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How the 'Hottest Boy' in Town Became a Serial Killer

'Philadelphia Magazine' takes a deep dive into Cosmo DiNardo's downward spiral
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2020 11:42 AM CST
Updated Mar 7, 2020 1:30 PM CST

(Newser) – On July 6, 2017, Cosmo DiNardo met with his psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania. Christian Kohler had been treating the 20-year-old since November and had gradually been decreasing the anti-psychotic drugs the Bucks County man took for the bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and schizophrenia that he had only recently been diagnosed with. During that visit, Kohler allegedly took him off his meds entirely. In a lengthy piece for Philadelphia Magazine, Ralph Cipriano juxtaposes that move with what DiNardo was supposedly doing while waiting for his appointment to start: googling Mexico's "Soup Maker Cartel," which was known for dissolving its victims' bodies in acid. DiNardo wasn't just interested in killing—he had killed, just the day before, the first of four murders that made international headlines.

On July 5, Jimi Patrick made a deal with DiNardo to buy $8,000 of pot. Once at the DiNardo family farm in New Hope, Patrick was shot dead and buried in a grave DiNardo dug with a backhoe. July 7 brought another drug-deal ruse; this time, DiNardo and his cousin killed three more young men. Cipriano describes the gruesome next step: DiNardo used gas to "set them on fire in an oil tank that had been converted into a 'pig roaster.' Then he went out for a cheesesteak." Cipriano describes DiNardo's parents as hardworking, successful entrepreneurs whose oldest son had been thought of as the "hottest boy" in town. After a serious May 2016 ATV accident left him with head injuries, he was given anti-depressants that led him to gain 100 pounds; he started becoming violent. His parents say they tried mightily to help him; lawsuits frame them as the enablers who gave him access to the gun, backhoe, and pig roaster. (Read the full story.)

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