Idaho Murders

In the middle of the night on November 14, four Idaho college students were murdered in their home. Weeks after the murders, the police are yet to have a suspect. The details about that night are slowly being uncovered, and there is new information with developments in the case every day. That said, here is what they do know.

The victims were Ethan Chapin (20), Xana Kernodle (20), Madison Mogen (21), and Kaylee Goncalves (21). They were all students at the University of Idaho, where Mogen and Kernodle were in a sorority and worked together. Chapin, who was Kernodle’s boyfriend, was part of a fraternity, and Mogen and Goncalves were lifelong best friends. The 3 girls lived together with 2 other friends and a 6th person was suspected to be on the lease however the details surrounding that remain unclear.

Photo taken of the victims just days before the murder via Fox News. Govcalves with Mogen on her shoulders, Chapin with his arm around Kernodle.

That night the four victims were not all together. Chapin and Kernoodle were at his fraternity house and Mogen and Goncalves were at a bar. They all returned to the girl’s house around 1:45 am. The 2 surviving roommates were out and returned around 1 in the morning. A CNN article relating to the murders explains, “The next morning, two surviving roommates summoned friends to the residence because they believed one of the second-floor victims had passed out and was not waking up, police said in a release. Somebody called 911 from the house at 11:58 a.m. using one of the surviving roommates’ phones.” When police arrived, they found a quadruple homicide. The circumstances around if the roommates found the bodies/why they called friends over have yet to be disclosed to the media. The roommates are not suspected to have been involved in the killings. The two surviving roommates were sleeping on the first floor of the house, with Chapin and Kernodle on the second and Mogen and Goncalves on the third.

On the night of the murders, Goncalves and Mogen were spotted at a food truck ordering food outside of a bar with a man in a hooded sweatshirt. The two girls then got into a car and were driven away. Between 2:30 and 3 am, Goncalves made multiple calls to her ex-boyfriend who has been cleared of suspicion. Between 3-5, the four of them were killed. They were thought to have been sleeping however they had multiple defensive wounds. There were no signs of forced entry into the house. An emotional interview with Goncalves’s father and the coroner by Fox News states, “The victims had ‘big open gouges’ that were clearly the work of a ‘sadistic male’ and called police ‘cowards’ for not sharing more with the public […] ‘She says, sir, I don’t think stabs is the right word, it was like tears, like this was a strong weapon, not like a stab.”

Blood seeping through the walls at the house via New York Post.

One of the main reasons this case has had so little progress is because of social media and conspiracy theories. CNN states in an update on the case, “Investigators comb through more than 6,000 tips they’ve received in the case. ‘Our analysts have spent hours sorting through and trying to come up with the most relevant tips first for the investigators to follow up on. They have reinterviewed some of the folks we’ve interviewed earlier in this investigation to clarify information,’ Lanier said Monday.” Friends of Goncalves claim she said that she had a stalker. Another theory is that this is not the killer’s first crime and they are a copycat killer of Ted Bundy. Police have not addressed the theories or rumors at this time. People everywhere have been doing their best to give useful information and stay vigilant. This is still a number one priority for the Moscow Police Department and the FBI is involved. The four students will be honored and hopefully find justice soon.