One of the most chilling scenes in the film Hannibal is where the serial killer Hannibal Lecter opened the skull of political hopefull Paul and cooked part of his brain before a drugged agent Starling. Tragically, this scene played out in real life with the murder of Tammy Jo Blanton.
In September of 2014, her ex-boyfriend Joseph Oberhansley broke into her home, assaulted and stabbed Tammy Jo to death. Then, using a jigsaw, he removed part of her skull. After that Joseph carved out a cannibal feast from her body. He cooked and ate part of her brain, heart, and lung.
A Bomb Waiting To Blow
Police found Tammy Jo’s body in the bathtub of her home, covered in a tarp. There were bone fragments found in the kitchen as well as remains. Police brought Joseph in for questioning, a process he was all too familiar with. In fact, he’d had a long history of violent crimes.
When the murder of Tammy Jo was being committed, Oberhansley had been on parole for shooting another girlfriend to death in 1998. He’d also shot both his mother and sister in a previous altercation before injuring himself as well.
While speaking with police Joseph confessed to the killing and cannibalism. Joseph’s lawyers put forth the defense that Oberhansley is insane, a defense that he himself has denied. He claims that the police never found the actual murder weapon, that he couldn’t have done it with the small knife they’d found, and that he took offense at being portrayed as mentally unwell. Joseph Oberhansley delivered all of this in a 10-minute rant during a pretrial hearing. He is set for trial on August 19th, 2019.
(All people are considered innocent until proven guilty, this article will be updated as the case is ongoing)
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(If you enjoyed reading about Joseph Oberhansley, feel free to check out other killers in my Human Monsters category.)