Joseph Oberhansley: Indiana 'cannibal killer' who raped and murdered ex before eating her sentenced to life

The 39-year-old broke into 46-year-old Tammy Jo Blanton's house in 2014 and murdered her

                            Joseph Oberhansley: Indiana 'cannibal killer' who raped and murdered ex before eating her sentenced to life
Joseph Oberhansley (Clark County Sheriff's Office)

JEFFERSONVILLE, INDIANA: Joseph Oberhansley, who was was found guilty of raping and murdering his ex-partner before eating her body parts, has been sentenced to life. The 39-year-old was told by a judge that he won't ever get out of jail to see the world as he was imprisoned for the brutal murder of Tammy Jo Blanton. Oberhansley killed Blanton in 2014 before eating her body parts. Her dismembered body with over 25 sharp force injuries and several blunt force injuries was discovered by investigators six years ago on September 11 in Jefferson, Indiana.

They discovered the parts of the victim's skull on a dinner plate beside a skillet and a pair of tongs covered in blood, while the rest of her body was found in a bath. Police said that the 46-year-old victim was sexually abused during the assault. Oberhansley was then charged with burglary, rape, and murder. The crime scene discovery also included a bloody butcher knife, steak knife, and a frying pan, The Sun reported.

At a hearing in September, Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said: “Six years ago that lady met a fate that’s very difficult to describe. And she met that fate at the hands of this man, Joseph Oberhansley." During the same hearing, jurors were also warned that the photos and evidence found at the crime scene were “worse than anything you would see in a horror movie."

According to reports, the convicted cannibal in a recorded police interview initially admitted to the killing and confessed that he ate the organs of the victim. Oberhansley also gave his reasons for cannibalism and said Blanton "was already dead". But later, he changed his version and claimed two men who were already in Blanton’s house when he arrived there killed her. He also insisted that the men attacked him and as a result he fell unconscious. Oberhansley said he only regained consciousness when officers responded to the victim’s house for a welfare check after she did not go to work.

Oberhansley has also been ordered to serve an additional six years concurrently for burglary by Clark Circuit Judge Vicki Carmichael since he broke into Blanton’s house to slaughter her. Earlier, prosecutors sought the death sentence for the criminal, but in 2019, it was dropped. It has been said that when Oberhansley murdered Blanton, he was on parole for fatally shooting his 17-year-old girlfriend Sabrina Elder in 1998 in a drug-fueled jealous rage. Not just that, he was also responsible for shooting his mother and sister to death before turning the gun on himself and shooting under his chin to give himself a "partial lobotomy".

Initially, he was found mentally not competent in October 2017 to be tried and was hospitalized for more than six months at Logansport State Hospital. But he was released back to police custody after a doctor from Logansport filed a report certifying that Oberhansley was competent. Based on the doctor's report, in November 2018, a judge decided that Oberhansley was fit to stand trial.

In another incident, a Ukrainian father-son pair was given 15 years behind the bar for beheading a former policeman and cooking his body parts. Reports stated that Maxim and Yaroslav Kostyukov, 42 and 21, were drinking with the 45-year-old victim identified as Yevgeny 'Zhenya' Petrov. However, when an argument escalated, the younger criminal held the victim from behind while his father stabbed him. After the murder, they then cut Petrov’s head and also took out the flesh from his lifeless body along with his heart, kidneys, liver, and other internal organs. They also cooked the organs and fed it to a homeless man called Yura at their house.

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