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'Ran out of steam?': Internet wonders why Idaho murders' suspect Bryan Kohberger stopped after 10 minutes

The probable cause affidavit, released on January 5, revealed some key details of the case, linking Kohberger to the murders
Bryan Kohberger is facing four counts of first-degree murder and felony burglary charges (@kayleegoncalves/Instagram, Ted S Warren - Pool/Getty Images)
Bryan Kohberger is facing four counts of first-degree murder and felony burglary charges (@kayleegoncalves/Instagram, Ted S Warren - Pool/Getty Images)

This article is based on sources and MEAWW cannot verify this information independently

MOSCOW, IDAHO: Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, who has been charged with the brutal murders of four University of Idaho students, was arrested on December 30 at his parents' home in eastern Pennsylvania, more than 2,500 miles away from the town of Moscow. The probable cause affidavit, released on January 5, revealed some key details of the case, such as the phone data pointing out that Kohberger was in the area of the murders at least 12 times before the killings and that the suspect left behind a knife sheath at the crime scene with his DNA on it. Also, the quadruple-murder accused was ‘seen’ by one of the survivors, Dylan Mortensen. Netizens have been wondering as to why Kohberger did not kill the other two roommates, speculating that he "ran out of steam" after killing the four victims.

Four University of Idaho students, Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were stabbed to death on November 13 in their off-campus rental home on King Road in Moscow, Idaho. Kohberger, a PhD student in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at the neighboring Washington State University, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and felony burglary charges. He waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing as he appeared in court on Thursday, January 12.


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A Redditor questioned why Kohberger "stopped killing after 10 minutes", adding, "Do killers 'run out of steam' after 10 minutes? And is that why he stopped?" The user further stated, "I'm wondering if there are any studies that suggest the adrenaline burst wears off or causes a change in killers after a certain time period. I mean there are cases where this didn't happen, but it seems like they ran out of steam after a certain time. Could this be why he chose to leave rather than search the house and look for other victims?"


Another Reddit user replied by explaining the 'physiological response' that is believed to occur in 'this type of attack', adding that Kohberger may have had a 'host of physical issues'. "At my company we had the local police come in and give us an active shooter training and information presentation. They specifically said the shooters heart rate would spike massively, experience tunnel vision, auditory problems, shallow breathing and other physiological responses. I would expect a similar type of physiological response in this type of attack. Aside from "running out of steam," he probably had a whole host of physical issues happening," wrote the user.

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A user replied by explaining the 'physiological response' that is believed to occur in 'this type of attack' (@denwolfie/Reddit)

A user even wondered if Kohberger had a 'time clock in mind'. "I've been wondering if there has been any research done on the length of time involved in the commission of murders and other violent felonies for subjects who got away with their crime(s). I wonder if BK had some time clock in mind that he needed to be out of the house within a certain amount of time because anything longer would significantly increase his chances of getting caught," they asked.

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A user  wondered if Kohberger had a 'time clock in mind' (@ZydecoMoose/Reddit)

Another user agreed that Kohberger was 'physically exhausted' but doesn't believe that he stopped because he was tired. "I’m sure he was physically exhausted when he was done, but I seriously doubt it is why he stopped. It is true that heart rate would spike significantly, hearing may go in and out, he could experience tunnel or blurred vision etc," they wrote, adding, "At the same time, the massive flood of adrenaline would mask a huge amount of this, so if he was even aware of these physical symptoms while the murders were occurring I see little chance that he was aware of the impact enough to make the decision to stop based on that. I see one of only a couple possibilities: he didn’t know there was anyone else in the house to attack, the deviation from his original plan (potentially encountering one or two victims he didn’t expect to be there) alarmed him. In this case I believe at least one if not two of the victims was/were the actual target(s) and the others were killed because they were there, something happened that made him realize he needed to leave right away- one of the victims may have screamed based on various details out there, and that may have concerned him that a neighbor or someone else in the house (if he was aware) could hear and call the police. It is also possible multiple of these things happened together. But I don’t believe he killed 4 people, had the intention to kill others and stopped because he was tired."

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A user doesn't believe that Kohberger stopped because he was tired (@Adventurous-Cup529/Reddit)

Another response alleged, "Maybe he only wanted to kill the 4. Who knows".

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A user alleged that Kohberger intended to kill only the four (@StewartAinsworth95/Reddit)

This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.