Idaho Murder Suspect Made One Big Mistake, Expert Says

Monroe County Correctional Institution/Reuters

Monroe County Correctional Institution/Reuters

police on friday Brian Christopher Koberger Arrestedhis graduate-level studies in criminology soon became the subject of intense focus.

But the former cop and criminology professor, who has authored a textbook on how to conduct criminal investigations, says the possibility of students using that knowledge for the wrong reasons is not unlikely, but extremely rare. .

“Someone asked, ‘Are you worried about making better criminals?'” Professor Joseph JacaronA retired NYPD Detective Sergeant, who now teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, told The Daily Beast. But [Kohberger] I am currently in prison. So maybe he wasn’t as good a student as everyone thought. “

Investigators believe Coberger, 28, was implicated in the gruesome murders of University of Idaho undergraduates Cary Goncalves, 21, Madison Morgen, 20, Xana Carnodle, 20, and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin. I think. The two slept for several hours on Nov. 13 in an off-campus rented house in a small agricultural community in Moscow, officials said. It remains unclear how Coberger knew or knew the victim.

Gonsalves’ father, Steve Gonsalves, said: ABC News After Koberger’s arrest, neither he nor anyone in his family knew him. , could not yet be discussed.

‘Away’ suspect in Idaho murder studied under renowned criminologist

Coberger’s attorney said on Saturday that he was “enthusiastic to be acquitted” and that he “looks forward to resolving these matters as soon as possible.”

1st year Ph.D. Coberger, a student and teaching assistant at Washington State University in Pullman, about ten miles (10 miles) from the scene of the crime, will be at DeSales College, a Catholic institution in his Valley of Center Pennsylvania, this year. I first completed a graduate program in criminal justice.There, he took classes with a prominent forensic psychologist. Katherine RamslandHe has authored about 70 books, including titles such as how to catch a killer, The psychology of mortality studiesWhen murderer’s mind(Ramsland, contacted by The Daily Beast on Friday, declined to comment on Coberger’s arrest.)

Giacarone said he can personally recall only one recent murder investigation in which a criminology student turned out to be the prime suspect.

In 2010, Gary McGurk, a criminology student at John Jay College, pleaded guilty to manslaughter He tied his girlfriend to the bed, slit her throat and hit her head with a hammer, but not before wrapping her skull in saran wrap “to keep it from bleeding”. At the time of her death, she was working as a criminologist for the NYPD.

In May, while still at DeSales, Kohberger called out online for ex-offenders to participate in a research project, according to the now-deleted post. , said, among other things, that they wanted to know about their “thoughts and feelings.” [the] experience. Koberger also asks potential participants, “how emotions and psychological traits influence decision-making when committing a crime,” how they prepared for crime, and “you He said he was interested in how people approached their targets before taking action.

DNA evidence found at the murder scene was a key factor in tracking Coberger, was found trapped in his parents’ home in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, a law enforcement source told The Associated Press. This revealed a potential family match and helped focus police on Coberger. According to a source cited by CNN.

investigator too A nationwide search for a white Hyundai Elantra It was found near the victim’s house around the time of the murder. We compiled a list of 22,000 possible matches— ultimately narrowing it down to Coberger’s vehicle. He used to drive it all the way from the Pacific Northwest to his parents’ house near the Poconos.[s]Sometime before Christmas,” another source told CNN.

“If someone like this were really a student of criminal justice and criminology, he would understand certain things like this. Locale exchange principleJacaron told The Daily Beast, referring to the well-established forensic theory that “every contact leaves a mark.”

“It shows the arrogance of people like him. He read something in a book and thinks he’s smarter than the cops,” Giaccarone continued. Every day, and twice on Sundays, it beats learning.”

Many questions still remain in the case, officials said, and those questions will be cleared once Coberger is extradited to Idaho and arraigned in court.

“It would be really interesting to see if he was ready,” Giaccarone said. Did he cover his hair?Did he wear boots over his shoes knowing he was going to step in a lot of blood?Those are behavioral aspects. [prosecutors] You can say, “This is well thought out and planned.”

Police have yet to recover the murder weapon, calling it a “fixed-blade knife.” Police also continue to ask the public for any information they may know about Coberger. A former classmate described him to the Daily Beast on Friday as a ‘very intelligent’ amateur boxer Who is both “indifferent” and “aggressive”.

Koberger reportedly worked as a part-time school security guard for the Pleasant Valley School District until last year.

During his senior year of high school, Koberger was teased for being overweight, one acquaintance said, recalling that Koberger showed up the next year “thinner than rails” and was looking for a fight. Older Nick McLoughlin said he was at a loss to explain why Coberger had become “100% different.”

These kinds of details will not only be of interest to “true crime” enthusiasts, but will also be very important to investigators and prosecutors, said Giacalone, who has held various positions with the NYPD for more than 20 years. is the Bronx Cold Case Squad.

“I’d like to know what he was like over Thanksgiving weekend. Was he sketchy, introverted, in his room?” Giacarone said. “He’s normally gregarious, but when he got home he didn’t want anyone to disturb him? It’s not necessarily evidence of a crime, but it’s information that helps corroborate their case.” ”

but, Victim’s family in Idaho say they are encouraged by Coberger’s arrestthe lawsuit against him “does not end with” [the] I will arrest you,” Giacarone stressed.

“You have to trace this to the prosecutor,” he said. “Maybe someone saw him with a knife at some point, maybe family or friends saw him change, maybe he had an unexplained injury. All of these things need to be considered to make the case better.”

Coberger is under 24-hour suicide watch Pennsylvania jail awaiting extradition to IdahoWhen Coberger returns to Idaho, the father of one of his victims wants to see him in court.

“This guy has to look me in the eye again and again to find the truth.” Steve Gonsalves told ABC News on friday night. “That’s exactly what I’m looking for.”

See The Daily Beast for more information.

Get the Daily Beast’s biggest scoops and scandals delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and get unlimited access to the Daily Beast’s unparalleled reports. Subscribe now.