Castro Valley Shocked That 'Good Kids' Killed

Many Patch readers knew victim Barbara Latiolais and accused killers Cody Nicosia and Christian Birdsall as this horrendous crime tears at the fabric of the community.


The truth is still sinking in: two young men with friends and family in Castro Valley stand accused of the murdering and burning a woman they knew in the sanctity of her own home.

Since Friday, when , as suspects in the strangling of Barbara Latiolais, 58, Patch readers have voiced shock and horror over the circumstances of the crime and the characters of the suspects.

Here's a sampling of comments.

Leah E:

"Just goes to show you never really know people and what they are capable of. Why didn't they ask themselves is $1,600 and some guns worth going to jail forever? They were that intent on getting the goods that they would . . . kill a person? Some thieves would give up and try again some other time when no one is around. That's what is so disturbing about this. They decided to take their chances and now look at them . . . Very saddening for all involved."

Dan Arnhem:

"This crime is almost unbelieveable . . . can you imagine the thinking process involved in these two creeps . . . kill someone, someone you know, set the house on fire, then steal the car, and drive it to school."


"What if this were your son? . . . This is a terrible thing - a horrible thing. Please know I'm not condoning or excusing anything or anyone, and I am also grieving and praying for Ms. Latiolais, Mr. Rice and the entire family, friends and community. It's just really really sad."


"I am completely shocked. Birdsall and I were best friends. And he was such a great guy and wouldn't do any thing to harm anyone. I never would have thought he would do something like this unless on drugs or unless someone was holding a gun to his head."

Allison McCart:

"I see . . . comments about how good these boys were and how they were sweet and all that. But if you were a relative of the victim would you feel the same? Because of the senseless act of violence that these two committed me and my son will never have the chance to know this loving woman who is my fiance's great aunt. . . . Look at if from the victims families point of view."


"Barbara was my aunt, the youngest of five children of my grandparents. She was a wonderful and kind soul who loved music and life. To die so violently at the hands of two twisted and deviant children is made all the more painful when hearing the apologias for them in the community. When I hear the pleas for understanding that these were 'two good boys' I begin to get how something like this can happen. Enabling and apologizing for spoiled killers in your community won't bring my auntie back. May God forgive you because I can't."

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Katie B October 29, 2012 at 09:16 PM
I'm not saying I condone the murder of this poor woman--I certainly don't--I'm just saying you don't know the true story. Cody is innocent. He should not receive life without parole.
Thomas Clarke October 30, 2012 at 12:09 AM
For those of you who cannot understand this, a reflection on the legacy of Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate is probably about right. Caril Ann is still around and cured and Charlie is not. Let us hope similar results will happen.
Tim Marona October 30, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Love your grammer and sentence structure. Just a product of cv school I guess.
Tim Marona October 30, 2012 at 02:55 AM
What??? These guys are bad people and deserve what happens to them. What kind of nonsense is this. Just some kind of liberal drivel as usual.
Brittany October 30, 2012 at 06:05 AM
I agree with Katie B. You've probably never been in a position when you know someone who has been in the situation that Cody is now in. If you knew him, you'd agree that he isn't the type of person to do such a thing.But you don't know him. I hope you never have someone you care about in a similar situation.
Brittany October 30, 2012 at 06:09 AM
@Tim Marona - You spelled "Grammar" wrong.....see, it's easy to be an armchair judge, isn't it?
neener tnegras October 30, 2012 at 07:53 AM
Obviously they WERE/ARE NOT good kids underneath it all. Prety darn stupid too.
neener tnegras October 30, 2012 at 07:54 AM
Obviously nobody really knew these losers.....
neener tnegras October 30, 2012 at 07:55 AM
Hope they die in prison. What a wonderful idea
Karen Meadows October 30, 2012 at 06:48 PM
The whole out come of this robbery gone bad is so SAD. The life lost through murder and the death of 2 young boys lives forever ! Unfortunately it is the outcome of the times where violence runs rampant. What caused these two boys to go so wrong? Only they can answer that for sure. But one fact remains their souls turned very dark abd troubled to even conspire this deed. I will pary for the deceased womans family and hope they find some sort of peace. And i will pray for the two boys familys as I'm sure they are in horrible pain over the loss of their son to such a very dark side.
ronald romano October 30, 2012 at 09:06 PM
thank you for your honest blog- i can only hope that these punks learn in jail the lesson that there parents didnt teach them in real life-im tired of punks takeing someones life and get 4 5 6 years in jail i say let them rot- my heart goes out to thee people left behind-ronald
2COMCAST.NET ANONYMOUS October 30, 2012 at 11:43 PM
both boys are equally guilty-from the report in the Chronicle they both hid for hours-then christian rang the bell and was admitted because he was known to Barbara- christwen then opened the back door and Cody entered -they then both committed murder. these are sweet boys? To kill someone and then have lunch makes both truly sociaparhs. The school board members should re-evaluate their policy on who they let in from out of area -i'm sure most kids want to attend CV schools for better educations-but kids with mental problems should be weeded out-i have been told we have over 800 out of area attending CV schoolls-i'm sure people like ted bundy and the boy from colofado who killed so many at the movie house CASTRO VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD WAKE UP!!!
sandy y October 31, 2012 at 12:56 AM
It is easy to say they deserve the worst, and it is easy to be upset with those that are 'defending' these boys to be good...but if we are bashing each other when we are truly trying to understand what is going on, then how are we any different from who we are opposing? The truth is, we all do not know what is going on and what really was going through these boys' minds. There are so many thoughts I can express about the situation, and some of these posts, but what would be the point if it is not answering what I am really curious about. What we can all do from this point on? Until everything is understood, there should not be so much agitation amongst each other. Always put yourself in your opposers shoes, unless you prefer to be the victim of your own judgment. I hope there is support going out to the families involved. I cannot imagine the pain, confusion, and loss.
Susan October 31, 2012 at 05:02 PM
There is only one thing I know for certain...young people don't turn out to be disturbed without the root of there issues coming from their parents lack of love, support, encouragement and guidance, their basic needs as young men were neglected...I hold the parents completely responsible.
Jake Bauer October 31, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Like it or not we all have acts of evil in us it is just a matter of do you act it out or do you have the common sense and moral sense to say this is bad. None of them have any type of honor for killing an innocent there is no foregiveness, If these two boys have or had girlfriends I sure hope they distance themselves. This could destroy thier reputation as highschool is unforegiving. Simple facts Birdsall knew about the guns he planned the assault and Nicosia followed along as the enforcer. Both teens from the research done on the net have done drugs, question is were they high,spinning, or on something the night of. This doesn't make it right. I feel for the lose of the victims family I feel for the parents of the accused I do not feel sorry or any remorse for the accused. Games TV do not have anytthing to play in this if your of sound mind and know right from wrong. Only weak willed people are broken down and desensitized. As for the statement of "Good Kids" they stopped being "Good Kids" when they entered the home they became evil bullying thugs. So these "Good Kids" have commited an adult crime with Sociopathic tendencies. Idle hands are the devil play toys.
lisa October 31, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I have seen on TV people talking about victims rights. I never understood how much the victim is forgotten, because of the shadow of suspects.....till now. From what I remember of Barbara was her smile. Her light could never be over shadowed. My heart goes out to mike and her daughter.
Swazmine October 31, 2012 at 07:59 PM
I do not know Cody, but Birdsall is NOT a good kid. He was constantly in trouble for fighting, beat up his sister, busted out his living room window JUST 2 or 3 months ago, arrested before, etc. As a personal witness, this stems from his MOTHER and Grandmother. Mother has 4 kids with 4 dads, no job, on drugs, has her kids live with her on and off, dates barely legal men, condones violence, is violent unless she knows you aren't afraid of her, telsl her kids to fight other kids, etc. The Grandmother has been known to start fights too. Birdsall is a product of his enviroment and hopefully the CPS pays a visit to Mother so that the rest of the kids don't end up like him.
Rebecca October 31, 2012 at 08:09 PM
To be completely honest u have to mourn for all 3 families involved unfortunately they are all victims. the "Suspects" families have also lost. these 2 young men will probably die in prison. it is a sad situation all around. I am aware that what they did was horrible but they did this not their families and i am sure their families did not have a clue. people who commit such a crime are usually sociopaths and can pull the wool over anyones eyes just like they did to the "victim" she obviously trusted them as they were in her home before. to the person above that stated to hold the parents responsible, they were old enough to know right from wrong and just because a child does something wrong it is not the fault of a parent. that is a very uneducated remark. u dont even know the family or the situation u only know what the media is saying. to keep it completely 100 percent real. Codys father could not love him any more he is his whole world. this is a fact. as i stated before u need to mourn for all the families they have all lost a family member, and it is ok to be angered as it should not have happened, but it did.
Amber October 31, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Cody is an adult. No one forced him to do anything that he didnt want to do. What if it was your aunt that he killed. I know for damn sure you wouldnt be thinking that he is a "LOVING" person. Get over yourself. He is a murderer!!!!
Carin November 02, 2012 at 06:27 PM
First of all SWAZMINE you have no clue what your talking about! Yes I feel this act was evil and sick BUT for you to place the blame on his Mom and the Grandma for the PROBLEMS you have had with them is evil as well and kind of a coward thing to do. And I say that now because as for you I was there visiting my sister the day the window happened and you do NOT even know the story behind that! Even though you choose to spend your day and nights with your ear on the floor listening to what went on in their house you did NOT listen to well. And as for his Sister and him fighting thats another thing you have no idea about. I also have a sister and there was NOT a day that went by growing up that we did NOT fight. So I think you should speak on the issue that you have with what HE did and NOT all his family members!!!! I feel sorry for ALL the families involved and I honestly feel you should NOT of even wasted your time commented because you are bashing 2 people that YOU have problems with instead of keeping that to YOURSELF is extremely EVIL and SICK as well. Thats sad for you to be happy that all this happened over a tragic issue to get back at a Mom and Grandma you have problems with that YOU do NOT even know. Grow up and review the cameras you requested!!!!
luciana November 08, 2012 at 03:30 AM
bull crap these kids are not sweet and kind kid they need to rot in jail what about that poor lady they could care less for her life when they go to jail then they will understand
Jake Bauer November 08, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Fact: Birdsall and Nicosia killed (planned) Murder one Fact: They confessed to it Fact: Only Innocent is the dead victim I am sure people said Stalin, Adolf, Ted Bundy, Jeffery Dahmer, Richard Ramirez were all good boys until they committed premeditated murder. I see that katie and brittney and a few others are becoming part of these two "Good Boys" fan club. Hey every murder has a few. So Birdsall was in a mental institution a month prior to the murder and in constent trouble with police and officials. Yep Good Boy there Unknown about Nicosia but I will dig further on thie Good Boy too. Stop focusing on these Good Boys and start thinking about the woman that lost her life and her children and grand children and boy friend who suffer from these Good Boy actions. I sure hope I drove the point home that Good Boys committed an Evil act.
Kellie Kandler November 14, 2012 at 02:32 AM
It is very painful to watch the people you care about linger in such pain on the horribleness of what has taken place. Let me try and tell you what Barbara meant to her family, to her friends and to the ones that love her so much that losing her has only brought on darker days, saddened hearts, endless tears, sleep without rest, sorrow without comfort, emptiness without bottom and a life without her. She meant EVERYTHING! She was a mother, a best friend. She was a proud grandma and she knew she was the coolest grandma. She was the hot mom that your boyfriends secretly crushed on. She was a wife, soulmate, partner and main squeeze. She was trusting and loyal. She knew the cure to everything stemming from a night of to much fun with the girls, to aches in places you didn't know existed or how to remove cactus slivers from underneath your skin. She was your walking book of Homemade Remedies. It's terrible missing you so much and living life without your kind of flair Barbara. You are truly missed, XoXo..Love Kellie Kandler
Prayers November 15, 2012 at 11:07 PM
@Swazmine ; what on earth are you? Seriously you have no idea what you are talking about and need to stop spreading rumors, what are you 15 ? All three families are going through hell right now! And all need support not bull shit from people like Swazmine! People like Swazmine need to get a life and leave these families alone. Sometimes the devil get to vulnerable young adults/ children and hopefully the boys who are involved have prayed and asked God for forgiveness; he is the only one who can judge. Also I know all three of the people involved and know that Birdsall is a great kid the class clown and we should all remember him as that kid he has a lot a head of him and I pray for all three involved.
julie November 18, 2012 at 09:19 PM
The mother of christian, had been in and out of the system all of chriatians life. She is a whore anf a frug addict. Four kids, four dads and none stuck around. She is a saf ecample of a parent. That does not excusr christisn og his crimes. But just wanted you to see he wasnt raised with morals. His mom would screw anything and brought countless men into the home. Mindi wake up and watch the younger the younger two so tje wont become a statistic of children raised by mothers like you.
Lauren Felix December 03, 2012 at 08:10 PM
I honestly don't care how much of a "loving" person he was; was he loving when he took my grandmother's life? No. It upsets me seeing people stick up for these monsters. I'd like to know how you would feel if two boys your age killed the person who mattered most to you, and not only that but memories and pictures were destroyed as well. They deserve a lot more than what's coming to them.
Amanda Miller December 04, 2012 at 03:47 PM
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION ! WE DO NOT WANT THESE MONSTERS EVER GETTING OUT OF PRISON, THEY ARE BOTH MURDERERS AND THEY BOTH DESERVE TO SPEND THE REST OF THEIR LIVES BEHIND BARS! http://www.change.org/petitions/cody-nicosia-and-christian-birdsall-spend-the-rest-of-their-lives-in-prison-without-the-possibility-of-parole
Lindsey Felix December 05, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Sign for my grandma bob!!!!! http://www.change.org/petitions/cody-nicosia-and-christian-birdsall-spend-the-rest-of-their-lives-in-prison-without-the-possibility-of-parole PLEASE HELP US GET 200+!!!
KP January 02, 2013 at 02:40 AM
Pretty ignorant statement. Do more research before you go around blaming all parents for their children's crimes.
Shauna Ortiz January 09, 2013 at 05:34 PM
CARIN, we all know Swazmine know’s what he/she is talking about pertaining to how this family conducts themselves. I personally lived next to this TRASH for 2 years and may not condone putting up personal business on the internet, I will 150% attest to this all being true and contributing to the demon Chris and his disgusting, sick, mortifying actions and disregard for human life. We all know how the window incident took place, etc. Instead of defending this creep and his incompetent family, (including you I assume?) maybe you should focus on being a positive influence in this fu**ed up world. You think making excuses for these pigs and justifying Birdung’s actions gives you credibility? Try bad Karma. I thank some higher power almost every day that it wasn’t one of my little boys that her devil children attacked like this because there would be a whole lot more folks in jail right now. And the Birdsall KLAN should thank some higher power that it wasn’t my apartment he stepped into and tried to pull that sh** cause their beloved boy would no longer be with us. Anyhow, to Barbara’s family; I am very sorry for your loss. Take solace in knowing these losers will have a whole lot of nice things happen to them in prison. :) And Amanda, you are awesome! In conclusion, to CARIN and whomever, don’t expect me to waste away my days checking CV Patch for a response. If there is a problem, you know where to find me.


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