A doctoral student in criminology 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 The New York Times shows a brief exchange between Washington State University student Bryan Kohberger and then Pullman Chief of Police Gary Jenkins about Mr. Kohberger’s interview process for the research assistantship for the public safety position in April 2022.
Kohberger, 28, faces four counts of murder of Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin on Nov. 13 in an off-campus rental in Moscow, Idaho. 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 and share with you today [his] thoughts and excitement.” Mr Jenkins replied that it was “great to meet and talk to you too”.
It is not clear whether Mr. Kohberger has been offered a position in the department. TBEN has contacted the department for comment.
The internship had previously been mentioned by law enforcement officials in the affidavit for Mr Kohberger’s arrest, which was released on January 5. It stated that Mr. Kohberger had written in an essay that “he had an interest in helping rural law enforcement agencies better collect and analyze technology data in public safety operations.”
According to WSU’s website, the university offers two of its three-year positions in conjunction with the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology and the cities of Pullman and Pasco.
“The purpose of these features is to support each agency through data management and analytics, positioning them for success when they seek outside funding,” the page said.
Around the same time he applied for the internship, Mr. Kohberger was also conducting a research project “to understand how emotions and psychological traits influence decision-making in the commission of a crime”.
He reached out to Redditors with the chilling survey that resurfaced after his Dec. 30 arrest.
“Specifically, this study seeks to understand the story behind your most recent offense, focusing on your thoughts and feelings during your experience,” the post read.
Last week, documents were unsealed from a search warrant executed at Mr. Kohberger’s apartment in Pullman on Dec. 30, the same day he was arrested at his parents’ Pennsylvania home for the murders.
A piece of evidence found in the apartment during the search was unsealed on Wednesday, revealing the seizure of 15 items, including hair, receipts, a computer tower, a disposable glove and items with strange stains.
The affidavit, released on January 5, gave new details about what led investigators to the suspect, but still offered no connection between the victims and Mr Kohberger.
The bombshell documents revealed that investigators believe Mr Kohberger may have been stalking the student house in the lead up to the mass murder, with cell phone records placing him around the property 12 times before Nov. 13.
At the time of the murders, investigators believe Mr Kohberger switched off his mobile phone to avoid detection.
However, mobile phone records place him close to the house on King Road at around 9am on November 13 – suggesting he returned to the scene of the crime just hours after allegedly killing the four victims at around 4am, the police reveal. declaration under oath.
In addition to cell phone records, the affidavit reveals that other evidence also led them to arrest Mr. Kohberger for the student murders.
Police said his TBEN was found on a knife left by the killer at the crime scene and his white Hyundai Elantra was caught on surveillance footage at the crime 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.
Mr. Kohberger will next appear in court on June 26 for his preliminary hearing.
The whole week is set aside for the hearing – when the evidence of the case against Mr Kohberger will be presented in court for the first time and Mr Kohberger is likely to make a plea for the charges.
Until then, Mr. Kohberger will be held behind bars at the Latah County Jail after being ordered to be held without bail for a second time.
As a criminal justice graduate student 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 college there in August, having just completed his first semester before being arrested.
Prior to that, he studied criminology at DeSales University – first as an undergraduate and then graduating in June 2022.
While there, he studied with renowned forensic psychologist Katherine Ramsland, who interviewed the BTK serial killer and co-wrote 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 traits influence decision-making in the commission of a crime”.
Now he faces life in prison or the death penalty for the murders that rocked the small university town of Moscow and made headlines around the world.