Since Bryan Kohberger was named the alleged perpetrator of the grisly murders of four University of Idaho students, several people have shared accounts of when their paths crossed.
It’s unclear yet if these narratives are strong enough to lead to trial testimony, Law&Crime’s Jesse Weber said on the Sidebar podcast. But they offer a glimpse at Kohberger’s psyche — and the possible motive behind the fatal stabbings of students Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, to whom he seemingly had little connection.
Josh Ferraro, who studied criminal justice with Kohberger when he was an undergraduate at DeSales University, appeared incredulous in his reflections on TikTok, remembering the now-criminology Ph.D. student as “really friendly.”
“My first impression of him was that he’s a little odd, but he’s a nice guy,” Ferraro recalled. “He was a really nice guy and he does not look like that nice guy anymore.”
They once worked together on a biology project, where Kohberger took the lead. “He was a pretty smart guy,” Ferraro stated. But that was their main interaction: “I want to make it clear, this was not a close friend.”
A woman who went to high school with Kohberger shared on TikTok that she remembered him as a “bigger kid.”
Her brother was close friends with him, she explained, her voice shaking in the video. She’s unnamed but has photos of her and Kohberger from 2017. He graduated a year behind her, she said, speaking in front of his photo found in her old yearbook.
“Obviously that’s Bryan, still has the dead face. It’s the eyes,” she pointed out.
Another account came from Kohberger’s college days — a one-time date, Hailey Willett, who was a sophomore in college when she met Kohberger on Tinder in 2015. They went to the movies, where he was “very polite and nice,” she told the Daily Beast. However, once he drove her back to her dorm, he “completely changed gears” and became “pushy” about coming in. She claimed he wouldn’t leave until she pretended to throw up.
Later on in the night, Willett said that Kohberger messaged her that she has good birthing hips. They never spoke again.
One of the more eerie accounts came from one of Kohberger’s neighbors, who told CBS News that a few days after the murders, when very little information was available, Kohberger allegedly asked if they had heard about what happened. The neighbor claimed he said, “Yeah, it seems like they have no leads. Seems like it was a crime of passion.”
One of Kohberger’s downstairs neighbors told Law&Crime reporter Angenette Levy that he seemed to be a night person, staying up late making sounds like vacuuming or showering.
“We heard loud sounds during the night,” she said. “Yeah, many times.”
Two interesting accounts came from two current classmates of Kohberger, who is a Ph. D. student in Criminology at Washington State University. Ben Roberts, a criminal justice graduate student, told the Idaho Statesman that Kohberger seemed “gregarious and outgoing.”
“He was making the rounds,” Roberts continued. “He definitely seemed a little more eager than some of the others that were present to go around and introduce himself.”
Another classmate, who chose to remain anonymous, told the Statesman that Kohberger “only talked about his interest in forensic psychology.”
“He was an incredibly strong student and talked during class every time,” they said. “He sat front and center and was not hiding or talking back in the back or tucking back in the back.”
But this engaged student “became completely silent when it came to discussing the Idaho murders,” the classmate continued.
Weber took particular interest in this account.
“Don’t be surprised if these classmates end up testifying against Bryan Kohberger in a larger trial,” Weber said. “And don’t also be surprised as time goes on if more people come forward to discuss their interactions with Bryan Kohberger, as well.”
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