“The Night of the Idaho Student Murders”: 48 Hours Reports June 29 2024

“48 HOURS” presents an investigative report titled “The Night of the Idaho Student Murders,” airing on June 29, 2024. This episode revisits the harrowing case against Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of the November 13, 2022, murders of four University of Idaho students. Hosted by Peter Van Sant, the report explores the tragic deaths of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin, offering exclusive insights from the victims’ families and highlighting the pursuit of justice.

Background of the Case

On November 13, 2022, the quiet college town of Moscow, Idaho, was shattered by the brutal murders of four University of Idaho students. Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin were found stabbed to death in their off-campus apartment. The gruesome scene shocked the nation and left the small community grappling with fear and grief. The victims were discovered by two other roommates who were home during the attack but remained unharmed.

The initial investigation faced challenges due to the lack of immediate suspects and the absence of the murder weapon. However, police efforts intensified with support from state and federal agencies. Preliminary autopsy results revealed that the victims had been attacked with a large knife and likely died in their sleep. Authorities sifted through thousands of tips, meticulously combed the crime scene, and scrutinized local businesses for any clues regarding the purchase of the weapon.

The Arrest of Bryan Kohberger

Nearly two months after the murders, authorities arrested Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old Ph.D. student in criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University. The arrest took place in Pennsylvania, where Kohberger was visiting family during the winter break. DNA evidence and cell phone data were pivotal in linking Kohberger to the crime scene, with a DNA sample from a knife sheath found at the scene matching Kohberger’s profile.

Bryan Kohberger was a doctoral student studying criminal justice and criminology, residing in Pullman, Washington, approximately eight miles from the crime scene. Following his arrest, Kohberger was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary. Despite the overwhelming evidence, including DNA and cell phone pings, Kohberger maintained his innocence, pleading not guilty to all charges.

Insights from the Families

Steve and Kristi Goncalves, parents of Kaylee Goncalves, provided emotional insights into their daughter’s final moments. According to Steve, the coroner indicated that Kaylee had awakened during the attack and tried to escape but was ultimately trapped due to the bed’s arrangement. The Goncalves family has been vocal about their quest for justice, conducting their own investigation parallel to the authorities before a gag order was imposed.

Xana Kernodle’s family, including her father Jeffrey and sister Jazzmin, shared their belief that Xana fought back against her attacker. Jazzmin expressed her ongoing confusion and pain, emphasizing the positive impact Xana had on everyone around her. Ethan Chapin’s family, deeply affected by the loss, remembered Ethan as a bright and joyful individual. His mother, Stacy Chapin, wrote a children’s book to preserve Ethan’s legacy, highlighting his love for life and his bond with his triplet siblings.

The Legal Proceedings and Trial

Bryan Kohberger’s defense team has argued that there is no direct connection between him and the victims, aiming to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case. The defense has challenged the reliability of cell phone data and the identification of Kohberger’s vehicle, suggesting a rush to judgment by law enforcement. Kohberger’s attorney, Anne Taylor, emphasized the need for more time to prepare the defense, leading to the indefinite delay of the trial initially set for October 2023.

Despite the delays, the families of the victims remain steadfast in their pursuit of justice. The Goncalves family, in particular, has expressed their determination to face Kohberger in court, believing in his guilt. As the trial approaches, the prosecution and defense continue to build their cases, with the prosecution seeking the death penalty due to the heinous nature of the crimes. The community of Moscow, Idaho, and the nation at large await the trial’s outcome, hoping for closure and justice for the four young lives lost.


“The Night of the Idaho Student Murders” on “48 HOURS” provides a comprehensive examination of the tragic case and the ongoing quest for answers. The episode sheds light on the victims’ lives, the investigation’s challenges, and the emotional toll on the families. As the trial looms, the report underscores the profound impact of this case on the victims’ families and the broader community, emphasizing the relentless pursuit of justice in the face of unimaginable loss.

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Ryan Gill

Ryan is a passionate follower of true crime television programs, reporting on and providing in-depth investigations on mysteries in the criminal world.

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