Kallinger married Hilda Bergman, and had two children with her.
Beginning in July 1974, Kallinger and his 13-year-old son Michael
went on a crime spree spanning Philadelphia, Baltimore and New Jersey.
Over the next six weeks, they robbed, assaulted, and sexually abused
four families and had murdered three people; they gained entrance to
each house by pretending to be salesmen. On January 8, 1975, they
committed another robbery/assault in Leonia, New Jersey, this time
killing a 21-year-old nurse named Maria Fasching who had walked into
the house to check on a bed-ridden family member.
Police began investigating Kallinger after gathering physical
evidence (a blood-stained t-shirt) and eyewitness testimony that he
and his son had been seen in the area. They soon found out about
Kallinger's history of domestic violence, Joseph Jr.'s unsolved death,
and a series of arsons targeted against buildings he owned.
Kallinger and his son were arrested on kidnapping and rape charges,
and eventually charged with three counts of murder in New Jersey state
courts. Kallinger pleaded insanity, claiming God had told him to
kill. He was found sane, however, and sentenced to life in prison
on October 14, 1976. Michael Kallinger, meanwhile, was judged to be
under his father's control, and sentenced to a reformatory. Upon his
release when he was 21, he moved out of the state and changed his
name. While in prison, Kallinger had made several suicide attempts,
including one time where he had attempted to set himself on fire.
Because of his suicidal and violent behavior, Kallinger was
transferred to a mental hospital in Trenton, New Jersey. He was
transferred to a mental hospital in Philadelphia on May 18, 1979.
Joseph Kallinger died of an epileptic seizure on March 26, 1996. He
spent the last 11 years of his life on suicide watch.