Death in the Family

Shocking murder of gay couple

In mid-March, the nation’s LGBT community was left shocked, saddened and shaking our heads over a double murder that occurred in Texas.

The bodies of two women, Britney Cosby and Crystal Jackson, both 24, were found beside a garbage dumpster in Port Bolivar, Texas, near Galveston. One was killed by blunt force trauma; the other had been shot. It was a monstrous crime. And we kept asking, “who did this?” and “why?” We couldn’t help imagining that it might have been a hate crime. Turns out, it was.

But who could’ve imagined that it was one of the victims' own father who was responsible?

James Larry Cosby, 46, the father of Britney Cosby, was arrested by police at his home, just days after the killings. A convicted felon and registered sex offender, he had been recently released from prison. (In 1994, he was arrested and convicted of sexually assaulting a young woman.) According to police, a thumbprint, blood and other physical evidence linked Cosby to the murder of his own daughter and her partner. While he has not yet been officially charged with the double murder, he is now charged with two counts of tampering with evidence.

Britney Cosby and Crystal Jackson had been residents of Houston, roughly an hour’s drive away from where their bodies were discovered. They had been a couple for two years and were raising Jackson’s five-year old daughter. Investigators said they had traveled to the Galveston area to enjoy Mardi Gras.

If he did it, what was James Cosby’s motive for brutally killing the couple? Hatred and homophobia, it appears. He was reportedly angry about his daughter’s sexual orientation and her relationship with a woman. According to a local TV news report, Britney Cosby’s mother, Loranda McDonald, said that he “did not like the idea of her [Britney] being gay.” She also asked, in horror and disbelief, the question “why?”

“Why would you do this? This is your child. This is something we conceived together. Ain’t that much hatred in this world to make you do this,” said McDonald.

The Galveston County sheriff announced that James Cosby is expected to be charged with two counts of capital murder. Hopefully, that will happen soon, as authorities are certain that they’ve got the right suspect.

In the meantime, Cosby is still being held on $250,000 bail.

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