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What We Can Learn From The Murders in Bucks County, PA

What We Can Learn From The Murders in Bucks County, PA
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What We Can Learn From The Murders in Bucks County, PA

The ongoing case of the weed dealer turned murderer is gruesome. We have to ask: could it have been prevented?

The murders in Bucks County

The story of the murders in Bucks County broke earlier this month. Four young men, Tom Meo, Dean Finocchiaro, Jimi Tar Patrick, and Mark Sturgis, all between the ages of 19 and 22, were reported missing in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Tips led investigators to the DiNardo family’s 90-acre farm, where they eventually found the remains of the missing. Suddenly, the disappearances in Bucks County became the murders in Bucks County.

The property owners’ son, Cosmo DiNardo, age 20, was determined to be a person of interest in the disappearances of the men and was arrested when he tried to sell the car that belonged to one of the deceased.

DiNardo had been in trouble with the law before. Two days before he was taken into custody for the stolen vehicle, the police arrested him on an old gun charge. In February, he had been accused of possession of a firearm and ammunition; due to an involuntary commitment to a mental hospital because of his schizophrenia in the past, he was not eligible to be in possession of such weapons.

In total, he had forty prior run-ins with law enforcement. Less than a day after his father posted his bail, DiNardo was back in jail.

Upon the advice of his legal counsel, DiNardo confessed to murdering the four men. In exchange for the confession, the Bucks County prosecutors took the possibility of the death penalty off the table.

It gets worse

What We Can Learn From The Murders in Bucks County, PA

Matt Rourke/AP

More details about the case reveal that DiNardo was a weed dealer who aggressively sought out customers to buy quarter pounds of pot at a time. He also sold firearms and had an additional history of harassing women.

DiNardo killed his victims during different drug transactions. He shot them, burned three of the bodies in a “pig roaster” on his family’s farm, and buried their bodies twelve feet underground.

His cousin, Sean Kratz, age 20, has been accused of being an accomplice to the murders. He also had a plethora of prior arrests.

DiNardo is now claiming that he killed two other people in Philadelphia. Although investigators are looking into it, they consider this new revelation to be “sketchy.”

Safety

It seems that there are always news articles about gruesome murders. Our country certainly has a ton of true crime stories. And even though a lot of the murderers we read about have a history of mental illness, it’s important to remember that mental illness, including schizophrenia, does not automatically make a person dangerous.

But this article is not about the stigma of mental illness. We’re talking about the murders in Bucks County because of the connection to cannabis.

Since weed is still illegal in most parts of the United States, people who use it, either medicinally or recreationally, need drug dealers to supply it. These transactions are illicit, therefore, there are no entities to regulate them.

We’re not saying that buying weed from your dealer is automatically dangerous 100% of the time. But we are saying that you should take certain precautions before making your purchase.

For example, try not to go to an isolated area, and always try to have a friend with you.

Prohibition

What We Can Learn From The Murders in Bucks County, PA

CBS3

Cosmo DiNardo lured Meo, Finocchario, Patrick, and Sturgis to his farm with the promise of weed. Although some reports say that there was some talk of buying a gun as well, the victims were mainly there to buy cannabis.

Judging from the reports in the news, DiNardo and Kratz were ticking time bombs. It was only a matter of time before they became lethally violent. If DiNardo’s confession is true, and he and his cousin really did kill those people after drug transactions, then one could surmise that cannabis prohibition was a factor in the homicides.

If cannabis was legal and readily available, what would be the likelihood of DiNardo having any contact with the victims?

Chloe Harper Gold

Chloé Harper Gold is a writer in New York City. In addition to cannabis, she is passionate about horror, science fiction, and feminism. You can find more of her writing on Horror Film Central, Feministing, and Twitter.

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