This is one case that those with magnifying glasses and thinking hats have been hammering at for a very long time, it’s the oldest homicide case gone cold in Lancaster County, Pa., and a huge piece of the puzzle just may have been found thanks to an old, discarded espresso cup.
An arrest was made early Sunday morning in connection to the murder of 19-year-old Lindy Sue Biechler in 1975. The man linked to her murder is David Sinopoli, 68, who was captured after being accused of stabbing her to death in her own home. For a very long time investigators left no rock unturned and followed all leads that were given to them, but it was only after they utilized advanced DNA and genealogy tracking that they were able to link Sinopoli to the case.
Lindy was living in the Spring Manor Apartments in Manor Township with her husband at the hour of her passing. She was found dead on December 5, 1975, by some relatives “who had discovered what can only be described as a horrific scene when they stopped by their niece’s apartment to exchange recipes,” Lancaster County District Attorney said Heather Adams said.
Post-mortem examination reports hinted that Lindy was stabbed multiple times in her chest, back, and neck, along with having defensive injuries. There were indications of a conspicuous battle and DNA proof was collected however the DNA testing would never enter the U.S. legal system for at least another decade.
After a while with progress all but frozen, the case went cold as ice and investigators started giving up hope. Meanwhile, on a different case that had nearly gone cold detectives were able to crack and solve it by utilizing the advanced analysis from Parabon NanoLabs. It was at this point that the investigators thought they’d give one more shot at Lindy’s case using the same technology.
The DNA that was gathered from Biechler’s clothing was then shipped off to Parabon where it was analyzed. They were to focus on logical suspects, particularly those with ancestral connections to Gasperina, Italy which is a small town in the southern part of the country.
“These restrictions further narrowed the scope of the subsequent research because there were very few individuals living in Lancaster at that time of the crime that was the right age, gender and had the family tree consistent with these origins,” Moore with Parabon said in a statement.
After some more intense investigations and in the conclusion of the DNA samples sent to Moore and Parabon, examiners found that Sinopoli had at one point lived at a similar apartment building where Lindy was residing at the hour of her death.
However, more proof was needed to go after Sinopoli and capture him, so when specialists acknowledged he had continued living nearby right up to the present day, they decided to attempt to get a DNA sample from him as well.
And as something that you’d read out of a book, or see on your favorite criminal investigation show, things began to line up. Authorities that were surveilling him recovered a discarded espresso cup that was thrown out by the suspect at Philadelphia International Airport before he got on a flight. After analyzing the DNA the investigation team found that the DNA sample from the coffee matched the DNA from the crime location.
After finding the last piece of proof they needed Sinopoli was concluded as being responsible for the criminal manslaughter and is being held without bail.