Joe Metheny: the serial killer who made his victims into hamburgers.
Ironically known in the 90s as “Tiny”, as he was tall and overweight, Joe Metheny’ story began with the search for his runaway wife and son, but ended up on a revenge-driven killing spree and turning his victims into burgers. He held a steady job as a forklift driver and was universally described as intelligent, well-spoken, and very well-mannered, even if he murdered Cathy Ann Magaziner in 1994, a 39-year-old prostitute, and buried her body in a shallow grave on the site of the factory where he worked. The body remained there for more than two years, and he later said that he had strangled her and that he dug up her corpse six months later, put her head in a box, and threw it in the trash.
When the police arrested him, in December of 1996, they expected him to put up a fight. Instead a detailed and upfront confession came, the brutality of which was preceded by his own warning: “I’m a very sick person.”
In his confession, Metheny described to police how he, driven by an insatiable need for revenge, viciously raped, murdered, and dismembered drug-addicted prostitutes and homeless people while on a quest to find his runaway wife.
A pretty awful story, do you agree?
Well, the murdering and dismembering weren’t the worst of his crimes. Rather than bury or hide his victims, Joe Metheny chopped them up, mixed them with pork, and served them as burgers to unwitting customers from his roadside barbecue stand in Maryland.
And the murders had started about two years before he was arrested.
The reason? When his drug-addled wife took their son and left him, he flew into a rage, spending days looking for them, checking random houses, and even under a bridge where he knew his wife used to do drugs.
There, he found not his wife, but two homeless men, Randall Brewer and Randy Piker, whom he believed did drugs with his wife, and when they gave no indication that they knew where her and son were, he killed them both with an axe.
After killing them, he noticed a fisherman nearby who could have seen what he’d done. Just in case, Metheny killed him as well.
Even though he would later turn his victims into hamburger, these were personal murders, and as soon as he realized what he’d done, he panicked and tossed the bodies into the river to hide any evidence.
He was soon arrested for the murders of the homeless men and spent a year and a half in the county jail awaiting a trial in which, however, he was acquitted.
Thanks to his quick thinking in hiding the bodies, there was no physical evidence he had killed the two men and now free, Metheny resumed his quest of seeking out his missing wife and son.
Though he had spent a year and a half awaiting trial, shortly after being released, Metheny murdered two prostitutes, though this time he’d had a better idea for disposing of their bodies. It seemed that he was now murdering people for boredom, as much as for revenge.
Instead of tossing them in the river, in memory as his recent bad experience in the jail, Metheny brought the bodies home. There, he dismembered them and stored the meatiest parts of them in his freezer, burying the unusable parts in a truck lot owned by the pallet company he worked for.
Back home, he mixed the prostitutes’ flesh with a mixture of beef and pork, forming it into little patties. Over the next several weekends, he would sell these little patties out of a small barbecue stand opened for the occasion on the side of the road.
For weeks, unwitting passers-by, truckers, and townies would all consume bits of human flesh.
Upon his arrest, Metheny told police that no one had complained about the meat. In fact, no one seemed to notice that his burgers had a little something extra in them.
“The human body tastes very similar to pork,” he said. “If you mix it together no one can tell the difference.”
Whenever he needed more “meat” Metheny would simply venture out and find another vagabond. According to his confession, he killed 10 people, though authorities say there’s no reason to believe he would’ve stopped there had he not been arrested.
Eventually he was caught in 1996, when a would-be victim managed to escape Joe Metheny’s clutches and went to police. He was found guilty and sentenced to death, which was overturned in 2000 and changed to two life sentences. In 2017, he was found dead in his prison cell.
During his interrogation, he willingly offered up a confession, and details about each of his murders, even mentioning the murder of the fisherman which he had gotten away with several years before. He also appeared to show no remorse for what he’d done, apart from one thing.
“The only thing I feel bad about in any of this, is I didn’t get to murder the 2 motherfuckers I was really after,” he said. “And that’s my ex ole lady and the bastard she got hooked up with.”
“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,” he warned. “Make sure you think about this story before you take a bite of that sandwich.”……Understand? Is it all clear?