Idaho State Murders

Brian Kohberger, the lead suspect for the Idaho state killings, is said to still be held without bail.

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Brian Kohberger, the lead suspect for the Idaho state killings, is said to still be held without bail.

Emma Safari, photojournalist

Murder is not as uncommon in the United States as one might think. In 2020, there were almost 25,000 homicides and nearly 1.4 million assaults in the country (cdc). More recently in December of 2022, four Idaho State University students-Ethan Chapin, Mdadison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Kaylee Goncalves- were found brutally and fatally stabbed to death between the hours of three in the morning and four in the morning in their off-campus home.

What happened was genuinely terrifying. Knowing that there are people out there that are capable of killing is awful. And s ince I am a student who is almost entering college, it is even more scary knowing that this happens to people my age. It almost seems as though younger people are more prone to being killed like this.”

— Hannah Jebelli (11).

Idaho police were able to trace the DNA, which was found on the sheath of the knife used for the murders at the scene of the crime, back to 28 year old Brian Kohberger. Brian Kohberger was later charged with four counts of first degree murder and felony burglary. Local authorities were able to track him down after finding a white Hyundai Elantra in the general area within the hours of the murders. It was also reported that the same Hyundai Elantra was seen almost twelve times before the murders were committed. After committing the crimes, Brian Kohberger fled from Idaho to Pennsylvania in the same white Hyundai Elantra. Together, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Pennsylvania police department pushed for a warrant of arrest to be issued. Once the warrant was in place, the FBI and Pennsylvania police department worked together to make the arrest at the resident home of Kohberger’s parents. 

Kohberger was originally held in jail without bond in the Monroe County Correctional Facility before his hearing on January 4, 2023 in Idaho. His hearing was originally set to be in June, which led his lawyers to ask the court for more time to prepare the case. Kohberger’s lawyers say that he denies all allegations of being involved with any of the four gruesome murders. The sentencing of this crime is still to come; future court dates are also still to be announced.

Who was Brian Kohberger before the trial? Kohberger was a student studying for his Ph.D. in criminology. He was also a teaching assistant at Washington State University’s Pullman campus, which was fifteen minutes from the scene of the crime.