We have some very sad news to report for fans of the Netflix docu-series Jailbirds New Orleans. Inmate Crystal Latapie passed away in June at just 37 years old.
Jailbirds New Orleans viewers will remember Crystal as the woman with braided hair who played a mother figure to fellow inmate Byrielle. If that doesn’t ring a bell, Crystal was also the one who had a very memorable (and very stoic) gentleman caller named Maurice.
Crystal’s full name is Crystal Anne Latapie, and she was known to numerous friends and family as Kit. According to her obituary, Crystal had three children and one grandchild when she died on June 21.
Crystal’s full obituary:
Crystal Anne Latapie affectionately known as “Kit” passed away on Monday, June 21, 2021 at the age of 37. Crystal was a lifelong resident of St. Bernard Parish.
She will be forever cherished and missed by her parents, Travis and Charlotte Latapie. Mother of Karyn Campo (Benny), Kelsey Campo (Ethan) and Emma Gene Fayard. Adored sister of Cierra Battle (Chris ‘Kicky’) and Cassie Henry (the late Jules Henry). Proud grandmother of Ethan Jules DeJean. Granddaughter of Joseph ‘Canoe’ and Eurilda ‘Tootsie’ Latapie, the late Edward ‘Pancho’ and Marian Alfonso. Proud aunt of Jeremy Nunez, Jr., Mallory and Mason Battle, Travis and Sophia Henry.
Crystal will be eternally cherished by an abundance of cousins, aunts, uncles, forever friends and will always be remembered for her passion of living the simple life, being on the shrimp and crab boat fishing with her Daddy, Paw Paw and brother-in-law, Chris.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a visitation at Poydras Baptist Church, 8213 Saro Lane, St. Bernard, LA on Thursday, July 1, 2021 at 10 a.m. Everyone in attendance is asked to wear a face covering and practice social distancing. Please sign online guestbook at www.charbonnetfuneralhome.com.
Crystal’s cause of death is unclear, but she was very open on the show about her past issues with drug abuse. “I was always into the drug life,” Crystal said. “We grew on on a bayou. My daddy is a commercial fisherman. You know, shrimp and crab and oyster and — that’s us. I made damn good money. Damn good money. But it just ain’t enough. You know, when you drugging, it’s never enough.”
Friends and family remember Crystal
Scrolling through the Facebook pages of Crystal’s friends and family makes it very clear that Crystal’s struggle with addiction didn’t prevent her from being an incredibly kind and giving person. Posts about her passing are inundated with comments from people that knew Crystal at different periods of her life — all of them made it a point to state how Crystal was always willing to help in whatever way she could.
I will share a couple of posts by one of Crystal’s daughters — one shared just after Crystal’s passing, and the other was the day after Crystal’s funeral on July 1:
“The loss is immeasurable but so is the love left behind” 🦋
Rest In Peace to my beautiful Mom💔 I can barely find the words to put together. this one hurts. So surreal. I hope you’re finally at peace. no more fighting these battles with yourself… Just know I would’ve done anything to take your pain away.
You were truly one of a kind, I remember you were 6 months pregnant with Emma and still shaking traps on the boat with pawpaw😂 so many good memories that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
No matter your circumstances, you were good. A genuinely good person. You would’ve gave anyone the shirt off your back if they needed it… You were strong, and you tried your best for your family. I know it was hard, and I forgive you. I’m proud to call you my mom, and I wish we could’ve had a little longer. I’ll miss you so much!! I hope you knew how much I love you. This isn’t a goodbye, it’s an I’ll see you later! 💞 so until we meet again…
I love you💔❣️
On behalf of my family, I’d like to thank everyone for coming to show your last respects to my beautiful mom, and to those who’ve sent their love and condolences. It means a lot and is very comforting in this difficult time..
They say that life is not about the number of breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away.. considering that, I’m proud to say that my mom lived her life to the very fullest, she loved the rush, not a care in the world, just living life the way she wanted to! We should look up to that.
No matter her struggles or the battles she was fighting, she was good. She was genuine, beautiful inside and out. she never wanted to hurt anyone.. She had the biggest heart, and was the hardest worker. (I’d bet she would’ve outworked any man on the crab boat if she really wanted to). 🤣 my mom was tough.
Her childhood is best described to me as outgoing, athletic, wondrous. The wild child. and always willing to give a helping hand. It’s crazy because I see so much of her in myself.. I’ll miss her so much…
There was nothing more important to my mom than her family. No matter her circumstances, she was always there when you needed her to be. Today she leaves behind her two loving grandparents, Canoe and Eurilda, her parents, Travis and Charlotte who were always there for her no matter what, her sisters, Cassie and Cierra, her 3 beautiful daughters, Myself, kelsey, and Emma, who will miss her unconditionally. Her grandson, little Ethan. Her boyfriend, Maurice, who never gave up on her. And many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. She was The light of so many peoples lives and she didn’t even know it.
We will miss you so much Crystal Anne Latapie, you were truly one of a kind. I will forever cherish every single second I was blessed to have with you here. This is a pain I’ve never felt before, I’ll probably never be the same. It hurts so bad to have to let you go but the memories will keep me going. I pray you’re at peace now, dancing in the sky with Brad and Jules, looking over all of us. You’re our favorite angel now.. You will be missed dearly, by so, so many. But this isn’t a goodbye, it’s an I’ll see you later!
So until we meet again, I love you mom. Forever.
Yours truly, Karyn. ❤️
Crystal Latapie tribute video
As mentioned above, the funeral for Crystal was held on July 1. Her family put together a beautiful memorial slide show tribute and they shared it on YouTube after the service. Here’s the intro followed by the video:
On behalf of the Latapie family, we would like to thank each and everyone of you who came out today and showed your respect. Crystal was a very loved person and will forever be Missed!!!! She was definitely one of a kind. We would also like to thank Ms. Annette, Aunt Angel & Aunt Marilyn for setting up the lunch for after her funeral and everyone who donated food. Here’s a slide show I made for her funeral if you have a minute to watch.
Thank you, The Latapie Family
Crystal’s family reacts to Jailbirds New Orleans
If you’re curious how Crystal’s family felt about her participating in a docuseries that aired after her passing, I will let them speak for themselves.
Crystal’s daughter Karyn:
Before my mom passed away, she got out of jail and told me she was gonna be on Netflix. I was so embarrassed at first and I didn’t actually believe her until I watched the trailer to “Jailbirds” Season 2 on Netflix a few days ago.😅 But now that’s she’s gone, I’m glad to have this memory of her, it just shows me that no matter where she was, or who she was with, she was always happy. Her smile could light a up a room… And even though her time was cut short, I know my mom lived her best life, exactly the way she wanted to. Sad that you can’t see yourself famous though, but I’ll cherish it for you🤣 I love and miss your crazy ass more than anything Mom💜
COMMENT: OMG I just know she would laugh her ass off. 🤣 I love this and you so much Karyn ❤️
KARYN: Oh she’s definitely laughing at herself right now🤣 I love you💕
Crystal’s sister Cierra:
Go Crystal Go Crystal Go💜 I definitely didn’t believe her when she said “C let me go I have to go get ready for my interview” and I told her “girl stfu nobody is interviewing y’all” well she proved me wrong. I miss you more and more as the seconds pass. I wish you could be here to see it. #jailbirdsNewOrleans 🤦♀️
Why was Crystal Latapie in jail?
Unlike all of the other featured inmates on Jailbirds New Orleans, producers did not provide a splash screen for Crystal explaining her charges and why she was incarcerated at the Orleans Justice Center jail. Given that Crystal talked openly about her drug issues, it would be assumed that she was incarcerated on a drug charge. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
According to court records, Crystal was sentenced to seven years for forgery on February 20, 2020. However, as part of her sentencing, the “court recommended that the defendant be placed into any self help programs within the Department of Corrections, including drug treatment programs.”
Crystal’s daughter Karyn stated above that Crystal was released from jail prior to her passing.
In closing, I wanted to say that my thoughts are with Crystal’s friends and family. I also wanted to say that I had a very positive take on Crystal from watching the show, and she did put a smile on my face — especially the scene with Maurice! Also, given the very small amount of footage that producers had to work with (they reportedly only filmed for four days), I assume that Crystal coming across as a positive person was not the result of editing in the wake of her passing. Just like her sister and daughter, I am saddened that Crystal is unable to watch it with her friends and family (and the internet) and laugh along.