Ennis Cosby Laid To Rest Funeral Held At Family's Mass. Estate

Posted: January 20, 1997

SHELBURNE, Mass. — The family of comedian Bill Cosby held a funeral for Cosby's only son, Ennis, yesterday at their estate in this western Massachusetts town, the town's police chief said.

Ennis William Cosby, 27, was shot to death Thursday as he changed a flat tire on a Los Angeles freeway.

Investigators have said they believed robbery was a motive in the murder of Cosby, who died of a gunshot wound to the head.

About 20 people, including Cosby, his wife, Camille, and their four daughters, attended the funeral and burial at 2 p.m., gathering in freezing weather under sunny skies, according to Shelburne Police Chief Mark De Jackome.

De Jackome said the rest of the guests were mostly family members. Phil Caputo, described as Ennis Cosby's best friend, also attended the funeral, De Jackome said.

At the estate, a compound of several 19th-century structures linked by lantern-covered walkways, police kept reporters and photographers away. On a wooden fence post, a large carefully lettered sign with the words ``Hello, Friend'' was slung next to signs telling people not to trespass.

The Cosbys, longtime residents of Shelburne, purchased their property in the early 1970s.

Though private, they have close friends in the area and have been financially generous to the town, supporting education and children's programs in particular. Camille Cosby, one of the largest private landowners in Franklin County, has also been involved in land conservation.

Bill Cosby's new television show will air as scheduled this evening with a special tribute to his slain son, CBS said.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles police believe that a man on foot, wearing a light-colored knit cap, killed Ennis Cosby, and a second man, wearing a French-style beret, could be a witness in the crime.

On Saturday investigators released sketches and drawings of both the alleged killer and the possible surprise witness.

Cosby, a graduate student at Columbia University on vacation in Los Angeles, was changing a flat tire on his green Mercedes-Benz convertible at about 1:45 a.m. on the Sepulveda Pass near Bel Air, about 14 miles from the downtown Civic Center, when he was shot, according to police. Investigators believe that Cosby's flashy car, worth $100,000, may have made him a target.

``But anything is possible, and we're not ruling anything out,'' said Police Cmdr. Tim McBride.

``However, at this time we believe it was random. To our knowledge there is nothing in his life that contributed to his death,'' he added.

McBride described the suspect as being clean-shaven, 25 to 32, average height and weight, and wearing a light-colored knit cap.

``There may be a possible second or third suspect,'' McBride said. ``But at this point we're just looking at one.''

The possible witness was described as a white man in his late 20s to early 30s with dark hair, a mustache and goatee. He was wearing a dark-colored beret and driving a blue hatchback car with possible out-of-state license plates GRH921.

McBride made a plea for the man in the beret to help police.

Descriptions of the two men were compiled from a 47-year-old woman, who was reportedly confronted by the killer, and a security guard patrolling the area at the time of the shooting, according to police.

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