The University of Idaho killings bear uncanny resemblances to Ted Bundy’s murderous attack on the Chi Omega fraternity and Danny Rolling’s rampage in a college town in Florida, experts say.
“It’s strikingly similar to the attack by Ted Bundy,” said Matt Hoggatt, a retired criminal investigator with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department in Mississippi. “Bundy was aware of the victims at the home and it was some sort of insane attack with extreme violence.”
Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were brutally stabbed to death between 3 and 4 a.m. on November 13 at a tenement near the campus in Moscow, Idaho.
According to Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt, each victim had multiple stab wounds to the torso and some defensive wounds.
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In January 1978, Bundy broke into the Chi Omega home at Florida State University in Tallahassee at around 3 a.m. and beat and strangled two women to death – one of whom he sexually abused.
“Bundy enjoyed the chase and the climax to the murder. He enjoyed the anticipation and the conspiracy, and that’s what it looks like here.”
He then bludgeoned two other students to within inches of their lives. After fleeing the scene, he broke into the nearby home of a University of Florida student and brutally beat her before a neighbor chased him away.
“Bundy enjoyed the chase and the climax to the murder. He enjoyed the anticipation and the conspiracy, and that’s how it seems here,” said Hoggatt, who previously worked as a detective with the Gautier Police Department.
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But Bundy, who has killed at least 30 women and girls, was a prolific serial killer — and retired FBI profiler Jim Clemente said there was no evidence the Idaho murder suspect had struck before.
“If it was a serial killer, I would expect him to kill everyone in the house, so I believe that was a targeted attack, very different from Bundy, who was a random attack,” he said.
The Idaho college killer spared two roommates and a dog and did not sexually assault any of the victims, officials said. Idaho authorities have yet to identify a suspect or determine if the attacker acted alone.
After learning about the quadruple murders, forensic scientist Joseph Scott Morgan said the first case that came to mind was serial killer Danny Rolling, aka the Gainesville Ripper, whose crime was Wes Craven’s horror film Scream 1996 inspired.
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In August 1990, Rolling stabbed five college students to death in Gainesville, Florida during a four-day school shooting. He raped the four female victims and beheaded one of them.
“These were knives that were in a college town but in off-campus homes, and Rolling went into those homes that had more than one occupant,” said Morgan, a professor of applied forensics at Jacksonville State University.
He said these were both “extremely high risk” crimes.
“But this is all speculation,” Morgan added. “All that really matters now is catching that person.”
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Anyone with information is urged to contact the Moscow Police at 208-883-7054 or [email protected].
Ashley Papa and Haley Chi-Sing contributed to this report.