A true crime channel has produced a TV episode about a man who killed multiple people and held his ex-girlfriend’s family hostage during a four-day standoff with police in Dundalk in March 2000.
Part of the Investigation Discovery series “Your Worst Nightmare,” the episode depicts the relationship between a single mother named Tracy Whitehead and a serial womanizer named Joseph “Joby” Palczynski.
Palczynski, a 31-year-old unemployed electrician, had a long history of seducing young women – usually minors – and then threatening them and their families when they attempted to leave him. Whitehead, the last of his girlfriends, was also the oldest. She was 20 when they met.
Two years later, after Whitehead left him, he kidnapped and raped her at gunpoint and killed three people who tried to help her. He also shot and killed a fourth victim the next day. After Whitehead escaped him, Palczynski went after her family. He broke into an apartment where Whitehead's mother lived with her boyfriend and his son, holding them hostage. Police killed Palczynski when officers stormed the apartment four days later. Whitehead's family was unharmed.
Whitehead recounts the experience in the episode, entitled “The One That Got Away.” It is available for viewing online.