Quadruple murder suspect Bryan Christopher Kohberger posted a research survey on the feelings and thoughts of criminals to a Reddit thread before he was accused in connection with the murders of four University of Idaho college students who were knifed to death in an off-campus rental property.
Moscow Police Chief James Fry confirmed Kohberger’s arrest in a press conference, but he declined to specify the motive or what led authorities to the suspect. Fry said authorities are still looking for the murder weapon but “have found an Elantra,” referring to the Hyundai Elantra that they were seeking after it was spotted on video near the crime scene.
Kohberger, 28, who has roots in Pennsylvania, was first named by WPVI, a Philadelphia news station. That reporting was later confirmed by other news outlets, including CNN, which reported that authorities have a match between DNA at the crime scene and Kohberger’s DNA.
Kohberger was arrested in the November 13, 2022, quadruple slaying on December 30, in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, according to court records.
Heavy saved screenshots of the now-deleted Reddit post that Bryan Kohberger made on an subreddit for “ex-cons”.
According to WPVI, authorities, including the FBI, Pennsylvania State Police, and the Moscow Police Department, had “tracked” Kohberger and located him in Chestnuthill Township, Monroe County, in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains region. A warrant accuses Kohberger of first-degree murder, the television station reported.
The four victims were found stabbed to death inside an off-campus rental home and were likely attacked while sleeping, according to previous statements from police that are rounded up on a website.
The victims were “Ethan Chapin, 20, Conway, WA; Madison Mogen, 21, Coeur d’Alene, ID; Xana Kernodle, 20, Avondale, AZ ; and Kaylee GonCalves, 21, Rathdrum, ID,” Moscow, Idaho, police wrote in a statement.
Here’s what you need to know:
Kohberger Is a Criminology Student Who Was Previously a Student Investigator on the Survey That Asked Criminals About Their Feelings
At the time of his arrest, Kohberger was a graduate student at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, the university’s website says.
According to the WSU website, Kohberger is studying for a Ph.D in criminal justice and criminology.
Kohberger was a student investigator for DeSales University in Pennsylvania when he posted the survey that asked people about their thoughts and feelings on their criminal activity.
Kohberger posted on a Reddit thread about a research project that was studying the minds and feelings of criminals. The post was made to a subreddit on ex-cons.
In the now-deleted Reddit post, Kohberger wrote, in part, “My name is Bryan, and I am inviting you to participate in a research project that seeks to understand how emotions and psychological traits influence decision-making when committing a crime. In particular, this study seems to understand the story behind your most recent criminal offense, with an emphasis on your thoughts and feelings throughout your experience.”
The post reads, “Research participation needed.” The post has now been deleted. The study says it “asks you to detail your most recent criminal offense, whether you were caught or not. In the event that you were not charged, convicted, or incarcerated for the offense, you may still participate in this research.”
It lists Kohberger as a “student investigator,” and reads,
We are interested in understanding how emotions and psychological traits influence the decision-making involved in committing a crime. After completing a series of background questions, you will be presented with open-ended questions relevant to the most recent crime you were involved in and asked to detail your thoughts, emotions, and actions from the beginning to end of the crime commission process. In order to best understand your unique psychological traits, surveys will be included after the open-ended section. Please be assured that your responses will be kept completely confidential.
Heavy has not located any other obvious social media accounts for Kohberger.
The Study Asked, ‘Why Did You Choose That Victim,’ Among Other Questions
The research study asked, “Why did you choose that victim or target over others?” Another reads, “After committing the crime, what were you thinking and feeling?”
Questions in the survey dig into whether a person committed their first crime when they were alone, whether they were employed, whether they were under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and more.
Other questions in the survey include, “How was your life right before the crime occurred?”
Other questions and prompts include: “Did you prepare for the crime before leaving your home? Please detail what you were thinking and feeling at this point” and “How did you travel to and enter the location that the crime occurred?”
“After arriving, what steps did you take prior to locating the victim or target (i.e., person or object)? Please detail your thoughts and feelings.”
Kohberger obtained a master’s degree from DeSales University, according to a commencement document from DeSales, which is located in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.
The survey lists Jeffrey Clutter as co-principal investigator and Michelle Bolger as principal investigator. Heavy has contacted both by email and phone seeking comment.
Clutter, an assistant professor at DeSales, earned his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati, helping police departments with gang violence strategies, according to his university bio.,
Bolger is an Associate Professor whose university biography says she “received her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Bolger worked as a case manager at a men’s community residential facility outside of Cincinnati.”
A Hyundai Elantra Gave Police a Break in the Idaho Murder Case
Police were searching for a Hyundai Elantra in the case, according to their public statements during the investigation. “Progress continues to locate the white 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra believed to be in the immediate area of the King Road residence during the early morning hours of November 13th,” Moscow police wrote in a press statement posted to their Facebook page just two days before the arrest.
“Investigators believe the occupant(s) may have critical information to share regarding this case and have identified over 22,000 vehicles. If you know of, or own, a vehicle matching this description, or know of anyone who may have been driving this specific vehicle on the days preceding or the day of the murders, please forward that information to the Tip Line,” the police press release says.
Law enforcement sources told NBC News that a Hyundai Elantra “was taken away from the person’s home in Pennsylvania on Friday,” December 30, 2022
A neighbor told WPVI that “police and FBI raided the suspect’s parents home around 1am. She says they towed away a vehicle matching the white Elantra for which Idaho authorities had been searching,” according to WPVI reporter, Chad Pradelli, writing on Twitter.