Baltimore serial killer Joe Metheny started out looking for his runaway wife and son but ended up murdering as many as 13 people. His story is explored.
There are as many serial killers in U.S. crime history than you ever thought.
One Cannibalist and rapist of them is Joe Metheny. He turned his victims into “human hamburgers” and sold them to unsuspecting customers.
Joe, who targeted women in the Baltimore area of the USA and had a history of drug or alcohol issues, claimed he murdered around 13 people but evidence of only three murders committed by him has been found.
Joe Metheny had always been rough. He endured a childhood of neglect with an absent, alcoholic father and a mother forced to work extra shifts to support her six children.
He was arrested on December 15, 1996, after embarking on a killing spree that spanned 20 years from 1976 to 1996.
However, he was reported dead on August 5, 2017, in Western Correctional Institution, Maryland, United States after leaving a chilling last words in a note he wrote in his cell.
Here’s what we know about the sick killer and his crimes.
Who was Joe Metheny?
Joe Metheny – real name Joseph Roy Metheny – is one of America’s serial killers and rapists in the U.S. crime history.
He lived in the Baltimore, Maryland area with his wife and child.
Metheny often called ‘Sloppy Joe’ is the world’s fattest serial killer.
The man sold BBQ on the roadside for a living but a twisted turn indicated he used human remains he had murdered as his meat.
The murderer’s crime spans 20 years from 1976 to 1996.
While he claimed to have killed 13 people, sufficient evidence was only found to convict him of two murders. Research later confirmed 3 more victims, though he had not been charged with them.
Who are Joe Metheny’s parents?
Joe Metheny was born on March 2, 1955, in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
The name Joe Metheny’s mom is Jean Metheny but his father’s name is not known.
The killer had a poor upbringing and wasn’t under the care of his parents. His mom who worked double shifts as waitress, barmaid, and food truck driver, outside their hometown mostly neglected her children as she was much more focused on her work. His dad was an alcoholic who was killed in a car accident when Metheny was six, and he suffered depression. Metheny said that his parents often sent him to live with other families in “foster-like” arrangements.
While not much is known about Metheny’s educational background, his mom had said that he was an above-average student, always polite, and not mean as a child. She said that “he was smart and had a good childhood. If he was neglected, it was his own fault. It was a pretty good home.”
The neglect from his mother and his dad’s death led him to start a life of crime and get addicted to drugs.
He claimed he left home to serve in the army and travelled to Germany and Vietnam.
While in Vietnam, Metheny said he discovered crack cocaine and got hooked on heroin although no confirmation of him actually serving in Vietnam has ever been recorded.
Did Joe Metheny have any siblings?
Joe Metheny had five siblings. The names and ages of his sisters and brothers are not known to date.
Metheny didn’t only alleged his mother neglected him and his siblings but falsely claimed that his mother was dead.
His mother said that they were somewhat poor and she had to work hard as a waitress, barmaid, and food truck driver, but she had provided her children with a normal family life, and the children had never gone hungry or been put into homes of other families as Metheny had claimed.
What did Joe Metheny do?
Sloppy Joe chopped up his victims and sold them as roadside barbecue meat in a chilling real-life nightmare.
Metheny admitted to going on crazy killing sprees targeting prostitutes and drug addicts before turning them into “weird but delicious” sandwiches in Baltimore, US.
“Sloppy Joe” also made it clear that he had no regrets over his actions and “enjoyed” murdering innocent people.
In the mid 1990s in a drug ridden Baltimore, the 450lbs twisted individual lived in a trailer near to the pallet factory he worked at.
He would prey on women who were “easy targets” and usually found girls at bars to take home, drug and kill.
One of these victims was Cathy Ann Magaziner, 39, who was led back to his isolated trailer after a night of drinking and offered drugs.
He had sex with her and strangled her with an extension cord before she was beheaded and dumped into a cardboard box.
The rest of her body was buried in a shallow grave next to his house, with his other victims.
Years before his final kills he was arrested over the axe murders of two homeless men under a bridge who were high on drugs.
Metheny was trying to find his ex-lover and her new pimp boyfriend who had run away together, taking his child from him.
He received a tip that they were under a bridge getting high and went to find them.
They weren’t there but his thirst for revenge continued as he hacked away at the two men before allegedly killing another two drug-addled women for not helping him find his wife.
The charges were dropped after 18 months in prison due to a lack of evidence and the predator was back out on the streets.
How did Joe Metheny get caught?
Joe Metheny was tipped off by two people, one is his escaped victim and the other his friend.
He kidnapped Rita Kemper on December 8, 1996, and attempted to rape her. According to prosecutors, he shared drugs with Kemper in the trailer where he was living at the pallet factory site. She refused to have sex with him and ran out of the trailer, so he chased her, beat her, dragged her back into the trailer, and then pulled down her pants and attempted to rape her. Kemper said he had attempted to murder her, saying: “I’m going to kill you and bury you in the woods with the other girls.” She escaped through a window of the trailer and fled to police officers in the area.
Another victim was Metheny killed Kimberly Lynn Spicer who he stabbed to death with a knife in mid-November 1996.
Metheny then asked a friend to help him bury the body of Spicer which he had been hiding at the factory site since killing her a month earlier. The friend reported it to the police on December 15, 1996, and Metheny was arrested and charged with her murder the same day. The owner of the business was arrested with Metheny as they left a Christmas party and was charged as an accessory after the fact for allegedly disposing of evidence.
Metheny began confessing to other murders, as well as that of Spicer. He led police to the shallow grave where he had reburied Magaziner’s decapitated remains. Much of the skull was missing, but the police were able to identify Magaziner from dental records.
After being arrested for a second time, he pleaded guilty to murdering Spicer and Magaziner, and begged the jury for the death penalty.
He added he would never say sorry as that “would be a lie.”
He told court: “I am more than willing to give up my life for what I have done, to have God judge me and send (me) to hell for eternity.”
When investigators asked Metheny why he killed her, he said: “Sense of power. I don’t know, vulnerable. I dreaded, just – I got a very – got a rush out of it, got a high out of it. Call it what you want. I had no real excuse why other than I like to do it, I don’t know how to describe it.”
Joe Metheny’s life in prison
Metheny wrote a lot in prison and was happy to tell people about his heinous crimes.
The morbidly obese killer even admitted to more kills than the police had linked him to.
He was only convicted of two murders: Magaziner, and Kathy Spicer, 23.
But according to WJZ he confessed to as many as ten more sickening murders.
His two formal convictions involved him butchering women’s bodies believed to be Magaziner and Spicer and cutting off the meat from their bodies to store in his freezer.
The diabolical tale ended with Metheny admitting to turning it into his “special meat”, mixing it with pork mince to create burgers and sandwich fillings that he went on to sell at a pop up roadside BBQ van every weekend.
He wrote in a chilling note: “The human body tastes very similar to pork. If you mix it together no one can tell the difference.”
What happened to Joe Metheny?
He was sentenced to death, but it was later reduced on an appeal to two life sentences without parole.
Metheny was found dead at 62 in his cell at a Maryland prison in 2017.
But the twisted killer left the public with an eerie warning before he died.
He said: “So the next time you’re riding down the road and you happen to see an open pit beef stand that you’ve never seen before, make sure you think about this story before you take a bite of that sandwich.
“Sometimes you never know who you may be eating,” the killer’s last words read.