The suspect in the slaying of an Idaho student may not have forgotten the knife sheath found in a bed with two of the four victims — it may have been planted there in an attempt to mislead investigators. , according to a criminal profiler who has been following the case. .
“If you took the pistol out of your holster, wouldn’t you put it back in?” John Kelly, a psychologist with experience interviewing serial killers, said in an interview. “I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t, and if I went fishing and had to pull out my knife, I’d put it back in the sheath.”
It was a reflex action, he said, adding that Brian Kohberger, a suspect in the Wagon-like murder, likely put the knife away to prevent blood from contaminating his clothes or car.
“You’re a strict vegetarian who’s obsessive about what you eat and everything, just the hygiene of carrying a bloody knife around, wearing it somewhere on your person when you leave the house,” he said. said
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The answer may depend on what a surviving housemate, the only eyewitness, saw that night.
A police affidavit said he heard shouting and crying, and then saw a masked man with “bushy eyebrows” walk out a sliding door. There is no mention of seeing an intruder carrying a weapon.
“This is stage 101.”
“The girl didn’t say anything about seeing a knife,” Kelly said. “Did he put it somewhere in his clothes and it was all over the blood?”
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Kelly said the sheath may have been left on purpose – after wiping away fingerprints but not thoroughly enough to remove the touch DNA evidence that police found on the snap.
Kelly said the attacker could have placed the knife in a different sheath or another sealed container and left behind a sheath stamped “USMC” to raise suspicions about someone from the military.
“This is stage 101,” he continued. “They’re going to look at it, and they’re going to think it’s a military guy who did it — some guy with some kind of training who lives on the street.”
Brian Kohberger’s home in Idaho is suspected of being killed on an unusually long drive to Pennsylvania.
However, police recovered DNA on the photo that they later said matched a family sample taken from the trash at Kohberger’s parents’ home 2,500 miles away in Pennsylvania.
“He must have thought it was the perfect trick. Again, he’s not a genius; his trickery and staging set him up to get caught,” Kelly said.
If he had simply forgotten the knife, police could have found more DNA on the sheath along with fingerprints, Kelly said. According to a gag order dated January 3, the police were yet to recover the murder weapon.
“That could have raised the question: ‘Who else did you arrest?'” Kelly said, referring to a hearsay statement Kohberger gave to police on Dec. 30 when they took him into custody. was Will take them there with the sheath in some direction, some direction.”
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A retired NYPD inspector, who is also a lawyer, said Kelly’s assumption is “not unreasonable.”
A University of Idaho student took a stab at the timeline.
“[The] The other side would be that he was in an altered state of mind,” he said.
Kohberger, a criminal justice Ph.D. The Washington State University student is accused of breaking into a six-bedroom rental home near the University of Idaho campus around 4 a.m. on Nov. 13, 2022.
Inside, police say he ambushed four students, some of whom were sleeping, with a large knife.
The next day, police found 21-year-old best friends Kelly Goncalves and Madison Maughan dead in a bed on the third floor. On the second level, they found housemate Xana Kernodle, 20, and her dating boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, also 20. All four were stabbed multiple times.
Kohberger faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary.
He could face the death penalty if convicted. He is being held without bail and is due back in court on June 26.
Issued by Judge Megan Marshall. Initial gag order on Jan. 3, shortly after Kohberger’s arrest, limiting comments from the prosecution, defense, law enforcement and other officials.
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