Idaho murder suspect Kohberger posted a crime poll on Reddit

As a student, Bryan Kohberger posted on Reddit asking to take part in a poll about why people commit crimes.

On November 13, 2022, four college students from Moscow, Idaho were found stabbed to death in an off-campus home. The victims have been identified as Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin.

On December 30, 2022, 28-year-old Bryan Kohberger was arrested at his parents’ Pennsylvania home after being identified as the prime suspect in the murders. He was extradited to Idaho and charged with four counts of first-degree murder and burglary. He made his first court appearance in a Latah County, Idaho courtroom on January 5 and was denied bail.

After he was arrested Reddit Posts allegedly penned by Kohberger were shared online. The posts allege that Kohberger released an online survey asking people to take part in a study describing how they felt about committing crime.

The posts were shared with the title “Research Participation Required” and posted to subreddits, which are individual Reddit groups, below r/ExCons and r/prisons. They were released seven months ago.

VERIFY checked the Reddit posts to see if Kohberger was actually the author.

THE QUESTION

Did Bryan Kohberger reach out to Reddit for help researching why people commit crimes?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is true.

Yes, Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger posted on Reddit asking for help researching why people commit crimes.

WHAT WE FOUND

VERIFY was able to confirm that Kohberger was the author of the Reddit posts by analyzing the posts themselves and court documents that were recently unsealed.

Moscow, Idaho Police Corporal Brett Payne identified Kohberger as the author in an affidavit released by the Latah County District Court. The affidavit, which was unsealed Jan. 5, details what evidence led police to identify Kohberger as the suspect in the murders.

Payne wrote in the affidavit that the Reddit posts were found online through “an open-source internet search.” The entries include a survey asking participants to provide information to “understand how emotions and psychological characteristics influence decision-making when committing a crime.”

The text used in the affidavit matches text that appears in the Reddit posts using Kohberger’s name @Criminology_Studentshared online.

“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 when committing a crime,” the Reddit post reads.

“Specifically, this study seeks to understand the story behind your recent offence, with a focus on your thoughts and feelings throughout your experience. In the event that your most recent offense did not result in a conviction, you can still participate,” it said.

The Reddit post featured a poll asking questions including:

  • “How did you travel to and get to the place where the crime occurred?”
  • “Did you prepare for the crime before you left home? Please share what you thought and felt at that time.”
  • How did you approach the victim or target before moving? Please detail what you thought and felt.”

The survey included a logo for DeSales University. The university survey is archived hereand screenshots of the questions can be found in several online posts including here.

A VERIFY analysis of internet archives also confirms that Kohberger authored the posts.

Kohberger has posted to multiple Reddit groups while studying criminology at DeSales University, a private Catholic university in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.

On Reddit, Kohberger identified himself as a student investigator on the research project and included a DeSales University email address.

DeSales University confirmed in a statement that Kohberger was a student at the school published on December 30th.

While at DeSales, Kohberger received a bachelor’s degree in 2020 and completed his graduate degree in 2022, the statement said.

VERIFY found that Kohberger’s name was recently removed from several pages on the DeSales website – including a page with the 2020 Dean’s List.

The current Dean’s List 2020 is here, without Kohberger’s name. An archive of Page captured on the Wayback Machine in September 2021 contains Kohberger’s name.

In 2020, DeSales University released a virtual degree showing the names of the entire graduating class. After 1 hour and 40 minutes into the YouTube video, Kohberger’s name and photo appear, further confirming that he was a student there.

VERIFY reached out to DeSales University and the researchers who identified themselves as involved in the project with Kohberger, and had not heard back at the time of publication.

More from VERIFY: Viral graph uses flawed data to falsely link athlete deaths to COVID-19 vaccine

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https://www.kvue.com/article/news/verify/crime-verify/idaho-murder-suspect-bryan-kohberger-did-post-on-reddit-crime-survey/536-2e92d56a-a432-4eb5-af6f-f9f8977dc4f4 Idaho murder suspect Kohberger posted a crime poll on Reddit

Laura Coffey

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