The murder of four University of Idaho students last month may be a case of femicide, according to a former FBI agent.
Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin were found dead in an off-campus rental house on November 13. The women lived at the house with two other female roommates, who survived the attack, while Chapin—Kernodle’s boyfriend—was visiting.
Christmas Day marks six weeks since the brutal slayings stunned the tiny town of Moscow, while the local police department have yet to identify a suspect or make any arrests.
Investigators on the case will be looking at “everyone associated with each victim,” starting with their families and inner circles, said Jennifer Coffindaffer, a former FBI agent.
“Because it hasn’t been solved yet, I believe they’re past the inner circles of these individuals, perhaps it is more of a very outlying individual,” she told Newsweek.
Four University of Idaho students were found dead Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. Autopsies determined the four were stabbed to death and were likely asleep when they were attacked.
Angela Palermo/Idaho Statesman/Tribune News Service/Getty
Coffindaffer said one theory is that the killer is someone that may have built up anger against one or more of the slain students.
But another theory she is leaning towards is that the killer is someone with “perverted thoughts and anger toward women” in general, who took the opportunity to strike on the night of the murders.
“They’re known as incels … who has watched this house, who is seeing all of these beautiful girls go in and out, and their rage and their own personal, horrific desires, they realized that night.”
“Somebody still in that area, somebody that has seen these beautiful girls because only girls live there, right? An individual with absolutely horrible, murderous desires against these women, a femicide-type case, and it came to a boiling point combined with an opportunity.”
Femicide is defined as the “intentional murder of women because they are women.”
There are two categories of femicide: intimate and non-intimate. The former relates to the killing of women by current or former partners, while the latter involves the killing of women by people with whom they did not share an intimate relationship.
The killer may have been someone who attended a party at the house or knew the victims “very loosely,” she added.
“In other words, the people there might not even know him, other than he was around at the peripheral, but somebody who would have gone unnoticed,” she said.
“So you have a perfect storm that night, and this person familiar with the house, familiar with when they came and left and familiar with that area, to be able to leave quickly, familiar with the tree line of where they could have surveilled the house and seeing the lights go on and off, and so on and so forth.”
That could be why police have stated that they believe the murders were targeted, but have not concluded if the house or its occupants were the target, she said.
Coffindaffer said there have been “many cases like that where people are attacked viciously and it’s not by anybody in their circle, but rather, it’s somebody outside that circle completely, that has issues in and of themselves that they’ve acted out on.”
She pointed to the 1979 murder of 18-year-old Michelle Martinko, whose killer Jerry Burns was arrested in 2018—39 years after she was found dead in her parents’ car outside a shopping mall in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Martinko “wasn’t killed by a close acquaintance,” Coffindaffer wrote in a recent tweet. “The case was solved with DNA. DNA, perseverance & and luck will likely solve the #idahohomicide case too.”
Source : Newsweek