The shoemaker who murdered his 14-year-old son and enlisted his other young kid in the murder of a nurse has died in prison. On March 26, Kallinger, who claims he killed his kid and a 10-year-old neighbor 20 years ago on God’s orders, committed himself in Cresson state prison.
Cambria County Chief Deputy Coroner Jim Zangaglia reported that Kallinger had a heart attack after choking on his own vomit. The Record of Hackensack, N.J., announced on Wednesday that the bearded, dark-haired murderer who detailed his life of crime in a book published in 1983 had died.
“The world is just a little better place, now that he’s dead,″ said Valerie Collins, whose sister, Maria Fasching, was among his victims. “But we as a family suffer to this day. We will never stop suffering.″
The 59-year-old Philadelphia shoemaker Kallinger had spent the previous five years in solitary confinement and on suicide watch.
Kallinger was found guilty of murdering 21-year-old nurse Fasching in Leonia, New Jersey, in 1975, after breaking into the home where she worked during a spree of armed robberies. While Kallinger took Fasching down to the basement and slit her throat, his son Michael remained upstairs with the captives.
Some days later, police apprehended both Kallinger and his son. The teen admitted to committing an act of armed robbery. Death came when Killinger was serving a sentence of 30–80 years for the December 1974 robbery of four ladies in the Harrisburg region.
“You are an evil man, Joseph Kallinger, and a violent criminal from whom society needs protection,″ Judge John C. Dowling said before imposing the sentence. “I say not evil just because of your crimes but because you actively involved a 12-year-old boy in these infamous deeds. To so corrupt your own son is utterly vile and depraved.″
After killing his 14-year-old son Joseph Jr. and a 10-year-old boy named Jose Collazo in 1974, Kallinger was sentenced to two life terms in prison. Only when he admitted to the murders in Flora Rheta Schreiber’s book, “The Shoemaker,” did he face charges. He said that God had commanded him to kill the lads.
For many years, Kallinger was a patient at the Pennsylvania institution for the criminally ill known as Farview State Hospital. After attacking another inmate with a belt studded with razor blades, he was transferred from Huntingdon State Prison to another facility.
In December of 1990, he was transferred to a facility with severe regulations called Cresson. Prison officials did not issue Kallinger a prison jumpsuit out of concern that he could attempt suicide. Instead, in his warm cell, he was only allowed boxer shorts. He had to eat with his hands from then on because he was forbidden to use any utensils after he attempted to swallow a spoon.
On March 25, a doctor making rounds noticed that Kallinger was having seizure-like symptoms and had him taken to the prison hospital. According to the reports, Jeff Rackovan was found unresponsive at 1 a.m. A heart attack was confirmed by an autopsy to be the cause of death.
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Joseph Kallinger Cause of Death
When a prison doctor making her rounds on March 25 noticed that Kallinger was having seizure-like symptoms, she had him taken to the prison hospital. Prison spokesperson Jeff Rackovan stated that when he was checked on again at 1:00 a.m., he was found to be dead. The autopsy results indicated that a heart attack was the direct cause of death.
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