Watching True Crime Does Not Make You a Detective


Moscow, Idaho, is a close-knit community with a bustling college life in the middle of the city. On the night of November 13th, 2022, four college students were brutally murdered in their off-campus home at 1122 King Road in Moscow, Idaho. 

Madison Mogen, Kaylee Gonclaves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin were all students at the University of Idaho and were the victims of, now charged, Bryan Kohberger and his merciless attack. Kohberger is twenty-eight years old and was a TA at Washington State University, working towards his Ph.D. in Criminology. To summarize where the investigation is now, it is at a stalemate. After his arrest in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania on December 30, 2022, after a month of “no leads” nor any updates from the Moscow Police Department, Kohberger now resides in the Latah County Jail in Moscow, Idaho, awaiting for his preliminary trial that has been scheduled for June 26 at 9 a.m. It is expected to last for five days.

The investigation remained tight-lipped during its infancy phase, with little information coming from the FBI or the Moscow police department. This ignited true crime fanatics, internet sleuths, and DIY detectives who were quick to begin their witch hunt toward any person who had come into contact with the four victims. 

People were quick to point fingers at Gonclaves’ ex-boyfriend of five years, Jack DuCoeur, asserting that he had “motive and means” to kill Gonclaves, painting her as his intended victim and her roommates as collateral damage. Though he had been cleared quite early on by police, many individuals on TikTok continued to hypothesize that because Goncalves and DuCoeur broke up just a few weeks prior and, on the night of the murders, he had allegedly been called by both Kaylee and Madison nearly ten times. Suspicion arose, and a media firestorm prompted DuCoeur’s aunt, Brooke Miller, to speak out on his behalf to The New York Post, stating, “He’s not only lost the love of his life, and what we all thought and he probably thought as well, would be his future wife — you know, get married and have kids and all of that,” but also, “half of America,” thinks he could “be responsible” for the heinous killings, said Miller.

Of course, DuCoeur’s family is standing behind him and his innocence, but it is possible that as the trial begins, we will gain more insight into who he is and if there is any possibility that he had involvement, and why Goncalves and Mogen called him that night. However, this is not an open invitation to continue a smear campaign against someone who is clearly in mourning. Goncalves and DuCoeur shared a puppy, Murphy, together. Murphy was at the house that night and has become adored across social media. There has been an Instagram page created for Murphy by DuCoeur in memoriam to Murphy’s mother, Kaylee Goncalves.

DuCoeur was not the only individual on the TikTok sleuths’ rampage. Still, Rebecca Scofield, a professor at the University of Idaho, became the target of one particular TikToker named Ashley Guillard. After posting her original videos, Guillard has since made another account due to violating Tiktok Community Guidelines. However, most of the videos Guillard created vilifying Schofield can still be found. Guillard continues to actively post on her new account on TikTok, claiming that Scofield taking legal action against her and filing a lawsuit was “unnecessary” and “not within the legal venue” due to Guillard living in Texas and Scofield filing the lawsuit in Idaho. According to, “…she [Guillard] has recorded and posted more than 40 statements that Scofield says are falsely linking her to the students’ murders in an extensive series of TikTok videos shared over the last four weeks, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit also alleges that Guillard continued to post defamatory comments about Scofield online after receiving two cease and desist letters from the professor”. More information about the lawsuit can be found here.

Four young adults lost their lives. Two others were in the house that night and could have lost theirs. The country has extended its deepest sympathies to the victims’ families and friends. Still, these condolences have been overshadowed by accusations and slander across all social media platforms. One of the surviving roommates has become a target of the internet’s incessant harassment since the affidavit was released on January 5, 2023. Many questions have arisen as to  “why” she did not call the police after she had “seen” the perpetrator [Kohberger]. It is normal to ask these questions, but many people online have turned her into a pariah. On sites such as Reddit and 4Chan discussion boards, the surviving roommate has been accused of having “an intimate relationship” with Kohberger or has some involvement that is being kept from the public. This young woman lost her best friends and does not deserve to be condemned for her trauma. The true crime community has sunk its nails into this case and continues proving that they are so far removed from how the real-world justice system works.