GLAAD Media Award Winner Was Never a ‘Cold Case’

In hindsight, this year's Outstanding Newspaper Article was mislabeled.

When alt-weekly the Houston Press published its Jan. 7, 2015 cover story “Cold Case,” the individual who would subsequently be indicted for the March 2014 murders of lesbian couple Britney Cosby and Crystal Jackson was already in custody. That individual, shockingly, is Cosby’s father James Larry Cosby, who was released earlier from jail in 2013 and wound up living with the couple as he tried to rebuild his life. He is still awaiting trial.

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Last night at the 2016 GLAAD Media Awards in New York, Houston Press staff writer Dianna Wray beat out two entries from The New York Times as well as finalists from the Los Angeles Times and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to win the Outstanding Newspaper Article prize for her cover story. (The online version, as is often the case, has a different headline: “40 Weeks Later, No One Has Been Charged With the Murders of Britney Cosby and Crystal Jackson.”)

As Wray would report six months later, the case never really was close to being “cold:”

[James Larry] Cosby was arrested shortly after the murders when investigators found enough evidence to charge him with having moved the bodies. [Galveston County Sheriff commander Capt. Barry] Cook told us in January that he and his team had a lot of “good circumstantial evidence” that tied Cosby to the killings but they wanted to make the case for murder charges as solid as possible before handing it over to prosecutors.

“We’ve been working on this a long time, and I have to say the sheriff’s office has been working this ever since the bodies were found,”[Galveston County District Attorney’s Office first assistant district attorney Kevin] Petroff told us. ” We’re happy with the indictment and we’re absolutely prepared to prosecute this case to the full extent of the law.” Petroff says the DA’s office won’t know for a while whether they’ll be seeking the death penalty in the case. “It’s a long process to see if the death penalty is warranted.”

In December, Discovery ID devoted an episode of their Bad Blood series to the case, titling the half-hour “Justice for Britney.” The National Institute of Justice defines a cold case as ‘any case whose probative investigative leads have been exhausted. In essence, this means a case that is only a few months old may be defined as being “cold.”

As Wray notes in her cover story, the murders of Cosby and Jackson generated a large amount of national media coverage. It’s likely the same kind of coverage will blanket Cosby’s trial.

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