By Colleen Nakhooda
ATTENTION! I wanted to start by saying that the deaths of these four university students was not only extremely traumatic and heartbreaking for their entire community, but even more so for their family and friends. It is important for me to emphasize a state of thoughtfulness for the fact that although this case is surrounded by mystery, theories, and unanswered questions, these are real people and families who have been deeply affected by this loss of life. Therefore, please keep in mind that while this is now an extremely public case that social media has publicized, also keep an empathetic mind and be understanding towards these families and the Moscow community when reading and learning about recent news (or this article).
If you have not heard about the details surrounding this recent University of Idaho murder case, here is a list of everything we know about the case thus far…
- On the night of November 12th, Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen went out separately from Ethan Chapin and his girlfriend Xana Kernodle who were both at a frat party house down the street from their home
- Goncalves and Mogen went out to dinner and then a bar, and within the 1 am hour, they were getting food at a local food truck
- After being spotted on multiple security cameras, the two girls ordered themselves an uber and arrived home around 2 am
- Ethan and Xana had already arrived home from the party, and according to the affidavit, Goncalves and Mogen came home shortly after them
- Shockingly, there were two other roommates who were left unharmed, Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke
- The two roommates were also at the home at the time of the murder, Dylan on the first floor and Bethany Funke supposedly in the basement floor
- A little before 3:30 am, a white hyundai elantra was seen passing the student’s townhouse three times, where at 4:00 am Kernodle received a doordash and at the same time, D.M. (according to the affidavit) was woken up to what she thought was her roommate playing with her dog upstairs
- At 4:04 am, the Elantra made its fourth round by their home, and at 4:12 am Kernodle’s phone records show she was awake on Tik Tok
- Sometime after 4 am, D.M. said she could hear crying from Kernodle’s room along with a male voice saying “It’s ok, I’m going to help you”
- After a whimper, loud thud, and the dog barking, D.M. alleges that she opened her bedroom door and saw a masked man with bushy eyebrows and black clothes that walked towards a sliding-glass door in the home, after being frozen in shock, she went into her room and locked the door
- Even creepier, around 4:20 am, the Elantra is captured speeding away from the Moscow area, where police think that this crime took place in under 16 minutes
- There is no further information after this time, but 911 was called around noon the next day for a reported “unconscious person”, and arrived on the scene around that time
After two months of this case flooding the internet, and the families and police receiving thousands of tips from so-called “investigators” online, along with anyone in the Idaho region, they finally arrested suspect Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old Ph. D student of criminology at Washington State University, just 8 miles from the murder scene. Due to the immense amount of blood that was found at the scene, along with intense DNA searches and examination of the entire townhouse, a sheath from the murder weapon, a knife, was found on the scene (weirdly left behind on the bed of two of the victims). The DNA matched Bryan Kohberger as it was taken from a button on the sheath of the knife. Let us dive into Bryan for a second as well. Not only was he recorded and spotted around the Moscow area multiple times, but he was also stopped for a traffic violation in the state as well. Thanks to a series of internet sleuthing, and the intense media attention received on platforms like Tik Tok, Instagram, and Twitter, a Reddit account was discovered in which Bryan claimed to be asking questions for a project that had to do with his criminology work. He asked questions that users could respond anonymously too such as, “How did you feel after you committed the crime? How did you do it? How did you get away with the crime? Do you feel any regret for this crime?” and so forth… many found this odd being that he seemed almost obsessed with the idea of crime, and particularly this case as students in his Ph.D class stated to news and police that he would bring up the Idaho Murder Case all the time.
The questions most people are most interested in here are : What was his motive? Did he know the victims before the murder? Why did he return to the Moscow area so many times? How did he single handedly kill all four of these roommates? Why did he not murder the two surviving roommates? All of these are unanswered, and until the case is closed and he is sentenced accordingly based on the court’s verdict, chances are we will not know.
Burga, Solcyre. “Idaho Murders: Everything We Know so Far.” Time, Time, 9 Jan. 2023, https://time.com/6245481/idaho-murders-what-to-know/.