Fox News reports that acquaintances of Bryan Kohberger, the chief suspect in the murder of four college students in Idaho in November, describe him as “a reclusive ‘genius.'”
Criminal profiler John Kelly disagrees and told Fox News that “if Kohberger did commit the crimes, he made a series of key errors, especially for someone with an education focused on criminology.”
Kelly added: “From an investigative standpoint and looking at the mistakes he made: Criminology 101. He looks like a moron to me.”
The case of the Nov. 13 murders of University of Idaho students Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20, appeared unsolvable when more than a month after the crime investigators had neither found the murder weapon nor named a suspect.
Law enforcement officials now report that a series of rookie errors led them to arrest and charge Bryan Kohberger, 28, for the murders.
Kohberger was apprehended at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania on Dec. 30.
He was a Ph.D. student in criminal justice at the University of Washington but was “not the great mastermind he may have thought he was,” said Pete Yachmetz, a former FBI agent and investigator before starting his own security firm, according to the New York Post.
The Post included Yachmetz’s assessment of the incriminating evidence that links Kohberger to the crime. This includes:
Cellphone records: According to an arrest affidavit, cellphone tracking records show that Kohberger surveilled his victims “on at least 12 occasions before Nov. 13, 2022.”
A sheath to the knife used in the murders: DNA evidence connecting the murder weapon to Kohberger was reportedly found on a knife sheath discovered near the body of one of the victims.
Yachmetz noted this was “an amateur mistake” and speculated Kohberger left the item behind because he “had to use the knife sooner than he thought he would need to” or because he was alarmed by the victims’ screams.
Additional phone data: Though initial reports noted the stabbings occurred around 3 a.m., authorities now believe the murders occurred between 4 and 4:30 a.m.. The timeline is corroborated by the testimony of two housemates not attacked in the murder spree and suggested by Kohberger’s phone data.
Investigators note that Kohberger turned his phone off the night of the murders and turned his phone back on at 4:48 a.m., 18 minutes after investigators believe the murders took place.
Kohberger was at the scene of the crime: Cellphone records indicate Kohberger traveled from Pullman, Wash., to the crime scene, arriving in Moscow at about 9 a.m., hours before police were notified of the murders.
The white Hyundai Elantra: One of the few early clues in the case was surveillance video of a white Hyundai Elantra circling the King Road neighborhood at least four times in the hour before the murders occurred.
Authorities accessed surveillance video at Washington State University to match a white Elantra leaving the Pullman area and heading toward Moscow at approximately 3 a.m. The vehicle returned at approximately 5:25 a.m. This matches the timeline for the murders.
‘Really creepy’ online posts: Retired FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer told the Post she believed the Kohberger is responsible for incriminating posts placed under an alias, “Pappa Rodger.”
One post read: “Of the evidence released, the murder weapon has been consistent as a large fixed-blade knife. This leads me to believe they found the sheath.”
An administrator for the Facebook group, coordinating a discussion of the Nov. 13 crime, noted that a user known as Pappa Rodger was argumentative and “said some really creepy stuff” that caused them to be removed from the group the night before Kohberger’s arrest.
The moderator noted that “no one had heard from [Pappa Rodger] since the arrest.”
Kohberger is currently in custody and has indicated he intends to plead not guilty to the charges.
Yachmetz believes “there is going to be a lot more evidence revealed,” adding the investigation is “not over by any means.”
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