Man’s discarded coffee cup leads to crack in 1975 cold case


Everyone knows that the best chances law enforcement has of solving a murder case is in the first 48 hours after the crime, which is what makes solving a cold case all the more special.Especially when the tip that breaks the case comes 46 years after the crime, and completely out of the blue.

Case cracked by genealogy and perseverance.Lindy Sue BiechlerThe year was 1975 when Lindy Sue Biechler was viciously stabbed to death in her own apartment.She was found dead around 9 p.m. by her aunt and uncle, who were scheduled to pay the 19-year-old a visit that night.The Police would find 19 stab wounds from two different knives on the teenage victim, as well as evidence of a sexual assault.

Luckily, the detectives from 1975 saved a DNA sample to test in future comparisons.

As technology advanced over the years, the DNA sample recovered from Biechlers’ body was entered into CODIS, the National database that holds the DNA of millions of criminals.

Nothing turned up a match.

In 2019, the Lancaster Country District Attorney’s office formed a unit dedicated to cold cases, which reached out to Parabon for help.

Parabon Nano Labs put famous genealogist, CeCe Moore on the case, and her out-of-the-box thinking is just what was needed.

Moore used genealogy to find common matches for people who were related to the killer’s DNA as partially matched.

Then, she began to sift.
She reached through multiple generations of genealogical records until authorities were able to zero in on a prime suspect.

Once Moore was able to narrow it down to someone who lived in the same apartment complex as Biechler, the Lancaster County District Attorney just needed to get his sample.

That’s when things got tricky.
Detectives followed the suspect, 68-year-old David Sinopoli, into the Philadelphia airport and retrieved a coffee cup he discarded

The moment of truth had come, could Moore really have tracked a killer through generations and generations of relatives?

A cold hard match
When the detectives fished the coffee cup out of the trash and tested it, it was a match, and just like that, a 46-year-old cold case was solved.

Sinopoli was never a suspect but had shown signs of sexual deviancy when he received 1-year probation in 2003 for spying on naked women at his place of employment, Sissy’s Boutique.

Justice comes
On Sunday, July 17th, Sinopoli was arrested at his home and charged with criminal homicide

Lancaster district attorney, Heather Adams, credited both the advancements of technology and the detectives from 1975 who incredibly had the wherewithal to preserve the evidence, even though it would be decades until we had the kind of technology to use it.

With experts like CeCe Moore, and dogged detectives who keep at cases after they’re cold, who knows, maybe one day there won’t be any cold cases to write about.

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