“This is one of the most horrific cases I have ever seen. The nature and circumstances of these crimes are truly shocking and heartbreaking.” — Attorney General Josh Shapiro
The Bucks County murders were a series of brutal killings that took place in July 2017, in which four young men were murdered by cousins Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Kratz. The victims were identified as Jimi Patrick, Dean Finocchiaro, Tom Meo, and Mark Sturgis. DiNardo and an accomplice, Sean Kratz, were accused of luring the men to DiNardo’s family farm under the guise of selling them drugs before killing them.
Cosmo DiNardo used a backhoe to bury the bodies of the four young men that he and his cousin Sean Kratz had killed on the DiNardo family farm in July 2017. After shooting the victims, DiNardo and Kratz loaded their bodies into a truck and drove them to a remote part of the property. They then placed the bodies in the pig roaster and burned them for several hours, before using a backhoe to move the charred remains to a common grave.
The use of heavy machinery like a backhoe was a chilling and disturbing element of the murders and underscored the cold-blooded and calculated nature of the crimes.
Victim: Jimi Patrick
Patrick grew up in Newtown, Pennsylvania, and was described by friends and family as a kind, funny, and loving person. He was an avid skateboarder and music lover who had a talent for writing and performing rap lyrics.
After the murders were discovered, Patrick’s family released a statement describing him as “a gifted artist with a creative spirit” and a “beloved son, grandson, brother, and friend.” They also expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support they had received from the community in the wake of his death.
“Jimi Patrick you were incredibly kind, sweet, hilarious, handsome, genuine, and millions of more amazing terms. Thank you for giving me some of the best years and moments in my life, I will cherish them and your memory forever.” — Social media post from Jimi’s girlfriend.
In an interview with the local newspaper, the Bucks County Courier Times, one of Patrick’s friends remembered him as a loyal and supportive person, saying, “He was always the one person you could count on to be there when you needed him.” Another friend described him as “a really good guy” who had a positive impact on everyone he met.
Finocchiaro grew up in Middletown Township, Pennsylvania, and was described by family and friends as a friendly and outgoing person who loved to play basketball and spend time with his family. He had been working as a landscaper before he went missing.
After the murders were discovered, Finocchiaro’s family released a statement mourning his loss and thanking the community for their support. They described him as a “fun-loving, loyal, and hardworking young man” who had a passion for music and loved spending time with his family and friends.
In interviews with local media outlets, Finocchiaro’s friends remembered him as a kind and generous person who always put others before himself. One friend described him as “a really good kid” who was “always there for his friends.” Another friend remembered him as a talented basketball player who loved to joke around and make people laugh.
Sturgis grew up in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, and was described by family and friends as a hardworking and dependable person who loved spending time with his family and friends. He had been working as a construction worker before he went missing.
“Mark would have been 25 this month … family and friends would be lovingly gathered around him to watch him blow out candles on his favorite black forest cake with his sister … I would have thrown my arms around him.
“There will be no happy birthday, no cake, no hugs.” — Aimee King, mother
After the murders were discovered, Sturgis’s family released a statement expressing their grief and thanking the community for their support. They described him as a “loving son, grandson, brother, nephew, and friend” who had a “heart of gold” and was always willing to lend a helping hand.
Thomas Meo — Crushed with Backhoe (he was still alive)
“When he ran out of ammo, Cosmo hopped on a backhoe and rolled over Meo, who was still alive and screaming, crushing him to death.” — Phillymag.com
Meo grew up in Plumstead Township, Pennsylvania, and was described by family and friends as a hardworking and ambitious person who had a passion for cars and motorcycles. He had been working as a construction worker before he went missing.
After the murders were discovered, Meo’s family released a statement mourning his loss and thanking the community for their support. They described him as a “loving son, grandson, brother, nephew, and friend” who had a “heart of gold” and was always willing to help others.
In interviews with local media outlets, Meo’s friends remembered him as a kind and generous person who loved to make people laugh. One friend described him as a “fun-loving, great guy” who was always willing to lend a helping hand. Another friend remembered him as a skilled mechanic who loved to work on cars and motorcycles.
Cousin / Accomplice
According to court records, Kratz had a history of criminal behavior before he was involved in the Bucks County murders. He had been arrested several times on charges ranging from burglary to drug possession to assault.
“Sean Kratz has shown no remorse for his actions, and he has exhibited a callous disregard for human life. The families of the victims deserve closure and justice, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that they get it.” — Attorney General Josh Shapiro
Kratz was initially charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and related offenses in connection with the deaths of the four men. He was accused of helping DiNardo lure the victims to DiNardo’s family farm under the pretense of selling them drugs, and then participating in the killings.
Kratz eventually entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors, in which he agreed to plead guilty to third-degree murder and other charges in exchange for avoiding the possibility of a death sentence. He was sentenced to 59 to 118 years in prison in 2019.
Cosmo DiNardo did go out for cheesesteaks with his friends after he and his cousin Sean Kratz had killed the four young men on the DiNardo family farm in July 2017. This action, along with other disturbing behavior, such as bragging about the murders and trying to sell the victims’ belongings, led many to speculate about DiNardo’s mental state and his possible motivations for the killings.
“I didn’t eat mine,” he told the cops about his cheesesteak. “I just did something so gruesome. I didn’t have the appetite.”
The fact that DiNardo was able to carry on with his daily routine and interact with others after committing such heinous crimes was seen by many as evidence of a profound lack of empathy or remorse. It also added to the shock and horror that the community felt in the wake of the murders, as it underscored the cold-blooded and calculated nature of the killings.
Cosmo’s Descent Into Madness
“Cosmo DiNardo’s actions were evil, calculated, and without remorse. He has caused immeasurable pain and suffering to the families of the victims, and he deserves to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.” — Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub
Cosmo DiNardo was born on November 15, 1997, in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. He grew up in a wealthy family that owned and operated a real estate development company in Bucks County. DiNardo was one of four children and was raised in a large house in Solebury Township.
DiNardo’s childhood was marked by some difficulties. He was reportedly diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teenager and had a history of mental health issues. There have been reports of Cosmo DiNardo’s mental health struggles leading up to the murders in July 2017. DiNardo had a history of mental illness and had been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility in 2016 after he attempted to buy a gun despite having been previously diagnosed with mental illness. In addition, he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and had a history of substance abuse.
Despite these challenges, DiNardo attended several prestigious private schools, including Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem and Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. However, he did not complete his degree at Loyola and dropped out of school in 2015.
In the months leading up to the murders, DiNardo’s behavior reportedly became increasingly erratic and troubling. He posted disturbing messages on social media, including threats of violence, and he exhibited other troubling behavior, such as setting fires on his family’s property and shooting guns in the backyard.
DiNardo’s mental state at the time of the murders was a subject of much debate and speculation, and it was a key issue in the subsequent criminal investigation and trial. While it is unclear to what extent DiNardo’s mental illness contributed to his actions, it is clear that his behavior was deeply troubling and demonstrated a lack of regard for human life.
According to media reports, Cosmo DiNardo made a number of strange and disturbing statements in the months leading up to the 2017 murders, including claiming that his mother was a Russian spy. DiNardo reportedly made the claim in a series of rambling text messages and phone calls to friends and family members, in which he expressed paranoid and delusional beliefs.
DiNardo also boasted about killing other people in the past and even stated that he was the “son of God”.
It is unclear whether DiNardo truly believed that his mother was a Russian spy or whether this was simply a manifestation of his mental illness. However, the fact that he made such an outlandish and bizarre claim is indicative of his deeply troubled state of mind at the time.
Both Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Kratz faced trial for their involvement in the 2017 murders of four young men in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. DiNardo pleaded guilty to the murders in May 2018, while Kratz was found guilty by a jury in November 2019.
DiNardo was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 30 to 60 years for related charges, in February 2018. The sentence was in line with a plea agreement that DiNardo had reached with prosecutors, in which he agreed to plead guilty in exchange for avoiding the possibility of a death sentence.
Kratz was sentenced to 59 to 118 years in prison in January 2020. The sentence reflected the severity of the crimes and the extent of Kratz’s involvement in the murders. During the trial, Kratz’s defense team had argued that he was a peripheral figure in the killings and had been coerced by DiNardo, but the jury ultimately rejected this argument.
The murders and subsequent trial have left a lasting impact on the Bucks County community and beyond, serving as a stark reminder of the dangers of violence and the importance of mental health awareness and treatment.
“Cosmo DiNardo’s actions have left a lasting impact on our community, and we must do more to support the families of the victims and to work towards a brighter future for all.” — Bucks County Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia