Published On: Wed, Nov 1st, 2017

Cannibal Joseph Oberhansley unfit to stand trial in Tammy Jo Blanton murder

The “Cannibal killer” accused of killing his girlfriend, Tammy Jo Blanton, and eating her lungs, heart and brain has been declared unfit to stand trial.

Joseph Oberhansley, 36, slaughtered Blanton,46, after breaking into her home and used an electric saw to open her skull, eating her brain and mutilate her body.

Oberhansley is charged with murder, rape and burglary at Tammy Jo Blanton’s home in Jeffersonville, Indiana, in September 2014.

Joseph Oberhansley

He is also accused of dismembering and consuming parts of her body and could face the death sentence if convicted, but now a judge has ruled Oberhansley is unfit to stand trial after hearing from three doctors who examined him.

“He is suspicious, paranoid, uncommunicative, and agitated,” they wrote, adding there was a “complete breakdown” in communication between them and Oberhansley.

Police said that Oberhansley has confessed to the grisly crimes, including “cooking a section of her brain and eating it” and police found a “plate with what appeared to be skull bone and blood” on it and a pair of tongs with blood on them in the bin.

Oberhansley now repeatedly denied the charges and told a judge he wanted to fire his lawyers, who in turn said Oberhansley was not competent enough to understand proceedings.

Clark County prosecutor Jeremy Mull told the Courier-Journal: “I had hoped that it would be tried before now. But my main priority is getting a verdict that is going to stand, that is going to survive appeal.”

An autopsy revealed she died from multiple stab wounds and parts of her heart, lungs and brain were missing.

At the time of the murder, Oberhansley was free on parole for fatally gunning down his girlfriend Sabrina Elder, 17, in  a drug-fueled jealous rage in 1998.

When he arrived in a prison in 2000, he had a bullet lodged in his brain, and chose two words to tattoo across his back: “murderous deeds.”

“The system should have been paying attention, considering he has a history of extreme violence,” said Jeremy Mull, Clark County’s deputy chief prosecutor said in 2014.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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