The case of Bryan Kohberger, a PhD student charged with the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students, has left both the victims’ families and those who know him searching for answers. Messages and online posts from Kohberger paint a portrait of a troubled teen who was once detached, suicidal and experimented with heroin before he became fascinated with the criminal mind.
Kohberger had written years ago of having suicidal thoughts and not being able to feel emotions, saying he could do “whatever I want with little remorse.” In 2011, at the age of 16, he posted on an online forum, “I feel like an organic sack of meat with no self worth. As I hug my family, I look into their faces, I see nothing, it is like I am looking at a video game, but less.”
The police have arrested and charged Kohberger with the murders, citing evidence that includes DNA from a knife sheath left on a bed with two of the victims, cell phone records that suggest his phone had been in the area a dozen times before the murders, and surveillance footage of a white Hyundai like the one Kohberger drove. While the authorities have not yet revealed a motive, they are continuing to investigate.
Jack Baylis, a Pennsylvania friend of Kohberger’s, said, “It’s wild. Bryan himself would’ve been fascinated by it.” Indeed, it is a mystery that will take continued analysis to understand. As the case progresses, more details may emerge that will help to explain the transformation of this once-suicidal teen into a person capable of committing such heinous crimes.