A picture has resurfaced of alleged quadruple murderer Bryan Kohberger attending a lecture led by famed novelist Margaret Atwood at his alma mater.
Mr Kohberger, 28, is currently awaiting trial over the 13 November murders of University of Idaho students Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle. But long before he was charged with the stabbings, Mr Kohberger had devoted his professional career to studying the criminal mind.
At the time of the murders, he was pursuing his PhD in criminology at the Washington State University campus in Pullman, Washington, just 15 minutes from the victims’ home in Moscow, Idaho. And before that, he obtained his undergraduate and master’s degree at DeSales University, where he was taught by renowned forensic psychologist Katherine Ramsland.
But his academic career began at Northampton Community College (NCC), where he obtained an associate arts degree in 2018. At the unassuming school in Bethelem, Pennsylvania, Mr Kohberger was also exposed to great minds who explored the depravity of the human psyche in their work.
In pictures unearthed by Fox News Digital on Wednesday, Mr Kohberger can be seen sitting front row at a 2018 lecture hosted by NCC and led by Ms Atwood, who is perhaps best known for her book The Handmaid’s Tale. The author spoke of her prominent writing career exploring issues of misogyny, patriarchy and feminism, according to an article archived on the school’s website.
More than four years later, Mr Kohberger has reportedly been accused of exhibiting behaviour somewhat linked to the issues Atwood raises in her dystopian best-seller. A month before the murders, Mr Kohberger faced an investigation by WSU academic officials due to his “behavioural problems” and a “sexist attitude towards women” while working as a teaching assistant in the WSU criminology department.
The Independent has reached out to Northampton Community College for comment.
Bryan Kohberger took front-row seat at 'Handmaid's Tale' author Margaret Atwood lecture pic.twitter.com/Z9RCtax7Ql
— iCkEdMeL ☀🔎🔥 (@iCkEdMeL) June 8, 2023
Earlier this year, NewsNation obtained a detailed timeline of his issues in the department, revealing that Mr Kohberger was warned multiple times about his behaviour and was brought into several meetings with professors due to their concerns. His attitude towards women was cited as a key concern, with the criminal justice student allegedly being “rude to women”, grading the women that he taught differently to the men, and having a “sexist attitude towards females he interacted with at the school”.
On 19 December – just over one month on from the murders – Mr Kohberger was fired from his WSU teaching post, NewsNationreported. When reached by The Independent, the university refused to address the allegations, citing students’ privacy.
Among other pieces of Mr Kohberger’s past uncovered by Fox News is an application for a security job. In the application, Mr Kohberger boasted about his skills “cutting fish” and being a “meat wrapper,” which he said had learned from his job at a fishing store and at BJ’s Wholesale club.
“I was a boxer, and I am still a runner,” he wrote. “I believe dedication and perseverance are the most important skills learned from my activities. I lost 130 lbs at age 15 into age 16 whilst attending school at PVHS and MCTI. I believe this is proof that I have the required dedication to be successful.”
Recruiters at Pleasant Valley School District were convinced by the application, and Mr Kohberger was hired in 2015. He was promoted before quitting in 2021 following at least one period of leave without pay that year due to “expired clearance.”
The owner of the fish store Mr Kohberger worked at told Fox earlier this year that the alleged murderer extensively embellished the description of his skills. Friends of Mr Kohberger have previously discussed his weight loss with media outlets, noting that it marked a change in his behaviour and sparked his alleged aggressiveness towards women and drug addiction.
Mr Kohberger was arrested at his parent’s home in Pennsylvania on 30 December, more than six weeks after the grisly slayings had left the university town of Moscow in fear.
In January, People reported that Mr Kohberger followed the female victims on Instagram, and repeatedly messaged one of the women. Investigators told the magazine that the victims did not follow Mr Kohberger back, and the messages had gone unanswered and may not have seen them. The account has since been deleted.
Judge John C Judge set Mr Kohberger’s trial date for 2 October 2023 following a request by his attorney to set the date as late as possible. The judge entered a not-guilty plea on Mr Kohberger’s behalf last month after he “stood silent” on four counts of murder and one count of burglary.