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Daniel Caesar
Daniel Caesar
May 20, 2024

The Idaho College Murders

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On November 13th, 2022, the tragic death of four University of Idaho students took place in an off-campus residence in Moscow, Idaho. The students were living in the rented off-campus home, which had three stories and six bedrooms, two on each floor. There had not been a murder in that city since 2015. 

The four students who were killed were: Ethan Chapin, who was twenty, and was Xana Kernodle’s boyfriend, who was sleeping over that night. Kaylee Goncalves, who was twenty-one, went to the house to attend a party nearby. Xana Kernodle, who was twenty, lived in the rental home, and Madison Mogen, who was twenty-one, also lived in the residence. 

On November 12th, Chapin and Kernodle (two of the four victims) were both at an off-campus party near the Sigma Chi fraternity from the time 8:00 pm-9:00 pm and arrived back home at 1:45 am. The other two victims, Mogen and Goncalves, had gone to The Corner Club, which was a downtown sports bar, at 10:00 pm and left at 1:30 am. As authorities investigated more, they found a live stream video on a food truck, which showed Mogen and Goncalves talking and smiling and receiving their food. They went back to the house in what police assumed was an Uber. The police later reworded their statement and said that a “private party” gave them a ride back home. Mogen and Goncalves arrived back home at 1:56 am. Police investigated seven incomplete phone calls Goncalves made to her former boyfriend and the ones Mogen also made to Goncalves’ former boyfriend. Around 4:00 am Kernodle received a DoorDash order. 

The two surviving roommates who were on the bottom floor during the murders weren’t attacked or held hostage, and they stated that they didn’t wake up during the murders. One surviving roommate was sleeping on the second floor (the same floor that Kernodle and Chapin were on) and said she woke up by what she said sounded like Goncalves and her dog. The roommate opened her door twice and stated that she heard crying and a male voice saying, “it’s okay, I’m going to help you.” The house they were living in also had security cameras, which picked up the sound of whimpering, a loud thud, and a dog barking multiple times. The roommate said that they opened the door a third time and saw a man with black clothing and a mask that covered his mouth and nose. He walked past her and left through the sliding glass door. The roommate was apparently in a “frozen shocked faze,” and locked herself in her room. They found the four victims stabbed to death on the second and third floors. The victims had been stabbed four times and had not been restrained or gagged. Mogen and Goncalves were found in Mogen’s room and they found Kernodle and Chapin in Kernodle’s room. The walls of both of the rooms were splattered with blood. 

There were no 911 calls made until 11:58 am, and the person who called was one of the surviving roommates and was made to request aid for an unconscious person. When the police arrived at the house, they noticed that there were no signs of forced entry or any damage done to the home. The police didn’t consider the caller to be a suspect. The detectives believed that the victims were killed around 4:00 am and 4:25 am

On December 30th, police came to arrest 28-year-old Bryan Chrsitopher Kohberger with four counts of first-degree murder and one felony count of burglary in Monroe County, Pennsylvania. Police came to arrest him because the DNA at the murder scene matched with his, and a knife sheet sample. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

What had happened that day was very sad and unfortunate, something no one would ever think would come to happen. Kohberger’s trial date was set for October 2nd, 2023. 

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Jessica Aguilar-Resendiz is a student who lives in Cornelius Oregon. She likes to bake, listen to music and hang out with friends.

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