The real death of a cheerleader story (1985)

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to or other companies. Qualifying purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

The real death of a cheerleader story (1985)

This is page 3 of 3 (Click here to go back to page 1 or to page 2)

Kirsten Costas yearbook memorial childhood photos (2)

The real death of a cheerleader story (1985)

On December 11, Bernadette was called in for an interview with Ron Hilley, a young FBI agent assisting in the case. She stuck to her story initially, but when Hilley described the psychological profile of the suspect in the case which showed, among other things, that the killer would have little remorse for her crime, Bernadette said, “It sounds like me.”

She asked Hilley if he had ever considered that a sixteen-year-old girl might be more afraid of publicity than of going to prison. Bernadette then said she wanted to go home and think, and Hilley agreed. Without a confession, authorities did not have enough evidence to arrest her.

That night, Bernadette told her mother they needed to talk, but Elaine Protti said she was tired. The following morning, a cold, blustery day, Bernadette gave her mother a letter and asked her not to open it for half an hour.

Elaine, who was studying the Bible, set her kitchen timer and resumed reading. Bernadette went to school.

When the time was up, Elaine Protti read her daughter’s confession.

“I can’t bring her back, but I’m sorry. I’ve been able to live with it for a while but I can’t ignore it… I’m even worse than words can describe and I hate myself .” In a P.S., she wrote, “Please don’t say how could you or why because I don’t understand this and I don’t know why. I need so much help and love. I don’t know what to do. I’m sorry.”

Elaine called the school, and she and her husband brought their daughter to the sheriff’s office in nearby Martinez. Bernadette gave a ninety-minute confession, taped by sheriffs deputies.

The news flew through the town. Everyone knew the killer had been apprehended, but no one knew who it was.

On December 11, nearly every girl attending Miramonte, even those with the flu, showed up. No one wanted an absence to be confused with an arrest.

The only person missing from the morning Latin class was Bernadette.

The day after the arrest, the sheriff called a well-attended press conference. His team had put in 4,000 man-hours, followed 1,000 leads, interviewed 800 people, and checked out 750 Pintos, the sheriff told the press, as he and other investigators stood for photographers and reporters.

Three months later, residents of Orinda packed a local courtroom for her trial. At the start of the proceeding, Bernadette sat facing forward, her mouth slack, her eyes unfocused. But when Berit Costas walked away from the witness stand, slowing her gait as she passed by Bernadette, the defendant turned away and never looked straight ahead again.

When the taped confession was played, the only noise in the hushed courtroom was Bernadette’s sweet, girlish voice.

“What are you going to tell the press?” was the first question she asked during the confession, followed by another: “Do I go to juvenile hall or do I go back to Miramonte?” Her fears of Miramonte were greater. She knew what the students there would do to her. “I can’t live if it is known. I would rather die.”

Asked what Kirsten had done to make her angry, Bernadette said: “I have a lot of inferiority feelings — and I really have bad feelings about myself. I lost for cheerleader. I didn’t get into the club I wanted to. I didn’t get on yearbook. So, I don’t know, I just felt bad.”

She said that Kirsten, “Just sort of put me down… I remembered one time on the ski trip we were on together. I mean, we don’t have a lot of money and we can’t afford a lot of nice ski stuff and I just had this really crummy pair of skis and some boots, but, you know, I was having fun anyway. Kirsten made some comment about them, and it just seemed like everyone else was thinking that, but she was the only one who would come out and say it.”

Bernadette admitted she had made the phone call setting up a meeting with Kirsten. She had just wanted to befriend her classmate and take her to a party, she said. When Kirsten approached the Pinto she looked inside and said blandly, “Oh, it’s you.”

Bernadette said Kirsten wanted to smoke pot first, a claim that drew cries of disbelief from Kirsten’s parents and friends. “She made it sound like this was a drug-related murder, and it wasn’t,” says Berit Costas. While not saying that her daughter had never tried marijuana, Berit insisted that Kirsten did not have her own supply.

Still, Bernadette said in her confession that she and Kirsten drove to the church parking lot to smoke the pot, but when Bernadette refused, an argument followed.

Kirsten ran from the car and Bernadette pursued her. She claimed she followed in the Pinto only to make sure Kirsten got home safely. But as she drove, she became frightened about how Kirsten might describe the evening to the other girls at school.

By the time Kirsten left Alexander Arnold’s car at her neighbor’s house, Bernadette’s fear had turned to anger. She said she used a knife she found in the Pinto to stab Kirsten to death. (Bernadette’s sister, Virginia, a bank examiner who took the witness stand, said she left foot-and-a-half-long knives in the car to slice tomatoes at lunchtime.)

After killing Kirsten, Bernadette said she returned home, hid the knife and took a walk with her mother and the family dog. The following day, she washed the knife and returned it to the kitchen. Later, she would throw her T-shirt and sweatpants in the garbage dump of the Sleepy Hollow Swim Club.

Several spectators at the trial were moved by the ninety-minute confession. A few cried. One reporter wrote that by the end of the tape, even Berit Costas’s head was bowed.

The reporter had misunderstood. Kirsten’s mother was trying not to get sick.

The murder of her daughter, Berit says, “was premeditated from the moment of the phone call. [Bernadette] had plenty of time to change her mind.” The Costases charged that Bernadette’s confession was riddled with lies — that no one would use an eighteen-inch knife to cut a tomato and that Bernadette, casually dressed, never planned on taking Kirsten to a party.

On the afternoon of the third day of the trial, Judge Edward Merill found Bernadette Protti guilty of second-degree murder.

On April 1, the first hot day of spring, while kids throughout Orinda were signing up for Meadow Pool’s summer swim team, Bernadette Protti was sentenced. She was committed to the California Youth Authority. She can serve no less than one year and no more than nine — until she reaches the age of twenty-five. According to her attorney, Charles James, juveniles convicted of murder in California serve an average of four to six years.

There have been several changes in Orinda since Bernadette’s arrest. For one, some of Heather Crane’s former classmates have started speaking to Heather again. “I think a lot of people feel bad,” says one junior, referring to the rumors implicating Heather. “What can you do? You can’t make up for six months of hell.”

For the students, the killing and its aftermath have left bitter feelings. Many say they can’t trust anyone anymore, not after what Bernadette did.

And, they realized, the problem didn’t lie only with Bernadette.

“People can get really nasty at this school,” says one junior, standing with a group of classmates on the lawn surrounding Miramonte. “Everyone says this school is so boring, so they start doing things for entertainment. They start being cruel. Everyone wants to be the best. It’s so competitive.”

“It’s a circle,” says another. She calls to classmates to ask who made pompom girl and cheerleader. “Kelly, Karin and Brooke,” her friends shout.

“That’s so hot,” the girl says, and heads home.

MORE  Newspaper headlines from the real-life Death of a Cheerleader story: The Kirsten Costas murder (1984)

The real death of a cheerleader story (1985) - Kirsten Costas murder

Bernadette Protti was released on parole in 1992, having served almost 8 years of her sentence. Upon her release, she reportedly changed her name. For legal reasons, we will not publish her name in this article, or the comments.

Photos with blue: From the Ladies Home Journal original article; Photo 2: Kirsten Costas in Washington DC in October 1981 (from the editor’s personal collection). All other photos are from the Miramonte High School yearbook, 1985.

More stories you might like

See our books

105 Responses

    1. Berit and Bob Costas live in Hawaii. It’s unknown what happened to Peter Costas (Kirsten’s younger brother)

      Bernadette’s parents also left Orinda, but its unknown if they left the state of California.

  1. Bernadette protti longed to be popular and she decided to kill an innocent person just because she couldn’t have things get way….that’s sad. I just don’t understand can’t people just be happy with what god has made them.

    1. for what i read the cheerleader was mean to bernadette protti,the cheerleader always thought she was prettier than bernadette and didnt want to be her friend.kirsten the cheerleader always hurt her feelings.have you seen the movie with tori spelling?death of the cheerleader.

        1. I can’t believe they made a movie that was so offensive to the real victim. It sounds like she was only mean one time about her having cheap ski boots. And ironically the real Kirsten was the brunette and the kiler was the blonde. The goth was actually into New Wave music and was not goth people at the school just thought she was weird for dying her hair New Wave because it was such a conservative school. She had a sort of ombre style in fact which was kind of weird in the 80s, but cutting edge. She once told Kirsten to shut up in biology and that’s why everyone thought she’d done it.

      1. Maria
        You didn’t read that. No such articles exist about anything you have described. There is no point in making stuff up.

      2. The movie eve swapped their hair colours you can’t take it too seriously although it did iclude certain claims of Beradette’s like that Kirsten commented on Bernadette having cheap ski boots although all she said was that Bernadette made some comment not even what the comment was and that Kirsten’s voice was unexcited when she saw it was Bernadette. The whole movie seems based on stuff Bernadette said and from her point of view which is a bit unfair. . It has her sister cutting vegetables with a ridiculously long knife too, and Kirsten’s parents were right who cuts up vegetables with a knife that long that they keep in the car?

    2. Kristen’s parents are right the story as told doesn’t make any sense. I think Kristen called Bernadette out on being a lesbian. And back then Bernadette was never going to admit that. She felt it was even worse than having killed someone which is ridiculous and sad but there’ve been a few cases like this.. It’s thought to be the reason why Skylar Neese was really killed though her two “best friends” who killed her claimed they just didn’t like her any more (again doesn’t make sense) and there was evidence that Skylar had seen her two friends making out.

  2. The movie really leaned toward Bernadette being seen by Kirsten and others as less of a person. But I do agree in the movie Bernadette seemed dressed down the night of the murder and if she was really going to a popular party, bringing Kirsten and wanting to be seen as more popular, then she would have been dressed nicer. And in the movie, the big butcher knife sat between the 2 girls in the car. Bernadette, as described would have known that Kirsten would have thought it weird to be driving around with a butcher knife. Pre-meditation seems sensible between the clothes and the knife. The only truly real statement that is completely believable is Bernadette’s taped confession where she is mostly panicked about press and people “knowing”. As any 15 year old would….even today in 2015.

    1. The movie did not do justice to Kirsten’s memory as it seemed to blame the victim rather than the killer. Additionally, the Bernadette character was portrayed as sweet and innocent, while a sexy twenty-something Tori Spelling played the part of the 15 year old Kirsten. Looking at the pictures, it is shocking to see that Kirsten Costas is the face of an innocent little girl. Lifetime should be ashamed. Knowing that the Protti family is no longer poor, I hope they didn’t benefit financially from this film!

      1. I don’t understand why Kirsten Costas was portrayed as a pretty girl or how she even was some one to be jealous of. I’m not saying that she should have been killed, but sometimes bad behavior has a terrible outcome which is why we all need to teach our children to respect the feelings of others.

        1. “Joy”,

          I don’t understand why you sympathize with a murderer and perpetuate lies about her murder victim under different aliases.

          What bad behaviour? You never give examples of what Kirsten did.

          “we all need to teach our children to respect the feelings of others”

          So Kirsten should have been perfectly okay with the fact that Bernadette lied to her to get her out of her house alone and then drove her to an empty car-park and appears to have confessed feelings of admiration for her? Do you really think it’s acceptable to lure someone out of their house under false pretences and then expect a positive reaction if your lie is discovered? If Bernadette respected Kirsten’s feelings, she would have left Kirsten alone when she fled Bernadette’s car and wouldn’t have stalked her to her house. As I wrote to you in a previous comment, if anyone was “pushed to the brink”, it was Kirsten, but instead of reacting violently like Bernadette did, she ran from Bernadette’s car. Kirsten is the true victim in this case.

          As I also wrote to you in a previous comment, judging from your malicious, reprehensible comments and utter ignorance and delusion, your moral fiber is rotten to the core, and I pity any child subjected to your skewed guidance as their moral fiber will no doubt succumb to decay.

          1. I was wondering why she was so pro-Bernadette. I don’t care what anyone says to another person, it does not give you the right to kill them. And yes, I was bullied in high school too. I was called ugly, to my face by a group of senior boys on my first day. I am 59 years old and I remember it like it was yesterday. I didn’t kill anyone, I went to college, had a successful career, a loving family and am happily retired with my husband who I met right after I graduated college in 1983. So yes it sucks to be bullied, but that is no excuse for any kind of physical action.

        2. How dare you? Kirsten was gorgeous! She reminds me of Stacey Dash a little. For you to even fix your fingers to type a reference that this was some sort of fault of the victim’s speaks volumes about you as a person. Kids can be cruel, it’s always been that way. Bernadette was/is just a mental case. She had an issue, and if what Kirsten’s friends say are right about her and being so bold to ‘outspoken’ maybe she recognized that the girl wasn’t ‘wrapped too tight’ but being young didn’t know the term, hence calling her ‘weird’

    2. The knife was her sister’s for making lunch it was even in the movie that way. The movie hinted at Bernadette being gay but only a hint. “Oh you’re so pretty and popular and amazing” I think that’s what Kirsten meant by her friend “getting weird” Then she killed her rather than have Kirsten tell everyone she was a lesbian. That’s a much more obvious motive.

      1. Doesn’t it seem weird that Bernadette’s sister would have an 18-inch knife for cutting tomatoes? Wouldn’t she have something smaller, like a paring knife?

  3. first of all, the judge had to be stupid to find it second degree murder and it doesn’t matter if she didn’t plan to kill kirsten. Bernadette deserved the same sentence as would any get it doesn’t matter even if she was a juvenile at the time she.should have been trialed as an adult. The costas still have to deal with pain and grief and it doesn’t matter if she was angry nobody thought about kirsten or her family by letting bernadette get a slap on the wrist! justice was nwot served and the costas have shed tears and felt grief for over 30 years and i think bernadette shouldn’t have been given the privelege to go to college, get her high school diploma, have a boyfriend, and then have kids and get married no she should have been locked in a brick cell staring at walls all day so that she could focus on what she did but no she is scott free now to go out and kill again if she wants. i don’t want to hear poor bernadette was bullied no she had mental issues. i feel sorry.for any poor sap who has to live in her neighborhood because like the investigator wisehart said she has a hidden trigger that anyone can pull just by not giving her what she thinks she.should get in a relationship. the fact is bullying had nothing to do with it she was a sick and twisted individual and still is!

    1. Nope! Not when she was bullied and pushed to her limit!! Snobs like Kristen who think they are better than everyone, put others down, and degrade them because of their class status are the reason shootings like Columbine took place. I was raised to treat others with respect. Real class comes from decent human beings who have respect for others, and treating others the way that they want to be treated. I don’t believe she deserved to die, but she should have received a serious reality check. Maybe her parents should have raised her better. Sorry but the parents are to blame. My kid knows better than to bully others.

      1. “Rupaul”

        Where are the examples of Kirsten bullying Bernadette and pushing her to her limit? As I wrote in another comment to you, If Bernadette killed Kirsten because she was “bullied” and “put down by her”, why didn’t she give examples at her trial which would have strengthened her case? She didn’t give examples because she wasn’t bullied by Kirsten. Can you give examples of Kirsten “degrading” others and “thinking she is better than everyone”? Your comments continue to reiterate the plot for the movie “Death of a Cheerleader”. It was a fictional depiction loosely based on Kirsten and Bernadette.

        “I was raised to treat others with respect. Real class comes from decent human beings who have respect for others”

        It is abundantly clear from your comments that you do not have class and were not raised to treat others with respect, you odiously sanctimonious deluded ignoramus. Is it respectful to perpetuate lies about a murdered teenage girl due to a fictional depiction? Is it respectful to write in another comment that “Kirsten had it well deserved”, which suggests that you think Kirsten’s murder was justified? Is it respectful to suggest that Kirsten’s parents “should have raised her better” and that they are to “blame” for her murder? Blaming Kirsten’s parents for her death is the epitome of classlessness and disrespect. It also evil and sick. Shame on you.

        ” I don’t believe she deserved to die”

        Why are you contradicting yourself? You wrote in another comment “, Kristen had it well deserved”.

        “My kid knows better than to bully others”

        Judging from your malicious, reprehensible comments and utter ignorance and delusion, your moral fiber is rotten to the core, and I pity any child subjected to your skewed guidance as their moral fiber will no doubt succumb to decay.

        1. Did you ever stop and think that Bernadette was a fragile human being? Did you ever think that she would not want to try to defend herself in court with letting out the terrible things Kristen said to her and how she berated her and others because she was sorry and she felt as though that would only add insult to injury to Kristen’s family? Society in the richest places raise their children to be obnoxious and unbearable little freaks who will at some point push a normal person to the brink,so whatever happens is something they are a part of as well as the person they have pushed.

          1. Excuse my long reply. I can’t get to the point quickly.

            “Joy”, why don’t you stick to writing under one name instead of creating different aliases? Also, I’m flattered by the attention you gave me on the blog. It made me feel oh so special.

            How was Bernadette a “fragile human being”? She did well in school academically, had plenty of friends, her close friends genuinely cared about her, she was described as ” popular in her own way”and she was invited to join an exclusive sorority club.

            Or do you mean that you think she was a fragile human being before she brutally murdered Kirsten? How so?

            Bernadette rang Kirsten’s mother to invite Kirsten to a non existent sorority dinner. She lured Kirsten out of her house under false pretences to the non existent sorority dinner and then drove Kirsten to an empty car-park at night. I think a lot of people would have found Bernadette’s plan to lure them out of their house under false pretences very disconcerting and would be angered over it like Kirsten appears to have been.

            Kirsten understandably didn’t appreciate the fact that she was lured out of her house under false pretences, so she left Bernadette’s car. Bernadette then stalked Kirsten all the way to her house, ambushed her from behind with a 15/18 inch knife, inflicted Kirsten with two two foot wounds down her back and continued to stab Kirsten when she was suffering on the ground with her wounds. Bernadette would have seen the pain and anguish on Kirsten’s face, the fear and shock in Kirsten’s eyes, listened to Kirsten scream in agony (she was reported to have screamed) as she felt the knife rip through Kirsten’ skin. Bernadette was clearly very sick and disturbed, yet you appear to be minimizing or even excusing Kirsten’s murder by referring to Bernadette “as a fragile human being”, and writing ” Society in the richest places raise their children to be obnoxious and unbearable little freaks who will at some point push a normal person to the brink”.

            “Did you ever think that she would not want to try to defend herself in court with letting out the terrible things Kristen said to her and how she berated her and others because she was sorry and she felt as though that would only add insult to injury to Kristen’s family?”

            Rubbish. If Bernadette had considered Kirsten’s family’s feelings at all, she wouldn’t have stolen Kirsten from them by brutally murdering her. An example that shows that Bernadette didn’t have respect for Kirsten’s family and shows how detached Bernadette was from killing Kirsten was that she appeared to have no inhibitions about attending Kirsten’s funeral. She would have seen Kirsten’s parents and brother crying anguished tears of unfathomable sorrow and would have seen the inconsolable grief and despair etched into their faces, and she had the unconscionable gall to not only attend Kirsten’s funeral knowing she was responsible for putting Kirsten in her coffin, but also had the cold nerve to be in the presence of and be able to look at Kirsten’s family whose sadness and grief would have been heart wrenchingly palpable, which she knew she was responsible for. A sane or “fragile” person would not have been able to endure being confronted with so much pain that they were responsible for, yet Bernadette could and did. She could “block it out of her mind” (her words).

            Was Bernadette “fragile” when she watched as two innocent girls were accused of Kirsten’s murder by the Orinda community? Was Bernadette “fragile” when she took Catechism classes with one of the accused girls and would have no doubt seen the emotional toll being falsely accused of murder would have taken on the girl, yet she acted like nothing was amiss. Was Bernadette “fragile” when she coolly discussed Kirsten’s murder with classmates, some of which include Kirsten’s friends. Was Bernadette “fragile” when her behaviour was reported to not have changed after Kirsten’s murder?
            As I wrote in a previous comment to you above “rupaul/joy”, if there was evidence of Kirsten bullying Bernadette, she would have given examples which would have strengthened her case and possibly portrayed her as a sympathetic character. Why deliberately refrain from giving examples if she could have been accused of first degree murder?
            The only incident Bernadette recounted was a remark Kirsten made about her skis. She couldn’t give any more examples because there was no more examples which is why there is still no clear reason why she killed Kirsten.

            “Society in the richest places raise their children to be obnoxious and unbearable little freaks who will at some point push a normal person to the brink,so whatever happens is something they are a part of as well as the person they have pushed”

            Please explain how Bernadette was “pushed to the brink”? Bernadette concocted a plan to get Kirsten out of her house and it appears that Kirsten got annoyed when she discovered that Bernadette lied to get her out of her house alone. Bernadette then drove Kirsten to an empty car-park and appears to have confessed feelings of admiration for her. Do you really think it’s acceptable to lure someone out of their house under false pretences and then expect a positive reaction if your lie is discovered? Kirsten ran from Bernadette’s car and wanted to be left alone, yet Bernadette stalked Kirsten to her house. If anyone was “pushed to the brink”, it was Kirsten, but instead of reacting violently, she fled from Bernadette’s car.

            “Society in the richest places raise their children to be obnoxious and unbearable little freaks”

            Orinda was not Beverly Hills. It was full of middle – class and upper- middle class families. Bernadette lived in a wealthier area than Kirsten. The only “freak” in this tragic story is Bernadette.

        2. Karen, everyone reading your comments sees you as the odious one. You want to defend your friend and so you should but once you start calling names and trampling over the comments of others you single yourself out as a bully. I am merely reading the comments after viewing the movie and indeed if the movie mischaracterized Bernadette then her parents should sue them. They might not win but they can make a case for smearing the name of their daughter if indeed she was not a bully. But you are not making her case by behaving like a bully yourself.

      2. You’re going off the crappy movie. That movie was terrible and blamed the victim for her own murder. There was no justification for murder even if the victim was a bully, which it seems she was, at worst, catty.

      3. Dylan and Erik’s parents were loaded. They were rich. lol Dylan’s mother saying “We weren’t rich. We bought a do up property.” Upper middle class at least.

      4. You took the words right out of my mouth! I had to deal with people like Kirsten in high school. There was this one girl that was so jealous of me, that she spread lies about me to her “sorority friends” and kept me from pledging her sorority. I hardly knew this girl. Thank God I’m out of high school now and don’t have to deal with all that social crap. The sad thing is that adults act the same way. I don’t understand what is wrong with people. I have always treated others the way I want to be treated. I was born with common sense.

        1. Yes. At 50 years old, I too have been bullied my whole life. I was shy, empathetic and depressed. Girls, women at any age can be so horrible. The bullying, the lies, the jealousy and competition is so toxic and they will murder your soul. I still have nightmares of many girlfriends ignoring me, making fun of me and being just vicious. I suffer from PTSD. No I would never kill someone from being bullied but I totally understand some people who do. That pain of being relentlessly bullied stays with you your whole life and your self worth is damaged. I isolate now due to the fact women have betrayed me so badly. Ive been suicidal just from being bullied.

      5. You’re talking about Tori Spelling in a movie being a minor bully not Kirsten whom you know next to nothing about. I agree bullying is so terrible but there wasn’t much evidence that Kirsten was a bully apart from Bernadette saying Kirsten once mentioned that her ski boots looked cheap, I think Kirsten was a lesbian with a crush on Kirsten but was taking that secret to her grave.

      6. It doesn’t sound as if Kirsten bullied Bernadette, other than the one comment about her ski gear. Bernadette never said it in her testimony, from what I can tell. If she’d been bullied by Kirsten, seems like she’d have told it in detail.

  4. This is what can happen when you are a bully. Bernadette was better looking then Kirsten. Too bad Bernadette couldn’t see that..

    1. Sarah, well, MURDER IS NOT AN OPTION!! What is horrible is how pathetic Bernadette was to begin with. You obviously are very contradicting since from gathering what the “Hollywood” movie has told you if Kirsten was truly a “witch”, then, Bernadette was a bigger idiot since she wanted to befriend such a person to begin with. It shows what a shallow, loser, she was. She had plenty of friends like in the film who loved her, but she cared only about superficial things, and people. The tragedy is some of you morons cannot get through your head that you cannot make the world like you!!! Secondly, if you actually did your research on the true case, and not some Hollywood movie who portrayed supposedly Kirsten, who was of Greek American heritage a blond, and Bernadette, who was the real blond, a brunette. Hollywood tends to make villains heroes, and innocent people into villains. It also tends to victimize blonds! Your argument is Sort of pointless, and hypocritical considering that Bernadette did not value TRUE FEELINFS, FREINDSHIPS!!! Her main concern when being caught was people finding out who she was, and people hating her rather then easing the pain of the parents who obviously would never be the same considering they buried their own child (who had not had a chance to live, and have life beyond her own) before they buried themselves! People like you expect the world to owe you something. Bernadette admitted to many friends she craved the wealthy life, and hated that her own parents (whom I feel sorry for) were so old. She dared to say she could not commit suicide because her religion would not allow it, but did not take into consideration the life of Kirstens! Shame on such a post you wrote! She is what people who know psychology well, especially Criminal Psychology, a Sociopath! Everything is Me! Me! Me! When it came to Bernadette. Even religion, which is supposed to be about mostly how you treat others. She turned it about herself! She didnt care wheather her mom or dad suffered, she just would not subject herself to something like suicide because she loves herself more then anyone else. I hope she prays from the bottom of her heart, because the pain she caused the Costas’ well, she will have to pray forever!!! Also, HELL NO Bernadette was not cuter, or prettier then Kirsten. Kirsten was exotic, and beautiful. Not a plaine jane….get real. You call the pic of her double chin better looking? I think NOT!

      1. I’m sorry but I disagree. I feel sorry for Bernadette. I can’t stand snobby bitches who put others down and bully them. This is exactly why the Columbine shooting happened, and why these things happen in the first place. There is no justification for murder, and I am not siding with the criminals, but you can push someone so far.

        1. “Rupaul”

          Can you give examples of Kirsten bullying Bernadette? If Bernadette killed Kirsten because she was “bullied” and “put down by her”, why didn’t she give examples at her trial which would have strengthened her case? She didn’t give examples because she wasn’t bullied by Kirsten. Columbine has nothing to do with case and you know well that the two can’t be compared. How did Kirsten push Bernadette “so far”? Kirsten was lured out of her house under false pretences to a bobbie (sorority) dinner that didn’t exist by someone she wasn’t friends or even acquaintances with. She was then driven to an empty car- park at night and was justifiably angry with Bernadette over it. Most people would be angered and perturbed by that kind of behavior.

          “There is no justification for murder, and I am not siding with the criminals, but you can push someone so far”

          Really? In another one of your comments your wrote “Well said Sarah. Kristen had it well deserved” in response to someone else, which suggests that you think her cruel murder was justified. Judging from your comments you clearly have sided with Bernadette, so why contradict yourself? Read the facts of the case instead of perpetuating lies that Kirsten “pushed” Bernadette or that she “bullied” Bernadette.

        2. Rupaul
          You seem to have the mentality of a child.
          Are you bullied in school?
          Please make an appointment with your councilor at school and discuss this with him or her…
          Good luck dear

        1. For what? Being disgusted with a murderer and defending a murder victim? Being disgusted with the the murderer’s nonchalant behaviour after her brutal crime? Being disgusted that the murderer allowed two innocent girls to be accused of the murder?
          You sympathize with a murderer and deliberately perpetuate lies about her victim under different aliases, yet you are telling someone else to get help? Your lack of self awareness is both amusing and perplexing.

          1. Karen I read your comments n I totally agreed with you. Nothing should move a person to kill another. If we have the fear of God n understand the importance of God’s creation. You will think positive then allow being moved by what ppl say or do. Put God first. Even if her friend was bullying don’t give right to take life. No one have to take the greatest gift God gives,LIFE

      2. Ok, I agree with you that Kirsten was better-looking, but you realize that Bernadette was part Italian, right? Not boring (ugly, maybe, not boring), and also thus not a natural blonde. I’m betting you’re some white chick who wouldn’t know.

        Either way, it doesn’t matter because Bernadette is a bitch, which is more important any day than looks.

    2. Bernadette was prettier. I think she had a crush on Kirsten and was terrified of Kirsten telling everyone she was a lesbian.

  5. Your eyes are deceiving you. I know beauty is all a matter of perception, not that it matters but in no universe would Bernadette be considered better looking. Bernadette was homely; Kirsten was pretty. Kirsten wasn’t a bully. Educate yourself about this case, you simple minded degenerate. Too bad Bernadette WAS a pathetic psychopathic freak.

      1. “Rupaul”

        The characters were loosely based on Kirsten and Bernadette. The script for the movie was written by Randall Sullivan who wrote the one-sided scathingly critical “Death of a Cheerleader” article for Rolling Stone, which the movie was based on. Randall admitted that he felt no sympathy for Kirsten and that is clearly evident in the movie as he deliberately portrayed Kirsten’s character as an insufferable, unlikable bully bitch in order for Bernadette’s character to come across as sympathetic as possible because he identified with her. I would suggest that you should be able to distinguish between a fictional depiction and reality, but judging from your comments it is clearly beyond your capacity to do so.

      2. “Well based on the movie…” Yeah, that’s your problem. The movie, like most movies, is no an accurate account. Even before I read about the real case, I thought the movie blamed the victim way too much. IN REALITY, Kristen was, at worst, sometimes catty to Bernadette. Bernadette had jealousy issues. There’s no excuse for murder. Read the article, read more on the actual case, stop judging real people based on a low-budget lifetime movie.

      3. There’s a reason why they changed the names for the movie because it was a fictionalized version and seemed entirely based on Bernadette’s version of events and not anyone else’s.

  6. homely??lol go guys and do some research..the real Bernadette was very beautiful,(but poor) while the real Kristen was very average (but rich)…Kristen well deserved her fate,all the bullies making other’s life miserable…no sympathy from me at all.

    1. Why are you so focused on what they looked like? I disagree with you. I thought Kirsten was a very pretty little thing. If you did your “research”, you would know that Kirsten didn’t bully Bernadette. You are a sick minded individual to perpetuate that lie about Kirsten, but I suppose it’s easier for you and your ilk to criticize a dead teenager because she it’s not like she can defend herself, is it? To suggest that Kirsten deserved what happened to her because she didn’t appreciate the fact that Bernadette lied to her to get her out of her house under the pretence of a “bobbies” initiation dinner, is very, very sick and evil and I hope for the sake of others around you that you are on some sort of medication because you appear to have issues. Also, Kirsten was upper middle class and lived in a less expensive area than Bernadette.

    2. It would appear that kirsten marina costas was a spoilt rich kid who never had to go without any luxuries at all. She was mercilessly cruel to anyone who was nothing like her although death in my opinion was far too good for her or any other bully. The best way is to bring bullies down a peg or a few. That could hurt much more than death. Poor bernadette seemed very vulnerable and in need of help. She needed friends, more encouragement from teachers, not teasing and ostracisation. People need others not bullying. This type of case just proves what can happen when bullies go too far. We are all different. Some are quick, rich, own the finest and the most expensive of anything. Others are not so lucky. is it really about wealth, splendour etc? No, it is about love, people. So I would say to any bully, we all have our weaknesses,
      so dont mock, offer to help thus build bridges.

      1. You don’t know whether or not Kirsten had to go without anything. Her family were upper-middle class, not multi millionaires. Bernadette’s family lived in a more expensive area than Kirsten, so what does that tell you? There is no evidence of Kirsten being “mercilessly cruel” to anyone. If Kirsten was “mercilessly cruel” to Bernadette, it would have been brought up at Bernadette’s trial which would have strengthened her case, but it wasn’t brought up because it didn’t happen. You clearly are basing your opinions on a movie – a fictional depiction. Bernadette had plenty of friends who loved her. She was also friends with people who were considered popular. She was not some vulnerable lost soul who was bullied mercilessly. She fit it fine and was considered to “be popular in her own way”. She was also a very good student who did well academically in school. There was no “teasing and ostracisation”. You appear to be making up scenarios in your head about Bernadette’s life and have difficulty differentiating fact from fiction. You need to get help for that, sweetie.
        The reason why Bernadette killed Kirsten is because Kirsten didn’t appreciated the fact that she was lured out of her house under the pretence of a Bobbies sorority initiation dinner by someone she wasn’t friends or even acquaintances with. Bernadette then drove Kirsten to an empty car park at night and appears to have confessed feelings of admiration for Kirsten. That would disturb most people. Bernadette then stalked Kirsten all the way to her house which would anger and disturb most people.

        “We are all different. Some are quick, rich, own the finest and the most expensive of anything. Others are not so lucky”

        Your point is irrelevant and has absolutely nothing to do with the case. Bernadette fit in fine and lived in a lovely area. Her inadequacies were all created by her and in her own head and she murdered Kirsten as a result.

        “No, it is about love, people. So I would say to any bully, we all have our weaknesses,”

        Judging by the comment you have written, you know nothing about love. You are disturbing and evil by stating that death was too good for Kirsten, an innocent victim of a brutal murder.
        You are bullying a dead teenage girl by deliberately and knowingly perpetuating lies about her because you appear to identify with Angela Delvecchio in “Death of a Cheerleader” ( a character that doesn’t exist and is not a real representation of what Bernadette Protti was like). Does it make you feel good to knowingly lie about a dead murdered girl? Love indeed.

        1. Are you suggesting by your comment “Kirsten had is well deserved” that Kirsten “deserved” to be murdered because she understandably didn’t take kindly to being lured out of her house under false pretences to a bobbie (sorority) dinner that didn’t exist by someone she wasn’t friends or even acquaintances with and was then driven to an empty car-park at night. Bernadette then appears to have confessed her feelings of admiration for Kirsten in the empty car-park at night. Most people would find that bizarre and off-putting and would certainly not deserve to be killed over it.

      2. You’re going off a movie…a fictionalized account. Read the article. Lot of weirdos on this thread. Probably chubby ugly girls who were bullied as kids.

      1. “Rupaul”

        Can you give examples of Kirsten bullying Bernadette? If Bernadette killed Kirsten because she was “bullied” by her, why didn’t she give examples at her trial, which would have strengthened her case? She didn’t give examples because she wasn’t bullied by Kirsten.

    3. Kelly wrong there Kirsten didn’t deserve to be murder she was innocent teenager who happened to a crazy obsessed girl wanting to be her and there no evidence of Kirsten being a bully

  7. People, can’t we all just get along and respect one another’s opinion? You all sound a bit like the people you are gossiping about. Look inwards and think with consideration before you speak.

    1. I’m not arguing with and don’t mean to appear hostile and wouldn’t have bothered replying until I read that you are suggesting that “you all” (which I suppose includes me) sound like the people you are gossiping about”.

      Is it difficult to understand why a person might not respect the opinion of someone else who supports a murderer? Especially someone who not only blames the murder victim for her brutal murder, but also blames her innocent parents?

      “You all sound a bit like the people you are gossiping about”

      What? A murderer? My comments aren’t “gossip”.

      “Look inwards and think with consideration before you speak”

      Likewise. All the best.

  8. The full length picture of Kirsten with her hair tied back is so cute. She looks like she would have lit up a room. How tragic she was murdered over basically nothing.

  9. Wow all this bantering back and forth how sad. Lemme tell all of you a little something because I lived and breathed the entire lifestyle of growing up in orinda and knew both Bernadette and kirsten. I was in 8 the grade with Kirsten’s brother Peter and Bernadette had babysat me years prior and was very sweet. Bernadette was just as nice as we were on swim team together growing up. Living in orinda back in the 80s&90s was no easy task if you indidn’t wear the right clothes or drive the nice brand new car you wernt shit .

    1. You know what’s really sad? A grown woman from England pretending to be someone who knew Bernadette, Kirsten, or Kirsten’s brother. What’s wrong with you? You copied your little story from some other website. Seriously, what’s wrong with you?

  10. No one is killed without a reason. One version is that she was so good and bullied and another that she is a monster prepare to kill just like that? No, there is good and bad in every person, just the people are guilty for not seeing the reasons that cause that kind of things. We don’t see the others, don’t mix with their lives, not care for them, stay away or just say “It’s better that something happens to others, not me”, but we don’t get the message to be just more polite. Is it so hard to do without hurt someone? Would you say the same if Bernadette did suicide? No , then it’s gona be “she was mental ill” and forgotten forever yes? We all are mental ill and could snap in a minute, so be good for yourself and others. In more conservative societes in the world(it’s not USA) the educators and family see these things in the early stages and try to prevent them. In USA is more important to be popular, not smart, no matter how you treat others – you become popular just because you say some joke or anything else to molest the person. And you don’t give a fuck cause you are popular? The profesors are going home and the parents are at work all day and dont have a time for kids, so what do you expect from society like that. There are more murders in american continent than in Europe and it’s not in the time of war. Teenagers killed each other for being bullied or cause they are lesbian? It’s sad, that’s the biggest problem in this world? very sad.

  11. Bernadette went to private grade school called St. Perpetua’s in Lafayette Ca. Next to Orinda. The school was a freak show. The priests were rapist. One was transferred there because of problems with boys. Word was that girls were safe because raping a girl is irresponsible and could get them fired because girls could get pregnant and priest need to bring money in, not pay out for 18 years. So start the story there. Her parents poor,.. yes, but spent money on that. Interesting. It was a strange time growing up around religious freaks. The judgemental insecurities started there for Bernadette and everyone else that was raised in those conditions.

    I didn’t know Kirsten very well. She was friends with my sister, came around our house a few times. I do remember she was very insecure and would pick on B clearly an attempt to boost her confidence. Sad because K had it all as I saw it. I do remember all the stories before and after the killing. Who knows what was true or not. But I do know that two families had to move out of town because the girls wore all black and kept to them selves.. Believe me it was a 6 month witch hunt. I remember the day every girl attended school when the killer had been caught but we had no name; if they had to fly back, leave the hospital, watever, no girl wanted to be accused for even 24 hours even if they would be exonerated the next day or week. that HS was a tough place especially for girls.

    Word around town was that K was stabbed 18 times. I believe that the real number was held by the cops. I remember one time coming back from skiing, my friend and I were saying how we should stab the killer 18 times for what she did. Obviously we didn’t know B was the killer. She threw up sour cream and onion chips. Smelled so bad. Couldn’t get the smell out of car for weeks. B was so quiet of a person we figured just talking about something like that made her sick.

    Between 10-15 years ago bullying came into the news. i remember always thinking that B’s case would had been much different today. I still can’t help from thinking that, but largely I think B killed K because K was blocking B from her rise in popularity.

  12. Why isn’t anyone talking about the incompetency of the police here? They had Bernadette as a suspect and only give her a lie detector test? They don’t even bother to investigate her alibi to see if she was telling the truth? If it hadn’t have been for Bernadette’s confession, this case probably would remain unsolved. I also think that it’s utterly ridiculous that she got only 9 years for committing murder. I don’t care if she was only 15, murder is murder and she should have been locked away for far longer. Finally, as an aside, I think some people need to learn the difference between fiction and reality. Just because there was bullying in a fictional movie, doesn’t mean the Bernadette was bullied by Kirsten in real life.

  13. This whole story is just disgusting. So this murderer just gets off free after 8 years and gets to live her life because (somebody picked on her)????? I still can’t believe this individual who killed someone because of jealousy, if she was so down in the dumps – they why didn’t she just KILL herself??????

    1. She wanted to, but decided not to go through with it. In PEOPLE, the article stated that Bernadette feared hurting her family by leaving them behind: “If I kill myself, I will hurt people even more (my family).” [13 May 1985, Arthur Lubow] I think it’s also safe to assume that her Catholic faith played a part in her decision.

  14. Just saw the new Lifetime movie “Death of a Cheerleader”. What a bizarre story. So tragic that Kirsten was brutally murdered. No matter if she was cocky or snobby; irrelevant. Hard to comprehend how this Bernadette flew into a rage and savagely murdered her classmate. Senseless. I am really stunned that she only spent 8 years in jail. How is that possible. For murder! I feel for the Costas family.

  15. My honest opinion on this is that I think that Kirsten didn’t deserve to die. She looked like a nice person that had a good life ahead of her. Same for Bernadette, but she had to make this choice that will change her life. Sad. Killed a girl because you were jealous? Now thats just sad. Maybe she did say some things that you didn’t like, but for real! Killing her just because you were jealous? This is what makes me sad the most. Kirsten had a good family, good life, and then this horrendous event took her life. And whenever she went to that parking lot to say that she admired Kirsten, that’s probably the reason why she said her friend “Got weird.” I would have gotten weirded out too if my friend addmitted that she thought that I was perfect, pretty, and good at everything. But I will feel honored at the same time…but I still would have been weirded out. And she killed her because she was jealous and that she would have been humiliuated if Kirsten told people at school that she was admiring her. And only 7 years in jail with parrole?! Honestly! She could have gotten all of her 9 years. Now the new version of the movie was making Bernadette innocent, when Kirsten was innocent herself. But this is just my opinion, don’t come after me :/

  16. Quote from the poster “me”:

    So this murderer just gets off free after 8 years and gets to live her life because (somebody picked on her)?

    Protti didn’t get a short sentence because she claimed to have been picked on. There was no jury in the trial. She got a short sentence because she was tried as a minor.

    Bernadette Protti is believed to have changed her name, gotten married (causing her last name to change again), and became a nurse and medical journal author in suburban Dallas (Grapevine TX). She apparently moved again and left the medical field, probably because her real name and location was outed by amateur internet “detectives”.

    I would love to hear Bernadette being interviewed now about that tragic night in suburban Oakland. But that has about a millionth of a percent chance of ever happening.

  17. I was a 1985 highschool graduate.i had skipped a grade so my classmates were more mature physically and socially. I was the daughter of a single mom who was a teacher. I also was in a school where most others came from two income families and most of the parents were accountants, lawyers or doctors. I understand wanting to have what your friends have. I think Bernadette went about it in the wrong way. She should have been happy With the circle of friends and family she had. I don’t buy into the lesbian theory. I think she wanted to be part of the elite click.

  18. I am shocked to even read that some people think this 15 year old girl deserved to die because she could be a little snobby at school, I personally would prefer my children to be friends at school with a snobby girl than a cold blooded killer! Bernadette planned everything down to the last detail, even telling Kirsten’s Mum to ask Kirsten not to tell anyone about the supposed ‘dinner’ that night. And if Kirsten was so bad and such a ‘bully’ why did Bernadette want to be friends with her so badly? Rubbish, it was jealousy and pure rage. Her parole would have gone ahead sooner apparently but in 1992 one of the parole board Victor Wisehart voted to keep her in jail as she showed an inability to control her anger and he felt that she was still a danger to the public, she had had a violent altercation with a ‘boyfriend’ in the prison/school system, he said there was a hidden trigger that switched on when she didn’t get her own way! She was released the following year. My sympathies are with the Costa’s family and i hope they have managed to move on.

  19. I agree with Karen, you can’t prove Kirsten bullied Bernadette. “Just hearsay”. So Kirsten was Cocky at times. What teen isn’t? No right to murder.

  20. I knew both gals. Like I said, Kirsten was so much fun. She didn’t have enemies,(that were known), just a fallout with Nancy. But it wasn’t a big fallout, just words between them…….. Karen, where are you? Love your integrity on all this. You are right, (Kirsten didn’t really bully Bernadette) around a friend she would throw ice at Bernadette, and tease her to “ show off” in front of thier friend, (but girls will be girls)……. I feel if it was true bullying she would be afraid to be near “Kirsten” and these people who call Kirsten a snot and said she was a “Bully” and deserved it, Karen’s right you’re the “Bullies” cause you know Zilch about any of this. We need an Memorial Page set up for Kirsten. Kirsten didn’t have anything against Bernadette before the murder….So Kirsten made a few comments. If Kirsten was going to out Bernadette she would of told Alex Arnold all about her. She refused to. She may of just wanted to scare Bernadette so she would leave her alone (Bernadette)… Bernadette took things way to personal, and, “ it became Personal”….. Joe Kosla hi.

  21. You that said “Kirsten was mean”, don’t know her, or anything about her. She had moments, and she told her feelings about people. She was “happy go lucky” mostly, she only had a couple (she didn’t like), we all have someone we do t get long with. Kirsten had a good heart though. One girl she got mad at for saying stupid stuff around her and embarrassing her. Kirsten told her she embarrassed her, and, “she didn’t want to be around her”. Kirsten didn’t like people who acted (Dumb) or got into trouble and cause trouble. She wasn’t into that game. That’s how she probably got associated with not liking people who didn’t fit in. You act dumb you won’t fit in (anywhere). One girl said stupid stuff that embarrassed you, and cussed all the time, and other girls who smoked or cussed, she didn’t associate with them, she didn’t want around them. Kirsten was a straight A student and involved in activities, she wanted to run with top kids. She didn’t bully, but she told people how she felt. She didn’t have time to (bully). She was to busy of a girl. So you say she was a bully, well prove it. I never seen her bully. So if she didn’t like you, probably you did something to irritate her and she let you know it. She was good at that. She didn’t bully Bernadette either. She probably just told her off, like she did the other’s. “Kirsten was well liked and cared”. If she didn’t like someone , there was a reason. She didn’t hate anyone. She didn’t like their ways mostly. Basically ,she liked everybody.

  22. Rupaul and Sarah, Bernadette has friends and “fit in”. She was a member of a highly selective sorority club called “the Bobbies”. Where are you getting she had no friends and was “bullied”. No there were several girls bullied, but Bernadette wasn’t one. She fit in and was as popular as Kirsten’s 2 close friends (Diane and Stacy), Bernadette wanted more…. She wanted in with Kirsten and she was afraid Kirsten would discuss the conversation, she held her captive till Kirsten escaped. I wasn’t there, but it sounded like she was holding her till she agreed to be friends on her terms, (Bernadette’s). And Sarah saying Kirsten got what she deserved. No one deserves to be murdered. (Kirsten sure didn’t), Saying bullies need to get what they deserve. Well you’re bullying Kirsten( as Karen said) a dead girl who can’t defend herself, that you know nothing about… That movie was one sided. I bet when you were 15 Sarah you were mouthy to, “like Kirsten and all teens”.: Were you a perfect teen who got along with everyone and never said anything unkind to anyone ever? If so, sweetie I want to meet you. We’re you bullied and had to defend yourself and going by that with Bernadette? Bernadette I’m telling you was well liked and a good Student got good grades and was in with popular kids, cause she was smart. Her house was nice to,(as nice as Kirsten’s) so she wasn’t a lonely poor girl who struggled for friends. She had a circle of friends, “ Kirsten was more popular though”. We had lonely girls who were bullied and goth girls and loose girls. We had quite a few of them there. Even if you weren’t rich, if you were smart and acted sensible ‘“ you were accepted”’. We had honor students who were kind of poor, but we loved them, and learned from them. So before you start judging Kirsten, first get facts.

  23. Kirsten wasn’t a bully at all. Those movies aren’t for real! People are going by that. Wish someone who knew facts would tell us about the real events leading up to Kirsten’s death. I know there were Bogus postings from Kirsten’s classmates. But would a real student please come forward and reveal yourself….

    1. “But would a real student please come forward and reveal yourself.”

      That already happened. Read the posts from August 2019.

      As for me, I’m the same age as the girls involved in the case. But I don’t remember hearing or learning about it until many years later. Maybe it wasn’t a big national story at the time, and was more of a California Bay area story (I’m from Illinois). If it was national news, I missed it.

  24. Kirsten was so adorable. She was a typical teenage girl who just wanted to have fun with “her friends”…. She did to, and Bernadette had fun with us as well. They were more aquainted than you think. (Yes at times) Kirsten teased Bernadette, but they were still mutually acquainted… Bernadette never could figure out why she thought she was a “Bullied failure”…. People looked up to her to….. Even if Kirsten was “stuck up” and a Bully! still no right to murder anyone. All teen gals are (snotty) for the most part, but grow out of it. Bernadette could be to at times… She was no Angel some thought of her as “Stuck up”…(Bernadette that is) and her BFF was kind of popular, but not as popular and Bernadette, Stacy, Diane, Jessica and Carrie. Kirsten was more popular she was up there high… She had it all, and some were jealous of her popularity. The Homecoming Court was as popular (if not more) popular than Kirsten. Some girls considered all those girls “Stuck up” they considered Bernadette as well. I was even accused of being (Stuck up)… We were all just “Misunderstood”. (The misfits) we really didn’t see them as Misfits. We had our own group, and we didn’t really talk much to them, (other than hello)… Some of those kids there that were misfits, hate to tell you, some of them weren’t “Angels”… They dressed rough and acted (Bad) and cussed…. We didn’t want to associate with them, cause we didn’t want to get in trouble… We got good grades and did what we were suppose to, our way of (having fun) and “Choices” were different than theirs. They weren’t socially accepted on account of the choices they made….. Berns BFF chose to support her( that set her apart)… In Orinda if you act like a Bad A.. you won’t be accepted. You cuss and run loose you won’t be accepted. Smoking and cussing that is mostly the ones that were disliked.

  25. Those bullied girls like I said “were loose” or cussed and smoked and (dressed roughly)….. So some of them will say “Orinda had snobs”. To them maybe…. It wasn’t so much how you dressed, or how much money your family had, it was on “how you acted”…….. Our Gymn Teacher was impressed on how a lot of us girls got along, only time we bickered is when we played Soccer…… We were a family….. If there was people in need, in the Bobbies we helped those people….. if someone didn’t have nice clothes we were they’re Secret Santa at Christmas time… If someone wasn’t as smart, (we didn’t knock them down), we helped them… Kirsten did to,(so did Bernadette)… In fact, Bernadette wanted to help the poor…. So RuPaul,Kelly and Sarah, you all need to get facts before you say Kirsten got what she deserved…. you weren’t there so shut up… I agree with Karen… Karen get your pretty face back on here… Is this the same Karen I grew up with?.

  26. BTW, Bernadette was not “bullied” or the lonely girl the movie portrayed her, (she had lots of friends) was “popular”… So you that said “Kirsten bullied her”, get the facts straight. That didn’t happen that way. Kirsten and she sort of got along, and,( sort of didn’t). It wasn’t any big deal, or so, we didn’t think it was. There were several bullied as I said before. Bern wasn’t one of them, in fact, (as I said) she was well liked and in with a lot of the i crowd.

  27. The main point so many of you are missing is a beautiful young girl lost her life! Whoever remotely tries to justify that must not have children. The girl that stole her life from her should’ve never been released from prison. She’s obviously mentally ill . This poor girl never got to grow up and experience life all because some horrible, disturbed girl murdered her. It doesn’t matter why and there are no excuses to take another persons life unless it’s to protect your own or your families .

  28. Vanessa I agree… I knew both girls. From a standpoint Kirsten was “Adorable” and fun person. Bernadette was to in a (round about way)… She wasn’t as popular as Kirsten, she desired to have the things Kirsten had. I hear Bernadette is depressed a lot these days. She’s pretty much out of the picture, her “YouTube” gets messages from (Kirsten from Heaven) that’s sick whoever’s doing that. Bernadette her family says she is suffering from Depression maybe “karma” collecting. Her BFF I think is also real sick, she’s “down to nothing”. “Kirsten is forever missed”. I think Bernadette’s Youtube is fake now. I agree Bernadette should of at least got 20 years like (Karen Severson and Laura Doyle) murder of Missy Availa, that happened a year after Kirstens like 5 hours South of us. I’m not sure about that case, but Kirsten I can’t picture her being a bully, “yes telling how she felt”, that she did well. I never saw her actually bully and some said they can’t picture Kirsten ever being “unkind”… Kirsten was loved by many very many. She was the (In crowd) Bernadette was desiring to be the incrowd. Do I think it was premeditated. Yes. Cause Bern for weeks went on and on about Kirsten to where her friends kept getting tired of hearing it. Yes it’s ok to talk, but run it into the ground, it gets old after awhile. Her friends got to where they avoided her if possible. ( Some did) I did cause it was getting ridiculous. I never imagined she would literally kill Kirsten, cause Bernadette was so quiet and her demeanor said nothing about her being a killer at all. She let 2:girls take the blame. They had to leave school. A few left our school, one who went out with a lot of football players getting wasted, she was “demonized badly also”. A few more saying they didn’t fit in and refuses to come to Reunions, I say you don’t want to come then don’t. We’re not sympathizing with you, (grow up and get over it)… They’re not going to beg you to come, and if you don’t want to be found cause your life was miserable, we’re not really interested in finding you and apologizing. What’s been done has been done. Move on. 3 decades later that’s ridiculous. Bernadette isn’t coming anyway, she is not well anymore. No one really cares why. She comes back to see her mom “her dad passed”. I hear she disguised herself when she comes to Orinda wears shades over her eyes, and lives behind a long lane (mom does). So Vanessa I answer your questions. Yes we all feel that way, but nothing can be done about it, decision has already been made. I love Kirsten think about her all the time. She had friends to, some were Bernadette’s, and they don’t care to hear from or about Bernadette anymore. They’re not looking forward to seeing her. A lot of murder cases they get s light sentence or aquitted, but they also get harassed by the “public and media” so they don’t get off all the way, the media torments them. They still do Bernadette and always will, so she has to look over her head every second. I hear her husband knew all along about her. Well he’s probaly no better.

  29. Karen, keep repeating the same Comment over and
    Over, if Kirsten bullied B why didn’t B use it to Strenghten her Case. We get it now, we already got it. B was a Psycho and always will be. That Bullying was a Copout.

  30. Kirsten wasn’t a Bully, she was Conceited and stuck up. She only had certain friends. I know a person who knew her, she was a snob, so to speak, but she didn’t deserve to die. The person I knew didn’t hate Kirsten, she just thought she was Snooty or Misunderstood. She never had words with Kirsten, just said Kirsten hardly talked to her, maybe once or twice in her entire life. She said Bernadette was kind of Snooty also.

  31. My friend was surprised it was Bernadette who murdered Kirsten! Cause Bernadette was stuck up to, or that’s how Bernadette appeared. She may of been misunderstood. Most of the Bobbies were Snooty. Bernadette and Kirsten were friends supposedly.

  32. I so disagree with some of the posters. I was there too. Kristen was a bitch (sorry, fact), who would roll her eyes at randoms and point and laugh at people. Ms Bunch and McDonald (proving I knew them) were not mean like that just self absorbed. Kristen was a total bully, just horrible. She did have the cutest clothes of all time and knew it. Very, very mean. Bernie has a sweet melancholy. Her family was not the same. Much more middle class.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Because the fun never ends:

Pin It on Pinterest

join the fun

Don’t miss out on the latest and greatest vintage stuff!

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter here.