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Kirsten Costas murder 6/23/1984 Orinda, CA *Classmate, Bernadette Protti, convicted of her murder, sentenced to 9 years in prison*

Kirsten Costas

Find-a-Grave: Kirsten Costas
Trial Hears Girl’s Confession of East Bay Slaying
Orinda Teenager Convicted Of Second-Degree Murder
Sentence in murder was “light”
Orinda woman convicted in 1984 murder is free on parole
Profile of a Murder Suspect
Murderpedia: Bernadette Protti
Wikipedia: Kirsten Costas
A jealous person is a dangerous person
Five murders and the movies they inspired
“Death of a Cheerleader” aka “A Friend to Die For”
Bernadette Protti and Kirsten Costas Case
Bernadette Protti Found!
Killing Out of Jealousy: Dr. Villarreal on Lifetime’s “Killer Kids”, Bernadette Protti’s Story

Deadliest Decade: The Cheerleader Murder
A Friend to Die For (aka: Death of a Cheerleader)
Landscape Suicide
Deadly Women: Deadly Delinquents
Killer Kids: Rumors and the To Do List

Bernadette Protti


156 Responses

  1. NOT RIGHT!!!!!! 15 years old is old enough to know better. She should never gotten out.

    • Right but, Kirsten should have known better then to make Bernadette’s life hell.

      • Huh??? You have to be kidding me?? I’m about the same age as these girls and yeah feeling like the “ugly duckling” can really suck, but Jesus, take some responsibility for your own self worth! I was not the most popular girl in school, but I NEVER once thought about stabbing someone to death for thinking I’m “weird”! I’m still quirky (adult for “im weird”), I embrace it and the people that know me love me. So, you think it’s ok to murder a young girl(who may be a bitch, but not realize it) just because she thinks your “weird”…You are just as nuts as her, sister!

      • Caroline, are you getting the idea Kirsten was a bully and ran all over Bernadette from the movie or from the true facts? In the movie tori spelling plays the part of a bully who has nothing to do except run over people especially the “angel” character, however if you go by the facts and Bernadette’s true written and recorded statements, she was envious because Kirsten’s family had money and she didn’t want for anything, she was a cheerleader, a member of the varsity swim team the their school and all around outgoing young lady. The only known comment Kirsten made to Bernadette was about her skis when they went on their class ski trip. She did nothing to deserve being stabbed with an 18 inch knife 5 times and left for dead. Her parents did nothing to deserve having to lay their 15 year old, only daughter to rest! There is no excuse for it!

  2. At 15 yrs of age, we all know right from wrong. The two girls who were convicted of killing Michele Avila in 1985 havent been released from prison, why should Bernadette be allowed to be out?

  3. I do not dismiss what Bernadette did and I think it is a tragedy that Kirsten was murdered; but I was bulled myself in high school and I understand how this kind of thing could really hurt and torment you. I am now in my forties and it took a long time for me to get over what happened to me in high school. And in some ways I am still
    that little girl that everyone made fun of. I just pray that this
    kind of thing doesn’t happen to another family. It is tragic
    for both sides.

  4. Uh Rose….. BUT would you kill someone? That is the difference!!! She killed her in cold blood…. because she did not want her to tell people she was “weird?” ????!!!???

    It may be easy for you to relate to being picked on….. but trying to relate to Bernadette Protti is a bit out there…. sure, sympathize with her feelings of being an outcast….. but to kill someone because you are being picked on?

    As for a tragedy for both families….. well the Costas lost a daughter…. forever. The Protti’s daughter has gone on to college, gotten her masters, a nursing degree, married with kids, and is a well known writer for medical journals……. I would bet the Costas would have rather had the Protti tragedy.

  5. I suspect that violent crime among juveniles was still pretty rare back in 1984 compared to nowadyas; and hence she was tried and sentenced as a juvenile and subsequently released 8 years later. If such a crime were to happen today the killer would certainly be tried as an adult and face life in prison.


    Please read my comment policy before posting a comment. Those comments removed violated it.

  7. Hey does anyone know the women’s name who with the help of her boyfriend murdered her parents in mid 80’s. She and here boyfriend were both in college or high school at the time. The parents were murdered in there home. I think she may be in a womens prison in virgina or somewhere around that area. Thanks. Please e-mail

  8. just reading about this, i remember seeing the movie on tv…i read that Protti changed her name…just saw a post that after she got out she is a nurse and a medical journal writer, what did she change her name too? just curious, marnie marniecat68 at

  9. This has got nothing to do with bullying. Bernadette was jealous, because Kirsten was prettier than her, wealthier and more popular and attracted more attention from boys. When it became obvious that Kirsten didn´t want to be friends with her, she became enraged.

    Cases of Missy Avila, Shanda Sharer and the recent case, Adrianne Reynolds don´t differ much from this one. What they have in common is an attractive young female and a jealous, physically less attractive and mentally deranged friend or acquintance who decides to eliminate the prettier girl out of jealousy. It was the same pattern in the 80´s as it is now.

  10. This is a serious problem in our nation today. This occured during the 1980’s and was a rare thing then even though this bullying and peer abuse problem was rampant then as well. The scenario here is no different from the school shootings that we hear about every year. Bullying is behind those and was behind this case. Nothing justifies killing a person and Bernadette served her time for this. Please, educate yourself on this problem in society. This is the result of what bullying can lead to. We do not need to loose anyone else to this serious problem.

    I was bullied for 27 years and now work to helping those being bullied. Despite that, I never would have gone as far as killing my bullies. At the same time, I think adults need to teach their children to stop this behavior and to learn to respect one another and their differences and stop feeding these Queen Bees power. Its toxic all around as this case has shown.

    Take Care,
    Elizabeth Bennett

    • Elizabeth,
      She did not serve ENOUGH time. She took a LIFE. Do you get that??? Let’s say it was YOUR child that was brutally murdered, is 8 years enough time to make up for the life of your child? It certainly would not be for me. And before you pass judgement on me, know that I have taught my children to befriend the underdog…they may not always love it, but they know its the right thing to do. I’m very sorry you were bullied, but grow up and get on with your own life. Why let other people have control over how you feel about yourself?

    • I realize this is an old post, but the shootings in California, Virginia Tech., Laurie Dan I think in ILLN. shooting spree of elem. kids, all had nothing to do with bullying. Use deductive and inductive reasoning before you research and make such statements. Bullying is a problem but is a separate issue than the shootings you describe. These were deranged people and proven that most were either recluses who were never bothered or, in the case of California, the boys literally bullied and scared many of the students, students who were not cheerleaders or as you call “Queen Bees”. I take some offensive to that because name calling is wrong and it just makes you seem somewhat unhinged and not really over what you went through. You might need more counseling yourself. I am not saying that to be mean, I just don’t like the fact that you related issues that have nothing to do with bullying on this forum you lump Kirsten in that category. Again, as I stated in other posts, Bernadette stalked Kirsten, a person who apparently was mean to others and she wanted to be liked by a mean spirited person to the point of killing her. This just does not fit in your plight of helping bullying. Teachers and parents should spend every day walking the halls at every school and this simple task is not done enough! Parents could rotate with the permission of the principle and use phone cameras as well as stop and council the bullying in progress. It is always interesting to
      to see the parents reactions when they are called on both sides.
      The parenting is questionable on both sides at times. I have tried to
      volunteer when my child was young and that was my experiences.
      Many families were upset and rightfully so when the media turned many of these shootings as bullying related. The issues of bullying are real and need to be handled every day but the shootings are not part of it! The evidence even pointed that out if you research. The suicide rate, however, is a problem and again, you still have to wonder if the parent was truly involved enough to pick up on the symptoms that usually lead to suicide. Yet, still different than the personalities of the shooters in the more recent school shootings. Dawn, who always seems to make good points, stated “why let others control how you feel about yourself”.

  11. Wow…I remember watching the movie about this! It was so sad and bizarre. It just seems unfair that Kirsten is still dead and Bernadette just gets out of jail and gets to go on with her life. JMO..R.i.p. Kirsten.

    • I don’t think it’s right she killed her but, maybe this should be a lesson to teens who make other people’s lives hell in school. I was popular in school and stuck up for the underdogs. It pisses me off that idiots get away with the hell they put people through while in school. JMO

  12. The Costas’ were my neighbors and I remember the murder happening on my other neighbor’s porch. We all ran out to see what was happening and this poor girl died right there. I was only 10 but it was a huge trauma to know that this girl was stabbed to death so viciously. It’s totally shameful that the murderer, who lured her out under false pretenses, went free in just a handful of years.

    • Yes, she shouldn’t have been murdered but, she also should not have put that other girl through hell. It’s just mean and outright vicious. People should think twice before they treat others like sh.t.

      • Caroline, your statements are very unnerving, you justify this poor child’s murder because you think she was a bully? You are truly depraved. I don’t condone bullying but I most certainly can not understand cold blooded murder under any circumstance. What Bernadette did was EVIL, there are no two ways about it.

        • Yeah, I would…u torment a CHILD so bad that it makes their life HELL…..yeah, I pretty much think you deserve whatever happens to you.

  13. How you lot can justify someone killing someone amazes me.I went to school with both Bernadette & Kirsten.How Kirsten was portrayed in the movie “death of a cheerleader” is totally inacurate.I was neither popular nor unpopular, my parents didn’t have much money & I most certainly wasn’t blessed with the looks that Kirsten had.Both Kirsten & Bernadette were friendly & nice.I do believe Bernadette should still be in prison & I also believe this murder was in cold blood.If not then why was she never able to tell Offiers whose party she had planned to take Kirsten to?Or who had invited her to this party?
    RIP Kirsten X

  14. The decision to release Bernadette after serving eight years of a 9-year sentence is correct.

    It is irrational to expect “total justice and fairness” after a murder trial: no sentence will ever bring back to life the victim. Hence, other criteria than complete satisfaction have to be considered.

    Bernadette has been found fit to return to society by experts – a verdict we have to accept.

    • You seen to me to be desperate to give Bernadette the benefit of all possible doubts and I personally think that for you do so in this case, which must be the cause of so much pain to many people, you must be a very lonely person.

      • Judging from your inability to grasp simple postings of mine I suggest you refrain from trying to analyze a complete stranger’s life circumstances. Unsurprisingly you are way off the mark anyway. I am sure I am less lonely than the judges, court clerks, parole board and spectators of the proceedings, whose recommendations, sentencing, etc. I support.

    • Investment banker & economist in London. Propper banker!!!!!!!

      • Can I try to make a point to all concerned. Elgar the bwanker has posted comments on here which has caused responses from people so close to the injured party as to know her personally, prior to the event of Kirsten’s murder, and yet he still cannot take a step back in the presence of the fact that there are people concerned who have suffered bereavement which can only be compounded by his mindless remarks, making excuses for undue lenience in the release of Protti.
        His attention towards Protti shows a certain measure of blind desperation in the setting of a community of people with genuine concern for the plight of the victim in a well known case known to many of us only because it was televised throughout the world. He should be ashamed of himself!

        • “Propper” gave it away already, illiterate oaf. The rest of your ranting only shows that you haven’t grasped the jist of most postings in here, otherwise you couldn’t arrive at the preposterous suggestion I would be sympathetic to Protti (applauding to a prison term of 8 years). I merely expressed througout my postings that I am satisfied with the juridical process.

          Your “banker/wanker” diatribe is so immature I woul suggest to seek webpages of lesser challenges to your infantile mind, such as Mickey Mouse or Nickelodeon.

          • Your self-portrait gives you away “banker!!!” Imagine yourself as a lawyer instead and then you can come out with more bullshit about the judicial system.

      • LOL @ “propper” … 7-year old spelling bees could trump you, oh infantile!
        (off to get a new keyboard…)

  15. how many shooting and stabbing has there been and all for the same reason bullying its about all your schools and teachers and your parents think of the way they bring up kids to be cruel evil nasty and so full of yourselfs when there older they are nothing and god will puinish .
    she did her sentance now let her live
    god will puinish bullys so hopely good girls wont do go that far again america wake up bring your kids up better

  16. Alot of people get bullied and verbally abused as a kid, but they don’t kill when they feel like it. She stepped over the line, and to me that means she could do it again.

  17. Both girls were very young and although killing is never the answer it just shows how traumatic bullying can be. One girl’s parents raised her to have so much confidence that she thought she could do or say anything and remain in the good graces of teachers and society despite how she treated people. The other raised by devout Catholics(?) who helped suppress their child’s confidence with guilt and fear etc.

    So apparently it is up to our parents to teach us by example how to behave like respectable human beings. There is no reason to treat someone less popular, or less pretty, poorly. Why not appreciate that you were blessed with beauty and personality? It was luck of the draw, the bully does nothing to attain this beauty. They are born that way. No girl has any excuse here for her behavior but unfortunately and sadly, Kristen and her family lost the battle.

  18. Hello.
    On ethical grounds, I agree with everyone who said that Miss Protti should have served a longer sentence. I think Miss.Costas’s murder was premeditated, on some level. My father was a probabtion officer/counselor, etc for juvenille delinquents in Alameda County, CA and he believed this as well. Miss Costas did not die in vain;laws regarding juvenille murderers have been changed;please excuse me if that sounds unkind. I was 16 years old when this murder happened, utterly horrified and quite glad that I went to a small Roman Catholic prep school in another city.Jada, I knew two of your classmates. It would be inappropriate to name them.One was a fellow ballet student and not a very nice girl, but harmless. The other was a very sweet, intelligent, friendly, beautiful blonde girl who I met during Freshman Orientation week at USC in 1985.She exmplified the old saying “pretty is as pretty does.” We prayed for both girls daily during the 1984/1985 school year; please accept my condolences to the friends and family of Miss Costas even though I am 25 years late. Why on earth was Miss Protti allowed to become a NURSE? Is it not possible that she could kill someone again? We prayed for her at school along with the girl she killed. When our teachers were out of earshot, my friends and I felt she was a disgrace to humanity and to our Church, just like the segment of priests who violated children. If this any comfort at all, I intend to put Miss Coastas on my list for the Feast of All Souls. Peace to all.

  19. and i dont think that what she deserv but you shouldnt be makeing fun of peo i know whats its like to e made fun of for your name to be in every ones mouth for peo to talk about you and your family wow that jard she said she confessed and that but her trough trail that sad poor girl but THAT WAS WRONG WHAT SHE DID im not saying its ok itNO WERE TO BEING OK BUT SHE SERVED HER TIME AND TODAY I WTCH IT IM 12 AND THAT MOVIE is wow you should nerve kill anyone

  20. and i think she sould have served alittle time not like 15years but like 10years or 8 she didnt mean for it to happend

  21. I’m sure not a day goes by that Protti does not think about Kirsten and what she did to her. She probably decided to be a Nurse as a means of redemption and to help others.

  22. Children should be raised to be courteous to one another, to be grateful for whatever they have been blessed with, and to be compassionate. So many kids are raised to believe that if they have money and/or looks, they have a right to torment those who don’t have such good fortune. It is very much the fault of the parents, because the parents see their child’s behavior and are duty bound to guide their kids to be good citizens. The girl should have never been killed, it is a horrible tragedy that I remember very well. But unless all parents act responsibly and bring their kids up to be good people, these things will happen. Both girls should have been taught better and watched more closely, and it might never have taken place.

  23. This girl (Kristen Costas) is ugly so i don’t understand why the girl that killed her enyved her and was so desprite to be like her ! Being popular or thought of as “weird’ isn’t worth going to jail for!

  24. I watched this movie yesterday with my 13 yr old son. We both had many questions. I began to search the particulars of this case and unfortunately, they all pretty much say the same thing. As I was reading these blogs I found it interesting that Bernadette became a nurse. Granted, it may have been to cure her own guilt over her actions, but as a nurse myself I was always under the impression that someone convicted of murder was not allowed to hold a nurse’s license in any state. I have since looked into that as well. I have found that those convicted of murder before or during a hold of licensure cannot be licensed. So, if anyone has any idea how this convicted murderer was able to obtain a master’s in nursing, please clue me in. As to the murder itself, I can understand how frustrating it can be to be bullied and made to feel inferior, but at 15 without mental illness being present, you know right from wrong. Self control can be used. For example, the “goth” girl in the movie. She kept saying she would kill “Stacy”. But she didn’t. The urge may have been there but not executed. Should we feel sorry for all of those that felt bullied and killed someone? Should they be let out of prison because they couldn’t handle pressure? I don’t think so. R.I.P Kirsten

  25. Angi, you are correct! A convicted murderer is not able to obtain a nursing license but that pertains to an adult perpetrator. Bernadette was tried as a juvenile which means her criminal record was sealed. So basically, she murdered Kirsten, served her time, and was released back into society with a spotless criminal record! Bit unjust don’t you think?

  26. As a writer I have been fascinated by this case. Subsequent articles and the film portrayed Kirsten as the aggressor rather than the victim. I would love to know more about her so any correspondence from friend would be welcome.

  27. Sorry for my english i’m french, Should have stayed in prison, I looked at the film twice, even if she felt humbled she did not have to make that. This affair passione me and when I learnt that it became nursing I was shocked. I am sure that she wants and I hope that she thinks of it every day. Nothing can justify such an act, she was not physically assaulted nor violated thus nothing excuses her.

  28. Kirsten’s death was a planned murder. I believe bernadette trained as an airline reservationist in the midwest while in prison, but I do not think she is a nurse. I will find out. I work in the medical area. I wish her other friends would reach out with more comments, or pics….

  29. I respect that some people on this blog have suffered from bullying, but I think it’s time to draw some boundaries. There is bullying (name-calling, taunting) and there is actual criminal harassment (throwing things, following people home, beating them up). Both should not be tolerated in any school, and the latter should be (in my opinion) criminally prosecuted. Bullying has been in the news a lot lately, especially due to that poor girl Phoebe Prince, but the word bullying covers a whole lot of ground.

    *However.* From what I’ve read, none of this even applies to Kirsten Costas. Did she follow the Protti girl around? Did she throw stuff at her or beat her up? Did she call her names? I haven’t read that anywhere. Not every school shooting or act of violence is the result of bullying–in fact *most* school shooters were never bullied (in Columbine, Virginia Tech, Jonesboro, Thurston High School, West Pearl–none of those perpetrators were bullied, despite common belief otherwise. They were all deeply disturbed and/or psychopathic loners who fantasized about having one final control scenario).

    It sounds to me as though Kirsten didn’t like the Protti girl, and didn’t bother to hide it, but otherwise pretty much avoided her. That’s not bullying. It may not be Little Mary Sunshine, but really, you can’t force people to like each other, or even be nice. Bullying means *truly* objectionable behavior, not what Kristen did. It really does bother me that so many comments n here seem to want to see a “victim” motive in what Protti did, and somehow mitigate it. Most murderers are not bullied. Don’t excuse them that way. If you were bullied and had fantasies about murdering your tormentors–you stopped, and that’s what makes you a healthy, sane person. But these murderers are not you–they are not sane, and not victims. Bernadette Protti was not a victim. She was just a girl who wasn’t as popular as she wanted to be, and was deeply, pathologically insecure as a result.

  30. as seeing that she came out of jail and she hasn’t killed anyone again I believe she isn’t a murderer anymore. But to all the people who believe she is a danger and that she should die or what ever, think of this. If to you she is still an unstable person and your commenting so harshly about her, if she was to murder someone again because of those comments, a large majority should be your falt since you pushed her to it. leave her alone

  31. oh and pleasw, the movie is totally wrong with somethings! this was not a bully story. It was jelously, depression, and lack of self confidence. many people have it and is a sickness called depression. If you mock her, you mock everyone with it.

  32. Contrary to what has been written, the Protti parents are living in Orinda. I have tried to research facts from Kirsten’s point of view for a story but her classmates will not comment. I believe that she has been portrayed as the villain and she is not around to defend herself. As a parent I can imagine the devastation her parents suffered when they lost her. Any comments welcomed.

  33. I have tried to collect data from Kirsten’s camp for a story but to no avail. I believe that she has been portrayed as the villain here and she is not around to defend herself. The parent’s of Bernadette are living in Orinda still contrary to reports that they left. My interest in Kirsten is genuine, as a mum I can fully sympathise with her family losing her. Please contact me I will treat all correspondence in confidence.

  34. As a former resident (during the time of the murder, trial and incarceration of the convict) of Orinda I have always taken great interest in the case.

    In the end I believe that justice has been served. The trivial rancour between two teenagers, a daily common occurence at any school, ended in tragedy that neither the victim nor perpetrator planned, expected and could prepare for. Kristen did not ‘deserve’ to die, and I grant temporary diminished responsibility for Bernadette.

    The sentence was fair and proportionate for the crime committed. Bernadette deserves to get on with life after serving her sentence, unless someone caters to primitive instincts of blind revenge and retaliation, and vigilante justice.

  35. She should have got way more time in jail. There are girls who never murdered anyone who end up in the system way longer than that.
    She should have NEVER been allowed to change her name either. Im glad i did not have jealous high school friends like that. She freakin sick. She needs on goign psychiatric therapy, and anyone who hires her to have an office position is stupid. She should have thoses cleaning lady jobs. She doesnt deserve any of what she has been given.
    Other people get looked down at for being poor, or muslim, and this killer was set free after 7 years. Nice,,not!

  36. I remember watching the movie premire on nbc when I was 16. Whether or not Kristen was a bully, does not give the right for her to be murdered. Bernadette should have spent more time in jail for this crime. After reading the facts on this case, I do believe she planned the murder because she was jealous of Kristen.

  37. to Angie:
    “jealousy”, especially at an inmature age, can be a diminishing factor of guilt, and the court (judge) incorporated such mitigating circumstances in a sentence I find balanced and appropriate.

  38. I also question the role of the “witness” who gave gave Kirsten a ride home after the altercation between the two girls. A man, physically much stronger than anyone of the two, and aware that they are being followed by someone who Kirsten described as a frantic weirdo, sat leisurely in his car to watch Kirsten being attacked with an 18-inch knife that the witness described as a fist fight to police.

    Once felled by 5 blows with a knife, this witness had nothing better to do than to hold the victim’s hand and start a pathetic prayer. The parents of the murder victim should vent their anger against the criminally passive bystander, who rather watched the attacker flee, pray and hold hands than to provide First Aid and summon help. To me, this witness has co-operated in the murder, allowing the attacker to abscond, and the victim die.

    If I were that witness I could not live with good conscience, and would commit suicide.

    • It is reported that he left the scene

    • Actually, the man who drove Kirsten home and then saw Bernadette pursue her did chase the Pinto in which Bernadette was driving until he could no longer do so. The neighbors over to whom a mortally wounded Kirsten staggered for aid called 9-11, but by the time they were giving her assistance, she complained she could no longer feel her legs. She knew she was dying, and one of the sons of that family has never forgotten the horror on her face as she bled out before them.

      • Deb,

        Just the mental picture of this breaks my heart. I don’t care if Kirsten was rude to everyone in her life, she did not deserve to be stabbed to death, especially the way she was. I hope her family has peace one day. They surely did not get justice, in my opinion.

  39. I’m not condoning what Bernadette did, but at the same time people that go out of their way to bully others, should consider their actions & consequences. Kirsten was an equal contributor to what happened. I was teased/bullied for a period, and while I understand many of us went through that, some people take it even further than others and it becomes something else because they go a bit too far. I saw my own daughter go through being bullied for a time and it devastated me. I can understant that point of view as well. Take the case of Phoebe Prince- I cried when I heard that story. Those kids went too far and should be in jail because even tho in Phoebe’s case, she killed herself, they contributed to her death. Whether you’re the bully, the one being bullied, or an outsider, we should all try to take a stand against this so that it stops leading to unnecessary deaths.

    As for the post about holding the witness responsible- they didn’t cause what happened and who knows what any of us would do in that situation.

  40. I meant MOVIE!!!

  41. The victim and perpetrator actually had very little contact with each other, although, on a skiing trip, Kirsten did slight Bernadette about her inferior quality skiing attire and equipment. There has been some debate about how nice the victim was or wasn’t. But it’s very sad that a young girl who might have outgrown her shortcomings is dead for inexcusable reasons.Lest we forget, she didn’t have any obligation to have a thing to do with her killer, who might have grown up and realized that a relationship with her wasn’t really all that important the way most people do.

  42. The “People” Magazine article on the case may be viewed at,,2009068,900.html

  43. I’m actually watching a re-enactment of this case on “Deadly Women” on Investigation Discovery. It’s my first time actually hearing about this case. I really am at a loss over all the comments about bullying. I don’t think it’s okay to be unkind to anyone but an offhand or inappropriate comment does not add up to bullying! I think anyone is capable of being insensitive from time to time, whether it is intentional or not!

    It is very sad that this young girl had to lose her life because another young girl could not exercise SELF-CONTROL! I am so tired of the excuses everyone tries to make for such horrid behavior! No, people should not bully or harass each other. No, it is not okay and I’m sure it feels like torture to the victim. However, we cannot condone, even marginally, the cold-blooded murder of a person because that person upset someone! Children get so twisted up over WORDS. Yes, I know that words can hurt and that verbal abuse is very real and harmful. I just think that young people (and some older ones) need to be raised to have some confidence and self-esteem so they’ll understand that another’s words shouldn’t define them! It’s not the easiest thing to teach, but it can be done, starting at home!

    Having said that, I just don’t believe that bullying even factored in to this case! And how can anyone believe it was not premeditated when the murderer lied to lure the victim out of the house, followed her after she’d gotten away from her, and just happened to have a knife. (I’m not buying the veggie cutting story. Sorry.)

  44. I think the comment that blames the witness is ridiculous. As someone posted above, no one knows what they will do until they are in a given situation. This man had already given a ride to a stranger and waited to see her in the house. He has stated that he thought he was witnessing a fistfight. It probably happened in a matter of seconds. Maybe by the time he could react, Protti was already headed to her car and so he chased her. The actions which caused the death of Kirsten Costas were those of Bernadette Protti and Bernadette Protti ALONE! No one could rightfully blame Kirsten OR the witness. When it comes to blame, I’m going to put that on the one who was wielding the knife.

    I do believe in the possibility of rehabilitation when it comes to juvenile offenders, depending on the circumstances of the case. Many disagree, but I don’t think a decision that is made during the teen years should necessarily define the outcome of the rest of the person’s life. However, for a murder such as this one, I would think that the perpetrator would have to serve at least 20 years. Anything in the single digits is definitely too light, imo. I also believe that there ARE some young offenders who are so vicious and depraved that they SHOULD serve a life sentence.

    • I haven’t seen a comment that blames a witness for the murder (that would make the witness a murderer, right?). I read that the witness did not exercise duties such as aiding a victim, summoning immediate help and maybe pursue the killer within reason.

      You also missed that the court accepted that bullying was a factor in the crime, just as a verdict had to take note of the young age of the perpetrator, the agitated state of mind, the time limits of a possible prison term for juveniles, her previous criminal record (none), other mitigating circumstances and, upon release, whether the killer continues to pose a risk to the public. Having balanced all these with the severity of the crime, the nine year prison term was measured, appropriate and just.

      • Elgar,

        If it was your loved one that was murdered, you would not think 9 years was just.

        • I would have found it absolutely necessary, and would have found my peace in the fact that a GUILTY verdict was reached and that the juvenile murderer received close to the maximum penalty allowed under law. I would have found greater consolation of justice prevailing, than vengeance executed.

          • You may have (but maybe not) but most of us who have had loved ones murdered would not and do not. And yes, I know this from personal experience. My sister-in-law was murdered by a man who only spent 7 years in prison for it and is now out to murder again when another woman makes him mad. It was not justice. A guilty verdict or plea is important, but the punishment is as well. These low sentences say that the victim’s life is by far less important than the killer’s life. And it should be the other way around. The VICTIM should be the center of it all. We should NEVER forget the victim, above all else.

          • I stressed that the GUILTY verdict and the multi-year sentence would be important for me to find closure. If the killer of your relative was older than 18 and received only 7 years – assuming that it was cold-blooded murder – I would find that an extremely lenient and hard to swallow sentence. My previous postings are over a verdict I found proportionate and appropriate: nine years in prison for a killer of 15 years of age.

          • There is no such thing as closure. Closure is a myth. Apparently you believe that someone under 18 does not know that killing another human being is wrong so they should not really have to pay the price. But I guarantee you this, at 15 years of age, I knew that killing another person, or even an animal, was wrong. But you do have your right to your opinion. I am sure there are many who would agree with you. I don’t. And it would not matter to me the age of the person who killed my loved one (and my sister-in-law is not my only loved one who was murdered – my mother was too, so this is very personal to me). Bernadette killed at 15 and only got 7 years. But guess what? She got out and got a new name and life. But Kirsten is still dead and her family still suffers and will for the rest of their lives.

          • If I subscribed to the irrational idea that a person under 18 wouldn’t know that killing is wrong, as you imply I do, I would not find the sentence of 9 years in prison for a 15 year old “appropriate and proportionate,” but would advocate that person’s acquittal. I did, however, stress the fact that a young person of juvenile age to be held accountable and to spend nearly eight years in prison for murder.

          • Elgar,

            Since you hold that opinion (which you have the right to have), I suppose you believe that this story: 15-year-old Maryland boy sentenced 85 years for killing teacher shows an injustice with this sociopath. Same with Robert Cameron Houston (who killed Raechale Elton here in Utah).

          • My comments solely reflected on the case at hand. I am not willing to dilute the topic at hand with cases I am not aware of and have never heard of.

      • Your comment stated that the parents should have vented their anger toward the ‘criminally passive by-stander’. That is what I was referring to. You have characterized his actions as inappropriate and have implied that his actions (or lack thereof) somehow contributed to the death of Kirsten. I think that is ridiculous. I think that you are, indeed, placing blame on this man who, were it not for the out-of-control actions of Bernadette Protti, would have been relaxing in his own home that evening.

        You are correct in stating that I missed the point that the court accepted that bullying was a factor in this case. I have not studied this case thoroughly. I only saw the case as it was portrayed on ‘Deadly Women’. So, maybe the court did accept that and see it as a mitigating factor. Just because the court has accepted something doesn’t make it actual fact. It just means that an attorney and some witnesses were able to convince a jury and/or judge that something occurred.

        I guess you missed the point where I gave the opinion that even IF bullying were a factor in this case (or any other case) it in NO WAY mitigates the culpability of the murderer. In my opinion, being bullied does not excuse such behavior!

        • I have made clear that there cannot be an excuse or justification for murder, but there can be mitigating circumstances leading to diminished culpability which are reflected in the sentencing phase after a verdict. I expressed my agreement with the verdict, the sentence and the reasoning of the presiding judge.

  45. whoever thinks she deserves to be dead is just as psycho as protti..kersten never beat wacjob up and if she hated her she would’nt have gotton in a car with wacjob..she planned to kill her long before she did and should have gotton life with possible parole…can’t kill people because you envy them,there’s no excuse..and now she gets to work have kids if anybody would have the wacjob 7yrs please!!

  46. i watch all the shows on here,women killing husbands,kids killing parents,behind mansion walls,huby killing wife,spree killers,twisted..i’m not at all racist but white people are heinous kill’in machines..for money,sex,don’t see or hear much on regular news,i’d keep this much murder hidden too whew…this an’t about car theft or gang violence that soak the news…this is cold blooded heinous murder with people cutting up boddies,sex murders creeping at night look’in for a women to strike complete terror on..women walk’in up shooting the man they have slept,ate,sexed for yrs and POW a 40 cal slug right in the brain…young girl lets her psycho boyfriend stab her loving mom 78 times..boyfriend/girlfriend serial killers..these shows are shocking and none bias!!

    • I do believe that there is a racial bias in media reporting of crime in America. I know that many people like to pretend that this is not so, and that it’s all done fairly and equitably, but the real truth is that it is not. If one were to only depend upon local news broadcasts, one could quickly come to believe that most perpetrators of violent crime are African-American or Hispanic males.

      However, the reality is that PEOPLE of all races, ages, economic backgrounds, religions, etc…can be very depraved and wicked! I can’t fathom even thinking about killing my husband, my children, my parents, heck, ANYONE who was not threatening my very life physically at that very moment! However, there are people of ALL RACES who will kill the ones closest to them for reasons like money, another man/woman, jealousy, etc. To say that ‘white people are heinous killin machines’ IS a racist comment. Any time you say that something like this characterizes a whole racial group, it is racist.

      Honestly, I have found that I am more likely to see the stories about the depraved actions of minorities on the local news and more likely to see stories about the depraved actions of Caucasian people on the shows on Investigation Discovery. And all it leads me to believe is this…there are some SICK, MALADJUSTED, DEPRAVED, CRAZY people in this world! It causes my husband and I to watch even more closely how our children are coming up. It causes us to pray more often and more fervently for everyone. Pointing the finger at any group helps us to do what? As we should see, by now, it sure doesn’t do anything to eradicate the evil from this world!

      • I observe that your fascination with crimes, and the selective awareness of press reports which, according to your own observations, seem to focus of crimes committed by minorities, are not healthy, highly peculiar and quite obsessive.
        I would recommend that you watch Agatha Christie or Inspector Morse as a better alternative viewing, programmes that also deal with your obsessions but with virtually all criminals depicted as white Caucasians.

  47. If a person takes the life of another, albeit they may be of an early age and they may have proven to hold values – which have in this instance impressed those in power to determine that she could be released from eternal incarceration, there is still the thought that regardless, there might be family concerned such as offspring and partner, who may not know of the crime committed by Bernadette Protti – so close to them. Whilst Kirsten Costas might have given life to and experienced such beautiful existence as such will never be known.

    • And your point is?

      • you are so strange. Are you a Protti family member?

      • The point was that a murderer, released from prison, can have a new life, new identity and have a family. They can live as though nothing ever happened. The victim (dead) could have had children and a prosperous life. In a parallel existence, that cannot be, the murderer has been allowed to prosper 20 years too early! What she did was extremely disturbing and she should never have been allowed to live in the community anywhere until she stood trial as an adult and took the stand in public to prove herself as a person of no risk to anybody who might fall foul to her tendency to kill. She is a murderer and a dangerous element in society who is now an adult who should have been re-tried publicly before ever being released.
        Don’t care if it doesn’t work that way but the public should be served in such a way in such a case.

        • This is too dumb for words, really. You basically plead to throw out juvenile courts and wait for a juvenile perpetrator to become an adult before being put on trial and judged as an adult. I also read from your waffling that any person causing the death of another to be imprisoned for at least 20 years, preferably for good. Not only would that destroy the principles of justice, but also add $6-8 billion of cost to the taxpayer per year.

          • You’re too clever for words I suppose. What I said was that before she was released she should have been re-tried and that it does’n’t work that way. The public’s money would be well spent to try her before deciding if she was fit for release. She committed a seriously disturbed murder and the public ought to have decided upon her fate in the decision to release her. Not you nor me or anybody else who appears to be indulged in a website for life. Get a life. See you in another 6 or 12 months.
            You say at 15 she was a minor. I say she was an adolescent (almost an adult) I know when I was 15 I could not have committed the act which she did because I knew how wrong it was and I knew I could not commit a murder. The act which she did at her age was to kill somebody and the law doesn’t wait to try her at an adult age but it should try her before her release to determine that she is fit for release in such a case as this in the interest of the public.
            It doesn’t work that way but it would be far more apt than to take the chance that she has developed the means to control the urges which drove her to kill a person who had not ever committed any act to deserve to be killed in such a way nor any other.
            If I’m too dumb for your words then shut up!

          • Here’s the deal: I stop reading your input here, for each “correction” you type makes things only worse. To suggest that a convict must be retried before release on parole is just too far-fetched and defies all logic and jurisprudence, except maybe in the dictatorships such as Russia, China, North Korea, etc.

            I lost interest in reading your last waffling to the end, as the first sentence already set the course for your perpetual comedy of errors.

  48. I used to swim with Kirsten and knew her since we were about 5. I think of her when I see the Olympics in swimming. I swam on a relay with Kirsten and her neighbor, whose porch she died on, and we broke a relay at our swim club one year. Kirsten was nothing but a very nice person and this situation has changed so many people’s lives …. I don’t know if there is enough forgiveness in this world to heal the hurt. I think of Kirsten’s brother and parents and hope that they are doing well and I hope the neighbor’s family is doing well too now. Justice is not in this world, it rests with God; the sentance was light for the crime … all lives are changed forever because of this. I think of Kirsten from time to time and always will … all fond memories … she was a good soul. Hope and healing to all who were touched by her.

    • I am sorry for your loss as well as the horror the people who had to watch her die. She is at rest and peace now. I just wanted to say that.

    • I’m so sorry for you, Stacy Bee, and for Kirsten’s family and everyone who loved her… They do not “only” have to cope with the loss but with the fact that public opinion transformed their murdered child / sister / friend into the villain…

    • this is sad beyond words I cryed reading what you wrote but don’t despair stacy bee one day you will see Kirsten in heaven with all the other angels and god and jesus and her brother and parents I am sure Kirsten will be happy with your comments for you must of been a true friend I don’t read that many nice comments about her and the film does not help at all for how she touched others In her life for why by god she was sent although she went in a bad way I believe she is somewhere now touching others peoples lives 🙂 xxx

  49. I watched this movie years ago and saw something on TV recently that reminded me of the movie and found the movie on Utube and watched it again. I became interested in the details. I came across the information I cut and pasted below. I think she is still dangerous wherever she is. I am still researching her current name and photos as well. I agree with the poster that described a “healthy person” as someone who would NOT murder due to bullying. I thought this parole officer was spot on! Please read:

    December 14 1990: The Youthful Offender Parole Board denied Bernadette Protti parole. Art and Berit Costas asked that she remain incarcerated until the end of her term because they did not feel that she had been rehabilitated, and that the real motive for the killing had not been explained.

    June 25 1992: At the age of 23, Bernadette Protti is finally released on parole. She has served a little under 8 years of her 9 year sentence. One of the three parole examiners, Victor Wisehart ,did not agree with the decision to release Protti. The parole examiner described Protti this way:

    She remains a danger to the public and is in need of further treatment to address her inability to control her anger and impulses. (During a confrontation with her boyfriend at the Youth Authority School) she demonstrated ”anger and a lack of impulse control. ‘I hate to think how she would have handled the incident had she been on parole and able to arm herself and stalk again another victim. She has a hidden trigger that anyone can pull just by not giving her what she thinks she should get in a relationship.”

    The parole board examiners was made up of 3: Victor Wisehart, Jamie Bailey, and Sergio Gomez.

    • The argument of the parole officer – ironically named “Wisehart” – obscures the true motivation of the man: revenge. For, 10 months later Protti would have been released anyway, regardless Mr “Wise Hart’s” input. If she had been a “danger to the public” 7 years into her prison term, what would have changed Protti in the remaining months? The daftness of “Wise Hart’s” is also reflected in the presumably spotless record of Protti after she had been freed.

      Synopsis: the murder was gruesome, the trial fair and balanced, the mitigating circumstances compelling (in full agreement here with the sentencing judge), the verdict appropriate and sentence measured. For once, I am fully satisfied with the course of justice metered out.

  50. > Marianne,

    Yet I wouldn’t call YOUR “inter-acting” even remotely sane, given the fact that you keep watching a stranger living 6,000 miles away and suspect him of being a murderess in disguise. That’s bizarre.

    Defending and siding with a court’s decision is enough for you to suspect me of being the perpetrator in question, or at least a family member. Neither one is true, rendering your implicit rant rather daft and futile.

    • We are all on this site because of the interest of this case. Your responses are strange, at best. I think others feel the same. Your like a human cross word puzzle. Again, something is wrong with you and I will leave it at that!

  51. Officer Wisehart’s opinion was because of “revenge”? Just another strange observation you made in your “ranting”. Give me a break! Again, he was on point. Since your not Bernadette, I think you made your case, let’s get back to the case of this tragic murder.

    • For whatever reasons, it has escaped your attention that the whole thread has the case of a murder and retribution at its core.
      Mr “Wise”hart, as a representative of the juridical process and the People of California, had revenge (of the People of California) in mind rather than the feigned pretense to correct the inmate Protti. To deny an early release (by 11 months) into an 8-year sentence had nothing to do with true concern of rehabilitation of the inmate: 11 more months in prison would have left Protti exactly at the same mental state as it did when she was actually released. Mr “Wise”hart’s feigned argument was primitive, tribal and idiotic. It is regretful that individuals like him are even involved in the parole process, as his intellect clearly had been pushed beyond his abilities. I only regret that I cannot be in contact with him to debate his ludicrous statement at the parole hearing, check his questionable credentials and refer him to counselling.

      Again, the verdict fit the crime, the sentence was measured and the release of Protti timely.

      • Elgar,

        You are entitled to your opinion. However, if you ever had a loved one lost to murder you would not agree that 8 years is enough time. She should have gotten 20 years or more. Kirsten is never coming back to her family. Bernadette got off lightly in my opinion. I hope she is doing good things in her life (and not JUST staying out of sight or trouble) and giving back to society. She should at the very least do some volunteering in her community with crime victims, so she can see the reality of what happens from her crime.

        • Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion; a fact that doesn’t need to be stated.

          If I were a close relative of Kirsten I would feel exactly the same. Juvenile offenders are treated in general by courts as juveniles, a rather common and universal tradition, except in the few dictatorial societies such as Iran’s.

          Bernadette received a sentence even on the higher end of the range (10 years). If one of my children became a victim of a brutal attack like the one that killed Kirsten, I would be devastated for the rest of my life; whose father wouldn’t? But that would not make me blind to the compelling reasons for a balanced punishment for the murderer. I would not seek revenge, just as I would be aware that even 30, 40 or 50 years of imprisonment of Protti would not lessen the pain over my loss. I’d still accept that this case was tragic for 2 families, and Protti’s young life also shattered for some years. The verdict was measured – in my view – because it took into account that she was immature, young (15, therefore not subject to normal criminal courts), and all other mitigating circumstances a court of law is compelled to consider when deliberating over the sentence.

          For me that was done; the 8 years Protti spent behind bars are more than some adult murderers have to serve in our court system. Ideally the courts strive for rehabilitation of a convict, especially one so young as Protti was. I find 8 years in prison for a 15 year old rather tough but, all things considered, justified. As she received and accepted an education while incarcerated, she has become fit to be released back into society and to get on with her life. Most likely she serves now better for the good of society than she would have as a “volunteer in her community”, being taunted by members of the Bay area community and deprived of means to sustain herself.

          Justice prevailed, and a convicted killer has been reformed. It’s a bitter-sweet end of the tragic saga. Most likely even Kirsten’s parents have come to terms with the way justice was served, even though their pain over losing Kirsten never will.

          • Actually, from what I heard, Kirsten’s parents have not come to terms with it, nor would I, just as I have not for either my mother’s murder or my sister-in-law’s murder. Emotions on loved ones murders are not as simple and mater-of-fact as you state them. And it is offense to those of us who live it to hear you make it sound so easy, when in fact, it is not.

            It is obvious that you read things the way you wanted. When I talked about her community, I meant the one she lives in now with her own husband and children.

          • I understand and accept that there is no recipe nor plan how individuals cope with bereavement, which virtually every one suffers in life at some point. Whilst that is one issue, all my postings have dealt with the legal aspects of this particular – not any other – murder and the resulting verdict. From what I have read (elsewhere), the parents of Kirsten will never overcome the loss of their daughter, but have come to terms with the legal fallout, and have accepted the juridical closure of the case. They, and the parents of Bernadette, found it unbearable to continue to live in Orinda and have moved away. I interpret that also as painful yet profoundly comprehensible.

  52. Elgar,

    It did not “escape my mind”. I am fully aware of the discussion thread. Kirsten’s murder will certainly bring up the issue of the sentencing and verdict. You just don’t like the fact that most do not agree she(Bernadette) should be out of jail. I still think something is wrong with you! Scary.

    • Your fear (scary) is as irrational as your earlier claim that I would be Bernadette Protti! I find your dissent from my opinion rather irrelevant and therefore inconsequential, especially as I merely express support for the opinion of the judge’s verdict and of the majority decision of the parole board to release Protti sooner than the sentence stipulated. If such opinion(s) scare you, it is you who should be ridiculed as a pathetic psychotic.

  53. You are very strange, as dawn, above, noted. Your crazy comments only take away from this post and mylifeofcrime said it well that you “read things the way you want” and only diminish the feelings of kirsten’s family. So, it is because of your posts, your words, that you unveil who you really are, aside from this forum. You are not well. I still think there is some tie between you and Protti. I am really just interested in where Protti is. And how do you know she has not had any troubles? Her name has been changed. I don’t want to throw stones at her, as you assume all on this forum that are not comfortable with the verdict, are out to do. Again, I agree with the parole officer’s opinion of the verdict. I think she is someone who is not well. She wanted to be friends with a bully! Most kids that are bullied want nothing to do with such people. Bernadette stalked her. Kirsten made one slighted comment to her. If it is true that Kirsten made horrible comments to others(questionable)then that makes Bernadette even worse. She would not be that poor girl. She would be a person seeking out a friend that is mean spirited to others. Makes her just as bad. Kirsten saw her strange behavior and called her out. It’s not right how she handled that, mind you. But to hunt her down and stab her to death! Then what the parole officer, Wisehart, observed, I just hope she does not do it again. Again, her name is changed. She might have domestic violence on her record. She has the tendency to snap. Just because she hasn’t (that we know of) does not mean she won’t at some point. I could site many serial killers, stalkers, etc. that had behaviors that were unusual but did not kill or attempt to kill until years later. I would also imagine that Bernadette lurks these blogs. I have been on a couple of others and it is suspect. Either way, I feel for Kirsten’s family! I believe in justice and never take for granted those that are falsely accused and I always investigate what I can before making a personal decision. And this verdict was wrong.

    • I meant to say she should have had life in prison. For all we know, Wisehart, may not have been comfortable releasing her at all as opposed to just a year early. That is the feeling I got, in which case, again, he is correct. “Revenge”? Really?

  54. You invoke other people’s “unwellness” so frequently and at such curious moments that I have to deduce that YOU are the one with mental health issues. Your obsession to try to locate and uncover Protti’s assumed name demasks you as a slightly deranged person with a high tendency to become a stalker. Thankfully the juridical process safeguards Protti’s new identity from such obsessed individuals. She has gained the right to live on, anonymously and unfettered from obscure wannabe sleuths like you, who are driven merely by an irrationally inquisitive and meddlesome craze.

    Having served her time that the California Justice system has imposed on Protti, she deserves being protected from snoopers like you. Maybe you should focus more on your own family, just as the former Bernadette Protti does now within te family she helped t forge. That’s the healthy thing to do, and a successful completion of the rehab process, of which Mr “Wise”hart, a colossally idiotic and frightfully incompetent an unintelligent individual, has not the slightest idea of.

    • how can you call people a deranged stalker when your comments is all over more than any ones i have read maybe its you that should find your self another hobby or at least another murder to justify instead of insulting other peoples opinions and standing up for killers in hiding who has a second chance in life unlike the victim next time you want to disrespect other peoples opinions think about the victims who are no longer here to write insulting comments like you do to every one

      • Robby,

        Your posting is rather incoherent and directed at the wrong person. Apparently you failed to read my postings thoroughly enough to grasp their content. At no point did I justify murder – not the one featured here, nor any other. I did not “insult other people’s opinion, but one person’s rant that I may be a murderer. I dd never stand up for a killer, but expressed my satisfaction that a 15-year old killer had to spend the next half of her life to that point incarcerated. Adult murderers have to be treated more harshly (and are so) than minors; under certain circumstances I even support the death penalty for adlt perpetrators.

        I also fail to see insults hurled at “everyone” here, unless you typed here previously with multiple personas at work. That would be surely worrisome…

      • Thanks Robby. In all this craziness my original point was that I felt the parole officers description and prediction of Bernadette was accurate, given the evidence at hand. Elgar’s responses are an eyebrow raiser. Like you said, someone is dead who should not be. Sad.

        • Oops, sorry, Robert.

        • Sorry to read that the parole board’s decision, and my support for it, led to an uncontrollable flickering of your eyebrows. Yet, it’s a self-caused predicament, based on your lack of understanding of jurisprudence, the courts, the law, and so many other things. Your reference to “Webster” was peculiar; first I thought you refer to the former FBI director. Then I realised that it was your aid tool to work yourself through simple postings.

  55. You have been a poster much longer than me! I do not need to explain myself to someone who absolutely needs help. Again, your posts paints a picture of who you are. I guess we all are “snooper” according to you. Again, it is a forum about this particular case. My observations and curiosity is no different than anyone else on this forum. But you stand out, just as others have observed! My life is wonderful. A career in profiling is probably why I have an interest in lifetimerealmovies. A wonderful child who is a respected adult and doing well. Why you gravitate to my responses is something you have to figure out. It’s not my problem. Unintelligent? Masters in Industrial Psychology. I tend to pick up on people like you. I have no problem with your feelings towards me. You may want to project those thoughts where they belong, at you. I done with you. Really, move on.

    • Marianne,
      the idea I could harbour any sentiments (let alone feelings!) towards (or against) you is just hilariously preposterous. I respond to you merely for the reasons that you feign interest in the criminal case that has occured in my previous neighbourhood of Orinda, and that I am polite enough to respond when someone addresses me. That’s called culture and social inter-acting, something you show deficits of and leading you to wrong directons.

      I took issue with you more personally when you expressed your suspicion I might be Bernadette Protti. That was so insane that even others here mailed me to ridicule you (which is not the purpose of this thread). In that context I also want to stress that the defining characteristics in question (“idiotic, unintelligent…”) were coined for this Mr “Wise”hart, who has shown that my labels afforded to him were actually moderate and extremely temperate, given the vicious vengeance the man displayed.

      • I wasn’t the only that was suspicious on this blog, I was just more communicative. So why you isolate me I guess is because of that. Your characterization of Mr. Wisehart just makes your statements even more, dare I say, strange. Put your Webster Dictionary away and move on. Geez! Weirdo.

      • I am almost starting to feel sorry for you, but not too much. People emailed you? Dawn thought you were a relative. I agreed with her, and said at point might even be her. If you would read everything and not just what you want as others have said, I stated that you made your point you are not her put I feel there is some sort of tie, not that you are actually her. Seems you do not like that every poster has disputed almost everything you have stated. Kirsten is dead and should be alive! It takes more than a young, immature person to do something like that! I study this everyday. Like Robert said, you are probably very lonely. Do you post or have any interests on any other cases on this site? Most normal people on this site do have a vested interest in true crime movies, some of which seems to appear on Lifetime True Movies or other forensic shows. So I am assuming not in which I question your vested interest in this case only. You stand out, Elgar, and not in a healthy way. By the way, the cases of juveniles standing trial as adults has become a more viable and
        legal measure of the system today. People create laws, and sometimes laws must be amended and changed, which makes your rationalization of Bernadettes verdict and Mr. Wisehart’s opinion skewed and irrational. The verdict was wrong. OK? Now
        move on?

        • My ties with the case are limited to the interest as a former Orinda resident at te time of the crime and the subsequent trial. I take note that from agreeing with the judge, the court and the parole board you deduce that I must be a lonely person. You accuse me of wrongly reading and interpreting your mad suggestion that I might be Bernadette Protti, yet repeat it in your tediously dull and daft rancour. Don’t blame me for your lack of coherence throughout you postings. Now, get a life!

          • So I guess everyone is wrong on this forum that disagrees with you AND finds your personality based on what and how you write are, off base, at best. Really. “get a life” oh, ouch, that hurts, lol. Your a joke. Again, you take away from what we sane people are posting about, whether we(all other posters) agree with each other or not, you are just insane. There really is nothing more anyone can say to you. Just keep writing, blah
            blah blah.

          • You need to wake up and taste the coffee. It was me,Robert, who told you to get a life and gave you the helping hand by telling you that you are such a lonely person to adapt to such a lowly creature as Protti – desperate actually!
            You say to Marianne, “Don’t blame me for your lack of coherence throughout you postings. Now, get a life! Do you suck? Blah, blah, blah.

          • Good grief, are you mature!

  56. Mylifeofcrime,

    Do you have any information on the movie “between love and hate” with Susan Lucci? I can’t seem to get any information or photos except for the man who killed her(the woman played be Susan Lucci). I am new to blogging so I am not sure if I should email you. I do have a couple of other movies, real lifetime, that I have questions about as well, but this movie was top of my list. It was such a great movie. I wish they would play it again. Thanks so much.

  57. Thanks!

  58. So is grammar

  59. I live in Antioch which is not to far from Orinda. My dad worked at Miramonte High School for 28 years. This was in a lot of papers and came back to surface when that sham of a tv movie was made. Bernadette was not some innocent who was being bullied, she hid and lied after murdering someone and acted like nothing was wrong after it. She was a jealous stalker who killed Kirsten. And she had some trouble in jail and even though she was paroled the board commented that she still had a quick temper. If you want some real info on the case read it here.

    • I always thought that the movie did not portray Bernadette correctly! Thank You for giving more insight to her! This is not about throwing stones, this is about getting to the truth and that Bernadette is still dangerous. Just because she has not committed (that we know of) an infraction, does NOT mean she is not capable.

      • If “capability of a crime” was the criterion to incarcerate people (for good, if some had their wish) two-Thirds of Americans would spend the rest of their life in a penal colony. Thankfully the US Court system does not succumb to hearsay, rumour mills or unsubstantiated silly “reports” such as featured in th obscure “panachereport.”

        The few griping voices here, who fail to accept the reasonable juridical outcome of this sad case, have deplorably regressed from mere statements and arguments to express sympathy for the victim and condemnation for the murderer – all fair and understandable – to rants of vengeance. Retaliation and destruction of an accused, however, is not the mandate of a court, nor should this be the guiding motivation of a civilized, supposedly religious and forgiving society.

        Once again, the court got it right.The verdict and the sentence fit the crime, committed by a minor. With the core message of the court system Presumed iInnocent until proven guilty” in mind, we can only hope and expect that the former Bernadett Protti will live for the rest of her life law-abidingly, and with the haunting memories of that fateful day when she ended one life, and altered hers for good.

        The legacy of Kristen is best served by remembering her beautiful presence she had while amongst us, an using it as an example how terribly unfair life can be.

        • I do respect what you are saying, Elgar. This statement you made is well put, however, I am forgiving and there are many that murder that are truly sorry and are not a threat to society. This is just not the case here. You have to see that. I just don’t like when you attack others personally.

      • Well in that case we are capable of committing a crime. Maybe you haven’t committed a crime but you could be capable you never know

        • Monica,

          Your other comment will not be approved. Why? Please read my comment policy. You blamed the victim, and what is worse, you did it because of a movie, and not real life. My blog focuses on the victim, please remember that. And she DID NOT deserve to be murdered. Your comment was horrific and I would not want her family to read that. You may want to learn compassion, and also not rely on a movie to make such an opinion.

  60. I’ve been aware of this story for so long and just had to comment. I’ve been bullied in my life to the point of 3 suicide attempts before I was 21. Did I EVER think about killing my bullies? NO. Does that mean I’m sane? Well, do sane people try to kill themselves?
    My point is this… Kristen did not deserve to die no matter how she treated Bernadette. If she was a bully or not, only the people who knew them know for sure, she did NOT deserve to die. Nor did she “cause” her own death by her actions. She was young, teenage girl who didn’t know any better. So, how come some of you are excusing Bernadette’s actions because of her youth and immaturity? It goes both ways. Kristen’s death is not justified because of her character. By all accounts I read, she was good to people and didn’t even talk to Bernadette much. That’s NOT bullying. She did not go out of her way to make Bernadette’s life hell, which is what bullying is.
    My heart goes out to Kristen’s family.
    As for Bernadette, I do not think she has truly paid for her crime if she is allowed to wipe the slate clean and have a happy life… Just think of what Kristen could’ve been if she had been allowed to live. I think Bernadette killed out of jealousy and spite, pure and simple. And I hope her past catches up with her someday.

  61. I think everyone here agrees with you. Just the last sentence is superfluous: she lives with the consequences of her past every single day.

  62. I can’t believe she got out!! Its crazy just because the pretty one was popular and didn’t want to know the freak she didn’t have to stab her to death and she was right to call her weird because she was!! By stabbing someone to death proves them was the pretty popular ones inner voice telling her she is weird and she just wanted her away.

  63. yeah I don’t think she took drugs in that car I think bernedette took the drugs to impress her as I think she was hot on her and the car I think she tried to impress her with I think bernedette was a lesbian but she hid it well maybe shes still in the closet who knows for why would she just turn up at her house and call her mum for unless she had a thing for her who trys to be friends with someone they think bullyed them or make an effort to go to their house

  64. I knew both Kirsten Costas and Bernadette Protti. I was not close to either girl. I got along with both of them okay. I was a member of the artsy crowd, yet borderline popular, kind of hard to explain in today’s terms. I looked mainstream compared to the crowd I found most engaging. The extremely wealthy kids who lived over in the country club area (country club, better end of sleepy hollow) had their own cliques. I socialized with cheerleaders and dated athletes, but also had many close friends who were outsiders and dressed very differently. In 1984 Orinda, this was kind of a unique position to be in. Thus, I had friends from all groups, and thus, I got to know both Kirsten and Bernadette casually, and was very close friends with girls from very different groups who had gotten to know both of them over the years.

    In fact, one of my better friends was initially accused of the crime by the community at large. If you know the case, you know of whom I speak. The wrongly accused girl and her family were tortured by the community. I myself was questioned in detail during the investigation by officials regarding my friend, was asked for my own alibi, and questioned at length about cliques, etc.

    I remember a couple of years later – I was working at the Lafayette Park Hotel and my wrongly accused friend and her father walked in. I had not seen her since the investigation – her family had gone to London due to the fallout of the case. That family is one example of the dozens of families that are hurt in so many ways when just one beautiful life is extinguished – the Costas have suffered the most, and lots of other families suffer too. Every person who Kirsten interacted with in life is robbed – but so are all the future ties destroyed that might have been. … the damage goes on and on and on….

    Bernadette Protti was indeed bullied. So were most kids, in one way or another. Kirsten was popular – which was important to her – and she was not a perfect angel. But I am willing to bet Kirsten never considered murdering anyone…. The movie story did not seem similar to my memories of our reality in 1984-85 Orinda. Kirsten was NOTHING like the Tori Spelling character. Shameful to portray her that way.

    Bernadette Protti killed Kirsten Costas in pre-meditated cold murder. She should not be free and should not be allowed to have children. She certainly should not be allowed to change her name. Even an individual involved in the review of her parole decision said it was wrong to release her and she was a loose cannon. REMEMBER – Bernadette said herself in her confession note to her mother that she was “able to live with it” because “it didn’t seem real” she didn’t understand “why” or “how” it had turned to murder.

    It took planning to create the Bobbies party story, it took a lot of nerve to call and con Kirsten’s Mom. Once Kirsten went out to the pinto and told Bernadette she knew the Bobbie’s party was a lie, Bernadette still had another lie ready to go… and if the party were real, would Bernadette be wearing old sweats ? No. The knife was ready and waiting. After leaving Kirsten to bleed to death, Bernadette went home and walked the dog with her Mom. She feigned shock when news of the murder came, and attended the funeral in tears. She is a very dangerous psychopath and does not deserve to live the american dream in anonymity.

    Several of our classmates died early untimely deaths at Miramonte High School throughout the 1980’s. We lost dear friends to auto accidents, falls from local cliffs, ski accidents, and many other tragedies. Kirsten Costa’s horrible murder will always be the worst – because it wasn’t an accident… She should be here, living a full life.

    I disagree with those who feel Bernadette has done her time. The sentence was a joke. I say this as someone who was not close to either family – just someone who feels a sense that justice hasn’t been served – and that just makes it worse for Bernadette’s victims – all those who knew EITHER girl involved are victims.

  65. Someone posted earlier that Bernadette probably thinks about Kirsten everyday: She is right; Especially since Bernadette’s Daughter is a pretty girl with dark hair and olive skin: Kind of like how Kirsten looked.

  66. Did Bernadette/Jeanette’s husband Gary serve time too. College teaching is one of the few jobs that doesn’t require a background check. Did he get his degrees during an incarceration?

  67. Bernadette IS a sick & twisted loser. I hope she is tormented until the day she dies for snuffing out a young life. She will meet her maker some day & will finally pay the ultimate price for her truly evil heart. God help anyone that is unlucky enough to cross her path. RIP Kristen

  68. “Elgar” is either Bernadette Protti/ Jeannette Tomanka, or her sister Virginia Varela. Sociopathy appears to run in that family. I concur with the poster above.God help anyone unfortunate enough to cross paths with Bernadette or her disturbed sister.

    Also, “Caroline” appears to be Bernadette or Viriginia spouting the same bullying nonsense over and over again. This wasn’t a bullying issue. Bernadette had an inferiority complex and focused on Kirsten because Kirsten represented what Bernadette couldn’t achieve and she killed Kirsten because she didn’t get her approval.
    Instead of blaming Kirsten’s parents and perpetuating the lie that Kirsten bullied Bernadette, why not question Bernadette’s parents for failing to instil a sense of self worth in Bernadette so she wouldn’t have desperately sought validation from others deemed to be “bullies”

  69. I live in a community, where in recent years, a solution that cuts down on much of the youthful competition that has been the standard in other countries for many years, has been implemented: All students, in both private and public schools now wear uniforms. –A splendid idea! In this day and age where kids kill each other over $100.00 sneakers, someone has to do something. Bernadette, of course, had many other issues, but having to wear uniforms, as she did, in the parochial school she attended before transferring to Miramonte, would have most likely diverted some of the focus away from which students were from affluent families, and which ones weren’t.

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