The true crime documentary, The Lost Boys of Bucks County, follows the murders of young men Dean A. Finocchiaro, Thomas C. Meo, Jimi T. Patrick, and Mark R. Sturgis. Originally premiering in June 2020, the documentary explores the motives behind the gruesome and violent crime, which all ties back to the now 24-year-old Cosmo DiNardo.
DiNardo was charged with homicide, conspiracy to commit murder, robbery, and possession of instruments of crime in relation to the deaths of the four young men. The murders happened July 2017 on DiNardo's family's Bucks County farm. DiNardo had told the victims that he could sell them cannabis, which is how he lured them to the 90-acre farm. Once he had them there, he shot and killed them (he killed Patrick on a separate day).
He worked with his cousin, Sean Kratz, who was also charged with first-degree murder. DiNardo and his cousin had burned the bodies in a pig roaster and then buried them — however, Patrick's body was buried separately. DiNardo was able to avoid the death penalty by revealing where Patrick's body was buried.
The Lost Boys of Bucks County is about the murder of four men, but it's also about the tragedy of mental illness. DiNardo was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He was seeing a psychiatrist named Christian Kohler, and he was previously committed to a mental institution in 2016. Even though he had a history of becoming violent with family members, Kohler said that his condition was improving, and he stopped administering his medication.
DiNardo's parents believe the murders could have been prevented if their son had continued taking his medication, and they ended up filing a lawsuit against Kohler. DiNardo's mother stated, “My son wasn’t this horrible animal that everybody says he was. He lost his life a year before those kids. He’s a prisoner in his own brain. He’s lost forever.”
Where is Cosmo DiNardo now?
Cosmo DiNardo was serving four life sentences at SCI Retreat in Luzerne County since 2018, but was transported to the State Correctional Institution at Huntingdon in January 2020, according to reports. The State Correctional Institution at Huntingdon is one of the highest security facilities in the nation. Officials gave no explanation as to why he was transferred.
The story of DiNardo's demise is ultimately a tragic one. Before his mental illness took over, he was a straight-A student who, according to Philly Mag, won a scholarship to Arcadia University and wanted to become an orthodontist. “Cosmo DiNardo is the kind of kid who would always say hello, and he would grab your groceries out of your hand and walk you to your car,” one neighbor described.
Another family friend said, “If my husband was digging in the yard, Cosmo would grab a shovel and dig alongside of him. If he saw me shopping he would carry my packages inside for me. When it snowed, he would shovel my driveway.”
His mental health began to deteriorate in 2015. He and his girlfriend had ended their relationship, and his plans to join the Navy hadn't panned out. In 2016, he was diagnosed with a major depressive disorder, and he dropped out of Arcadia University when he was in his second semester of his freshman year. He grew even worse, as he became incredibly paranoid after an ATV accident on the family farm (he was stuck under a vehicle and ended up with head injuries, and ended up in a wheelchair).
He stopped eating the food his mom made, claiming that she was trying to poison him. Doctors prescribed him antidepressants in response. When his mother tried driving him to Abington Memorial Hospital so he could admit himself for treatment, he bit her arm and punch her, giving her a black eye. “He felt his mother was a Russian spy and that his cast was bugged," the medical records stated.
Although DiNardo's parents tried to help their son, many criticized them, pointing out the fact that the young man still had access to guns and dangerous farm equipment.
When confessing to the police after he had murdered the four young men, Cosmo said, “I don’t know why I did this sh*t, man. I threw my life away for nothing. My life is done, for nothing." He added, “I am just a happy-go-lucky guy. This is why it’s so f***ed up.”