When Ennis Cosby pulled his car over to the side of a Los Angeles freeway to repair a tire, Mikhail Markhasev fatally shot him during an attempted robbery.
Dyslexia was not formally diagnosed in Ennis Cosby until he was an undergraduate student. He resolved to assist other pupils with learning difficulties going forward.
Untarnished by later scandals, Bill Cosby was regarded as one of America’s funniest men by the 1990s. True tragedy, however, befell the renowned comedian when Ennis Cosby, his only child, was shot and died in Los Angeles while changing a tire.
Ennis, who aided Theo Huxtable on The Cosby Show and gave his father unending fodder for jokes, had a flat tire while on vacation in Los Angeles. 18-year-old Mikhail Markhasev attempted to rob him while he was trying to change it, but instead shot him.
The Cosby family assigned two people responsibility for his passing in the devastating aftermath. They said that although Markhasev had fired the fatal shot that took Ennis’s life, the murderous attack had been motivated by American bigotry.
This is the tragic tale of Ennis Cosby’s life and death, the lone child of the disgraced former “America’s Dad.”
Ennis William Cosby, who was born on April 15, 1969, caught his father’s attention right away. The well-known comedian Bill Cosby and his wife Camille already had two daughters, and Bill passionately wished for a son as their third child.
Bill, who was thrilled to have a son, frequently referenced his interactions with Ennis in his comedic acts. And Bill modelled his own kid, Ennis Cosby, on Theo Huxtable when he co-created The Cosby Show, which aired from 1984 to 1992.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Bill portrayed Theo Huxtable as a failing student who eventually overcame his learning problem by incorporating Ennis’s struggles with dyslexia into the program.
That was exactly how Ennis Cosby’s life played out. Cosby began attending specialized programs after receiving a dyslexia diagnosis. His academic performance was outstanding, and he later attended Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City after transferring from Morehouse College in Atlanta.
The Los Angeles Times said that Bill Cosby’s son wanted to pursue a doctorate in special education with a focus on reading difficulties.
Ennis Cosby stated in an essay that “I believe in chances, so I do not give up on individuals or children,” as quoted by The Washington Post.
“I think fewer students like myself will fall through the gaps if more teachers are aware of the indicators of dyslexia and learning impairments in the class,” the youngster said.
Cosby inherited his father’s sense of humor in addition to being attractive and athletic. Bill Cosby once jokingly recalled an incident in which he promised Ennis his ideal Corvette provided he improved his grades. Ennis said, “Dad, what do you think about a Volkswagen,” according to Bill.
Tragically, Ennis Cosby’s life was tragically ended at the age of just 27.
Ennis Cosby traveled by plane to Los Angeles in January 1997 to see pals. But on January 16, at around one in the morning, he unexpectedly had a flat tire while operating his mother’s Mercedes SL convertible on Interstate 405, in the Bel Air district.
According to OK! magazine, Cosby asked Stephanie Crane, the woman he was seeing, for assistance. Cosby was urged to call a tow company by the woman who had parked up in front of him, but Ennis was insistent that he could fix the tire himself. Then, as Crane was still in her vehicle, a man came up to the window.
Mikhail Markhasev was his name. Markhasev, an 18-year-old Ukrainian immigrant, and his buddies were hanging around in a neighboring park and ride lot when they noticed Ennis and Crane’s automobiles. Markhasev allegedly approached the automobiles while high with the intention of robbing them.
He started by going to Crane’s automobile. She drove away alarmed. He proceeded to confront Ennis Cosby after that. But Markhasev shot him in the head after he took too long to give him his money.
The Cosby family and the entire globe were devastated by the news. A emotional Bill Cosby told television cameras, “He was my hero.” While everything was going on, CNN came under fire for showing images of Ennis Cosby’s body laying by the side of the road.
However, it took some time and a very important tip for authorities to find Ennis Cosby’s killer. A old acquaintance of Markhasev named Christopher So contacted the police after the National Enquirer offered $100,000 for any information regarding Ennis Cosby’s death.
He reportedly went in search of the gun Markhasev had used in Ennis’s death with another individual, according to the Associated Press. According to the authorities, Markhasev boasted, “I shot a nigger.” The news is all over it.
When the 18-year-old was apprehended by police in March, they discovered the revolver he had thrown away wrapped in a hat that had DNA evidence linking him to Markhasev. In July 1998, he was found guilty of first-degree murder and later given a life sentence.
Ennis Cosby’s sister Erika spoke to reporters as they exited the courtroom, despite the Cosby family not issuing a statement after Markhasev’s punishment. She was reportedly asked if she was relieved and said, “Yeah, finally,” according to The Washington Post.
However, Ennis Cosby’s passing would leave his family with an open wound in the years to come – in more ways than one.
After Ennis Cosby was killed by Mikhail Markhasev, Cosby’s family struggled to comprehend the terrible tragedy. In a moving opinion piece that appeared in USA Today in July 1998, Ennis’s mother, Camille, blamed racism in America for her son’s passing.
She wrote, “I think America made our son’s killer despise black people.” Markhasev’s home Ukraine, where the black population was practically nonexistent, is where he most likely did not get his hatred of black people.
According to Camille, all African-Americans in America have been and continue to be at risk due to their skin tones, regardless of their economic and scholastic achievements. Sadly, my family and I found that to be a racial reality in America.
The fact that Mikhail Markhasev resisted taking responsibility for Ennis Cosby’s passing added to the anguish experienced by the Cosby family. He denied shooting the gun up until 2001. However, Markhasev formally confessed his guilt and said he would no longer be contesting his sentence in February of that same year.
He stated, “Although my appeal is only getting started, I don’t want to go any farther because it’s founded on falsehood and deceit,” according to ABC. I know I’m wrong and I want to make amends.
More than anything, I want to apologize to the victim’s family, Markhasev continued. As a Christian, it is both my obligation and the least I can do in light of the enormous immorality for which I bear responsibility.
Years after Ennis Cosby’s passing, Bill Cosby’s life has undergone a significant adjustment. Since the 1990s, when numerous women have accused the comedian of sexual assault, his star has drastically declined. Before his conviction for aggravated indecent assault was reversed in 2021, Bill was found guilty in 2018.
He seems to have been thinking about his son Ennis Cosby the entire time, though. In an Instagram post, Bill acknowledged all of his children as the comedian got ready to go on trial in 2017. He stated:
“I love you Ennis, Ensa, Erika, Erin, Camille, and Evin; keep fighting for Spirit.”