Pennsylvania law enforcement officials are blaming a small town serial killing rampage on the sale of small amounts of marijuana, according to a report from the New York Times. However, there does not appear to be any evidence showing that the supposed drug deals used to lure the victims to their untimely demise were anything more than a dangling carrot being carried by a couple of extremely twisted individuals.
Last week, a couple of 20-year-old men (Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Kratz) from the Doylestown area told police that they were, in fact, responsible for the deaths of the four young men who had recently disappeared from a Philadelphia suburb. The two cousins confessed that they had lured the victims individually out to a remote family farm on the promise of selling them marijuana. It was there that they shot, killed and disposed of the bodies.
Reports indicate that Kratz has an extensive criminal history that involves burglary, theft and other crimes. In addition, he was still dealing with two out of the three criminal charges he had been brought up on in the past three months at the time he was arrested for the murders.
DiNardo, who has been described by his own legal counsel as someone who suffers from mental illness and has had dozens of police encounters over the past several years, allegedly revealed to friends on multiple occasions his desire to kill and have people killed.
Yet, although the two young men were already headed down a progressive path into a criminal abyss—one that eventually turned them into cold-blooded serial killing machines—officials are trying to blame their grisly escapades on the sale of marijuana.
“Officials… had no explanation for the larger question of why relatively small-time drug transactions would set off a killing spree,” according to the Times.
Matthew D. Weintraub, the district attorney for Bucks County told reporters that he’s “not really sure if we could ever answer that question.”
In reality, prosecutors will never be able to connect the killing spree to the illegal drug trade because there is no connection.
While DiNardo and Kratz had been using “marijuana deals” to bait their victims, there is nothing in the reports to indicate the men ever had cannabis in their possession.
Furthermore, none of the killings seem to have any drug-related motive, especially not like those seen in situations where cartel members resort to violence to protect or gain territory. No sir, this was not a series of killings brought on by black market shenanigans.
The proof is in the details.
In one case, DiNardo convinced a former schoolmate (19-year-old Jimi Taro Patrick) that he would sell him “four pounds” of marijuana for $8,000. After the two got to the farm, Patrick confessed to only having $800, which caused DiNardo to switch gears and offer to sell him a gun instead.
It was during this deal that DiNardo shot and killed Patrick. He then used a backhoe to bury the body in a spot that was so remote that even police admit it would have been difficult to find without a confession.
A couple of days later, both DiNardo and Kratz agreed to sell “four ounces” of weed to 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro, but the deal never happened. Instead, the two lured him to the farm, shot him and burned his body in “the pig roaster.”
Later that night, the two set up another meeting to sell marijuana to 21-year-old Thomas Meo, who just so happened to show up at the farm with a friend, 22-year-old Mark Sturgis.
Much like the scenarios involving the other two victims, there was no pot deal, only a plot to commit murder.
DiNardo and Kratz reportedly shot the two men, one of them as he was running away. Reports show that they had run out of ammunition trying to kill Meo, so to ensure that he died, they crushed him with a backhoe before setting fire to both bodies.
In the end, it was a signal from one of the victims cell phones that led investigators to the farm.
Although the bodies of the four men were discovered, there are no reports of marijuana being found on the scene. Both suspects have been charged with multiple counts of murder, but neither has been charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Had there been “pounds” of marijuana stashed at the farm, police would have not missed an opportunity to reveal those details to the press.
It seems that DiNardo and Kratz never had any intention of selling marijuana, nor were these killings the vile outcome of a black market drug deal gone wrong.
The suspects had previous ties to the victims, so it is likely that the killings were the result of childhood revenge or something else entirely. Perhaps they were just thrill kills—the product of two dastardly criminal minds growing up bored and fucked up in small town America.
It is conceivable that the killings would have continued had the police not caught up with these violent fiends.