Jeannette Tomanka is an American national known for killing her friend Kirsten Marina Costas in June 1984.
She was sentenced to prison for nine years but was released after seven years on parole at 23.
Who Is Jeannette Tomanka?
Jeannette, whose original name is Bernadette Protti, is the killer of Kirsten Costas. She changed her name after being released from prison to start a new life. On June 23, 1984, Costas was duped into attending a dinner for the Bob-o-Links, a sorority-like group at his school, by a fake invitation. Costas grew irate when she learned that there was no meal for the new members, even though Jeannette had planned to bring her to the party to make friends.
The girls got into a dispute, and Costas ran to her friend’s, saying Jeannette had gone crazy. One of her friends, Arnold, was sitting in his car when he saw Protti attack Costas, thinking it was a fistfight, but Protti had stabbed Costas five times with a butcher knife and ran away.
Murderer Bernadette Protti’s Husband And Children Details
Bernadette committed the crime when she was 15 years old. In 1985, she was convicted of murder and given a nine-year sentence. However, she received seven-year parole for good behavior in 1992 and was released from jail. She had changed her name and left California at that time.
She is supposed to be married and has started a family with her husband somewhere in the USA. However, she appears to have vanished from the public spotlight due to her name change. Rumors abound that Bernadette has become a nurse and medical author who is highly renowned for contributing to a well-known scientific magazine.
Since being released from prison, Bernadette has not experienced any significant legal issues. If not, her secret identity would have been revealed as well. She is in her fifties and appears to have a new lease on life.
Why Did She Change Her Name To Jeannette Butler?
She didn’t change her name to Jeannette Butler; instead, her new identity is Jeannette Tomanka. She was considered a ruthless murderer who had killed her friend in the past, but nowadays, she seems to be a changed woman who has managed to take her life back on track.
Finding Costas’ killer took the police about six months. Although Protti passed the lie detector exam, her innocence was not confirmed. Police thought Protti had lied after trying to verify her testimony. Finally, Protti wrote her mother a letter in which she provided a full confession after speaking with an FBI agent who informed her that her arrest was about to happen and that they knew she had killed Kirsten.
Movie Adaptations Of Kirsten Costas’s Murder
In his 1987 documentary, Landscape Suicide, American filmmaker James Benning investigated the incident’s aftermath. It featured the details about the murder, which were extracted with the help of police statements of the victim’s family and murderer. A Friend to Die For, also known as Death of a Cheerleader, is a television movie based on the same tale that premiered in 1994.
The previous movie was remade in 2019 as a Lifetime television film starring Sarah Dugdale and Aubrey Peeples. Deadly Women’s fifth season, Investigation Discovery’s The 1980s: The Deadliest Decade’s first episode, and Killer Kids’ Rumors & The To-Do List episode all covered Costas’ murder.