36-year-old Joseph Oberhansley is the kind of murderer people have nightmares about. In 2014 in Indiana, Oberhansley murdered and ate his ex-girlfriend, Tammy Jo Blanton. In order for him to do that, no one doubted that he had a screw loose. So in October 2017, he was considered mentally incompetent to stand trial. But since that decision, there has been a twist, and now doctors have changed their tune.
Because Oberhansley has been getting the best mental health treatment the prison system can provide, his mental faculties have been “restored.” A psychiatrist determined that he was now mentally competent and was transferred from the psych ward to prison where he now prepares to stand trial.
Last week, prosecutors held a pre-trial hearing. At that Oberhansley’s attorneys asked the judge to delay the trial for a month so they could have enough time to form their own opinion about their client’s mental health.
Although Tammy Jo Blanton’s family hopes her murderous ex-boyfriend is deemed fit to stand trial, the ultimate decision will be the judge’s.
The murder happened like this. Oberhansley broke into the home of his 46-year-old ex-girlfriend. He then raped and murdered her. After she was dead, he proceeded to eat parts of her body.
The murder and cannibalism occurred in 2014. And only in 2017 did he get his case before the judge. The defense attorneys ordered the competency evaluation because he was unable to understand the court process.
“He is suspicious, paranoid, uncommunicative, and agitated,” his defense attorneys wrote. They claimed there was a “complete breakdown” in communication with Oberhansley. Three doctors evaluated him, and he was then declared incompetent. A history of mental disorders riddles his past. He was previously classified as having a severe psychological disorder. And he was ordered to undergo “competency restoration” so he could be tried at a later date.
Oberhansley faces the charges of murder, rape, and abuse of a corpse.
Readers of the Daily Mail contributed their reactions to this case. One person named Madeline from Baltimore had intimate knowledge about this man’s violent history.
“This monster shot his 17-year-old girlfriend to death while high on meth, shot his mother in the back, fired a gun at his sister, then shot himself under the chin, leaving a bullet in his brain and effectively giving himself a lobotomy. He served only 12 years in prison then was shockingly released on parole! His mother advocated for his release. Two years later he killed his ex-girlfriend right after she broke up with him because she thought he was too controlling. Unfortunately, his criminal past, the bullet in his brain, and the ‘murderous deeds,’ tattoo on his back that he got in prison were not enough to deter her from dating him. She thought he had changed. Ladies, there are worse things than being alone (such as being killed and eaten by your ex).”
“That poor woman. If this were my sister or my daughter, it would be so difficult even thinking about her ending.”
What is your reaction to this man’s crimes?