FAMOUS OR NOT, GRIEF SAME : COSBY SLAYING GIVES NATION A VIEW OF SORROW OTHERS MUST SUFFER ALONE.Byline: Mary F. Pols Daily News Staff Writer
Like Ennis Cosby Ennis William Cosby (April 15, 1969 – January 16, 1997) was the son of actor Bill Cosby and Camille Hanks. He had four sisters. Life
Ennis's father Bill Cosby mined family life for much of his material, but kept the family itself quite private. , Peter Maloney was in a good neighborhood, in the middle of one of those banal activities that would never have been noteworthy if he hadn't died doing it.
Maloney was walking home with his groceries from Trader Joe's Trader Joe's is a privately held chain of specialty grocery stores headquartered in Monrovia, California. As of September 2007, Trader Joe's has a total of 284 stores. through Toluca Lake, when a man on a yellow 10-speed bicycle approached and apparently tried to rob him. The man shot Maloney in the stomach and rode off.
Two detectives were assigned to Maloney's case. Twelve are working Cosby's. While the nation's attention is focused on Cosby's tragic death, only those who knew and loved Maloney are focused on his slaying.
From her home in Staten Island Staten Island (1990 pop. 378,977), 59 sq mi (160 sq km), SE N.Y., in New York Bay, SW of Manhattan, forming Richmond co. of New York state and the borough of Staten Island of New York City. , Peter Maloney's mother, Emily, can turn on her television and see the sweetly smiling image of Ennis Cosby. Pictures from the crime scene run repeatedly on every station. But her own son was barely mentioned in the news, even though his death was as brutal and unexpected as Cosby's.
Maloney's mother knows - regardless of the protestations of LAPD 1. LAPD - Link Access Procedure on the D channel.
2. LAPD - Los Angeles Police Department. Chief Willie L. Williams Willie L. Williams (born 1 October, 1943) was chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) from 1992 to 1997, taking over after chief Daryl Gates' resignation following the 1992 Los Angeles riots. - that she and grieving parent Bill Cosby William Henry "Bill" Cosby, Jr., Ed.D. (born July 12 1937) is an American actor, comedian, television producer, and activist. A veteran stand-up performer, he got his start at various clubs, then landed a vanguard role in the 1960s action show I Spy. are worlds apart.
``There is a big difference between him and me,'' Maloney said. ``When you are wealthy it is different.''
At his press conference Friday to discuss the Cosby killing, Williams tried to make it clear that every murder is treated just the same by the LAPD.
``Even though different homicides may get more public attention, we want to make sure that the public in Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. knows that the investigators and the men and women of this department pay as much attention and apply whatever resources we can to each and every homicide,'' Williams said. ``Because every death is one death too many.''
But undeniably, celebrity death captures the public's interest far more than ``ordinary'' random violence.
``Certainly the celebrity aspect has a very powerful effect. There is no question of that,'' said Alfred Blumstein Alfred Blumstein is an American scientist and the professor of Urban Systems and Operations Research at the Heinz School at Carnegie Mellon University. He is known as one of the top researchers in criminology and operations research. , a professor at Carnegie-Mellon University who specializes in criminology.
The wave of attention from a celebrity-related death falsely enhances public fear of crime - despite statistics that show homicides decreasing - while creating misperceptions that feed Los Angeles' already tarnished reputation, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
``This is a murder that typifies the nation's image of Los Angeles,'' said Malcolm Klein, USC An abbreviation for U.S. Code. professor of sociology. ``It overshadows all the other murders that happen in this city. It . . . puts a kind of slant on murder that is very unrealistic.''
On the face of it, the Maloney and Cosby cases seem similar. Safe neighborhood, no enemies, random violence.
There are two detectives from the LAPD's North Hollywood Division working on Maloney's slaying. They have plastered the Toluca Lake neighborhood where he was killed with hundreds of fliers and canvassed residents for information.
Meanwhile, 12 detectives from LAPD's elite Robbery-Homicide Division are on the Cosby case. Sgt. Mike Coffey, the North Hollywood detective in charge of the Maloney case, said Ennis Cosby's case was assigned to the Robbery-Homicide Division because of its celebrity status.
Media and public pressure to solve the case necessitates some special action, Coffey said. People's attention is captured by celebrity, he said.
``I don't think it is a fault in our nature,'' Coffey said. ``I don't think you can help that.''
Police statistics show that local homicide rates are actually down in recent years. Within the city of Los Angeles
The San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. reported similar declines in murder rates, reporting 74 homicides last year, down from 104 in 1995.
But despite the reassuring numbers, public perceptions are distorted, said John Dunkin, who heads the LAPD's South Bureau homicide department.
``People need to know that it is safer today than it was in 1993, even in South Central Los Angeles,'' Dunkin said. ``The number of homicides has significantly decreased.''
He said even police officers who visit Los Angeles from other areas have misconceptions.
``We take them around and they say, well, where is this violent ghetto area?'' he said. ``Their perception doesn't match reality.''
Experts say the death of Ennis Cosby will throw already confused public perceptions into an even more muddled mess.
``Famous people tend to represent a range of possibilities in life,'' said UCLA UCLA University of California at Los Angeles
UCLA University Center for Learning Assistance (Illinois State University)
UCLA University of Carrollton, TX and Lower Addison, TX anthropology lecturer Mari Womack. ``Some are like outlaws, and we identify with them because we get a vicarious vicarious /vi·car·i·ous/ (vi-kar´e-us)
1. acting in the place of another or of something else.
2. occurring at an abnormal site.
1. pleasure from their activities. But some are paragons, and they are a model of what we think life should be. That is why Cosby is particularly frightening because this is the killing of the paragon's son.''
``People think, if it can happen to him, it could happen to any one of us,'' she added. ``That isn't actually true, but this is how people react to it.''
Because Bill Cosby represents the very image of dignity and class, having overcome prejudice to work his way up through the entertainment business to wealth and fame, Womack said Ennis Cosby's slaying thus seems particularly unfair to the public. Good acts are supposed to be rewarded.
``His son's death seems almost like a betrayal of the American Dream American dream also American Dream
An American ideal of a happy and successful life to which all may aspire: ,'' she said.
Even Emily Maloney, busy with her own grieving, busy worrying about whether her pension will cover the costs of burying her son Peter, is moved by Cosby's plight.
``I feel sorry for him too,'' she said. ``I know what he is going through.''
Photo: (ran in BULLDOG edition only, p.1) Tean Andreozzi of Culver City prays Friday after laying a bouquet of flowers on the Skirball Center Drive site where Ennis Cosby was shot to death early Thursday morning.
Michael Owen Baker/Daily News