In Idaho Case, a College Project Now Looks Disturbing

Bryan Kohberger asked criminals in survey to explain why they chose their victims
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2022 9:00 AM CST
In Idaho Case, a College Project Now Looks Disturbing
A flyer seeking information about the killings of four University of Idaho students is seen in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

The arrest of a suspect in the baffling murder of four students at the University of Idaho has brought relief to the community but few answers about motive. Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, a grad student at nearby Washington State University, appears to have no connection to the four stabbing victims—Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin—reports the Idaho Statesman. “Never seen him or heard of him before," says an Idaho student familiar with the victims. "No one I know knows him." Kohberger is a Ph.D. student in criminology, per the AP, and a research survey he appears to have conducted previously is now drawing attention.

In a post that surfaced on Reddit (it has since been deleted but can be seen archived here), a person named Bryan Kohberger sought criminals to participate in the research project, per CNN. “In particular, this study seeks to understand the story behind your most recent criminal offense, with an emphasis on your thoughts and feelings throughout your experience," it reads. “In the event that your most recent offense was not one that led to a conviction, you may still participate.” The Statesman details some of the questions it wants answered, including, "Did you struggle with or fight the victim?" and "Why did you choose that victim or target over others?"

The survey was out of DeSales University in Pennsylvania, where suspect Kohberger obtained his undergraduate and graduate degrees. Professors listed as affiliated with the survey have not commented or confirmed its authenticity. Kohberger, meanwhile, remains behind bars in Pennsylvania, where he was arrested, and awaits extradition to Idaho. Authorities say DNA at the crime scene implicates him, as does a car removed from his parents' home in Pennsylvania. Detectives reportedly tracked Kohberger as he drove home across the country earlier this month, and the FBI had him under surveillance for several days before his arrest, according to CNN. (More University of Idaho stories.)

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