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Other men’s DNA found on Suffolk double-murder victims, expert says

John Bittrolff inside state Supreme Court, July 31,

John Bittrolff inside state Supreme Court, July 31, 2014, where he was arraigned on an indictment charge in the killing of two women. Credit: James Carbone

A Manorville carpenter was not the only man whose DNA was found where a woman was killed more than 23 years ago, a forensic scientist testified Thursday.

Robert Baumann of the Suffolk Crime Laboratory had already established that semen recovered from the bodies of Rita Tangredi, 31, and Colleen McNamee, 20, contained DNA that matched that of John Bittrolff.

Bittrolff, 50, is on trial before state Supreme Court Justice Richard Ambro in Riverhead, charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

Tangredi and McNamee, who worked as prostitutes, were both bludgeoned and strangled to death, and posed similarly. Tangredi’s body was found Nov. 2, 1993 in East Patchogue and McNamee’s was found Jan. 30, 1994 in Shirley.

During questioning by Assistant District Attorney Robert Biancavilla, Baumann said a semen stain on McNamee’s stretch pants, found near her body, contained DNA from “at least three individuals.” Those DNA profiles did not match McNamee, Bittrolff or any of the dozens of other men whose DNA was examined over the years, Baumann said.

Baumann discussed some of those other men whose DNA he tested. They included Frank Beinlich, Tangredi’s husband, who reportedly had threatened to kill her and then said he did after she disappeared.

They also included two Suffolk police officers who were investigated as suspects. One was Officer Teddy Hart, who was fired in 2001 and pleaded guilty to aggravated harassment after an investigation showed he called women and threatened to rape and mutilate them.

The other was then-Sgt. Michael Murphy — since promoted to lieutenant. There has been no testimony about why he was a suspect in 1998.

Baumann said none of those men left DNA found at either crime scene. Although police investigated 152 other men over the years, only Bittrolff was charged.

During cross-examination by defense attorney Jonathan Manley of Hauppauge, Baumann said some items, including a beer can and a beer bottle found near her body, were not tested for DNA. Neither were her socks, even though one of them had a large blood stain on it, he said.


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