joyce Vincent’s, I think, is one of the saddest stories you could tell: that of a 40-year-old woman so alone that, when she died in a London bedsit, her body lay there, amid half-wrapped Christmas presents, for two years before it was found.

They finally broke in and discovered her corpse only because – with her rent two years in arrears – the housing trust decided to repossess. Her identity was confirmed when they compared what they knew of her teeth with a photograph of her, smiling. For reasons that I find hard to articulate, this week’s reports of her death were all the bleaker for including the fact that, when they found the body, the television was still on.

You can read the rest HERE.

The only media I’ve seen thus far is the image you see above. No clips, no trailer… not yet anyway.

But I’ll be watching this. If any of our UK readers can shed some light, either on the film, or the real-life case it’s based on, please chime in below…

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Ed Ace.

Like everyone has said; its very sad and surprising that something like that happened. If only they obeyed God’s commandment “Love thy neighbour as thyself.”
I hope to see the movie.


I will be watching this as part of the London Film Festival screening. With a heavy heart no doubt.


If you read up on the story, there’s more to it. She was living in something akin to a Counsel flat — housing project in American terms. She was given the apartment due to a domestic violence situation she was in. People did notice the smell but contributed to the other goings-on in the building. Supposedly it was frequented by drug addicts and other transients. One report claims a maintenance person found the dead body of a man holding a bottle of liquor in the one of the corridors of her building.

So with that said, yeah, I believe the story. The saddest part of it, is that her brothers didn’t bother to check in or consider something could be wrong after not hearing from her for two years plus.

I’ve seen UK films that cover true stories or grim elements like this and they are really good (think 5 daughters and 5 days) I’m really looking forward to watching this, even though it’s pretty sad.


Definitely sad and disturbing. Definitely interested in seeing this, as well.

Sweet Hots

I agree with Bliss – this chick lived in an apartment, it seems to me that someone would have smelled a body decaying. Also, what landlord allows 2 years to go by with no rent? What electric company allows 2 years to go by without paying a bill? I’m not sure I believe this story. Maybe that’s how they do things in the UK, cause if that’s the case I’m moving there promptly so I don’t have to pay rent for 2 years.


A decaying body would have an extremely strong odor wouldn’t it? How could it go unnoticed in an apartment for that long? Makes me wonder if this story is true or some kind of urban myth.


Wow, this is disturbing as it is intriguing. It always stuns me that we think so little of our neighbors now that things like this can happen. And with the tv on?!?

Definitely would love to check this out.

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