Tina Biggar’s killer granted parole hearing

Autumn Page, Marketing Director

Kenneth Tranchida, who pled guilty in 1996 to murdering Oakland University student Tina Biggar, was granted a parole hearing after serving 25 years out of his life sentence.  

The hearing started with the assistant attorney general, Alicia Lane, being sworn in by Jerome Warfield, a Michigan parole board member.

Lane began the hearing by asking Tranchida some basic questions about his background, including what he was doing at the time of Biggar’s murder. He had been living in Southfield with two jobs, no kids and once married. Tranchida proceeded to describe his upbringing and the process of finding out he was adopted.

“As for growing up, I never knew that I was adopted,” he said. “When I was 27 I found out I was adopted. Growing up and living at home, I got treated worse than my brothers and sisters — once I found out I was adopted I realized that I wasn’t my dad’s son, and I got treated differently from everybody else.” 

Tranchida found out he was adopted when applying for a passport and none of his family members wanted to confirm. He described his home as abusive, saying his father would throw hammers at him and beat him if he did something wrong. 

Lane continued on, asking Tranchida to recall the first thing he remembered about the day he murdered Biggar. 

Tranchida described how she called him and asked if he wanted to come with her to OU. They ended up getting breakfast at Big Boy, hanging out at the mall and going to a few different car dealerships. After dinner, Tranchida and Biggar went back to the room Tranchida had been renting. 

Tranchida explained the pair had been drinking and using drugs, they ended up getting into a verbal argument about money and his desire for Biggar to stop being an escort.

“Eventually I ended up pushing her and she fell and hit her head on the safe,” he said. “I thought she was playing at first. She didn’t answer me, and I [ended] up shaking her [and] couldn’t get her to wake up.”

Tranchida then panicked, left the room in her car and drove around for a while — realizing she was dead. He ended up putting Biggar’s body in the trunk of her car and driving to his aunt’s house, which was vacant, putting Biggar’s body along the fence. 

The two had known each other for around four months — having met at the gas station Tranchida worked at. Biggar was under the impression Tranchida was a wealthy man and could afford to buy a car for her. 

Lane continued questioning Tranchida about the argument, asking why Biggar would willingly go into the room in the midst of an argument.

Tranchida admitted he was trying to stop Biggar from leaving. Once she found out he didn’t have the money, the situation escalated and he pushed her. He then went on to describe what really killed Biggar.

“I smothered her with my hand,” Tranchida said. “I covered her mouth and nose with my hand.” 

Lane and Warfield took turns asking Tranchida questions about his lengthy record and why he previously lied to authorities. He was also asked why he should be released from prison. 

“I’m not the same person I was 25 years ago,” he said. “I’ve taken as many classes as I could take.”

Those classes include anger management, substance and alcohol abuse and Bible studies. 

Tranchida also apologized to the family of Biggar.

“I’m sorry I ruined your life, but first I ruined your daughter’s life — I took her life away from who she could’ve been,” he said. “No parents should have to bury their children.”

If he is granted release, Tranchida said he needs “a monitor” to evade temptations.

“This way it will help me stay away from everything that is not good for me,” he said.

A majority of the Michigan Parole Board has to vote to parole an inmate. The board has 10 members.