ONEONTA – Ricky Knapp, the man convicted of the 1977 death of SUNY Oneonta student, has died in Mohawk Correctional Facility, according to prison records.
Knapp, 66, died March 8, having served 40 years of a 25-to-life sentence for a 1978 manslaughter conviction in the death of 18-year-old Linda Velzy, a SUNY student from Long Island. According to reports, Velzy was last seen Dec. 9 1977, hitchhiking in downtown Oneonta.
On New Year’s Day 1978, Velzy’s body was found in a wooded area in the Town of Oneonta. The police charged Knapp had hidden the body earlier in another area in Delaware County and then moved it, and said that he admitted to punching her in the throat. An autopsy showed that the cause of her death was asphyxiation and head injuries.
In July 1978, Knapp was convicted in Otsego County Court of second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to prison. Knapp was eligible for parole in 2002, but was denied. He was denied eight other times as well, and was scheduled for a parole hearing in June.
The cause of Knapp’s death has not yet been released.