Idaho murder suspect had been a student of criminal minds

The classmate recalled a case in which Mr. Kohberger began explaining a somewhat elementary criminology concept to a colleague with a Ph.D. student, who then accused him of “mansplaining”. A passionate back and forth ensued and the Ph.D. The student eventually stormed out of the classroom, leaving her laptop and coffee behind, he said.

Mr. Kohberger was also a teaching assistant in a criminal law class during the fall semester, said Hayden Stinchfield, 20, one of the students in that class. He said Mr. Kohberger often lowered his eyes when speaking in front of students, not looking directly at the class, giving the impression that he was uncomfortable.

Students said Mr. Kohberger had a good understanding of the subject, but was a tough evaluator, giving thorough critiques of assignments and then defending the lower grades when students complained in groups. Later that fall, around the time of the murders, Mr. Stinchfield said Mr. Kohberger seemed to start giving better grades, and assignments that once had his comments scribbled in every paragraph started to come back clean.

“At some point he stopped leaving all the notes,” he said.

At the time, a growing team of investigators from local and state agencies, along with more than 60 FBI agents, descended on Moscow. Forensic investigators searched the home for physical evidence, including DNA, and searched unsuccessfully for a murder weapon.

Officials have pleaded for advice and videos, while thousands of internet sleuths across the country have suggested a range of people as the likely culprit: a former boyfriend of one of the victims, a man who was with two of the victims when they got a meal from a food truck, two roommates who were in the house when the murders took place but apparently slept through them.

None of the online chat groups identified Mr. Kohberger. It is not known how or if he knew the victims.

Police had tried to quell the rumors by ruling out several people as suspects, even though the charges were flying so fast it sometimes seemed like they couldn’t do it fast enough. They hid almost every detail of the investigation, sparking frustration and prompting some people, including some relatives of the victims, to publicly question whether the police were up to the task.


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