Kirsten Costas (photos below) was supposed to be the cheerleader that was killed by Bernadette Protti (photos below) in 1984. It happened in Miramonte High School in Orinda, California. Both Kirsten Costas and Bernadette Protti were 15 years old when Bernadette Protti killed Kirsten Costas.
Bernadette Protti was convicted for second degree murder. As she was a juvenile, Bernadette Protti served about 7 – 8 years jail before she was released in 1992. Bernadette Protti changed her name and left California.
The movie, Death Of A Cheerleader, supposedly modeled itself after the true story of Bernadette Protti and Kirsten Marina Costas/ Kirsten Costas.
There was another story that shared similarities and the post is in -
Bernadette Protti and Kirsten Costa photos.
Bernadette Protti, at left.
Bernadette Protti, at center.
Kirsten Costas was popular and secretly admired by Protti. The latter had invited Costas out for a date when the tragedy happened. The exact nature of the events that followed may not be fully known but there were sketchy details. Costas and Protti had a dispute which turned ugly.
One story said Costas slighted Protti by something she said. Some said Costas jilted Protti’s attentions. Another kind of story said Protti had been bullied all along by Costas and other school mates and she snapped.
Kirsten Marina Costas was born on July 23 1968 and died on June 23 1984. Her parents were wealthy. Arthur Costas and Berit Costas had a son, Peter Costas, as well as their daughter Kirsten. The Costas family lived in Oriunda, California.
Kirsten Costas attended the Miramonte High School. Kirsten was a cheerleader and a swimmer in the school’s swimming team.
Protti testified that she wanted to take Costas to a dinner party thrown by the Bob-o-links, a group at their school. However, it was not true as Protti could have invented the excuse to spend time with Costas. When Protti and Costas met up, the latter discovered there was no party and she quarrelled with Protti.
Costas got away from Protti and went to seek refuge with Mary Jane Arnold, and Alex Arnold, who were living near the area. Mr Arnold drove Costas home, after she failed to get a hold of her parents. He noticed a car following his car. After Arnold dropped off Costas at her home, he got back into his car. He said he thought he saw the two girls having a fist fight. He wasn’t near enough to see that a knife was involved. Costas was stabbed 5 times and was fatally wounded. After she was sent to hospital, she couldn’t be saved and died.
Protti took a lie detector test and passed. Her alibi was not checked. That was a mistake. After police checked her alibi for the night, they found her story could not be confirmed. They examined her lie detector test again, and realized Protti had lied. She then wrote a letter to her mother, confessing her role in the death of the cheerleader Kirsten Costas.
Protti claimed she had never intended to kill Costas. She said she found a knife by chance and used it.
Costas’ parents claimed Protti had planned to kill Kirsten, as the former did not dress up for the so called party, and had made up the excuse to kill Kirsten.
Protti was convicted and sentenced to 7 years in prison. The Costas family objected to the light sentence and tried to say Protti planned a first degree murder. The Costas family uprooted themselves and moved to Hawaii. They wanted a new start after the tragedy.
Protti served her sentence and was released in 1992. Protti was 23 years old then. She changed her name and left California.
The Death Of A Cheerleader was the name of the film inspired by the true story of Costas and Protti. The movie went by another name, A Friend To Die For. Tori Spelling acted as a reel character named Stacy Lockwood. Kellie Martin acted as Angela Delvecchio, who was modeled on the real life Bernadette Protti.
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