So many people thought the Idaho police were bumbling idiots. It turns out they weren’t. But the suspect certainly was, according to experts. Sadly, the guy with a master’s degree in Criminology turned out to be a successful killer, but the good news is that he was really terrible at covering up his crime. Some are even calling him a “bumbling criminal.” It’ hard to square that term when you think he took four innocent lives, but he left a trail of evidence for the police to follow… and it turns out the cops knew all along who their guy was, and they didn’t drop a hint.
And there was a plethora of “bumbling moves” made by the suspect that helped make this case very easy to solve for police.
According to an arrest affidavit released Jan. 9, Kohberger’s many mistakes began months before the killings, when he failed to turn his cellphone off while allegedly stalking the victims’ King Road home.
As a result, data from Kohberger’s mobile records suggest that he visited the area “on at least 12 occasions prior to November 13, 2022.”
“All of these occasions, except for one, occurred in the late evening and early morning hours of their respective days,” the affidavit explains.
“He was obviously surveilling [the victims],” Yachmetz said of the eerie visits, adding that the digital footprint makes the murders look “pretty premeditated.”
Despite his meticulous planning, Kohberger’s arrest records claim he left an essential piece of evidence — the unidentified murder weapon’s “tan leather knife sheath” — at the scene, where police discovered it near the body of Madison Mogen.
“He made an amateur mistake,” said Yachmetz, who hypothesized that Kohberger left the item behind because he “had to use to knife sooner than he thought he would need to” or because he was alarmed by the victims’ screams.
“Kohberger may have panicked and may have been in a state of arousal of some type during the murder,” Yachmetz posited.
“As a result, his attention to detail might have decreased, causing him to make mistakes.”
The Idaho State Lab identified male DNA on the sheath’s button clasp, which was later linked to Kohberger after investigators retrieved genetic material from the trash outside his family’s home.
Yachmetz believes police are also aware of additional DNA evidence.
While initial reports indicated that the stabbings occurred around 3 a.m., authorities now say that Goncalves, Mogen, Kernodle, and Chapin were killed between 4 and 4:30 a.m.. Two other housemates, Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke, were left unharmed, and police noted in the affidavit that Mortensen saw an unknown male leaving the house around 4:17.
Cell data indicates that Kohberger turned his phone off during the murders’ time frame, but records show that his phone pinged in Pullman, where he lived, studying at Washington State University, around 2:47 a.m., then went silent until about 4:48 a.m., just 18 minutes after police believe the murders took place.
Kohberger’s phone placed him on the highway just south of Moscow just before 5 a.m., heading west back to Pullman. He was pinged going north toward his apartment around 5:30.
In a particularly chilling move, cellphone records also show that Kohberger left his phone on when he left his Pullman apartment again around 9 a.m. on Nov. 13, and traveled back to Moscow.
Shortly thereafter, between 9:12 and 9:21, his device pinged in the area of the King Road house. His pit stop in the neighborhood came hours before the surviving housemates called 911 and the public was alerted to the grisly crime.
Authorities now believe Kohberger may have returned to the scene of the crime to admire his gruesome handiwork.
“He probably realized ‘I don’t have my sheath,’” Yachmetz explained, referencing the knife sheath left behind at the scene.
Pretty scary stuff and just goes to prove that even if you have a masters degree in Criminology, you still can’t commit the perfect crime. My only regret was that he was successful in killing all those innocent people. Thank God he was stupid, and got caught so he couldn’t do this to anybody else.
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