A criminology graduate student accused of murdering four University of Idaho students was interviewed by a local police department for an internship months before the murders.
New emails obtained by New York Times View a brief exchange between Washington State University student Bryan Kohberger and then-Chief of the Pullman Police Department Gary Jenkins regarding Mr. Kohberger’s interview process for the April 2022 public safety research assistant position.
Kohberger, 28, faces four counts of murder in the brutal stabbings of Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin at an off-campus rental home in Moscow, Idaho, on Nov. 13. Kohberger was arrested in Pennsylvania on December 30 before being extradited to Idaho on January 5.
In his email to Mr Jenkins, Mr Kohberger wrote that “it was a great pleasure to meet you today and share [his] thoughts and excitement.” Mr Jenkins replied that it was “great to meet and talk to you too.”
It is not clear whether Kohberger was offered a position at the department. The independent have contacted the department for comment.
The practice location had previously been mentioned by law enforcement in the affidavit of Kohberger’s arrest, released Jan. 5. It stated that Mr. Kohberger had written in an essay that “he had an interest in helping rural law enforcement agencies learn how to better collect and analyze technology data in public safety operations.”
According to WSU’s website, the university is offering two of the three-year positions in partnership with the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology and the cities of Pullman and Pasco.
“The purpose of these positions is to support each agency through data management and analysis, and to position them for success as they seek external funding,” according to the page.
Around the same time he applied for the internship, Kohberger also conducted a research project “to understand how emotions and psychological characteristics influence decision-making when committing a crime”.
He reached out to Redditors with the chilling survey that resurfaced after his December 30 arrest.
“Specifically, this study seeks to understand the story behind your most recent criminal act, emphasizing your thoughts and feelings throughout the experience,” the post said.
Last week, records were released of a search warrant executed at Kohberger’s apartment in Pullman on Dec. 30, the same day he was arrested at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania for the murders.
An inventory of evidence found during the apartment search was released Wednesday, revealing the seizure of 15 items, including hair, receipts, a computer tower, a disposable glove and items with strange stains.
The affidavit, released Jan. 5, provided new details about what led investigators to the suspect, but still made no connection between the victims and Kohberger.
The bombshell documents revealed that investigators believe Kohberger may have stalked the dorm ahead of the mass murder, with cellphone data placing him around the property 12 times before November 13.
At the time of the murders, investigators believe Kohberger turned off his cell phone to try to avoid detection.
However, cellphone data places him near the King Road home around 9 a.m. on Nov. 13 — suggesting he returned to the scene of the crime just hours after allegedly murdering the four victims around 4 a.m., the affidavit reveals.
In addition to cell phone data, the affidavit reveals that other evidence also led them to arrest Kohberger for the student murders.
Police said his DNA was found on a knife sheath left at the scene by the killer, and his white Hyundai Elantra was captured on surveillance footage at the scene at the time of the murders, the affidavit reveals.
One of the victims’ surviving roommates was also able to partially describe the killer to investigators after she came face to face with him in the aftermath of the murders.
Kohberger is scheduled to appear in court on June 26 for his preliminary hearing.
The entire week is set aside for the hearing — when evidence in the case against Kohberger will be presented for the first time in court, and Kohberger is likely to enter a plea to the charges.
Until then, Kohberger will be held behind bars in the Latah County Jail after he was ordered held without bail for the second time.
As a graduate student in criminal justice at WSU, he lived just 15 minutes from the victims across the Idaho-Washington border in Pullman. He had moved there from Pennsylvania and began his studies there in August, having completed his first semester before his arrest.
Before this, he studied criminology at DeSales University – first as a bachelor and then finished his main studies in June 2022.
While there, he studied under renowned forensic psychologist Katherine Ramsland who interviewed the BTK serial killer and co-authored the book Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer with him.
He also conducted a research project “to understand how emotions and psychological characteristics influence decision-making when committing a crime”.
Now he faces life in prison or the death penalty for the murders that have rocked the small university town of Moscow and made headlines around the world.