Joseph Hartley

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Joseph Hartley
Born Joseph Timothy Hartley
(1902-12-25)December 25, 1902
Racine, WI
Died August 30, 1955(1955-08-30) (aged 52)
Martini Farm
New Prairie, WI
Cause of death Decapitated
Killer Dark Killer
Occupation Real Estate Agent

Joseph Hartley was a real estate agent who purchased the Martini Farm but was held hostage by the Dark Killer.


A successful real estate man who moved to New Prairie in 1954 and purchased the long abandoned Martini Farm. Having no previous knowledge of the house’s history, he planned on expanding and cleaning it up before reselling it on the market. The movers fled the house before completely unloading everything in it.

Joseph hired a construction crew to work on the house, but in the month of August, the crew was frightened away, leaving Joseph to finish the construction himself. Joseph claimed to never experience any of the “haunting” events of the house, though as time went by, the townspeople started seeing less and less of Joseph. By the summer ’56, the construction on the house was only half finished.

Joseph wasn't seen again until 1958 when, after a missing teen showed up at the New Prairie Police Department, the police found his decapitated at the Martini Farm. The teen claimed he witnessed the Dark Killer do the murder.

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