BIRTH: September 2, 1973
DEATH: June 2, 1991
Berlyn, 17, was shot in the head and killed as she laid sleeping at a post prom party.
A witness told the jury that he was sleeping next to Berlyn on a fold-out couch just before dawn when the door opened, light streamed in and two people came into the room.
A moment later, one of the people appeared in the doorway with a revolver, but the friend said he “didn’t think anything of it” because the person had been waving the weapon all night. The friend said said he put his head back down on the mattress, but seconds later, he heard a gunshot.
“I looked down and I seen the blood coming from her,” the friend testified. “(I said) ‘She’s been shot, she’s been shot.’ I had a towel on Berlyn’s head. I was yelling at her to breathe.”
Paul Michael Crowder was charged in the murder of Berlyn and convicted of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison.
Her father, Mark Cosman, wrote a book, “A Father’s Unraveling: When Tragedy Strikes, Will The Self You’ve Made Survive?” about the murder of Berlyn and coping with the aftermath.