What happened to Lindy Sue Biechler? Officers solve 1975 homicide through killer’s DNA on coffee cup

Alleged suspect David Sinopoli (left) and the 19-year-old victim Lindy Bicheler (right) who was s*xually abused and murdered in 1975 (Image via Twitter/TrueCrimeGuy)
Alleged suspect David Sinopoli (left) and the 19-year-old victim Lindy Bicheler (right) who was s*xually abused and murdered in 1975 (Image via Twitter/TrueCrimeGuy)

On Sunday, July 17, Pennsylvania resident David Sinopoli was detained and arrested in the long-standing cold case of Lindy Sue Biechler, after investigators obtained his DNA from a cup of coffee at an airport earlier this year. He was allegedly accused of fatally killing Biechler in a 1975 homicide.

On December 5, 1975, Lindy Sue Biechler was discovered in her apartment with 19 stab wounds and a knife protruding out of her neck. Investigators also revealed that she had been s*xually assaulted.

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Advancements in DNA technology led to the recent arrest of 68-year-old Sinopoli in the murder case of Biechler. In a statement on Monday, June 18, Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams said that the arrest "brings some sense of relief to the victim's loved ones and to community members."


Two knives were used for the brutal stabbing of Lindy Sue Biechler

On December 5, 1975, at about 8:45 pm, Lindy Sue Biechler's aunt and uncle dropped by her Manor Township apartment where the 19-year-old newlywed lived with her husband. Here, they discovered what Attorney Adams called a "horrific scene" with blood on the front door, the entrance-way wall and the carpet.

Adams said that Biechler's lifeless body was discovered on the floor near the living room. A towel from Biechler's own kitchen was wrapped around the handle of a knife protruding from her neck. She had been s*xually assaulted and stabbed 19 times with two different knives. Autopsy reports revealed that her wounds showed signs of a struggle.

The case remained unsolved for years.

Detectives from the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office sent Biechler's underwear for DNA testing in 1997. Based on reports of semen being found in her underwear, the examination produced a male DNA profile.

Earlier this year, when detectives teamed up with CeCe Moore, the chief genetic genealogist at Parabon Nanolabs, they made a breakthrough in the case.


No potential evidence pointed towards the alleged suspect David Sinopoli

Based on the DNA evidence they had, Moore and Parabon started working with the District Attorney's office and Manor Township police in 2019 to produce a composite portrait of the person they believed to be Lindy Sue Biechler's murderer.

During a Zoom press conference in 2020, Moore explained that she used DNA and the unidentified subject's family tree to find a potential suspect and discovered that the suspect was well rooted in the Lancaster neighborhood.

She also learned that this unknown subject's family tree included numerous recent immigrant families from the tiny town of Gasperina, Italy, in the Calabria region of southern Italy. Her search gradually pointed towards David Sinopoli.

Adams mentioned that David Sinopoli was never on their radar:

"None of the tips over the years suggested him as a suspect."

How exactly was David Sinopoli arrested for the murder of Lindy Sue Biechler?

Investigators eventually discovered that Sinopoli and Biechler lived in the same apartment building. Authorities then started monitoring Sinopoli.

Investigators were able to collect his DNA on February 11, 2022, from a coffee cup he drank from and tossed away at the airport. DNA from the semen on Biechler's underwear and DNA from Sinopoli's coffee cup were compared.

According to a statement by Adams, in June, detectives discovered that two blood stains discovered on Lindy Sue Biechler's pantyhose matched the DNA profile from her underwear. Adams said:

"Detectives had long believed that the suspect had cut himself during the attack"

Sinopoli faces one count of criminal homicide. He is being held without bond at Lancaster County Jail.

It remains unclear if he has hired a lawyer or taken a plea.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal