Man convicted in 1995 death of Oakland U student to get parole hearing this month

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

The Michigan Parole Board has scheduled a public hearing for May 18 to consider the parole of a man convicted of killing an Oakland University student in a case that grabbed headlines across the country 25 years ago.

Kenneth Tranchida is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder-habitual fourth in the death of Tina Biggar in 1995, according to a release posted to Michigan.gov.

Tina Biggar

Described in the release as a drifter, Tranchida, then 42, was convicted of killing Biggar, a 23-year-old Oakland University student he met through a research project she was working on about prostitution and AIDS that was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tranchida, now 67, allegedly told police he wanted to "put (Biggar) out of her misery″ from mounting money troubles.

Kenneth R. Tranchida

Biggar, who lived in Farmington Hills at the time, disappeared in August 1995, and Tranchida was sentenced to life in prison for her murder in May 1996 in Oakland County. Numerous books have been written about Biggar's life, her relationship with Tranchida and her murder.

Biggar's body was found behind the former home of one of Tranchida's relatives in Southfield. Her car was discovered in Tranchida's possession, said authorities. Tests revealed blood found in the car belonged to Biggar. The young woman died from blows to the head and neck, according to an autopsy.

Kenneth Tranchida, then 42, was convicted of killing Biggar, a 23-year-old Oakland University student.

Authorities believe Biggar was killed the day she disappeared.

"The one reason he gave was that she was complaining about her financial woes,″ Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Gary Tunis said. "She needed money, so he wanted to put her out of her misery.″

Biggar, said police, met Tranchida as a customer when she had gone to work for an escort service. Before then, she had interviewed prostitutes in prison and on the streets for a school project. 

The hearing at 11 a.m. May 18 will be conducted via video through Microsoft Teams and can be accessed by the public on the Michigan Department of Corrections website.

Those planning to access the hearing must register no later than May 14 by calling (517) 335-1736  to confirm attendance.

Michigan Parole Board member Jerome L. Warfield will conduct the hearing which is conducted under the provisions of Michigan's Lifer Law.

The Associated Press contributed.