How Joseph Kallinger’s murder spree came to an end
On January 17th, 1975, Joseph Kallinger was arrested in New Jersey after a six week crime spree. His 13-year-old son was arrested at the same time. Kallinger was a particularly nasty serial killer who drowned his own son for insurance money. He also branded his daughter for running away (he was arrested for that crime but was found mentally incompetent).
The spree included crimes in Philadelphia, Maryland, and Lindenwold, New Jersey; the pair killed three people and sexually abused, robbed, and assaulted four families, according to Murderpedia.org. Kallinger also abducted and killed a boy in Philadelphia; his body was found sexually mutilated.
Their final murder was of a 21-year-old nurse in Leonia who interrupted the pair’s terrorizing of a family. The two had gained entrance by posing as salesmen. A bloody shirt left at the scene was traced to Kallinger and authorities arrested him and his accomplice son, Michael. By the time he was tried, he claimed that he had another personality, “Charlie,” who was responsible for the crimes. He also claimed to talk to the Lord every day. Michael was deemed to have been under the control of his father and was sentenced to reform school. When he got out, he changed his name and moved out of state.
Joseph was tried and convicted of nine felony accounts in Pennsylvania and, separately, of the murder in Leonia after being extradited to New Jersey. He was sentenced to 30-80 years in prison. He was later convicted of two more murders (including the murder of his own son). He was on suicide watch during the last eleven years he spent in prison after attempting to set himself on fire.
He died of a seizure in prison in 1996.
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