Keep Westword Free
| Crime |

Britt Cox convicted of killing meth buddy Bonni Bergen, burning down her house

Britt Cox has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering Bonni Bergen, 49, with whom he shared a fondness for meth, and then torching her home in an attempt to cover his tracks.

Which might have worked if the fire hadn't burned off his hair and left marks on his skin.

Bergen's life had spiraled out of control prior to her slaying. According to the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office, Bergen's ex-husband, who testified at Cox's trial, noted that she'd earned degrees in biology and environmental design and had worked at both Mesa Verde and Yellowstone National Park years back. But that was before she began suffering from mental illness, which led to drug abuse -- and to Cox.

She and Cox met through mutual meth users who got together when torching up, but they had a bitter falling out. Cox is said to have told friends Bergen snitched on him after cops found a motorcycle he'd stolen and then hidden at a place where she'd once lived -- and he also insisted that she owed him money for drugs and work he'd done for her.

Against this backdrop, Cox broke into Bergen's Lakewood home on July 27, 2009 and stole some tools, as well as her green Chevy Blazer. He then bought some spray paint and tried using it to disguise the vehicle. But at some point, he apparently got what must have seemed like a better idea. Early the next morning, he returned to Bergen's place and shot her in the head, after which he punched a hole in the Blazer's gas tank and poured the fuel inside the house.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Did he use enough? Hell yes, he did -- so much, in fact, that the resulting explosion blew him out of the house. After Cox was arrested at a Westminster storage locker a few days later, cops couldn't help noticing that his hair had been singed off and his skin looked burned.

In the end, Cox was found guilty of felony murder, first-degree arson and a slew of other crimes, resulting in a life sentence without the possibility of parole plus sixty years. (Editor's note: The DA's office has corrected the sentencing details about Cox, originally released as a life sentence without the possibility of parole plus thirty years.) And authorities don't believe he acted alone. Gene Abbott has already pleaded guilty to attempted accessory to murder and will be sentenced on July 25, while Christopher White faces a whopping twenty counts, including first-degree murder; he'll next appear in court on August 26.

Look below to see Cox's hair-free mug shot.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Michael McCullar, 11 others, sentenced in violent Adams County meth ring (PHOTOS)."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.