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Content warning: This article contains references to murder some may find upsetting. Reader discretion is advised.
If you’ve been following the recent true crime case of the four University of Idaho students who were murdered in their off-campus house in Moscow, Idaho on November 13, 2022, then you may know that police recently arrested 28-year-old Washington State University criminology Ph.D. student Bryan Kohberger for the crimes.
Latah County, Idaho prosecutor Bill Thompson said during a press conference, as reported by CBS News, Kohberger is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and felony burglary.
Kohberger, who has been compared to serial killer Ted Bundy, allegedly stabbed to death Ethan Chapin (20), Kaylee Goncalves (21), Xana Kernodle (20), and Madison Mogen (21) that fateful November evening.
Goncalves, Kernodle, and Mogen all lived in the house where they were found murdered, while Chapin — Kernodle’s boyfriend — was spending the night. However, there were two other people in the house that night who managed to survive the attack: Dylan Mortensen (21) and Bethany Funke (21).
Both Mortensen and Funke were roommates of the three slain girls, and Funke was in the same sorority, Pi Beta Phi, as Kernodle and Mogen.
Mortensen claims to have come face to face with the alleged killer the night of the assault.
Per The Daily Beast, based on a newly released affidavit by the police, Mortensen opened her bedroom door three times during the night, beginning around 4 a.m. She woke to a sound she thought was Goncalves and her dog playing upstairs. Soon after, she thought Goncalves said, “There’s someone here,” but Mortensen didn’t see anyone. That was the first time she opened her door.
The second instance was when Mortensen heard cries coming from Kernodle’s room. Mortensen reportedly told the police she heard a male voice say, “It’s OK, I’m going to help you.”
The third time was the most chilling, however, sounding like something straight out of a horror novel. Mortensen reportedly saw someone dressed in black and wearing a mask walking toward her. She was “frozen [in] shock,” but the masked intruder didn’t harm her; this person supposedly went past her and left the house through the back door.
According to reports, it wasn’t until several hours later that Mortensen and fellow survivor Funke would discover their three roommates and a roommate’s boyfriend had been murdered.
Interestingly, both survivors lived on the first floor of the split-level house, while the murder victims were sleeping on the second and third floors. The New York Post reported that those two floors “could be accessed through a sliding glass door.”
As of this writing the police haven’t shared which survivor made the 911 call the next day, around 12 p.m. The reason the call came nearly 8 hours after Mortensen reportedly saw a figure in her house has also not been revealed at this time.
After the murders, Mortensen and Funke reportedly got matching tattoos of angel wings with their slain friends’ first name initials written in the center. The Sun stated Mortensen posted a photo of the matching tattoos to VSCO, captioning it, “Maddie Kaylee Xana Ethan —MKXE— Love You Always and Forever.”
Furthermore, the angel wing design is allegedly “reminiscent of a tattoo Mogen also had on the back of her arm,” according to The Independent.
Former FBI agent Tracy Walder told NewsNation that one possible reason Mortensen and Funke were spared was because the killer ran out of “energy” and used “a lot of exertion.”
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