Joe Metheny Isn't The Jersey Shore Thrill Killer; He Might Be Even Worse

Joe Metheny was a serial killer who gained a special notoriety because he claimed that he sold human barbeque sandwiches - comprised of his victim's remains - to unsuspecting consumers. If that doesn't get peoples attention, then what will? 

A Maryland correctional officer recently discovered Metheny's dead body in a prison cell. Since the report of Metheny's death hit the news, the media has plastered his face all over the internet. Except there is one problem: news outlets aren't posting a photo of Metheny on their websites. Instead, news outlets are sharing pictures of Richard Biegenwald, the serial killer responsible for the Jersey Shore Thrill Killer crimes, who murdered at least nine people in Monmouth County, NJ.

Metheny was a massive guy at the time of his conviction, and the photos of Richard Biegenwald, which news outlets continue to portray as Metheny, show a heavy looking Biegenwald, so the mix-up might just be chalked up to shoddy reporting. Neither killer could claim any libel because while the Richard Biegenwald murders are distinct from the killings that Metheny committed, both men were American murderers who left a trail of carnage and horror behind them. Read on to learn more about the crimes that separated these two men, yet eventually managed to draw them together by chance.

  • He Set Fire To His Home At The Age of Five

    Born on August 24, 1940, Richard Biegenwald had a rough childhood. Sources suggest that as a child, Biegenwald's father was an alcoholic. As a consequence, his father frequently beat Biegenwald. Maybe it wasn't an early indicator of a sense of justice, but as a result of his father's abuse Richard Biegenwald lashed out. At only five-years-old, Biegenwald set fire to his childhood home. Consequently, he was sent to live at the Rockland County Psychiatric Center in Orangeburg, NY.

  • Biegenwald Had Abnormal Pre-Pubescent Angst Even For A Serial Killer

    Nonetheless, living as a ward of New York State in the Rockland County Psychiatric Center seemed not only to fail to address Biegenwald's growing criminogenic needs, but it inspired him to act out at a young age. By eight-years-old, Biegenwald was drinking and gambling. At nine, Biegenwald underwent electroshock therapy, and he was sent to live at the State Training School for Boys in Warwick, NY. At his home in Warwick, Biegenwald tried his hand at thievery. Additionally, he often attempted to recruit other juvenile inmates to escape from the institution.

  • Merle Haggard Wasn't Singing About Biegenwald, But It Sure Sounds Familiar

    Merle Haggard Wasn't Singing About Biegenwald, But It Sure Sounds Familiar
    Photo: Pinterest

    While it's unknown if "Mama Tried," Biegenwald lived a criminal's lifestyle well before he turned twenty-one. When he was only eleven-years-old, Biegenwald visited his mother during a furlough. During one visit, he decided to light himself on fire. It took Biegenwald sixteen years to finish eighth grade, after which the boy's training school released him, and he entered high school. However, Biegenwal didn't make it too long in high school, and he dropped out and moved to Nashville, TN. While living down south, Biegenwald was arrested in the neighboring state of Kentucky by federal agents after he stole a car in Tennessee and got picked up in Kentucky.

  • He Murdered A Prosecutor, But He Received Parole

    By December 18, 1958, Biegenwald had returned to New York. On that date, he and an accomplice, passing through Bayonne, NJ, decided to rob a deli. Behind the deli counter was an attorney, Stephen Sladowski, who was moonlighting at the store that he had purchased for his wife. Biegenwald murdered the attorney during the holdup. After, Biegenwald fled New Jersey, and he was picked up in Salisbury, Maryland. Biegenwald received a life sentence for the crime, but he received parole after only seventeen-years for good behavior while incarcerated.

  • While On Parole, The Jersey Shore Serial Killer Dumped The Body Of A Young Girl Behind A Fast Food Restaurant

    While On Parole, The Jersey Shore Serial Killer Dumped The Body Of A Young Girl Behind A Fast Food Restaurant
    Photo: Monmouth County Superior Court / Murderpedia

    After his parole, Biegenwald attempted to live a straight life. In 1977, a woman accused Biegenwald of rape, and he also absconded parole. However, in August of 1982, Anna Olesiewicz disappeared. Witnesses placed her at the boardwalk in Asbury Park, NJ, before her disappearance. For five months Anna Olesiewicz 's parents wondered about her whereabouts and her safety. Unfortunately, on January 14, 1983, two minor boys found Anna's body hidden under dense underbrush in the wooded section of land behind a Burger King in Ocean Township, NJ. Authorities determined that Biegenwald murdered Anna Olesiewicz by shooting her to death.

  • Biegenwald's Roommate Revealed The Location Of A Third Victim

    On January 22, 1983, police surrounded Biegenwald's residence. There, authorities arrested him for Ms. Olesiewicz's murder. At the time of his arrest, Biegenwald shared his residence with Dherran Fitzgerald. When police questioned Fitzgerald, he led police to a third body, a young woman named Maria Ciallella, whom Biegenwald showed Fitzgerald before the two men transported her deceased body to Staten Island, NY. The two men buried her in Biegenwald's mother's backyard.