Residents of Bucks County, Pennsylvania lead a pretty peaceful existence.
That all changed during a 10-day spell between July 5 and July 14, when residents lived in fear following a number of missing persons reports.
19-year-old Jimi Patrick was the first to go missing, leaving his house at 6PM on July 5. He had arranged to meet Cosmo Dinardo to buy $8 000 (R103 000) worth of marijuana, four pounds, but that didn’t go according to plan.
CNN have dubbed this one 10 days of horror, so we’ll start there:
Dinardo has a history of mental illness. He struggled with schizophrenia, said Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub. The year before, he was involuntarily committed to a mental institution…
On this evening, Dinardo picks up Patrick at his grandparents’ home and they drive to Dinardo’s parents’ sprawling farmland in Solebury, according to a criminal complaint.
He takes Patrick to a remote part of the property, where Patrick says he only has $800. Dinardo offers to sell Patrick a shotgun for that money, gives him the weapon, and then shoots and kills him with a .22-caliber rifle, Dinardo tells detectives after his arrest.
Dinardo drives the property’s backhoe to that remote location and digs a hole about six feet deep, puts Patrick’s body in the ground and buries him, the complaint states.
On July 7, day three, Dinardo organised two further drug deals, agreeing to meet with Dean Finocchiaro to sell him a quarter pound of weed. He picks up his cousin Sean Kratz, before going to meet with Finocchiaro and bringing him back to Dinardo’s house:
At the property, Finocchiaro is shot and killed in a barn, a complaint states. Kratz later tells police Dinardo shot Finocchiaro. Dinardo doesn’t deny shooting Finocchiaro, but says his cousin shot the man first.
Dinardo wraps Finocchiaro’s body in a blue tarp and then uses the backhoe to place him into a metal tank that Dinardo calls the “pig roaster,” according to police.
But he’s not done for the day, because he also organises to meet 21-year-old Thomas Meo.
Meo is with his 22-year-old co-worker Mark Sturgis:
Dinardo meets with Meo and Sturgis, and they follow him in Meo’s 1996 Nissan Maxima to Dinardo’s family home…
After arriving at the house, Meo and Sturgis get into Dinardo’s truck and drive to the family’s farmland property, where Kratz remained. As Meo and Sturgis exit the truck, Dinardo shoots Meo in the back, Dinardo later tells police. Meo collapses to the ground, screaming.
Sturgis starts to run away and Dinardo shoots at him, striking and killing him. Dinardo, out of ammunition, gets in the backhoe and drives over Meo, crushing him to death, the complaint states.
Dinardo uses the backhoe to pick up Meo and Sturgis and put their bodies in the same metal tank where he earlier had placed Finocchiaro’s body. He pours gasoline into the metal tank and lights it, a complaint states.
And there you have the four missing bodies, and the four murders, that have seen Cosmo Dinardo’s name in lights around the world.
CNN carry on with that 10-day description HERE, but I’m going to skip ahead to day eight:
With pressure mounting to find the missing men, [Bucks County District Attorney ] Weintraub announces that officers have recovered several important pieces of evidence but that the investigation remains “wide open.”
Police later re-arrest Dinardo for allegedly stealing and then trying to sell Meo’s vehicle one day after he went missing, according to a criminal complaint…
Not long after, investigators discover the body of Finocchiaro, as well as other unidentified human remains, in a grave on the farmland property. The other remains are later identified as Meo and Sturgis.
At a midnight press conference, Weintraub announces the discovery of the bodies in a “common grave,” and praises the cadaver dogs that led officers to the site. “This is a homicide, make no mistake about it,” Weintraub says. “We just don’t know how many homicides.”
On day nine Dinardo cracks:
Detectives interview Dinardo a second time, during which he admits lying to officers in his first interview. He confesses to his and Kratz’s involvement in the murders, offering the gruesome details, according to a complaint.
Dinardo tells detectives where to find Patrick’s body, buried in a separate grave on the property, says a criminal complaint. In exchange for that confession, Weintraub agrees not to pursue the death penalty against Dinardo, an attorney for Dinardo says.
He also offers an apology of sorts whilst under police custody:
— David Spunt (@DavidSpuntCBS3) July 13, 2017
We’ll wrap up with day 10, July 14:
Dinardo faces four criminal homicide charges, and Kratz faces three criminal homicide charges, according to a criminal complaint.
In court, the judge enters a not guilty plea on the defendants’ behalf and orders them held without bail.
Weintraub praises the work of the massive team of investigators who solved the case, and says that “we’d still be looking” for Patrick’s body if not for Dinardo’s confession.
“I don’t know what convinced him (to confess),” Weintraub says. “I’d like to think that he wanted to help us get these boys home.”
A little something that might not be clear from all that above – Dinardo is set to be filthy, stinkin’ rich, as the heir to a real estate and construction fortune in suburban Philadelphia.
There’s an interesting profile of Cosmo on the New York Times (HERE), but I think we’ll call it there for now.
Be honest, you’re all just hanging on until the end of the day when you can go home and watch Game of Thrones anyway.