Peter Porco was found dead in his home in Bethlehem, New York, on November 15, 2004. Nearby, his wife had been hit with a club and was barely still alive. The horrible scene of the crime seemed to raise more questions than it answered about what led up to the bru*tal attack.
The two people had been attacked with an ax, and a broken screen in the garage window showed that someone had broken in. But after a short investigation, police quickly charged Christopher Porco, the couple’s 21-year-old son, with the crime.
Porco went to school nearly four hours away at the University of Rochester. He said he was in his college dorm the night his parents were attacked, but surveillance footage and evidence from tollbooths along the highway between Bethlehem and Rochester showed otherwise.
As the investigation went on, the police found out that Christopher Porco and his parents had been fighting in the weeks before the attack. With this information, Porco was found guilty of mu*rder and given at least 50 years in prison, but he is still sure that he is not guilty.
Christopher Porco’s Strange Behavior
Christopher Porco had been fighting with his parents, Peter and Joan Porco, for a long time before he ki*lled them in the middle of the night with an ax. Murd*erpedia says that they had been fighting about his grades for a whole year before the attacks.
Due to bad grades, Porco had to drop out of the University of Rochester after the Fall 2003 semester. He told his parents that it was because a teacher had lost his final exam, and he signed up for the Spring 2004 term at Hudson Valley Community College.
In the fall of 2004, he was allowed back into the University of Rochester, but only because he had faked his transcripts from the community college. Porco told his parents again that the exam he had lost had been found and that the school would pay for his tuition because of the mix-up.
Christopher Porco, Joan, and Peter
In reality, Christopher Porco had borrowed $31,000 by making a fake copy of his father’s signature on the loan. He paid his school fees and bought a yellow Jeep Wrangler with the money.
Peter Porco was furious when he found out about the loan. Early in November 2004, he sent his son an email asking, “Did you fake my signature as a co-signer?” What the heck are you doing?… This morning, I’m calling Citibank to find out what you’ve done.”
Christopher Porco wouldn’t talk to either of his parents when they called, so his father emailed him again: “I want you to know that if you use my credit again without permission, I will have to file forgery affidavits.” He then said, “Your mother and I may be upset with you, but we still love you and care about your future.”
Peter Porco was k*illed in a bru*tal way in less than two weeks.
The Gruesome Ax Attacks On Peter And Joan Porco
Early in the morning of November 15, 2004, Christopher Porco turned off his parents’ burglar alarm, cut their phone line, and crept into their quiet suburban home while they were sleeping. He went into their bedroom and started swinging a fireman’s ax at their heads. Then Porco got back into his Jeep and drove back to the University of Rochester.
The Times Union says that Peter Porco didn’t die right away, even though he was hurt very badly. He even got out of bed and did his morning things in a macabre haze.
A trail of blood at the crime scene showed that Peter had gone to the bathroom sink, tried to load the dishwasher, packed his lunch, and written a check to pay for one of Christopher’s recent parking tickets.
He then went outside to get the newspaper. When he got there, he realized he’d locked himself out. Somehow, he managed to open the door with a hidden spare key before passing out in the foyer. When a coroner looked at him later, they found that he had been hit in the head 16 times with the ax and that part of his jaw was missing.
Weapon Used to K*ill Christopher Porco.
When Peter didn’t show up for his job as a law clerk that morning, a court officer was sent to his house to see if he was okay. When he saw how bad things were, he called 911 right away.
When the police came, Joan Porco was still in bed, barely holding on to life. Her left eye and a piece of her skull were both gone. She was taken to the hospital and put into a coma by doctors, but not before she told one of the officers that the person who did it was her son.
The Mounting Evidence Against Christopher Porco
The Times Union says that Bethlehem Police Department detective Christopher Bowdish asked Joan Porco about her attacker while paramedics were stabilizing her.
He said that when he asked her if her oldest son, Johnathan, was behind the attacks, she shook her head no. But when he asked her if Christopher was guilty, she nodded her head yes. But when Joan came out of the coma she had been put in by doctors, she said she couldn’t remember anything and that Christopher was innocent.
Still, the police were already looking into Christopher Porco, and they found that his story about where he was that night was a lie.
Porco said he slept all night on the couch in his college dorm, but his roommates said they watched a movie in the common area and didn’t see him there. Also, the University of Rochester’s security cameras caught his easily recognizable yellow Jeep leaving campus at 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 14 and coming back at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 15.
Along the route from Rochester to Bethlehem, people who worked at toll booths also remembered seeing the yellow Jeep. And, according to Forensic Tales, Porco’s DNA was later found on one of the toll tickets, proving he was the one driving the Jeep.
Christopher Porco was charged with k*illing his father, but all through his trial, he insisted that he was innocent. Even more, Joan Porco even spoke up for her son. In a letter to the Times Union, she said, “I beg the Bethlehem police and the District Attorney’s Office to leave my son alone and look for Peter’s real k*iller or k*illers so that he can rest in peace and my sons and I can live safely.”
Christopher Porco was found guilty of second-degree mu*rder and attempted mu*rder, even though Joan begged the judge not to. He was sentenced to at least 50 years in prison. In an interview after he was found guilty, he said that his father’s real ki*llers were still out there. “At this point,” he said, “I’m not sure that they’ll ever be found.”