Bryan Kohberger is an American Ph.D. student of Criminology and a teaching assistant who was arrested in connection with the fatal stabbings of 4 University of Idaho students on 13 November 2022. He does not have any previous criminal record but was once booked for not wearing a seatbelt.
Kohberger was born on 21 November 1994 to Michael Kohberger Jr. and his wife MaryAnn Kohberger in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania in the United States of America and has lived most of his life in the Lehigh Valley. He also has 2 elder sisters named Amanda Kohberger and Melissa Kohberger (a therapist).
His parents worked for Pleasant Valley School District in Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania, United States. His father, Michael Kohberger Jr. was employed in the maintenance for 2.5 years and his mother, MaryAnn Kohberger was working as a Para Professional for 7 years. His parents filed for bankruptcy twice in 1995 & 2010.
After completing his schooling from Pleasant Valley High School, Brodheadsville in 2013, he attended Monroe Career and Technical Institute in Bartonsville but dropped out. He later earned his associate’s degree in psychology in 2018 from Bethlehem’s Northampton Community College and then enrolled at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania from where he completed his B.A. and M.A. in Criminal Justice in 2020 and 2022 respectively. At the time of his arrest, Bryan Kohberger was a Ph.D. criminology student and a teaching assistant at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington and had completed his first semester just nine days before his arrest.
On 13 November 2022, 4 University of Idaho students, Kaylee Goncalves (21 years), Madison Mogen (21 years), Ethan Chapin (20 years) and Xana Kernodle (20 years) were brutally murdered by stabbing while they were likely asleep between 3 am to 4 am on the second and third floors of an off-campus three-story rented house in the town of Moscow, Idaho. The three female victims lived at the house, while the fourth victim, Ethan Chapin was Xana Kernodle’s boyfriend who stayed at the house on the fateful night. There were 2 other female roommates also who lived at the house but they slept through the attacks and were not attacked by the killer. This incident was shocking for a city which not seen a murder since 2015.
On 30 December 2022, Bryan Christopher Kohberger was arrested for being the main suspect behind the gruesome murder of four students in the University of Idaho from his parent’s house in Chestnuthill Township in Monroe County, Pennsylvania around 2,500 miles away from the crime scene.
According to his former acquaintances, Kohberger was an overweight kid at high school who was labelled as a creep and was bullied by girls who mocked him but then he completely transformed himself by losing about 36kg and became an aggressive bully at the end of high school.
Dominique Clark, who attended elementary and high school with Kohberger, told The New York Post. “I remember seeing him and thinking it was a new student. He was so heavy and he lost so much weight, he almost looked sickly, or like it was an obsession. Around the same time, he became more aggressive, and I think he became more of an outcast at that point. He became more withdrawn.“ Clark added, “If he liked or was interested in a girl and she wasn’t, he didn’t understand why or just didn’t accept her saying no and move on and so he would have been labelled as a creep or something along those lines. He hung out with the people who were outcasts together. He tried to hang out with people who were smart. He just didn’t really fit in with anybody.“
Casey Arntz, who was friends with Kohberger posted several videos on TikTok claiming that he had anger issues and was also addicted to drugs. However, she added that during the time she knew him, he was nice to her.
According to Boyce Jubilan, who was Kohberger’s research supervisor at DeSales University, Kohberger liked to work alone and was a little awkward with his peers.
He reportedly aspired to be an Army Ranger and was also featured in his high school yearbook exercising in uniform.
He also worked as a part-time security officer for Pleasant Valley School District for sometime.
On 1 January 2023, two days after Bryan Kohberger was arrested, his family broke the silence and shared a message to the public.
“First and foremost, we care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children. There are no words that can adequately express the sadness we feel, and we pray each day for them. We will continue to let the legal process unfold and as a family we will love and support our son and brother.
We have fully cooperated with law enforcement agencies in an attempt to seek the truth and promote his presumption of innocence rather than judge unknown facts and make erroneous assumptions. We respect privacy in this matter as our family and the families suffering loss can move forward through the legal process.”