The Idaho Murders

Story posted January 27, 2023 in CommRadio, News by Alison Patton

MOSCOW, Id.--The early morning of November 13, 2022, was supposed to be the end of a fun Saturday night out for four University of Idaho students, but ended in murder. The death of students Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Gonclaves has left the community uneasy and scared. Suspect Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old grad student studying criminology at Washington State University, is in custody and awaiting the preliminary hearing in June.

Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin attended a frat party before arriving at Kernodle’s off-campus apartment around 2 a.m. The other two victims, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Gonclaves started their night together at a bar before getting dinner at a food truck. The pair were recorded by a camera near the truck. After eating, they also returned home around 2 a.m. According to the Moscow police affidavit, the suspect’s car began circling the area around 3:30 a.m. and the murders happened about half an hour later.

The suspect left a couple important clues at the scene, including a witness and a Marine Corps knife sheath. The affidavit mentions that a surviving roommate saw the suspect as he left the scene. The sheath was taken to the Idaho State Lab which recovered DNA that matched DNA found in Kohberger’s parents’ home in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania. Kohberger was arrested Dec. 30 at his parent’s house where he had recently been staying. 

On Jan. 12, Kohberger waived his right to a fair and speedy trial and pushed the preliminary hearing until June 26. The hearing is supposed to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to try him for murder charges. The delay suggests that Kohberger and his legal team are looking to deny the charges, although no official plea has been made. The suspect, through his legal team, said he looks forward to being exonerated.

Alison Patton is a second-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. You can email her at