Pennsylvania killer lured four young men to his farm for weed. Their bodies were found in a pig roaster

Cosmo DiNardo was the son of wealthy parents and had previously received treatment for schizophrenia

DiNardo has pleaded guilty to murder charges in the gruesome killings of four young men whose bodies were found buried on a suburban Philadelphia farm
DiNardo has pleaded guilty to murder charges in the gruesome killings of four young men whose bodies were found buried on a suburban Philadelphia farm

A man declared “I am a savage” on social media, seven months before police say he lured four young men to his family's farm, gunned them down, ran one of them over with a digger and dumped three of their bodies in a pig roaster.

Cosmo DiNardo, 21, was the privileged son of wealthy parents who owned land in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, just north of Philadelphia, according to the county's District Attorney.

There, DiNardo rode quad bikes and shot guns, which his friends say he often sold to willing buyers. He also sold weed and customised Jordans and Nike trainers, which he sometimes photographed next to large bullets, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

But in 2016, according to court records, he was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility for treatment of schizophrenia, The Inquirer reported. He got banned from both his former high school and from Arcadia College, which he attended for just one term, due to unspecified strange or aggressive behaviour on campus. He started making strange Facebook posts, openly asking for sex and talking about going to taxidermy school.

Eventually, his friends told The Inquirer, he started talking about killing people and being a savage.

Earlier this week DiNardo pleaded guilty to murdering four young men whose July 2017 disappearances alarmed the suburban Philadelphia community and briefly stumped police - until DiNardo was caught trying to sell one of the victim's cars. Within days, he confessed to the killings.

He was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences.

His cousin, Sean Kratz, is charged with being DiNardo's accomplice and killing one of the men. He unexpectedly rejected a plea bargain and now may face the death penalty.

Ten months after the crimes, police still do not know the motive, not even after DiNardo's hour-long confession, which saw him describe matter-of-factly how over the course of three days he invited the four unsuspecting men to his family's farm to buy marijuana, then killed them the second they turned their backs.

The first man to go missing on 5 July was Jimi Taro Patrick, a 19-year-old business student on a full scholarship at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. DiNardo told the detective that Mr. Patrick was supposed to bring $8,000 (£5,900) to buy a “large quantity of marijuana” and meet him at the farm.

“So we get there, you know, and I said, OK, well let me see the $8,000 - let me see the money,” DiNardo said on the recording. “So I go to count the money, and there's 800 bucks there. So I'm like, dude, if you don't have the money, like this is horrible. This is not good for me.”

Instead, DiNardo told Mr. Patrick he could sell him a shotgun for $800 (£592). DiNardo handed him the gun. “He goes to shoot it,” DiNardo said. “And I shoot him.”

After that: “I go get the backhoe, dig the hole, you know. Said a prayer. Put him in the hole.”

Then he burned all of the money, because “I didn't want the kid's 800 bucks. I didn't kill him over 800. I wasn't robbing him.”

Two days later, Dean Finocchiaro came to DiNardo's farm hoping to buy marijuana from him too.

DiNardo took Mr. Finocchiaro to show off a Vespa in the family barn. That's where Kratz shot the victim, DiNardo said.

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In a taped confession, Kratz admitted this to police, but said he did it because DiNardo made him, because he was afraid.

“I was scared that he was gonna harm not only myself, but, you know, I have a one-and-a-half-month-old nephew,” Kratz said. “Got a little brother, a mother. He made it out, like, you know, 'You say anything, I will hurt your brother.'”

DiNardo told the detective that he shot Mr. Finocchiaro again just to “finish” it. Then he dumped Mr. Finocchario's body in a makeshift pig roaster, a 12-foot deep hole in the ground.

Just half an hour later, two more marijuana customers showed up. The ambush played out again for a third and fourth time. DiNardo said he shot the men, 21-year-old Tom Meo and 22-year-old Mark Sturgis, as soon as they turned their backs.

Mr. Sturgis, DiNardo said, was “such a big kid, I unloaded my gun on him,” instantly killing him. But Mr. Meo was lying on the ground screaming, “I can't feel my legs! I can't feel my legs!”

Kratz stood by with his head in his hands, DiNardo said. And he was out of bullets. And so to make the screaming stop, afraid the neighbours might hear, DiNardo said he climbed in his backhoe once again.

“You know, he sees that coming and just shuts the . . .. up, and I just run him over,” DiNardo said.

DiNardo put their bodies in the pig roaster too. He dumped petrol down the hole and started burning them.

Then, NBC News reported, the cousins left to get Philly cheesesteak sandwiches.

In court earlier this week, the victims' families sat in the courtroom gallery while listening to DiNardo apologise, saying he couldn't come to terms with what he had done, according to the Bucks County District Attorney's Office. He told the judge that “if there is anything I could do to take it back, I would,” only for Judge Jeffrey L Finley to call the apology “false and insincere”.

“To you, human lives are disposable,” Judge Finley said, according to the district attorney.

Speaking directly to DiNardo, Mr. Finocchiaro's father said he prayed that “Dean's spirit haunts you the rest of your miserable life,” while Mr. Meo's mother said it was “taking everything in me” not to kill DiNardo at that moment, The Morning Caller newspaper reported.

Mr. Sturgis' father, Mark Potash, remembered DiNardo's “savage” posts on social media, posing with guns in the weeks before the murders.

“You think you're savage?” he asked. “You've lived your whole life protected. In prison, you'll meet savage. And I promise you, it won't look like you.”

The Washington Post

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