Man convicted of killing Oakland University student Tina Biggar to get parole hearing

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News
View Comments

The man convicted in the murder of Oakland University student Tina Biggar is scheduled to go before the parole board Tuesday.

Kenneth Tranchida, 67, will meet with parole board member and former Detroit Police commissioner Jerome Warfield Tuesday morning. 

Tranchida was convicted in 1996 in Oakland County of killing Biggar, a 23-year-old student from Farmington Hills.

Described as a drifter, Tranchida, then 42, met Biggar through a research project she was working on about prostitution and AIDS that was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kenneth R. Tranchida

Biggar disappeared in August 1995. 

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

Tranchida was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced as a habitual offender. Numerous books have been written about Biggar's life, her relationship with Tranchida and her murder.

Police said Biggar had interviewed prostitutes in prison and on the streets for the project and had gone to work for an escort service, where she met Tranchida, who was a customer.

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

The parole hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. and will be conducted via video on Microsoft Teams.

Members of the public were invited but the deadline to participate was Friday.

Since Tranchida is eligible for parole, he gets a review every five years, said Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Chris Gautz. "The board did not have interest in 2011 and 2016," added Gautz. "This year they have started the process to take it to a public hearing."

Biggar's family, reached via phone at their Traverse City residence, declined comment.

Gautz has had two tickets, or violations, while he has been imprisoned, said MDOC spokesman Chris Gautz.

"His last ticket was in 2009 for fighting," said Gautz. "Before that, he had one in 2001 for disobeying a direct order."

Typically one member of the parole board and someone from Attorney General Dana Nessel's office will attend, said Gautz.

"The prisoner will be asked about their crime, their time in prison, and plan for release if it were granted," said Gautz. "At the end, people both supporting and opposing the parole can speak."

It typically takes a court reporter four to six weeks to prepare a transcript of the hearing that is sent to the 10 members of the parole board. Warfield will also write a report on the meeting.

At the next monthly meeting, parole board members vote on whether to parole. It takes a majority, or at least six votes, for parole to be granted.

"After the interview tomorrow, it would be several months before a decision is made," Gautz said Monday "In the interim, people who did not attend the meeting can still contact the parole board to make their feelings known."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

View Comments