This week on Investigation Discovery, The Lost Boys of Bucks County looks at the chilling murder of four young men at a farm in Solebury Township in Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia.
In the first week of July in 2017, Dean Finocchiaro, age 19; Thomas Meo, 21; Jimi T. Patrick, 19; and Mark Sturgis, 22, were all reported missing by their families.
A few days later, Cosmo DiNardo, then aged 20, confessed to police officers that he had murdered and buried all four men at his parent’s farm. He was assisted in three of the murders by his second cousin, Sean Katz.
DiNardo was picked up by police when he attempted to sell Meo’s car. When the police then tracked Finocchiario’s cellphone to the farm, DiNardo agreed to give a full confession.
DiNardo had lured all the men to the farm with the promise of being able to buy marijuana. The first victim was Jimi Patrick, who came to the farm on July 5. After it became clear Patrick didn’t have enough money to purchase the agreed amount of drugs, DiNardo shot him dead.
The second victim, Dean Finocchiaro, was shot two days later by both DiNardo and Katz, in what DiNardo described as a robbery.
Mark Sturgis and Thomas Meo were killed a few hours later when they also turned up to buy marijuana. Meo was still alive after being shot, and as DiNardo had run out of bullets, he ran over him with a backhoe. He buried Sturgis, Meo, and Finocchiaro in the same 12-foot deep grave.
Cosmo DiNardo couldn’t explain why he killed the four men
A motive for the killings has never been adequately determined.
Towards the end of his confession, DiNardo broke down in tears, “I don’t know why I did this s**t man,” he blubbed. “I threw my life away for nothing. My life’s done,” he added, “for nothing.”
Sean Katz claimed he shot Finocchiaro because he was afraid of DiNardo, who had apparently threatened his family.
On May 16, 2016, Cosmo DiNardo entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences.
In November 2019, Sean Kratz was finally found guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of Finocchiaro; he was also found guilty of manslaughter in the case of Sturgis and Meo. He was sentenced to life in prison.
More from Investigation Discovery
Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on ID.
Catherine Mehaffey-Shelton shot her ex-lover Gary Taylor in the back in a real-life case of fatal attraction; despite being injured, he managed to escape. Mehaffey-Shelton’s husband, George Tedesco, had previously been killed in mysterious circumstances.
Sara Williamson Raras was engaged in a brutal custody and divorce battle with her husband Lorenzo when she was found stabbed to death in her home. Her killer would turn out to be her mother-in-law Emilia Raras; the 64-year-old grandmother was allegedly angered at Sara’s perceived disrespect.
The Lost Boys of Bucks County airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.
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