Bill Cosby had established himself as one of America’s funniest guys and had achieved enormous success in his career by the early 1990s. However, his life was cruelly shattered when his adored son, Ennis Cosby, was murdered in Los Angeles.
Ennis was shot and killed by Mikhail Markhasev during an attempted robbery while attempting to replace a tire on the side of the highway.
Ennis’ dyslexia had not been properly identified until he was in college, but this did not deter his plans; rather than being disheartened by his disability, he tried to assist other students who suffered similar learning issues. Despite the horrible murder that took his life while he was so young, Ennis’ legacy lives on through the efforts of others he inspired.
Ennis Cosby, the only son of former famous television celebrity Bill Cosby, was tragically killed while repairing a flat tire on a trip in Los Angeles. It was an unwarranted and mindless crime that saw him fall prey to the aim of 18-year-old Mikhail Markhasev to rob him.
The Cosbys were distraught and grieving over their loss. They blamed American society for instilling such hatred in their son, believing it was a motivating factor in the horrible act.
It was a heartbreaking blow for Ennis’ family and friends, who were taken aback by the awful tragedy. Ennis, who portrayed Theo Huxtable on The Cosby Show, brought fans so much fun and joy that it was tough to comprehend his untimely death.
He had such a bright career ahead of him that this heinous act of violence would destroy him. While his appearances on The Cosby Show and his influence on so many lives will live on in people’s hearts forever, his family still remembers him every day as they go on without him.
Ennis William Cosby was born on April 15, 1969, to Bill and Camille Cosby, who already had two girls and were looking forward to having a son. Bill was overjoyed with the arrival of his son and frequently used his interactions with him in his stand-up acts.
Bill used Ennis’ life narrative as inspiration for Theo Huxtable’s character arc when he co-created The Cosby Show, which aired from 1984 to 1992. Theo started as a failing student, but thanks to Ennis’ experience with dyslexia, he eventually overcame his learning problem.
Ennis was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age. Therefore he enrolled in specialized programs to assist him in academic success. He graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta and moved on to Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City, where he obtained excellent grades despite his disorder due to the extra attention and hard work he put into studying the topic. His tenacity was a great illustration of the strength of perseverance over adversities, and it still resonates today.
Ennis Cosby, the son of legendary actor Bill Cosby, aspired to earn a doctorate in special education with a concentration on reading difficulties. Ennis felt strongly about giving opportunities to those who needed them. He firmly believed that if more teachers were aware of the signs and symptoms of dyslexia and other learning difficulties, fewer students would likely go undiscovered.
He saw this as critical since he knew firsthand what it was like to struggle through the school system without enough help or resources.
Ennis wanted to be a part of the answer by encouraging teachers to understand different learning styles and provide appropriate assistance. He also sought to develop better methods for diagnosing students at a younger age so that they could get the support they needed as soon as possible.
As a result, his goal of pursuing a doctorate in special education became linked with empowering impoverished children and providing them with opportunities to succeed.
Bill Cosby had a great relationship with his son Ennis, who inherited his father’s physical attractiveness and athleticism and his father’s sharp wit.
Bill recounted an entertaining story from their relationship in which he offered Ennis his dream automobile – a Corvette – provided he improved his grades in school. Instead of joyfully accepting the offer, Ennis casually suggested they get him a Volkswagen.
Tragically, the gifted and beloved 27-year-old was killed while visiting friends in Los Angeles in January 1997. Ennis was on Interstate 405 in the Bel Air area on January 16 when he got a flat tire. Even after safely pulling off to the side of the road, fate had other ideas for him.
When Ennis Cosby’s girlfriend, Stephanie Crane, realized his situation, she advised him to call a tow truck, but he was determined to change the tire himself. Just then, Mikhail Markhasev, an 18-year-old Ukrainian immigrant lurking with his friends in a neighboring park and ride lot, stepped forward.
Markhasev had approached the cars with the intent of robbing them. He began approaching Stephanie’s car, but she swiftly drove away in terror. When he approached Ennis’s vehicle and demanded money, and Ennis didn’t respond quickly enough for Markhasev’s liking, he shot him in the head.
The tragedy rocked not only Cosby’s family but also the entire world. Bill Cosby said, “he was my hero,” in an outpouring of grief. CNN was also chastised for displaying images of Ennis lying dead on the side of the road.
Ennis Cosby’s death in 1997 shocked his family and the entire country. Police caught an 18-year-old suspect in March of the following year after he disposed of a pistol linked to him by DNA evidence.
Following a summer trial, he was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Erika, Ennis’ sister, talked to reporters outside the courtroom after the verdict was pronounced, expressing her happiness with a simple “Yeah, finally.”
Camille, Ennis’ mother, felt helpless and in quest of answers after his death. In July 1998, she published an opinion piece stating that racism in America was a factor in her son’s killing because the culprit could not have developed such hatred for African-Americans while growing up in Ukraine, where there were few black people. She contended that regardless of their social standing or intellectual achievements, all black people were susceptible because of their skin color.
Furthermore, the failure of Ennis’ killer, Mikhail Markhasev, to accept responsibility added salt to the injury for Cosby’s family. It wasn’t until 2001 that he eventually admitted his guilt and withdrew his appeal based on incorrect information and lies. He expressed regret for his behavior and apologized.
Ennis Cosby’s killing is still felt powerfully today by people who knew him and those affected by this heinous crime, mainly because racism persists in the United States and many other parts of the world.
Although it may appear challenging for one family to achieve closure in the aftermath of such a catastrophe, knowing that justice was given might bring them some solace.