The cousins started small—break-ins, jewelry heists, traffic violations—but on Friday they were charged in a grisly crime spree that ended with police unearthing the bodies of four young men from two pits buried deep on a sprawling family-owned farm in Pennsylvania. The AP reports it's still not clear why the 20-year-old suspects' crimes escalated from petty offenses. For Cosmo DiNardo, brushes with the law began in his early teenage years. Between the ages of 14 and 20, he had more than 30 run-ins with officers. He was kicked out of college for making comments that unnerved several people on campus and was involuntarily committed to a mental institution a year ago. Details of his institutionalization remain unclear.
Court records show DiNardo's cousin, Sean Kratz, was previously arrested on two separate burglary charges in Philadelphia for thefts in June and December of last year where he reportedly stole $1,000 in tools and $450 worth of jewelry. A week before the second theft arrest, Kratz was picked up for shoplifting $200 worth of clothing at a Macy's. At a press conference Friday announcing that police had recovered all four previously missing bodies, a reporter asked Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub why DiNardo felt the need to kill the young men. "I'm not really sure we could ever answer that question," he said. For more on the criminal histories of DiNardo and Kratz, read the full story here.