Jonathan Harker
  Published on July 5, 2021   
Now blogging on

Baltimore Cannibal Joseph Metheny Served His Victims As Hamburgers

Joseph Metheny was an American serial killer that chopped up his victims and served them to unknowing customers as hamburgers. Metheny preyed on drug-addicted women and prostitutes working in South Baltimore. Guards found him dead in his prison cell on August 5, 2017, of natural causes.

Joe Metheny Cannibal Serial Killer

Wrong Turn

Joe Metheny was born to a poor West Virginia family and was one of five siblings. Metheny claimed he was shuffled around foster homes as a child, however, his mother (which he also erroneously claimed was deceased) vehemently denied this claim.

Joe’s mother said he was a “normal boy,” friendly, and intelligent and that “We weren’t rich, but we always had something to eat and a roof over our heads. And I never went on welfare.”

Joe’s biological father was killed in a drunk driving accident when he was only six. The mother took charge of the family and raised her children to the best of her ability.

Metheny broke communication with his family in 1973 when he joined the Army and moved to his duty station in Germany. His mother would state, “He just kept drifting further and further away. I think the worst thing that ever happened to him was drugs. It’s a sad, sad story.”

Although his military records cannot be accessed by the public, he told his attorney that he became addicted to heroine while serving in Vietnam. It is unknown whether or not Metheny even served in the Vietnam war.

Upon exiting his military service, Metheny would drift around many homeless camps, work menial jobs, and be arrested for common assault, drunk and disorderly conduct, barroom fighting, and eventually, the murder to two women.

“A Very Busy Night”

Metheny claims that his initial bloodlust started in July 1994 when his “crack-addicted ole lady” took their six-year-old son and left the family home to move in with another man. Metheny, who was a truck driver, was determined to hunt down his runaway wife, whom he heard was living under a nearby bridge.

Joe Metheny dumped many victims off the Patapsco Bridge

Out of rage, Joe Metheny killed two homeless people who were under the bridge as he was looking for his wife. “They were not there, but the two homeless motherfuckers they got high with were down there. They were passed out on some old stinking mattress and that’s where they were when I left, except they were dead from being chopped up.”

After he “mauled the two men with a woodcutter’s ax”, Metheny murdered two prostitutes who he attempted to get information from about his wife. Of one of these women Metheny claimed, “She acted like she didn’t know, so I beat the hell out of her and raped her ass then killed her.”

Joe Metheny leading detectives to one of his victims.

A fisherman who witnessed Metheny burying one body also succumbed to his murderous rage. He claimed, “I grabbed a steel pipe and ran down on him and laid his head wide open.” He dumped his body in the Patapsco River along with the other four murdered victims of the day.

Metheny told detectives it had been “a very busy night.”

Washing Out The Maggots

26-year-old victim Kimberly Spicer

Kimberly Spicer was twenty six years old when she stormed out of her mother’s house in late November. An argument ensued about Kim’s ongoing battle with drugs. She had just witnessed her aunt’s overdose on heroine and her mother was adamant on having her controlling her drug addiction.

Kimberly met Metheny on Washington Street in South Baltimore and was found stabbed to death on December 15th. Metheny was working as a forklift driver for a pallet company at 3200 James Street, and would use the surrounding areas to bury his victims.

Forty-five-year-old Catherine Magaziner was also found nearby the pallet factory. Catherine was found decapitated in which Metheny admitted to digging up the skull after six months. Metheny “washed out the maggots and made love to it.”

Human Hamburgers

The most shocking and macabre detail of the Joe Metheny case is him serving his victims as hamburgers at his roadside cafe. Metheny would “cut the meat up and put it in some Tupperware bowls then put it in the freezer.”

He then claimed to mix the victim's flesh with other animal parts. He said,

“I opened up a little open-pit beef stand. I had real roast beef and pork sandwiches. They were very good. The Human body taste was very similar to pork. If you mix it together no one can tell.”

Joseph Metheny was serving two life sentences without parole at the Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland when he was found dead in his prison cell on August 5th, 2017. Metheny was sixty-two years old.

Metheny said, “The word’s ‘I’m sorry’ will never come out, for they would be a lie. 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.”


Criminal Mind: The sickening serial killer who ‘put his victims into burgers’

Metheny vs. State of Maryland

Woman describes night of attack. She testifies that she feared she would die at the hands of Metheny

The Baltimore Sun: January 13, 1997

US serial killer who boasted of selling victims’ meat at roadside barbecue found dead

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