Why are we so Interested in the Idaho College Murders?

Tragedy struck the small community of Moscow a couple of weeks ago when four university of Idaho students were found murdered near campus. Shockingly, the public does not have many details about the murders, or who the perpetrator may be. No information about a potential suspect has been released and police have yet to make any arrests, which has led to widespread speculation, internet sleuthing, and a whole bunch of misinformation.

What Happened?

In the early morning of November 13th, four University of Idaho students were murdered. The victims were Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xena Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin. The three women were roommates, and Ethan was spending the night at the ladies’ residence where the murders occurred. There were two other roommates living in the home who slept through the murders and were not injured. At this time, the police have ruled out the surviving roommates as suspects. As of writing this blog, no arrests have been made and, if there are any suspects, the information has not been made public. If police have discovered a motive, it has not been made public. Members of the small community in Idaho, and many others who have heard about this horrible crime, are shocked that a case like this has gone unsolved for so long. Because no arrests have been made, no suspects named, and no motive disclosed, there’s a sense of fear in the community that’s more present than ever.

Why So Many are Interested

This case has attracted all sorts of media attention. From journalists to internet sleuths, everyone is captivated by this case. Not only is the level of violence shocking, but the idea that someone could murder four adults while leaving two roommates asleep in their beds strikes fear into the heart of many people everywhere. Furthermore, the amount of mystery surrounding the case adds to the intrigue: if you’ve ever seen an episode of the 1990s hit Forensic Files, you know that even 30 years ago it was possible to solve a crime with the tiniest and seemingly most inconsequential piece of evidence. But when it comes to the Idaho college murders, police haven’t released the names of any suspects, nor have they made any arrests. This case has grabbed national attention and captured the imagination of many because it’s not something that you typically hear of in the present day. Thanks to our forensic technology, many people feel like it should be much easier to catch a perpetrator.

The Fear

It’s common to hear people from a small town say that nobody locks their doors.

Rural areas tend to have less crime than urban areas simply because there are fewer people to commit crimes. For example, in Moscow, the last murder that took place was seven years before the Idaho college murders. One of the most unsettling parts about this is that police have not released a motive. Though they’ve theorized that it could be a targeted killing and an isolated incident, authorities have been reluctant to rule out the possibility that it could have been a random attack. This has caused widespread panic across the community and the surrounding communities.

Consider a Home Security System

Though violent crimes cannot always be prevented, it’s always a good idea to take precautions. A home security system is always a good idea. Though locking your doors can help prevent a break in, it’s not quite as effective as a home security system. Even if your doors are locked, it’s still possible for someone to enter your home, especially if they’re willing to break a window. A home security system that’s well maintained can help prevent break-ins to your home or at least alert you when one is happening. Some systems are even able to call authorities if the alarm isn’t disarmed soon enough. Make sure that only trusted individuals have a key to your home. If you are purchasing a new home, it’s a good idea to have the home re-keyed after you move in. If you’re renting a home, you may want to verify with the landlord that the residence has in fact been re-keyed since the prior tenant moved out.

Stay on the Lookout

If you spot something unusual, you may want to document it. For example, if you begin to spot an unusual vehicle that sits outside your residence at odd hours, it may be a good idea to document that. Pictures, license plate numbers, or descriptions of the driver may be useful. It isn’t uncommon for neighborhoods to have a neighborhood watch committee. If you see something unusual, it may be a good idea to bring it up with the neighborhood watch committee. If you’ve just moved into a new neighborhood, it may be a good idea to look into what, if any, programs your neighborhood has in order to keep its residents safe.