Who savagely killed these four friends as they slept in their shared student ... trends now

Who savagely killed these four friends as they slept in their shared student ... trends now
Who savagely killed these four friends as they slept in their shared student ... trends now

Who savagely killed these four friends as they slept in their shared student ... trends now

One morning, nearly a month ago, Kaylee Goncalves posted on her Instagram account some endearing pictures of herself with four of her housemates: all students living in the quaint college town of Moscow in northern Idaho.

Their faces are wreathed in smiles. In one photo, Kaylee has her friend Madison Mogen on her shoulders — and another housemate, Xana Kernodle, is cuddling up to her boyfriend, Ethan Chapin.

‘One lucky girl to be surrounded by these ppl every day,’ wrote Kaylee in the caption.

Yet by the following morning — November 13 — those four students would be dead, fatally stabbed in their house in a gruesome quadruple murder that has stunned the U.S.

Kaylee Goncalves posted on her Instagram account some endearing pictures of herself with four of her housemates (Pictured: Kaylee second from left)

Kaylee Goncalves posted on her Instagram account some endearing pictures of herself with four of her housemates (Pictured: Kaylee second from left)

Of the five flatmates in the house, the two sleeping in ground-floor bedrooms apparently slept through the murders of the others upstairs

Of the five flatmates in the house, the two sleeping in ground-floor bedrooms apparently slept through the murders of the others upstairs

According to the coroner, Cathy Mabbutt, there was ‘quite a bit of blood’, the victims’ wounds were ‘pretty extensive’ and the three-storey house in which they were slain was in a chaotic state.

She added: ‘I’ve been a coroner for 16 years . . . we have had multiple murders in the past, but nothing, nothing like this.’

Ethan, 20, Madison, 21, Xana, 20, and Kaylee, 21, were all students at the University of Idaho. They were brutally attacked between 3am and 4am — and four weeks on, the killer has yet to be caught.

Ethan had been staying with girlfriend Xana that night. Of the five flatmates in the house, the two sleeping in ground-floor bedrooms apparently slept through the murders of the others upstairs.

It’s hard to think of a recent case that has so gripped America. The fascination is in large part down to the fact that so many people can relate to the victims: four middle-class young people making their way through state university.

Beyond the fact that the housemates had a reputation for throwing noisy parties — neighbours said there were often students coming and going — there has yet to be any hint of drugs or any other criminal activity behind the murders.

Madison Mogen had been studying marketing and hoping to travel around the world when she graduated next year.

Kaylee Goncalves, her best friend since school, planned to move to Texas, having been promised a job in a marketing firm in Austin.

Ethan Chapin, one of triplets, played basketball and had a big smile. He and his girlfriend, Xana Kernodle, had diligently worked their way through college by working shifts as waiters at a local Greek restaurant.

The coroner believes all four were probably asleep in bed — two of the girls reportedly sharing the same one — when they were each stabbed multiple times with a large knife.

None showed any signs of sexual assault and some had injuries that suggested they’d tried to fight back.

Police were alerted at noon the following day after the two housemates downstairs woke up and raised the alarm.

Madison Mogen (pictured: left), 21, had been studying marketing and hoping to travel around the world when she graduated next year

 Madison Mogen (pictured: left), 21, had been studying marketing and hoping to travel around the world when she graduated next year

Police found no sign of forced entry or damage at the rented house, which had a front door with a coded entry system that visitors said was rarely activated, as well as a sliding glass door into the large kitchen and living room around the back of the building.

Four weeks on, shock has turned to anger and fear in the town of 25,000 people as police have failed to identify a suspect or a motive.

Initially, police said there was no threat to the wider community. They then retracted that statement three days later, and now say they believe it was a ‘targeted attack’ — but won’t say whether the target was the house or its occupants.

Moscow’s mayor Art Bettge further muddied the waters, initially calling it a ‘crime of passion’ and later admitting that was only a possibility.

Steve Goncalves, the father of murdered Kaylee, is so despondent about the official investigation that he has hired a private detective to take up the hunt for the killer.

This week, Moscow police chief James Fry — himself an alumnus of the university — wept in a TV interview as he insisted: ‘This case is not going cold . . . I’m a dad with daughters and it’s tough — we’re human.’

Many of the university’s 9,000 students refused to return to the campus after the recent Thanksgiving holiday, while those who have remained are locking themselves in their rooms, reinforcing their windows or sharing rooms for comfort and protection.

Many are walking around only in groups and are avoiding venturing out after dark. At least one father has admitted he’s given his undergraduate daughter a gun.

The overwhelmed small local police force — which has been reinforced by some 80 FBI agents and state police — say they’ve been inundated with panic calls from local residents, particularly students, taking fright at anything from a man walking around to a car being revved up in a car park.

The investigators have also been swamped by more than 5,000 tips. They’ve conducted 150 interviews, collected 113 pieces of evidence and taken 4,000 crime-scene photos.

Earlier this week, investigators decided to return the victims’ possessions — including a pair of pink cowboy boots that had sat poignantly in Madison Mogen’s window — back to their families.

And yet there have been very few leads.

On Wednesday this week, police finally announced that they wanted to talk to the occupants of a white Hyundai Elantra seen in the area at the time of the killings.

And on Thursday, a neighbour reported having seen the house’s front door wide open at 8.30am on the morning of the murders. 

Earlier this week, investigators decided to return the victims’ possessions — including a pair of pink cowboy boots that had sat poignantly in Madison Mogen’s window — back to their families

Earlier this week, investigators decided to return the victims’ possessions — including a pair of pink cowboy boots that had sat poignantly in Madison Mogen’s window — back to their families

Otherwise, the investigation has been eerily quiet and the killer

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