"How's it hanging?" was an expression used in 1985, meaning "how are things going with you?".
The phrase was a double entendre, and depending on the intonation, could be a sincere greeting or a form of contempt toward the addressee. Douglas J. Needles was still using this as a conversation starter thirty years later in 2015.
In both 1985 and 2015, Needles' use of the greeting was insincere and part of his own manipulative behavior.