Tragedy On Campus

The insights to a vicious crime


Tragedy has struck Moscow, Idaho at the University of Idaho on November 13, 2022, after four students were found dead in their home. Police say they were stabbed to death with an “edged weapon such as a knife”  between three and four a.m.  


One of the surviving roommates called 911 at 11:58 a.m. reporting an unconscious person.  The university sent an email out explaining that they were going into immediate shelter in place. An hour later, the police called off the shelter-in-place, explaining that it was an “isolated target attack” and that there was “no imminent threat to the community at large.” 


The victims were Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21. The three girls lived in an off-campus home with 2 other students. Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle’s boyfriend, was staying the night.  


Prior to the killings, Goncalves posted a picture on Instagram posing with the three others. The photo captioned, “One lucky girl to be surrounded by these ppl every day.” 

Instagram Photo: UofI.jpg  


Chapin and Kernodle were out at a Sigma Chi party on campus, while Goncalves and Mogen hung out at a bar called Corner Club in town. After the bar, they were last seen on footage outside of Grub Truck with an unidentified man who appeared to be talking to them. However, on November 20 police say the man isn’t a suspect.  


Initially police stated that Mogen and Goncalves returned home at 1:45 a.m. but changed their statement after digital evidence showed the two showing up 1:56 a.m. The other remaining two roommates had returned home at 1 a.m. before the four friends. However, police ruled out these two as suspects.  


Although the police know the weapon that was used in the murder, the weapon has not yet been recovered. They released a statement saying they believe the weapon is a fixed-blade Ka-Bar-style knife.  

A news outlet was told by Moscow Mayor, Art Bettge, that the murders were a “crime of passion” before telling Fox News, the same day, that the motive was unknown. After his statements were made, the city of Moscow began to complain about the limited information being given to the public.  


One of the victim’s father, Ethan Chaplin spoke on the topic saying, “The silence further compounds our family’s agony after our son’s murder,” the statement says. “For Ethan and his three dear friends slain in Moscow, Idaho, and all of our families, I urge officials to speak the truth, share what they know, find the assailant, and protect the greater community.”  


On November 16, 2022, new evidence emerged that two female roommates were at home during the murder and were unharmed. Police Chief Fry was unable to identify the 911 called or why they called eight hours after the killings. He also explained that there were no signs of forced entry.  


As of January 4, 2023, a new suspect has been brought to the public eye. Brian Kohberger, 24, was cleaning his car inside and out the night of the murder. Prior to being detained, he was obtaining his degree in criminal justice at Washington State University.  


Prior to his arrest, he was found on surveillance outside of the home multiple times wearing surgical gloves before the murders. He also was seen carrying bags of trash outside of his house at 4 a.m. The investigators then went to the dump site and searched through the bags of trash. While there is no statement on what was in the bag, it was enough to lead to his arrest. They are currently tracing DNA from the scene and seeing if it matches Kohbergers.  


Kohberger is being charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary. He is awaiting his status trial on January 12 as he currently sits in his jail cell.