Joseph Thoresen: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Joe Thoresen, Joseph Thoresen

Joseph Thoresen (Itasca County Sheriff’s Department)

A 35-year-old Minnesota man brutally killed and then beheaded his girlfriend’s accused rapist, police say.

Joseph Christen Thoresen of Grand Rapids was arrested in connection with the murder of 20-year-old David Haiman. Thoresen is accused of striking Haiman with a baseball bat, stabbing him in the lungs with a machete, and beheading him after Thoresen’s girlfriend claimed she was raped by Haiman.

Thoresen was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, and is being held on $2 million bail, WTOP reports.

Heavy spoke with a person who has known Thoresen for about 10 years.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Thoresen Is Accused of Cutting Off Haiman’s Head & Then Throwing It Into the Woods

David Haiman

David Haiman (Facebook/david.a.haiman)

David Haiman was reported missing June 25 after he failed to report to work, police said. He hadn’t been seen for five days, according to court documents. His head and torso were found the next day, police said.

Joseph Thoresen’s girlfriend told police she learned Haiman would be visiting the couple’s apartment and she became upset, according to the criminal complaint. She told Thoresen Haiman had sexually assaulted her.

You can read the complaint below:

After Haiman arrived, the girlfriend tied him up, punched him and broke his nose, according to the complaint. Detectives said the woman then untied Haiman, and Thoresen took over, repeatedly throwing punches at him while saying, “you shouldn’t have raped my girl.”

According to the complaint, the group left in Haiman’s car and drove to smoke marijuana and meth.

After driving into the woods, Thoresen and Haiman began arguing about car trouble, the girlfriend told police. Thoresen told another party he had Haiman check the oil.

He then hit him in the head with a baseball bat and stabbed him in the torso, police said. At this point, the girlfriend told police she tried stopping Thoresen, but he took out a large knife from Haiman’s belt loop and proceeded to decapitate him, according to the complaint. Thoresen then threw Haiman’s head and body into the woods, police siad.

Police believe the victim was killed on June 21.

2. He Was Arrested After a High-Speed Chase, But He Was Let Go After Police Found No Evidence of the Murder

Joe Thoresen (Facebook/joe.thoreson)

Joe Thoresen (Facebook/joe.thoreson)

According to the complaint, an officer tried stopping a vehicle because of an obstructed license plate and seat belt violation the evening of June 24. The driver refused to stop and led the officer on a high-speed chase before the driver and passenger got out of the car and fled on foot. They were later found and arrested. The passenger was Joseph Thoresen.

The driver told police that Thoresen forced him to drive at knifepoint. He also told authorities Thoresen confessed to him that he had killed the owner of the vehicle, David Haiman, several days prior, and then cut off his head with a machete.

Authorities found no evidence of the killing and let Thoresen go.

Two days later, on June 26, police returned to talk to the driver of the vehicle. He said after Thoresen drove to his home in Haiman’s car, he admitted to the murder. At first the driver didn’t believe Thoresen, however, he showed up a few days later with a bat covered in blood. He said he was afraid and burned the bat in a fire pit.

When investigators asked Thoresen about the grisly murder later the same day, he said he hadn’t been in contact with Haiman for weeks. However, authorities had records of a text message conversation between the two from June 20 that proved otherwise, and Thoresen was arrested, according to the complaint.

3. He Was in a Relationship With a Woman Who Shares the Same Last Name With the Victim

Joe Thoresen


A source who knew Haiman, and has known Thoresen for about 10 years, told Heavy that Thoresen had “many” Facebook accounts. On one account, it shows he was in a relationship with Brittany Haiman. The source, who spoke anonymously, said he believes Brittany was either a sibling or cousin of the victim, though some are saying she denies the relation and said their shared last names are merely a coincidence.

According to court documents obtained by The Daily Beast, Brittany Haiman was not the girlfriend who made the rape accusation. The girlfriend is identified in documents by the initials K.D.G.

On another Facebook account that shows more recent activity, Thoresen says he is in a relationship with a woman named Kay Greniger.

The source, who last saw Thoresen June 23, told Heavy that he is certain Thoresen was also still dating Brittany Haiman at the time of the murder. He said Thorsen was dating Greniger at the same time. “He had many girlfriends. Cuz he always partied and had drugs,” he said.

The source described Brittany as “flighty.” He said, “When you have a bunch of geese flying south and there’s only three of them in the back trying to catch up…she was one of the three.”

4. People Who Knew Him Said They Expected Something Like This to Happen ‘A Long Time Ago’

Joe Thoreson (Facebook/joe.thoresen)

Joe Thoreson (Facebook/joe.thoresen)

The source told Heavy that the news of Thoresen’s arrest didn’t come as a surprise to people who knew him. He described him as a “loose cannon ready to pop.” He continued:

He was a raging lunatic. I figured something like this would happen years ago because, when we went out to the bars, he would be about nine sheets to the wind. If anybody said anything to him…he could’ve killed someone right then and there. It doesn’t really surprise me or people who knew him. I knew it was going to happen. About six months ago he was going off on somebody and he just about put the poor guy in a hospital. He was off his chain. He was high on that meth.

Thoresen was also known to move often, and didn’t seem to live in any single place longer than a week, the source said.

5. A Source Who Knew Thoresen Questions Whether the Rape Accusation Was Truly the Motive for the Killing



In the 10 years or so that he has known Thoresen, he has only seen him sober “maybe four or five times,” the source told Heavy, saying meth was his drug of choice.

“The guy that was killed, he always had money on him. He always had about $200 on him, if not a little more, at all times. But he was a good kid. Only drug he ever touched was weed,” the man told Heavy.

He said the motive is really anybody’s guess and people are skeptical that Thoresen’s girlfriend was really raped. “It could’ve been for his car, his money, his valuables…anything,” he said.

This story will be updated as information becomes available.

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