Killer Ricky Knapp Dies In Prison

Killer Knapp Dies In Prison;

Guilty In SUNY Coed’s Death

Ricky Knapp

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.

44 thoughts on “Killer Ricky Knapp Dies In Prison

  1. Anonymous

    Just watched Dead of Winter,& couldn’t be happier, that the piece of scum is dead. I hope he burns for eternity!!!

  2. Rosy Assouline

    His soul will be tormented in eternity. He may come back as a homeless covered with mange being kicked and despised to pay for his crime.

  3. Charlie

    Just deserts for how brutal this degenerative creep was! Bad thing he, he lived so long after viciously murdering this innocent young lady!

  4. Anonymous

    Even though we consider a killing to be the ultimate crime of humanity, what Richard did was to commit a sin. God looks at sin as sin. It’s all evil. My sin is no worse than Richards sin. And his sin was no worse than mine. That is why each of us needs a savior desperately. I don’t know if this guy repented for his sin and became a Christian, but if he did, you will see him in heaven. That is, if you have taken Jesus as your savior.

  5. Kathy Devine

    I was a student at SUCO Oneonta then. Ricky Knapp kidnapped, molested and finally released my roommate. She was not hitch hiking. She was walking up the path to lower campus and he was hiding in the bushes. He forced her at knifepoint to his car. The irony is Knapp forced women to go down on him, but couldn’t get it up, so he beat his victims to death. My roommate didn’t fight back, didn’t try to escape, and feels that is why she survived. She was smart and funny and probably talked circles around him, too. But her survivor’s guilt was unbearable.

    She was distraught that he was out on bail from her case when he killed Linda. She did all the right things, but the law did not protect us. The scary part was how many suspects the police had immediately to hand when she went to them. Creepy people abound. Knapp had been known to them as far back as tying up and torturing a classmate in elementary school! But in those days, the victim was blamed, and my roommate was put through hell by the prosecution. They even accused her of WANTING the molestation because she was an art student who drew the nude human body and so must have rape fantasies! She gave the judge hell over THAT comment. Despite her brave efforts, and his past record, Knapp was unbelievably released on bail. And killed Linda within weeks.

    My roommate helped police locate where he had dumped Linda Velzy. 60 minutes wanted to interview and film my roommate, but the police asked her not to, so she declined. He was caught shortly after, at the location my roommate gave them, the locale in which she would’ve taken 60 minutes. He was caught moving the body.

    Linda Velzy’s father had Knapp investigated and was instrumental, along with my roommate, for keeping Knapp in jail the nearly ten times he came up for parole. Even if it was for check fraud, it kept Knapp locked up. Reverend Velzy made it his life’s mission to keep Knapp locked away. He even hired investigator’s to research Knapp, and the findings were chilling.

    The evidence indicated Knapp was a serial killer. Ricky Knapp had evidence of other victims in his car when arrested. Women went missing wherever he went, in the U.S. and Canada.

    Knapp affected my roommate’s entire life. She had to prepare for his parole hearing every couple years., reliving her trauma. I normally would not have posted because she is a very private person, but my roommate and lifelong friend passed away this week. The call she got to tell her she was dead offered relief, as she was the last one alive to protest his release, and she didn’t have long to live at that point.

    As far as the hitch hiking, everyone hitched from down town in those days. I don’t know how it is today. My roommate turned her feelings of helplessness into power as she joined the rape hotline and counseled others. Rape was a common campus occurrence. It likely still is.

    My roommate and dear friend stopped being a victim and spent alot of her life helping victims, speaking out through her art, and preventing others from becoming victims by keeping Knapp locked up until his death.

  6. glenn

    WOW. Well done to you guys. They say the human spirit is strong… you are proof of that!
    Don’t ever let that go… the future depends on it

    PS. What is it with judges who let creeps out on bail…?
    PPS. Judge in question I hope like Linda’s family you have spent the last forty years, all night, staring at the ceiling

  7. Barbara

    If it was a friend or relative of mine that got attacked by this creep, he would not have made it to trial. Save the taxpayers money by not feeding and housing degenerates for 20 plus years. I strongly believe in the death penalty . Especially now that we have the ability to use DNA to real know, with 100% certainty, who these offenders are. Sorry for all you non-death penalty people who are offended but you don’t know the depths of destruction they produce unless you are a victim or close to a victim. So sorry for the families of the girls that endured this creeps viciousness.

  8. Mojtaba

    i am somehow sorry, I’d like such monsters live as long as possible and every day wish to get out but they cannot. I’d like these bastars taste misery as long as possible.

  9. Sue Davies

    The only thing about this story that allowed me to breathe normally for a few seconds is when he confessed that he punched her in the throat and killed her when she tried to get out of the car. Despicable as this incident was, thank God she died before she was molested and/or tortured. I will never understand how a serial killer/sexual molester is created. Nor will I ever understand how the “justice” system works. How on earth was this man charged only with “second degree manslaughter” after abducting a woman, then knowingly planning what he was going to do to her as he drove her away from the destination he had promised to take her to. And how he managed to be granted bail after his recent attack on another woman. Until these crimes start being punished with the same ferocity with which they are perpetrated, we will never see an end to it. He died in jail but was allowed to see daylight for another 41 years after Linda’s light had been snuffed out. There is something so wrong about that, I just can’t wrap my head around it.

  10. Rose

    I was a coed, finishing up my degree in the summer of 1974. Does anyone know if this man was out of prison that summer?

  11. David P. Turnbole

    The man that murdered Linda Velsey, daughter of my minister when we lived on Long Island and was one of my students in Senior Sunday School class. She was a gifted artist and musician he was a piece of shit. I swore that if he was ever released I’d be waiting with a shotgun aimed at his groin as he walked past the gate. I hope he suffered. None of the pain he could have felt would equal the heartbreak our community felt at the loss of Linda.

  12. Elena

    I agree with Barbara. As much as it is wrong to take anybody’s life, I still think that this evil criminal got to live 40+ years for free off of taxpayers’ money, while poor Linda never got a chance. I just hope Linda’s family finds some peace; likewise for all his other victims and their families.

  13. Sherry

    Well written Kathy Devine … what an amazing friend you had. She helped prevent more women from being a victim to that monster. Thank you for sharing that

  14. Olga o sullivan

    I just watched Linda’s story on Dead of Winter and what an end to a lovely talented girl. I’ll never understand these creeps being left out on bail and why when people protest they don’t protest against this? Linda’s parents were heartbreaking to watch and I hope they’re still alive. Rest in Peace Linda x

  15. Maureen Paton

    I am watching “Dead of Winter” and it reminded me of the times I occasionally hitch-hiked in the UK around the same era. Funnily enough, because many people did do this, one did not feel frightened. It must be the worst thing for any family to lose a family member in this horrific way. I also have had a murder within my family, an 83 year old and she was stabbed when a robbery went wrong. I suspect one really does not get over it, especially when it is your much loved son or daughter.

  16. Al Denton

    So he’s dead. Good.
    I remember some local inbreds actually supporting this turd, even after he was convicted.

  17. LL

    Does anyone know if Ricky Knapp was incarcerated or not in November 1974 or what he was driving around the same time, Nov/Dec. Thank you.

  18. Marilyn Shively

    I just saw this story on Investigative Discovery: It is only fitting that he died in prison for the horrific crime he committed. Too bad he lived and breathed for 40 years after committing his crime.

  19. JJ

    So sad. I can’t imagine the trauma that Linda’s parents have endured. I have my own daughters. It breaks my heart.

    And I knew Ricky. I knew his family.

    I grew up in West Oneonta. His family lived three houses down from ours in Baker Hill Road. Ricky was a lot older then me. He was one of the “big kids” when I was going to grade school. My only recollection of Ricky was when I was no more than 7 or 8. I was playing at a friend’s house right next to the Knaps when we found a garter snake between the garage and the basement walk-in. Ricky came over, took a shovel, and sliced it in two. I remember being horrified and sick. Can’t say that this made him a monster – that would show up later. But cruelty tends to start young and is never too far below the surface.

    RIP Linda.

  20. Daria Christiansen

    I remember it like it was yesterday. I was living in NYC at the time but came from Oneonta. My sister was the bar manager at the holiday inn where Ricky Knapp worked as a part time dishwasher. She told me of being questioned by the police and Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes. I too use to hitchhike without a care and that was the time when most of the serial killers were active. I went to Florida during the Bundy error and am damn lucky I never met up with one of the those son of a bitches. Like all the others the law gives them more rights than the victims. May he rest in HELL with Manson Bundy and all the rest of the sick bastards that pray on women

  21. Mark Kennedy

    I hope that the sick bastard suffered every single day of the 40 yrs he spent in prison. Hopefully the other prisoners brutalized & tortured him the entire time that he was in prison. The death sentence should be mandatory punishment for every evil person convicted of murder.

  22. Cindy R

    I just shared this story with my 30 year old daughter. I was a sophomore at oneonta in spring 1977. I hitchhiked from campus to local school where I volunteered. Ricky Knapp picked me up. I realized after I got in his car that he was a “local” and not a student. We chatted a little until he asked me if it was wrong to masturbate. I had already mentioned that I was s psychology major so I rambled on a bit hoping we’d reach the school soon. As we approached the school he asked me if I’d watch him while he did it(and duh I just realized he only had one hand on the steering wheel and the other in his pants). I planned to jump out of the car if he didn’t stop at the school but he did. I ran into the school and told the supervisor of the program who called the police. The police told me to call campus police which I did. We went over details etc and that was it. The following December my friends and I were all supposed to go to a party that got canceled because one of our friends disappeared. That girl was Linda. I’m now 63 years old. These memories still terrify me. We all hitched back and forth between campus and downtown. Most times our friends picked us up. Before Linda disappeared, no one at the college told us that there was a serial rapist on campus on a regular basis, no warnings! WTH! As I read some of the stories, I’m sick to my stomach. I was one of the lucky ones. I never hitchhiked again after that day with Knapp. When I was home for Christmas break in January 1978 and saw his face on the news and realized that was the guy who jerked off while giving me a ride, I couldn’t stop shaking. I must have had a guardian angel on that fall day in oneonta.


    Linda was a friend of mine, we used to attend Church Retreats together. She was a kind and beautiful soul. RIP Linda, and I hope Knapp has found his karma in Hell. He lived far longer than he deserved.

  24. Carlo A

    Just watched this very sad and unfortunate story on ‘Dead of Winter.’ Such a beautiful young lady whose chance to live a full life was stolen from her…so sad. No matter how many stories I read/watch about young people hitchhiking and are assaulted and/or killed; yet people still hitchhike today. I can’t imagine that hitchhiking was ever ‘safe’, whether in the ‘70’s or today. I’ve even seen people hitchhiking with little babies. I guess this is to gain sympathy until you’re in the car..

  25. Lori

    I can’t fathom how no one takes revenge. I’m with the other guy on here. If someone killed my loved one and ever got released I would be waiting with a shotgun, it would be worth the prison time but if I could get to the f**er before prison, even better. I would save taxpayers money.

  26. Laurence

    Knapp must have been 25 or 26 years old when he took Linda’s life. He probably blended in some way with college kids. This is yet another case where a judge was much too lenient in the handling of his prior cases. He should have been on much higher bond for the other cases he was involved with. College females especially should have mace in their purses that is easy to locate.

  27. Bruce Russell

    Katherine Kolodziej was murdered in Cobleskill, ny, 35 miles from oneonta, on November 2nd 1974. A girl was seen getting in a small yellow or orange car, possibly a volkswagon bug. If that is a match, please call the state police.There is a facebook page for the unsolved homocide of Katherine Kolodziej.

  28. Ed

    Great to see that Knapp who was eligible for parole in 2003 wasn’t.
    So many evil monsters like him sometimes serve just a fraction of their sentences and then paroled. Good for the people of New York State.
    He not only served 25 years but another 15.

  29. Scott Van Aken

    I briefly dated Linda in the summer of 1976. We worked together at a summer resort in Windham, N.Y. I was a cook and she was a waitress Such a lovely sweet girl.
    I was relieved to read that Ricky Knapp hd died.
    I was always afraid that he would get paroled

  30. Mona Schoen

    Kathy Devine, So sorry for the loss of your friend. I watched this heartbreaking story on ID. May your friend’s memory be a blessing .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Prove you're not a robot: *