Donate to The Claw
$430
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (38)

All The Claw Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published.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

  • K

    K.BarryMay 11, 2023 at 10:17 am

    There are two sides to every story but in this case and situation the attack according to the movie and public writings was no accident ,but peers usually makes mistakes when they do things without Thinking out of both jealousy and anger. Although the girl who is responsible for this crime done time she left the family of the victim feeling that horrible loss of their loved one that didn’t lived past her teenage years.
    Even if it would have been a normal disagreement between the teens and they would not have spoken to each other again than this cheerleader would have been still alive.
    Also I agree with the victims family of the arguments of a large knife being used to slice fruits is unbelievable. Most people use butter knives even plastic ones.
    The victim was also helpless with a girl that was larger and striking her in the dark.
    Then there was no remorse with lieing to the authorities which didn’t sound like a mental breakdown of sudden insanity unless this girl was either drunk or high when she murdered her target after luring her to a false party that never happened.
    That sounds like she had intentions of harming her out of jealousy and Spite to make her feel punished from her attitudes towards other peers.
    But sometimes people act without Thinking and cry innocent because they are caught instead of what was done.

    Reply
  • S

    StudentSep 4, 2022 at 12:51 am

    And the bullying and harassment from fellow students at Miramonte continues to this day. I am surprised this hasn’t happened more than once. Orinda is totally corrupt, from top to bottom. The police department hires any moron that like to go after under age females – Miramonte Class of ‘9?

    Reply
  • M

    MeAug 27, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    Bernadette wasn’t a lesbian and the crime definitely wasn’t premeditated. Bernadette lied to Kirsten’s mom about there being a Bob-O-Links dinner that night and also lied to Kirsten about a party taking place hence why Bernadette was dressed like shit in sweatpants and messy hair. But Bernadette did all of this lying to impress Kirsten, the girl whom she simultaneously hated and admired. Kirsten should’ve been grateful that someone went through all of this trouble just to get close to her. Kirsten’s big ego should’ve been sufficiently stroked that night knowing someone thought she was so perfect and amazing. Unfortunately Kirsten instead decided to reject Bernadette and Bernadette snapped.

    Reply
    • J

      JadeAug 27, 2022 at 10:01 am

      This is all old news and ancient history.

      Reply
  • M

    MysterygrandmaJul 24, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    No one except for Kristen, Bernadette and God himself were there and knows what happened. What was running through their minds and thoughts. Bernadette was a minor and the judge gave a sentence that he/she, at the time, saw fit for a minor who just made a bad decision on that horrible night. If the courts had found her mental, as some have stated, then she would probably had been incompetent to stand trial and been sentenced to a mental hospital. Some of those cases get less then what Bernadette received at her trial. I feel deeply for the Costa family. They have endured the most anger and pain then anyone. Bernadette served her time and was released. She paid her dues to the court system and I am sure she is now and always will for the remainder of her life. I’ve heard no one state any legal issues that Bernadette has been in since that fateful night. So maybe, that lesson had been learned. I choose the side of forgiveness just like God tells us to do. If Bernadette is truly unforgivable, then that’s a judgement for either the courts or God. Had this been the child, sister, brother, mother, father, anyone else that you hold dear to your heart, or even you, yourself, that committed such a horrible act like Bernadette did then I am sure some of you would want forgiveness. Especially when you served the punishment that the court’s deemed appropriate for you.

    Reply
  • Y

    Yolanda JuddJun 28, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    I lived in the Bay Area when this happened so I remember it.
    Bernadette Protti had mental issues. She hunted that poor Kirsten down. It was indeed premeditated and it makes me mad that she gets to have a life when she destroyed so many others. I wish I could tell the Costas family how sorry I am, especially her brother who is probably still alive.
    I could never forgive her because I don’t think she is a good person. How could she be? Murder is murder.
    I hope she suffers. What a horrible person.

    Reply
  • D

    D.M.Feb 19, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    Why are people so dumbfounded that Bernadette got 9 years. She was sentenced to second degree murder as a juvenile (because she was one), not an adult. There are laws for both. The speculation on whether or not this had anything to do with homosexuality, is asinine to say the least. I think it is safe to say that anyone can see, that the motivation would be, that Kristen would tell people what Bernadette did. Unfortunately, Bernadette obviously had trouble controlling her anger and impulsivity.

    Reply
  • D

    D.M.Feb 19, 2020 at 11:20 pm

    Why are people so dumbfounded that Bernadette got 9 years. She was sentenced to second degree murder as a juvenile (because she was one), not an adult. The are laws for both. The speculation on whether of not this had anything to do with homosexuality, is asinine to say the least. I think it is safe to say that anyone can see, that the motivation would be, that Kristen would tell people what Bernadette did. Unfortunately, Bernadette obviously had trouble controlling her anger and impulsivity.

    Reply
  • A

    AnonymousJan 4, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    Yes it is ridiculous making excuses for Bernadette. I don’t care if Kirsten was the meanest toughest girl Bully ever, no excuse for Murder. I doubt she was that mean. She wouldn’t of been so popular. So she had a few she didn’t like, who doesn’t. We can’t all get along. I doubt highly people in Orinda will forgive Bernadette, especially Kirsten’s friends, just cause a few didn’t like Kirsten, don’t mean they whole town didn’t like her. I’m not saying she didn’t talk mean to some people, everyone does, no excuse for Murder. If all teen girls were to be Murdered over being a. Smart Aleck, there would be less than a handful, of teen girls in this World. I doubt she was any worse than any other teen girl, I guarantee you she wouldn’t of done what Bernadette did. Bern is a Sociopath and always will be. No matter if she changed, no matter how sorry she is, Kirsten is gone forever, and till the remaining days of Bernadette’s life, people will always hold that against her. She can’t change the fact Kirsten in gone, and she’s the one who killed her. Even drunk DUI they don’t mean to kill, but they did, yes, they have to live with it to, but a Senseless Murder is Unacceptable. Only God decides where Bernadette will spend eternity.

    Reply
  • A

    AnonymousDec 17, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    Well Bernadette took a life, Kirsten was Stuck up, but no Bully at all. If she would of left Kirsten alone knowing Kirsten didn’t want to be bothered by her, things would of been different. Bernadette had enough friends, and was Popular enough that she didn’t need Kirsten, so it would of been best she left her alone. 2 Innocent girls got the blame, and Bernadette sat and watched them knowing she was Responsible for it. Orinda Native you’re right, I didn’t know Kirsten, but had a friend whose friend knew her, said she was Stuck up, but no Bully and didn’t deserve to be murdered. Did you know Kirsten.? How was she to you, was she Stuck up? Lots of teen girls are,:majority of teen girls are Snooty, but don’t mean they deserve to die. If all Snooty teen girls were to die, then majority of them would never reach adulthood. They grow out of it, I was a teen it’s normal to be Snotty, it just comes Natural for most girls more than guys. Guys are kind of, girls are worse. In my teen years it was like that just took over your mind and body, hormones are chalking up a lot, and you get moody it’s rough being a teen, Doubt Kirsten was any worse than any other teen girl at Miramonte in the Popular Group. Or any teen girl period. We go through phases in our early teens and late teens to early 30 s we still have it somewhat. Maybe late or mid 20 s for some. We do grow out of it some in our late teens and 20 s but still have moments, but not as bad. Time in 30s the game is over and we change who we are. Kirsten would of outgrown it long before now if she would of lived if she was a Bully or just a plain Snob.

    Reply
  • A

    AnonymousDec 13, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Bernadette didn’t want Kirsten to expose and embarrass her? What about now, don’t think she’s not exposed and embarrassed. If Kirsten would of told the talk would of blown over Decades before now, but now, this will always follow her, and she’s labeled as a Murderer, how much more embarrassing can that be? She can’t come to her Hometown without someone seeing her and remembering her, or go around chikdhood friends anymore, so how could Kirsten of made it worse than it is for her today’? Don’t think so, Like I said, everyone would of grown up( including Kirsten) and it would of blown over long before now, and Bernadette would of been able to last it out. She can’t now cause she stole a friend from a lot of people and a Daughter and sister to her family. Kirsten would of Outgrown her ways and probaly she and Bernadette would of been Civil to one another today. High School is another time and place. Girls I went to High School with who were Caddy and Stuck up now say hi to me, we outgrew the High School Antics. What you were in School doesn’t reflect who you are Decades later. People change and grow up, get jobs,families and have Children to raise and even Grandkids, so we don’t have the time for the High School Drama anymore.

    Reply
  • A

    AnonymousDec 13, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Bernadette wasn’t poor at all. Her house was larger and bigger than Kirsten’s. Kirsten’s was Beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but Bernadette was in a more expensive area. Kirsten’s was a Ranch type home. Bernadette’s was Brown woods bigger home. So she had more money than they deployed, and she wasn’t the Outcast they made her out to be, wasn’t as popular as Kirsten, but she was Close. If Kirsten’s friends wanted thier names told they would not of Altered them on 1980s Deadliest Decade, and changed thier Photo. So no they don’t want thier names exposed.

    Reply
  • A

    AnonymousDec 13, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    How can you Justify a girl who Savagely murdered and let the blame rest on 2 Innocent. Bernadette will never escape this ever, cause the Costas family was never the same. Kirsten was Cocky and Arrogant but she wasn’t a Bully. She was self absorbed and full of Confidence. Even if so, no right to take her life. No excuse for Bernadette she was a Beast. She still is, was, and always will be. Sharon Palmers daughter was a lot like Kirsten a funny person and Confident, and likeable. Kirsten was likeable to. Her friends still keep in Contact, but do not discuss her Murder. Their names all over the Internet displayed was wrong also. They need thier Privacy.

    Reply
  • M

    Mats86Oct 8, 2019 at 11:09 am

    My friend lived about 4 houses away. We were both in the same grade as Bernadette and Kirsten. He told me his mom heard the shrieks from Kirsten as she staggered across the street tot he Hill residence, where she collapsed and died upon opening of the front door. Brutal. I just really have always wanted to know what “getting weird” meant. What happened in that car to cause Kirsten to leave? Why did Bernadette have that knife in her car? Why did Bernadette even setup the fake Bobbies meeting to begin with??? I just wish Bernadette would come clean and public about it all. Bernadette was nice, and I considered her a friend in class. Kirsten struggled in math class and even the teacher would roll his eyes at questions she asked. I suppose her bristly exterior – some described her as not nice – was likely a way to protect herself socially, since she likely didn’t have a ton of self confidence (in math, anyways). Yeah, fair enough – you won’t get me to say she was nice to me. But she was just 15 and had her whole life in front of her. Tragic.

    Reply
  • AnonymousJul 23, 2019 at 8:32 am

    Protti should have been in jail a lot longer then what she did she can not be trusted to stab someone because they won’t be your friend I don’t care what Kristen did Protti set her up and had full attention to kill her Protti is a disgusting human being I hope she rots in HELL I can just imagine what she teaches her children about life if u don’t get what u want just kill them I hope Kristen is haunting her for the rest of her life Protti should be ashamed of herself

    Reply
  • C

    Carl BaileyJun 23, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    Small sentences were the way it was in the mud 20th century. I remember a perverted misfit who killed a pregnant woman (after telling a lie to get into her house) getting out of prison after only 18 years.

    Reply
  • O

    Orinda NativeMay 22, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    I remember that night so vividly. I was at a party up on Overhill Road with my parents and I remember hearing sirens blaring for what seemed like an hour.

    Sure, Miramonte is competitive but all the excuse making for Bernadette is ridiculous.

    I was dumbfounded that she got 9 years. Had she been convicted today she would have received 30 years at a minimum.

    Reply
  • R

    RealityApr 6, 2019 at 1:45 am

    Kirsten was clearly not a nice person as made evident by the many articles and tv shows on this case. She had it coming. I’m not going to feel bad for a girl who insulted and teased another girl. Bernadette was known as a nice girl, something that Kirsten was NOT known as. Your brain might not be fully developed until age 25, but sadly I don’t believe that a shitty personality at 15 will suddenly become a kind personality at 25. Kirsten was a judgemental girl who stupidly believed money and designer clothes were important. Bernadette is the victim here, not Kristen.

    Reply
  • M

    M.BMar 21, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    Bernadette was jealous of Kirsten especially after Kirsten got into the cheerleading squad and a spot on the yearbook committee (Mrs. Palmer was wrong on that. Bernadette wasn’t accepted into the yearbook committee even after the murder) Anyway, once she saw that knife, Bernadette thought to herself…”I do have a reason to kill this girl. She took all the things I wanted!” And that’s why she killed Kirsten.. distant jealousy and anger. Plus, I think Bernadette should be forgiven. They lived in a community where being the second best wasn’t acceptable. If you lived in Orinda, there was competition to be the best. Get good grades and make your parents proud so they could go flaunt you off to other parents. But would I go kill a person for taking all the stuff i wanted even if I ever tried hard? No. For Bernadette, that was the only choice since she had that knife close to her and it was the only option. Yes, she could’ve punched her or just avoid Kirsten the next day at school but Bernadette didn’t want to be embarrassed and that’s why she did it. Her jealousy was the opener to the murder and all she had to do was throw that anger into that 18 inch knife and there you have it…a dead 15 year old Northern California girl.

    Reply
  • M

    mr. a.Mar 19, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    I feel for both families no winners here. I to was bullied a little in school you can only push a person to far. People have feelings to. I hope time heals all wounds. We only have opinions. God knows the truth.

    Reply
  • S

    SuseFeb 11, 2019 at 1:11 am

    I too am really shocked that Bernadette had such a short sentence. She attacked and killed a person in cold blood. She was 16 not 6. She murdered an innocent person She should have gotten a life sentence. I feel for the Costa family. What a bitter pill to swallow. The ridiculous punishment for thr most heinous crime.

    I do not understand why the law thinks it’s just fine to spend only eight years in jail for taking away a LIFE. Why?

    Reply
  • A

    AnonymousFeb 7, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    She got a light sentence because she was tried as a juvenile. That is also why her fingerprints didn’t show up when she was in nursing school.

    Reply
  • J

    Just some thought of my ownFeb 3, 2019 at 8:13 am

    I dont get why she only got 7 years. She took someones life even if she wasnt planning on it ( in which she knew what she was doing). People get more time for getting caught with marijuana. I almost hate movies because it takes away from the facts of what really happened. Also this movie is basically saying feel sorry for the girl who did MURDERED another girl ( in my opinion). I hope they keep up on the memory of Kirsten because if Bernadette really was jealous then in the back of her mind its still there. They made a few movies about it. So it seems not to be escaping from her. Her worst nightmare is with her for the rest of her life people judging her and most think bad of her and thats why she did it in the first place.

    Reply
  • AnonymousJan 2, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    Why did Bernadette murder Kirsten, probably because she has deep mental issues that I hope she got help for while incarcerated. How could she deal with the 6 months that no one knew who did it, deep mental issues. Her reasons for doing it are just not normal behavior. I don’t believe she told the whole truth in her confession, she seemed to be more worried about herself and what people would think, even after she took someone’s life. None of this is normal behavior. She needs help and if she didn’t get any, she is still a threat to society. The time she spent incarcerated is just not enough. A child took a wicked butcher knife and stabbed, not once, but 5 times a classmate. She needs mental help!

    Reply
  • A

    AnonymousSep 16, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    It doesn’t matter if Kirsten was mean or not. Bernadette took her life. Everyone can be forgiven and that isnt even the question. People are just curious why she would set up a fake meeting and have a 15 inch knife with her. We probably will never know the reason Bernadette/Jeanette Tomanka killed her. Its never too late for Jeanette to say, “I killed someone and I have to live with that the rest of my life. I can never undo what I did.”

    Reply
  • AnonymousAug 17, 2018 at 3:15 am

    How sick are you all defending a pathetic murdering scum bag!! Nobody deserves to die at all and for your information the real Kirsten Costas WAS NOT A BULLY they lied in the film

    Reply
  • E

    EmmaJun 19, 2018 at 1:54 am

    So what if she’s married with children?!? She’s obviously bisexual

    Reply
  • AnonymousMar 27, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    How can she be a nurse when she murdered somebody I don’t get it

    Reply
  • M

    MartinJan 18, 2017 at 1:34 am

    If anything, from other peoples accounts. I personally would ignore the 2 comments above me which are obviously written by two tarts who probably themselves seem to be going daft, According to many, Kirstin was not exactly a sweet, cuddly bear. She was a popular, and a bitch to many. As wrong as Bernadette was to do what she did SHE Definitely, did NOT want to kiss the Greek American girl!!! LOL How stupid it is to even suggest that! Bernadette wanted to befriend her, and Kirstin was not interested. It just shows that the people in the area are still as stupid, and vain, and sick and materialistic as ever. Sorry for Kirstin who did not get a chance to mature one bit, but, the girl is dead, and people need to adjust their attitudes. n reality, a person may not kill someone physically, but pass judgment on others as if their own shit does not stink. It is about time to take a sniff of your asses, because, it definitely smells like full bullshit! Get real, according to reports by FBI who found out the truth Bernadette wanted to befriend Kirstin who in turn did not like her aggressive behavior. The knife just like the car itself was her sisters, and her sister often cut vegetable for lunch during work. So stop making up shit. You people are as sick as ever. I sure hope that your small community burns down or turns to dust for its own sins. These are the same people who passed judgment on another girl before Bernadette was apprehended. They made up garbage, and opinions about her too, and chased her out of the school, and city. Later they came crawling like little bitches asking her for forgiveness. All claiming they were sorry, they didn’t know. Well, guess what? None of you still know why. Were you people even there? Or again are fabricating, lying, and passing judgment more then ever. So, STFU!!! You are all as fake as ever. And all suffer from some mental deficiency. There is something wrong with your community! You all need to get your shit together, and move on with your lives. Worry about your own actions. You know, I am sad for Kirstins parents. But, had she not been such a bitch hurting people who she believed were less then her, she would not have been buried. May she rest in peace. The only people who defended her actions about belittling people were people who were in her social, mean club! Get real! She was no nice girl according to many!! I thought after 30 years you people who were her age would have matured already. Or do you have too much material garbage stuck up your asses. Bernadette has gone on with her life. You people need to leave things to GOD who pays his own punishment, and not try and play detectives. Half of you do not even know what is happening now with your own kids , and you want to pretend to know what happened 30 years ago today? There are idiots who are looking her up trying to find her online, and writing nasty notes about her. They are so insecure, and pissed and low in their own lives they have to pass judgment on something that happened 30 years ago! Yeah, she did wrong. FUCK HER!!! In the end she will answer to GOD regardless. Not you people. I would worry more about yourselves, and making sure you live a decent life because it does not seem half of you even are righteous in any way!! But, honestly, your theories are some of the stupidest. They are theories that people who have some screws missing post!! Idiots!!!

    Reply
    • A

      Amy PotterAug 27, 2022 at 10:05 am

      From what I gathered, Orinda was always judgmental. I wouldn’t accept their apologies after running me out of town.

      Reply
  • C

    CuriousNov 29, 2016 at 7:54 am

    I have often wondered what has happened to Bernadette, did she ever have children and if she did had she told them what she had done? Would she never speak up to them and tell them or let them find out their selves and be devastated because nowadays people can find out anything if they look long enough. Also does she think about what she done still or has blocked it out of her mind, can she sleep at night knowing the hurt she put another family through also her family as well. There is just so many questions I would love to have answers to. I have read just about everything on this case for the past couple of years, I did not know either party that was involved but I think this case has stuck with me because I was close to their age when the murder took place.

    Reply
  • B

    BrittfromseattleAug 12, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Jeannette does have multiple children.

    Reply
  • A

    AnonymousAug 5, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Well, if she’s now married with several children, she probably isn’t gay and never was.

    Reply
  • J

    JennaJul 13, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Kirsten’s murder was NOT premeditated! It was a crime of passion!!!! Bernadette Protti was a very sweet girl who wanted nothing more than to be Kirsten’s friend. But noooo….. Kirsten was a superficial bitch who thought she was to good to be friends with Bernadette. I’m glad that Bernadette is living her life and having a family. Yes I feel for the Costas family but their daughter was just not a nice person. I wish Bernadette all the best.

    Reply
  • M

    Mats '86Jun 17, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    It was definitely a tragedy. I sat in class with them both, and I can’t figure it out, though the gay angle has been the one that always made the most sense to me. Why don’t we just ask Bernadette herself. There’s a reason why we treat minors as such – I don’t mean to ignore or lessen the pain of the Costas family, but I can forgive her. A tragedy.

    One small good thing came out of it, and that’s that the grades that were affected started treating each other a bit better, realizing that words can hurt. Sadly, I imagine that was short lived amongst the kids and as Mrs. Palmer says, things haven’t changed all that much.

    Reply
  • M

    meMay 5, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Kirsten’s murder was premeditated. If not them why did bernadette have this huge knife in hopes of only wanting to talk! Wrong, she was going to kill kirsten if she didn’t agree. Kirsten probably got ” weirded our” when bernadette told her how she felt and kirsten got out of the car! She was mentally unhinged and desperate for acceptance, like the detective said from the.movie!

    Reply
  • M

    MeMar 14, 2016 at 9:14 am

    The comment above should be ignored. The rolling stone article was a complete fabrication. This article is consistent with newspapers at the time of Bernadette Protti/Jeannette Tomanka’s trial. It seems that Kirsten misconstrued Bernadette’s desperation for her friendship as something sexual by referring to Bernadette as ‘that way’, so it is unsurprising that Mrs Palmer and others in Orinda came to the same conclusion.
    I don’t agree that Kirsten’s murder wasn’t premeditated. Jeannette had an 18 inch knife in her car and lied that her sister left it there to cut vegetables when working on the road, which is obviously BS. I think something had already snapped in Jeannette and she was going to kill Kisten if she didn’t agree to be her friend.
    Not that it matters, but Jeannette doesn’t have several children as the poster above has written.

    Reply
  • B

    Bibi LeeFeb 8, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    Nicely written story, but many of the facts you stated are incorrect. Sharon Palmer’s memory is either failing her or she made up many of the facts.

    If you were to read the Rolling Stones, People Magazine or Ladies’ Home Journal articles about the story you will find many of the flaws in your story and with what Sharon Palmer stated.

    While in custody Bernadette graduated from high school, earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and has been writing nursing text books. After being released Bernadette married and has several children.

    Reply
Activate Search
Murder Still Haunts Moraga Resident