University of Idaho Murders: Serial Killer Theories in Moscow Homicides

university of idaho serial killer

Instagram/Facebook Is there a University of Idaho serial killer?

The University of Idaho murders of four college students in Moscow, Idaho, have sparked concerns that a serial killer could be at work.

As days have passed with no suspect in custody, and as Moscow police have steadily ruled out a list of people who knew the murder victims, the serial killer theory has gained greater currency.

The students – Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, Ethan Chapin, and Madison Mogen – were stabbed to death as they slept in an off-campus home on November 13, 2022.

Their deaths bear some resemblance to the killings of now deceased serial killers Danny Rolling and Ted Bundy. They also share similarities with the stabbing deaths of Travis Juetten in Oregon in 2021, and Sandra Ladd in Washington State in 2020, although authorities in Moscow have not indicated any firm connection.

All three cases may have occurred on the 13th of the month, although it’s unclear whether Ladd died on the 13th or 14th. All of the victims were in bed when they were stabbed by an intruder. Two were couples. All occurred within hours of each other in the Pacific Northwest.

Here’s what you need to know about the serial killer theory:


Ted Bundy Attacked a Sorority House

Ted Bundy

YoutubeTed Bundy killed at least 30 women in the 1970s.

Ted Bundy was one of the nation’s most notorious killers, and he operated, in part, in the Pacific Northwest, sometimes targeting college students.

However, one of his Florida attacks bears the most similarity to the Moscow murders.

In the early morning of January 15, 1978, Bundy “broke into the Chi Omega sorority house at Florida State University and sexually assaulted and murdered two women,” CBS News reported. “He then made his way down the hall and attacked Kathy Kleiner, and her roommate, Karen Chandler in their room, and later went a few blocks down and similarly bludgeoned dance student Cheryl Thomas.”

The latter three women survived. Kleiner told CBS: “That night … I heard our bedroom door slam open … I was opening my eyes a little bit because it kind of brought me into consciousness … And I’m awake enough to know someone’s there. … As I’m opening my eyes more and focusing … he raised his arm … And he had something in his hand. And I thought it was a pipe or a stick. I didn’t know what it was. He came down and hit me in the face … it just felt like pins and needles and knives in my face.”

The Moscow murder victims were also attacked at night in a home that three of them shared off campus. However, none was sexually assaulted, and, unlike the Bundy victims, they were stabbed, police have said.

You can read a list of Bundy’s victims here. The serial killer was executed in 1989.


Danny Rolling Was a Serial Killer Who Targeted College Students

Danny Rolling

FacebookDanny Rolling.

Danny Rolling was a serial killer known as the Gainesville ripper. The movie “Scream” was loosely based on his murders.

Like Bundy, he often targeted college students.

On August 24, 1990, Rolling “slipped into the home of UF freshmen Christina Powell and Sonja Larson and brutally stabbed and raped both students. The following day, he made Santa Fe Community College student Christa Hoyt his next victim, leaving behind her severed head on a shelf to face her body propped up on the bed,” according to Biography.com.

Three days later, Rolling broke into the home “of two 23-year-old UF students, Manuel Toboada and Tracy Paules. A former high school football player, Toboada put up a fight before both were overwhelmed; neither body was mutilated this time,” the site reports.


Travis Juetten Was Stabbed to Death by a Masked Intruder

jamila juetten

FacebookTravis and Jamilla Juetten.

Jamilyn and Travis Juetten were attacked in their home by a masked man with a knife in rural Marion County, Oregon, on August 13 2021, a GoFundMe says.

According to the GoFundMe page, “…the day they were to leave on their vacation, tragedy struck Jamilyn and Travis. Around 3 a.m. they were awoken from their sleep by someone attacking them with a knife.”

In the ensuing struggle, “Travis gave his life to save Jamilyn. Jamilyn was transported to the hospital with multiple stab wounds where doctors were able to operate, stabilize, and have started her rehabilitation therapy. It was at the hospital that she learned that her husband had died. Travis was 26 years old,” the GoFundMe reads.

According to KOIN-TV, the couple was scheduled to go on a Hawaii trip the next day. Jamilyn was stabbed 19 times, but she survived.

The masked man entered their bedroom, but Travis got up to fight him, KOIN 6 reported.

Alain Leon, told KOIN 6 News of Travis and Jamilyn, “He saved her life. He protected her from the attacker.” The television station reported that the couple lived “near the intersection of Howell Prairie Road NE and Hazelgreen Road NE,” and they were attacked around 3 a.m. There was another person in the home who was unscathed but may have scared off the attacker, the television station reported.

Moscow authorities believe the students were murdered between 3 and 4 a.m., that the attacker used a knife to slash them as they slept in their beds, and that two roommates in downstairs bedrooms were untouched.


Sandra Ladd Was Stabbed to Death in Her Bed

sandra Ladd

Google MapsSandra Ladd residence

According to the Camas Post Record, Ladd, 71, “was the victim of homicidal violence and died after being stabbed in her torso.” The Idaho Tribune reported that she was stabbed to death in her bed, although the exact time is unclear.

The former school secretary died in her home in the 1900 block of 41st Street in Washougal, on June 14, 2020, the Post Record newspaper reported. According to the Columbian, she was discovered deceased around 4:30 p.m.

That news site reported that Ladd “died of stab wounds to the torso.” Although they never made an arrest, authorities initially said there was no threat to the public.

Heavy has reached out to Washougal police for comment.

Online records give her exact address as 1903 41st St, Washougal, WA 98671-9022. Although some news sites say she died in an apartment and others in a home, Google Maps indicate that address is a home. The house sold in 2021 for $450,000, according to RedFin.

“Ladd was presumably sleeping in her Washougal, WA home, possibly in the late hours of the 13th, when an unknown intruder entered her residence and stabbed her to death. Her crime was never solved,” the Idaho Tribune reported, outlining similarities between Ladd’s death, a death in nearby Oregon, and the Moscow murders.


Moscow Police Have Ruled Out a Number of People Close to the College Students as Suspects

bethany funke

InstagramBethany Funke and Dylan Mortensen with the four victims

In a series of news conferences and press releases, police in Moscow, Idaho, have ruled out a growing list of people close to the college students as suspects.

They say they don’t believe Jack DuCoeur, Goncalves’ ex-boyfriend, was involved in the murders. Goncalves and Mogen called him multiple times shortly before their deaths.

They say they don’t believe a man seen in a video as the girls ordered food from a food truck is involved in the murders.

They don’t believe two surviving roommates, Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke were involved in the murders.

They don’t believe the people who were in the house when a 911 call was placed – and who have not been publicly named – were involved in the murders.

Police say they are investigating a report that Goncalves complained of a stalker but haven’t been able to confirm it.

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