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March 06, 2023

A&E series 'City Confidential' to detail notorious 2017 murders in Bucks County

The episode will delve into the high-profile search for the four young men killed in Solebury Township by Cosmo DiNardo and his cousin, Sean Kratz

TV True Crime
Bucks County Murders City Confidential Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

The A&E series 'City Confidential' will chronicle the investigation into four young men who were murdered and buried on an 80-acre farm, above, in Solebury Township, Bucks County, in July 2017. Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Kratz are serving life sentences for the killings.

The infamous case of four missing men who were found murdered and buried on a farm in Solebury Township will be examined in an upcoming episode of the long-running A&E series "City Confidential."

The case put Bucks County in the national spotlight in July 2017, when investigators dug up the victims' bodies on an 80-acre farm that belongs to the family of confessed killer Cosmo DiNardo. The four young men had been lured to the property under the guise of purchasing drugs. DiNardo's cousin, Sean Kratz, was involved in three of the killings.

The hour-long "City Confidential" episode, called "The Dark Days of Bucks County," will premiere May 25, an A&E spokesperson said.

“Historical Bucks County, Pennsylvania, is alarmed when several young men vanish one after the other within a week," the synopsis says. "With the support of residents, detectives unearth a ruthless murder spree in this seemingly picture-perfect farming community."

"City Confidential" explores crimes from the vantage points of the communities where they occurred. The series debuted in 1998 and wrapped up its original run in 2005. It returned in 2021 with actor Mike Colter as the new host. The 13th season premieres March 23.

The exhaustive search for the missing men lasted more than a week as authorities pieced together evidence and a timeline for the murders.

Jimi Taro Patrick, 19, of Newtown Township, was the first man to be killed after arranging to meet DiNardo to buy marijuana, investigators said. DiNardo and Kratz then killed 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro, of Middletown Township, under similar circumstances two days later.

Thomas Meo, 21, of Plumstead Township, and Mark Sturgis, 22 of Pennsburg, later met DiNardo in the area of Peddler's Village to buy marijuana, investigators said. They first went with DiNardo to a property near the family farm, where Meo dropped off his car in a shed. DiNardo then took the two men to the farm and shot them.

Meo was struck in the back and instantly was paralyzed, authorities said. Sturgis attempted to flee, but DiNardo shot him multiple times, killing him. DiNardo then got onto his father's backhoe and ran over Meo.

Together, DiNardo and Kratz doused three of the bodies in gasoline and burned them in a pig roaster. The bodies were found buried in a 12-foot hole that DiNardo and Kratz dug using the backhoe. Patrick's body was found buried elsewhere on the farm after investigators agreed not to pursue the death penalty if DiNardo told them where his remains were hidden.

DiNardo confessed to killing the four men and later pleaded guilty without providing any clear motive. Kratz was convicted at trial for his involvement in the killings. Neither of them had significant connections or disputes with the victims. DiNardo and Kratz, who are now 26, are serving life sentences.

Prior to the murders, DiNardo had a history of mental health issues and had been banned from visiting the campuses of Holy Ghost Prep in Bensalem and Arcadia University in Glenside due to behavioral issues. He previously had been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility and was legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.

The Solebury Township home where police found Meo's car and personal belongings — a breakthrough in the investigation — was listed for sale last fall. That property is now under contract for $650,000, according to a RE/MAX Aspire listing. The DiNardos still own the farm property.

The murders previously were featured in an Investigation Discovery special, "The Lost Boys of Bucks County," that premiered in 2020. That two-hour documentary highlighted the work of Middletown Township police officer Megan Freer, who played an important role in identifying the farm where the bodies were found. Freer received an Award of Valor at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia for her role in solving the case.