Monday, December 20, 2021

The Murders of Crystal Jackson and Britney Cosby

 

Crystal Jackson (left) and Britney Cosby (right)

Young couple Crystal Jackson (24) and Britney Cosby (24) were found brutally murdered in Port Bolivar, Texas on the morning of March 7th, 2014. Galveston County police were called that morning after a delivery man spotted two bodies behind a dumpster of a Port Bolivar convenience store. When police arrived on the scene, they found the bodies of two young females. One of them had been bludgeoned to death, while the other had been shot. 

Neither of the bodies had identification on them, so police were not immediately able to determine their identities. What police were able to determine, though, was that the two women were likely killed in a different location before being dumped in Port Bolivar. There was no additional blood splatter in the area, but there were tire tracks near the bodies, which indicated that someone had driven their bodies to that location. 

After scouring the area, police found a check containing the name Britney Cosby and a Houston address that was an approximate hour drive away from Port Bolivar. Detectives immediately drove to said address to see if they could connect it to one or both of the victims. Once there, they were greeted by an elderly woman named Annie Lee Cosby and her grandson, Larry Cosby. After showing Annie Lee and Larry pictures of the crime scene, it was determined that one of the bodies did, indeed, belong to Larry's daughter, Britney Cosby. Larry identified the other body as Crystal Jackson--Britney's girlfriend. 

After speaking to Annie Lee and Larry, detectives learned that Britney, Crystal, and Crystal's young child had been living at the residence in Houston. Crystal had been on rocky ground with her own family, as her father Ivan Jackson was a pastor who believed that homosexuality was a sin. Ivan reportedly did not support Crystal's relationship with Britney. This inevitably raised suspicions against Ivan--but after investigating, detectives were able to determine that Ivan had a solid alibi at the time of the killings. 

Detectives continued to search for additional evidence. It had already been determined that the girls were not actually killed in Port Bolivar--so detectives had to figure out how their bodies ended up there. Port Bolivar is located off the Gulf Coast of Texas and can only be reached by ferry. After speaking with witnesses and reviewing surveillance footage from both the ferry station and other local places, detectives identified a suspect they were not originally suspecting. 

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A witness reportedly told detectives that he saw a man driving a silver 2006 Kia Sorento on the evening of March 6th, 2014. Britney had purchased that exact car shortly before her death. The man driving the car was accompanied by two women who matched Britney and Crystal's description. Surveillance footage from the ferry station also captured a man driving the car. At this point in the investigation, detectives had not yet located this car--but now had a description of a potential suspect.

Sketch of the potential suspect

In addition to this evidence, detectives also found a wooden shutter with a bloody fingerprint on it near the dumpster where Britney and Crystal's bodies were found. Forensic testing revealed that the blood on the shutter belonged to Larry Cosby--Britney's father. Detectives then searched their home, where they found blood belonging to Larry, Britney, and Crystal on the porch and in other places throughout the residence. The home was deemed a crime scene and Larry was arrested and charged with two counts of tampering with evidence. 


This was not the first time that Larry had been accused of violence. In fact, he already had previous convictions of sexual assault, unlawful carrying of a weapon, and assault and bodily injury. Still, a motive for Larry to kill his daughter and her girlfriend was not immediately clear. After his arrest, some conflicting reports about Larry's relationship with Britney surfaced. Britney's mother stated that Larry's relationship with Britney was strained, and that he had trouble accepting Britney's sexuality and relationship with Crystal. Larry's grandmother Annie Lee, who lived with both Larry and Britney, stated that they got along just fine. Though he had not yet been charged with murder, the evidence collected at the home and near the bodies was enough for detectives to determine that Larry was, at the very least, responsible for moving Britney and Crystal's bodies. 

About a month after Larry's arrest, Britney's missing Kia Sorento was found at a vehicle storage lot in Houston. Detectives were told that it had been towed there after being found abandoned at Ritz Cabaret along the Gulf Freeway. The car also had large amounts of blood belonging to both Britney and Crystal. 


Over a year later, Larry was also charged with capital murder. It would be another year until he finally went to trial during August 2016. During the trial, it was revealed that Britney had been bludgeoned and strangled to death. Crystal had also been beaten and strangled; however, it was a gunshot wound to the head that ultimately caused her death. 

The evidence made it pretty clear that Larry was the one responsible for Britney and Crystal's deaths--but the motive was still unclear. Although many testified that he was unhappy about Britney and Crystal's relationship, it is unknown if that is the main motive behind their murders. Detective Barry Cook of the Galveston Sheriff's Office explained to reporters, "these are the things we know: He had resentment. They had a better life. They were being treated differently at that house. He didn't agree with their lifestyle, but neither did the Jacksons. Were they killed for being gay? Who knows? He's the only one who knows and he's not talking."

Despite not talking, a jury still convicted Larry Cosby for the murders of both Britney and Crystal. After an unsuccessful attempt to appeal, Larry was sentenced to life in prison in 2018. 

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