Bryan Kohberger’s classmates say Idaho murder suspect was bullied at school before personality change

Former friends of a criminology doctoral student accused of murdering four University of Idaho students described him as a socially awkward, bullied and academically gifted young man who changed his personality in high school .

Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was taken into custody in Pennsylvania Friday morning in connection with the quadruple murders of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin following an investigation by the Pennsylvania Police Department. Moscow, the FBI and the Idaho State Police.

According to the Washington State University website, Mr. Kohberger is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology in Pullman, Washington, about 15 km west of Moscow, where the students lived and have been murdered.

In the aftermath of the landmark arrest nearly seven weeks after the brutal stabbings, former friends and acquaintances of Mr Kohberger have provided details about his personality and his troubled past which is believed to have been marred by heroin addiction and weight issues.

“It was bad,” Mr. Kohberger’s former classmate, Sara Healey, told Fox News Digital on Friday. “There was definitely something wrong with him, like we couldn’t tell exactly what it was. I remember one time I was walking down the hall, and he stopped me and pulled me over. said, ‘Do you want to go out?’ »

She added: “But Bryan was bullied a lot and I never got a chance to say anything to defend him because he was always running away.”

Despite his struggles, Mr. Kohberger was highly intelligent and always had good grades, Ms. Healey said. She added that Mr. Kohberger was often shunned and intimidated by women, leading her to believe it was this internal frustration that ultimately led to his alleged involvement in the Moscow attack.


Another high school friend of Mr Kohberger said the accused murderer became a “bully” in his senior year in order to deal with his own insecurities.

“He always wanted to fight someone, he was bullying people. We started cutting him out of our friend group because he was 100% a different person,” Nick Mcloughlin said. The daily beast.

Mr Mcloughlin said Mr Kohberger also experienced dramatic weight loss that year.

Thomas Arntz, another high school classmate, echoed Mr. Mcloughlin’s description of Mr. Kohberger as a bully.

“He did this to me all the time,” Mr. Arntz told the publication. “He would attack my intelligence. He would basically insinuate that I’m a bit slow-witted and forgetful and [that] I don’t have the intelligence to be his friend.

A classmate of Mr. Kohberger at Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania, who asked to remain anonymous, told Fox News Digital that she last spoke to him about two years ago to discuss what they were planning for their academic future.

She said Mr Kohberger was sure he would pursue his doctorate and that she would spend hours talking with him about her heroin addiction.

“He’s really, really smart. A bright kid.. someone who stood out even in honors and top classes,” she told the network. “I want to talk to him now and ask him what happened?” What went wrong? What went through your head? How did you feel? What was happening? You know, why did this happen? »

Mr. Kohberger graduated from DeSales University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice in May 2022.

A classmate of Mr. Kohberger at DeSales told The DailyThe beast an incident in which he had a disagreement with the arrested suspect.

“He was very balanced and somewhat imposing. There wasn’t much emotion from him,” they said. “He was careful how he spoke.”

Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, for hours before dying.

(Instagram/Kaylee Gonçalves)

In a statement released to media, the college said, “On Friday, December 30, DeSales University learned of the arrest of Bryan Kohberger in connection with the murder of four University of Idaho students. Kohberger graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2020 and completed his graduate studies in June 2022. As a Salesian Catholic community, we are devastated by this senseless tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims during this difficult time. »

According to school records online, Mr. Kohberger went on to earn an associate of arts degree in 2018 from Northampton Community College in Albrightsville and then a master’s degree in criminal justice this year from DeSales University.

He was working part-time as a security guard until August 2021 in the Pleasant Valley School District, where his mother was listed as a paraprofessional.

Six months ago, Mr. Kohberger conducted a study asking criminals how they chose their targets – and how they felt when they committed the crimes.

“Hello, my name is Bryan and I invite you to participate in a research project that seeks to understand how emotions and psychological traits influence decision-making during the commission of a crime,” he said. wrote in May in a since-deleted Reddit post. “In particular, this study seeks to understand the story behind your most recent criminal offence, with a focus on your thoughts and feelings throughout your experience.”

The survey was anonymous and, according to Daily mailquestions included – “Did you prepare for the crime before leaving home?”, “Why did you choose this victim or target over others?” and “What was the first thing you did to achieve your goal?”.

He also asked, “After you committed the crime, what did you think and how did you feel?”

While Mr. Kohberger was studying criminology, where such issues might seem like an integral part of any curriculum, many might see them in a different light following his arrest in connection with the murders of Mogen, Goncalves, Kernodle and Chapin.

The four were stabbed to death in a rental house near the University of Idaho campus in Moscow in the early morning hours of November 13. Investigators have been unable to name a suspect or locate a murder weapon for weeks.

Mr. Kohberger has been charged with four counts of murder in connection with the murders.

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