Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bernadette Protti, Kirsten Costas Case, Orinda, California Murder


 December 1984: Bernadette Protti, surrenders to police and admits that she killed Kirsten Costas. Prosecutors tried to prove that Protti was jealous of Kirsten Costas and that this was the motivation for the murder.

March 13 1985: Bernadette Protti, 16, was convicted of second-degree murder for stabbing her classmate Kirsten Marin Costas, 15, because she was afraid that Kirsten would tell everyone that she was weird. This comes after she had been originally charged with first-degree murder, but prosecutors were not able to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

 According to her taped confession played at the trial:
"I lost for cheerleader and I didn't get the club I wanted and I didn't get on the yearbook staff. The things that got me mad was it hurt and I couldn't change . . . like looks or money or popularity or things."

Protti also stated that she felt that she and her family never fit in with the people of Orinda. She talked about the famous ski trip where Kirsten and the other Bobbies called her skis "crummy."


August 2, 1990: According to parole agents at the California Youth Authority's Ventura School in Camarillo Bernadette Protti will not serve her parole in Contra Costa. She will instead move to an undisclosed location (in the Midwest) to serve out the rest of her parole. Her parents no longer reside in Orinda.
While incarcerated she had a boyfriend, received her high school diploma, and held a 4.0 grade-point average. She also earned an associate in arts degree through a community college.


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.