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PULASKI SLAYINGS Quadruple homicide case reopened



Published: Sat, May 11, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



A man accused of the homicides was acquitted in a retrial.

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- The investigation into a quadruple homicide in Pulaski Township has been reopened.

Lawrence County District Attorney Matthew Mangino said he met with the Pennsylvania State Police investigator in charge of the case and the two plan to meet with retired troopers who initially investigated the homicides on June 15, 1994.

Bonnie Lou Dryfuse, 35, her daughters, Jacqueline, 7, and Heather, 4, and her niece, Stephanie Herko, 5, were found inside the Dryfuse trailer on Ambrosia Road in Pulaski Township. All had been stabbed repeatedly.

What happened

Thomas H. Kimbell Jr., 40, was acquitted of the homicides earlier this month after a two-week trial in common pleas court. Kimbell was convicted of the slayings and sentenced to death in 1998, but granted a new trial by the state Supreme Court because his attorney was not allowed to cross-examine a witness in the first trial.

Kimbell was released May 3.

Mangino said the homicide investigation essentially reopened when Kimbell's trial ended.

"We are going to look at every possibility. The first step is to put together a plan. It's an open investigation," he said.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's office handled Kimbell's trial because of a conflict of interest for Mangino, who had represented Kimbell in another matter before being elected.

Mangino said since Kimbell has been acquitted, his office will again be part of the homicide investigation.




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