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Joyce Carol Vincent (1965–2003) was a British woman, of Caribbean and Indian descent, who died in 2003 in her bedsit flat in Wood Green, north London. Her body lay undiscovered for approximately three years, even though neighbours noticed the smell of decomposition. She had previously been in a shelter in Haringey for victims of domestic violence. She entered the shelter some time after 2001, when she left her well-paid job at Ernst & Young for reasons of which her colleagues remain unsure. She never took drugs and did not have a drinking problem. She was found fully decomposed, nothing left but a skeleton.
A film about Joyce, Dreams of a Life, written and directed by Carol Morley, with Zawe Ashton playing Joyce, was shown at the BFI London Film Festival in 2011 and released on 16 December 2011. Morley tracked down and interviewed people who had known Joyce. They described a beautiful, intelligent, socially active woman, "upwardly mobile" and "a high flyer", whom they assumed "was off somewhere having a better life than they were". During her life she met figures such as Nelson Mandela, Ben E. King, Gil Scott-Heron, and Betty Wright, and had also been to dinner with Stevie Wonder.
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