Mother Says Britney Cosby’s Father, Implicated In Murder, Disapproved Of Slain Lesbain Couple’s “Lifestyle”

On Friday, we told you that James Larry Cosby, the father of 24-year-old Britney Cosby, who was brutally murdered along with her girlfriend Crystal Jackson, had been arrested and charged with two counts of tampering with evidence. The Galveston County Sheriff told the press that he believed Cosby was responsible for the murders of the two women, but has yet to charge him with murder. Now, new information has come out regarding Cosby’s religious faith and his alleged disapproval of his daughter’s sexual orientation.

James Larry Cosby has an extensive criminal history. He served ten years after being convicted of sexual assault against a 22-year-old female in 1994, and served additional terms for charges including unlawfully carrying a weapon, drugs and assault. His most recent sentence ended in October 2013 — he served two years for failure to register as a sex offender. After his release, Cosby moved in to the home shared by Crystal Jackson, Britney Cosby and her great-grandmother, Annie Cosby. Annie, who uses a wheelchair, told The Houston Chronicle that “[Britney] took good care of me. She paid my bills, would do my grocery shopping, cooking – all of that. I don’t know what I’m going to do now.” Furthermore, Jackson and Cosby were reportedly raising Jackson’s five-year-old daughter together.

britney-crystal

Britney’s mother, Loranda (McDonald or Remer, depending on the news outlet), has since told KHOU-TV that James Larry Cosby “did not like the idea of [Britney] being gay. But, like I told him, there’s nothing we could do about that. That’s who she is. We can’t change her lifestyle.” Loranda said that she is certain James was involved, and that she left him because of his violent tendencies. She added, “I think they should lock him up, don’t let him out. Give him the chair. I want him to suffer.” Loranda told The Houston Chronicle that Larry Cosby told Britney, “Don’t throw that gay shit around in this house.”

But Annie Cosby has said that “her grandson and his daughter had a good relationship and he had no problem with his daughter’s sexual orientation.”

Family advocate and Civil Rights Activist Quanell X told KHOU that the fact that Cosby had “a copy of the Koran open to a page which talks about homosexuality as a sin” in his bedroom might “give some insight into Cosby’s disturbed mindset.” Quanell X also pointed out that “it’s quite unfortunate, but he had a real, real warped understanding, in my opinion, of the religion of Islam and its position on the gay lifestyle and what one should do.” According to My Fox Houston, Quannell “claims he found writings about homosexuality on Cosby’s Koran indicating he may have had an issue with his daughter’s sexual orientation.” However, according to KHOU, Quanell insisted that “there was no indication whatsoever that he and his daughter had any problems with one another, any history of conflicts, any history of them fighting.”

"John Cooks, the uncle of Crystal Jackson, left, Victoria Rubio, partially obscured, Quanell X and Patricia Nixon, the grandmother of Britney Cosby, attend a prayer vigil for the two slain young women." via houston chronicle

Crystal Jackson’s uncle John Cooks, Quanell X and Britney Cosby’s grandmother Patricia Nixon via houston chronicle, photo by James Nielsen

Galveston Sheriff Office Captain Barry Cook says that he is not sure if their sexual orientation “was a contributing factor to their deaths,” adding “we haven’t ruled it out, but we haven’t proved it, either.” The Houston Chronicle elaborates on the evidence that landed Larry behind bars, also described as “blood and other evidence”:

Sheriff Henry Trochesset said Larry Cosby’s statements to investigators as well as evidence in the home led to the arrest. The sheriff declined to elaborate on what was said or what evidence was found, but he acknowledged that the home appeared “to be a secondary crime scene.”

The criminal complaint states that Cosby saw his daughter’s body on March 6 and failed to report the corpse to authorities.

According to the affidavit, a window shutter was missing from the Cosby home and a blood-stained one matching others on the house was discovered where the bodies were dumped. An investigator found a fingerprint matching Larry Cosby’s on paper affixed to the lone shutter.

Autopsies revealed that Jackson died from a single gunshot to the head and that Britney Cosby succumbed to blows to her head, but also had a broken neck, the affidavit said. The women also appeared to have been killed somewhere other than where their bodies were discovered.

The police are still looking for the man captured on Bolivar surveillance cameras dumping the bodies behind the dumpster outside a Fisherman’s Cove food mart and the man seen driving Jackson’s 2006 Kia Sorrento, which also has yet to be recovered.

galvestonsketch

Funerals for Crystal Jackson and Britney Cosby were held on Saturday. Jackson’s father, Reverend Ivan Jackson, spoke at his daughter’s service at New Peaceful Rest Baptist Church, saying that Crystal “was and always will be his little girl.” Jackson also told Fox 28 Houston that ‘”I did not agree with her sexual orientation either. But I would not kill my daughter and Britney and then take them to Galveston and hide it. I love all my children the same.”

Britney Cosby’s funeral was held at the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church.

This case is uniquely tragic for many reasons. Although mistreatment, abuse and banishment of LGBT kids by their parents is unfortunately common in the United States, the hate-motivated murder of an LGBT child by their parent is relatively rare in this country. Usually hate crimes against LGBT people in the U.S. are perpetrated by peers or strangers. Of the 47 “Significant Acts of Violence Committed Against LGBT People In The US” listed in Wikipedia, only two include children killed by their parents. Although I can’t find similar statistics for the US, the Gay British Crime Survey 2013 found 67% victims of a homophobic hate crime or incident said it involved a male stranger, and 2% said it involved a family member. That all being said, the vast majority of LGBT hate crime victims are people of color. However, it’s unclear if this situation would even be classified as a hate crime, if murder charges are brought.

Executive director and CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition, Sharon Lettman-Hicks, told BET commentator Keith Boykin, “The hypocrisy of masculinity and feeling that women are property and should be dominated in a certain way is quite historical, especially for sex offenders.”

Cosby’s next-door neighbor, Darryl Simien, told My Fox Houston “It was very shocking, I couldn’t believe it. My daughter is right there, there’s nothing that could make me do nothing like that. I couldn’t think why a man would think like that.”

Vigils for Britney Cosby and Crystal Jackson will be held throughout Texas this Wednesday.

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Riese is the 33-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1763 articles for us.

22 Comments

    • Thumb up 60

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      Are you saying that to me? I’m quoting the terminology used by the people in the article. I’m a queer woman and this is my 1657th article for the queer website I own and work for 16 hours a day, I’m well aware of how that term is used and why it’s a problem and I have written about exactly that all over this website… c’mon, have some faith

    • Thumb up 11

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      I only saw the word “lifestyle” used when Riese was quoting people involved in the story. I agree, it’s super offensive and gives us a good idea of what the couple was up against in their daily life.

    • Thumb up 2

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      I know, me too. We haven’t heard anything about what will happen to her — which is fine, I think it’s important that the press maintain her privacy — but what a sad situation for that family to be in. Just tragedy on top of tragedy.

  1. Thumb up 12

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    This just enrages me, and honestly, scares me. That somebody could be so misguided and fueled by ignorance and hate that he kills his own daughter? I mean, obviously the guy’s a sex offender so clearly he’s a horrible, scummy, misogynistic dick but still. Murdering your own daughter. I just…I can’t.
    Rage.
    My heart goes out to Britney and Crystal’s loved ones and ESPECIALLY their daughter.

  2. Thumb up 22

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    This whole story is so heartbreaking. I don’t know why, but I keep thinking they could have been Autostraddle readers and maybe they used to comment and participate here. Not that that makes a difference, of course – it’s tragic regardless.

    It saddens me how after this terrible loss, possibly at the hands of a father motivated by homophobia, some of their family members still feel that they have to make it clear that they “disagreed” with their sexual orientation as well. I just… I don’t even know how to put it into words.

  3. Thumb up 20

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    Thank you for continuing to follow this story. I’m frustrated that I’m not seeing more coverage of it in mainstream national press. They covered the attacks last spring against gay men in NYC, but as usual, it seems that the stories of queer people who aren’t male, cis, and white aren’t granted the attention and respect they deserve.

  4. Thumb up 6

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    This is unbelievable. I can’t agree more with Chandra in that I’m appalled the family members would still think it’s appropriate to say they “didn’t agree with [Britney's] lifestyle.” She isn’t alive anymore. I don’t know… I’m just so fucking sad, this is all kinds of awful.

  5. Thumb up 5

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    The more information that is revealed the more tragic this whole situation becomes. I know from personal experience what it is like to live in a house where you have to attempt to hide or suppress who you are as much as possible to avoid confrontation or violence (in my case it was the conservative Christian background of my father). Those thinly veiled threats uttered by Britney’s dad eventually manifested into a physical act of violence. Nothing is as dangerous as a zealous religious fundamentalist who embraces an intolerant perspective of others and props it up with a few cherry picked verses from their holy book of choice.

    • Thumb up 1

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      Religious people have been using their beliefs as weapons for a very long time. I doubt it will stop anytime soon. My parents’ religious beliefs landed me in conversion therapy at the age of 12. It really is amazing what people’s religion will make them do, even to their own children.

      • Thumb up 3

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        I am very sorry to hear that you had to go experience that Shannon. It never ceases to amaze me how many of us have had to create our own family after being shunned by our own flesh and blood variety. I also often feel empowered when I see the resiliency that is evident among LGBT women who have often endured so much marginalization and systemic prejudice from the perpetually pious segment of society.

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          Thank you, Jess. I actually just returned home from New York to South Carolina since my grandmother is fading fast. It is really, really weird to be around all of them again, but it is what it is. I’ve adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy where my parents are concerned. They haven’t tried to preach to me about it thus far, and hopefully it stays that way.

  6. Thumb up 7

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    This is just terrible. If it was his religious beliefs that made him do this (if he did it- can’t draw conclusions yet), that makes it even worse. People really need to stop using their centuries old holy books as weapons and excuses for violence.

    This whole situation is just heartbreaking.

    • Thumb up 5

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      “using their centuries old holy books as weapons and excuses”
      smart smart woman you! is your name riese? :)
      I also hate arguing with bible reader pricks. Everytime it’s like quote and quote and quote and quote and quote from their holy books. Them pricks feel dominance over you or somethin’. I’m like yeah.. yeah… yeah! okay… Lemme get my collection of comic books and rephrase some ninja turtles up in your face. :)

      • Thumb up 1

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        LOL, that is a phrase I always use when referring to those vile books. Didn’t mean to plagiarize Riese though if I did. And I refuse to argue with religious nuts. It never goes anywhere but the land of infinite frustration, and the deeper the arguments get, the loonier they get.

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