The Idaho Murders


Cionna Washington (10th), Reporter

In the early hours of November 13th 2022, four university students were fatally stabbed in their off campus residence in Moscow, Idaho. The victims’ names are Xana Kernodle, Ethan Chapin, Madison Morgan and Kaylee Goncalves. They are remembered as bright young adults and a happy group of friends that “were gonna change the world.”

In December, police wanted to speak with the driver of a white 2011-13 Hyundai Elantra, which was seen near the crime scene on the morning of the killing. The driver of that car was 28 year old Bryan Christopher Kohberger who also allegedly had been stalking the King Road home for weeks – making passes on at least a dozen occasions and returning once more hours after the murders. Kohberger had been studying psychology of criminals and crimes similar to the ones he is being accused of.

On the 13th of November 22, Kohberger was accused of sneaking into the house around 4 AM after the victims had been seen partying at different locations around Moscow. The house is three stories high with two entry and exit points. The first entry point leads to the living room, the second entry is on the second floor through a sliding door. The second floor has a sliding door leading to the backyard. On the first floor there was one roommate, who survived, staying there. From the second floor there are stairs going up to the third floor. The second floor had Kernodle and Chapin who had been a guest since he and Kernodle were dating, the other surviving roommate was also staying on the second floor. On the third floor Morgan and Goncalves were staying in the same room in the same bed since they were best friends.

All four were stabbed multiple times with a large knife, according to the Latah County Coroner Cathy Malbbutt. Only some had defensive wounds, and others may have been ambushed in their sleep. According to the police, Kohberger left behind a Ka-Bar Knife Sheath with DNA on the snap. Investigators recovered it in Morgan’s bed, next to her body. They found a paternal DNA match in the garbage can at Kohbergers parents’ house on the other side of the country.

On December 30th, 2022 Kohberger was arrested at his parents’ home in Effort, Pennsylvania. He is being held without bail in the Latah County jail, his next scheduled court date is June 26th, 2023.

The surviving roommate that was staying on the second floor recalled seeing a figure clad in black clothing and a mask. She awoke around 4 AM to hear what sounded like Goncalves playing with her dog. She also heard Goncalves saying, “There’s someone here,” then she heard crying coming from Kernoldes room and a male voice saying, “It’s okay, I’m going to help you.” At this point the roommate said she opened her door again and saw the figure walking past her out the sliding door while she stood frozen in place ultimately locking herself into her room.

911 was called by the roommates hours later and it was listed as an “unconscious individual” people speculate that she had passed out due to finding her friends bodies.

Kohberger was described as a narcissist and a sociopath. The weeks leading up to the murders, students reported feeling uncomfortable around him. He also had been accused of following a girl to her car. He had also often gone into one of the victim’s DMs saying “Hey, how are you?” she would never respond. He also had photos of victims on his phone weeks after the murders.

The home where the four students were murdered is being demolished to help bring closure to the grieving community.