Former FBI profiler thinks University of Idaho killer is ‘young man’

The killer who brutally butchered four University of Idaho students was likely a “younger” man and a first-time killer, noted former FBI profiler Jim Clemente said.

Clemente, a criminal behavior expert and former New York state prosecutor, believes the man who killed Kayleigh Goncalves, 21, Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Madison Mogen, 21 on Nov. 13, likely knew at least one from the victims.

“This is an extremely high-risk crime for the perpetrator — unless he knows one or more of the victims or has stalked one of them,” he told The Post on Wednesday.

“Walking into an occupied home with six young adults, each of whom may have a knife, a gun or a cell phone to call the police, is extremely risky unless you know the circumstances inside.”

The ex-FBI profiler feels certain the killer is a man and pointed out that they have to be good with blood to fatally stab four people in quick succession, and he could be a hunter or work as a butcher.

“He doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty with wet work, and probably his profession will say the same,” he said.

Blood flows from the wall of an off-campus house where four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death.
James Caveom

Clemente said he believes it was a targeted attack, but the killer “may not have known exactly which room the person was going to be in.”

“They may have stopped at four victims because they got to the victim they wanted,” he said, noting it was likely not a “random attack.”

Police apparently described the knife killer as “reckless” and said the aftermath of the killing was the most horrific scene they had ever witnessed.

Jim Clemente.
Jim Clemente believes the killer is likely a “younger” man and a first-time killer.
CBS via Getty Images

“I don’t think he’s the experienced killer. I don’t think this person has done this before,” Clemente said, adding that the stabbing may have been motivated by “revenge or rejection or some kind of offense.”

Pete Yahmetz, a security consultant and former FBI agent, agrees with Clemente.

“I feel that the subject may have been a young, unsophisticated individual because the crime scene was obviously massive,” he told The Post. “Going into an inhabited home where there are six people in different rooms in the middle of the night is quite dangerous.”

Police in Moscow, Idaho have not yet named a suspect and have provided conflicting accounts of what happened before the murder. They have also been unable to confirm reports that Goncalves is being pursued.

Idaho State Police Col. Kendrick Wills during a news conference Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Moscow, Idaho.
Idaho State Police Col. Kendrick Wills during a news conference Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Moscow, Idaho.
James Caveom

“Investigators have thoroughly investigated the information they received that Caylee Goncalves had a stalker,” Moscow police said in an update on the investigation Tuesday night. “They have pursued hundreds of pieces of information related to this topic and have been unable to verify or identify a stalker.”

Clemente thinks the authorities have a lot working against them because, besides the fact that the offender likely fled town after the killing — and had a nine-hour head start before the alarm was raised — the students also followed suit, either out of fear or for Thanksgiving break.


Here’s the latest coverage of the brutal murders of four college friends:


Madison Mogen, 21, top left, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, bottom left, Ethan Chapin, 20, center, and Xana Kernodle, 20, right.

Madison Mogen, 21, top left, Kayleigh Goncalves, 21, bottom left, Ethan Chapin, 20, center, and Xana Kernodle, 20, right were brutally murdered.

the home of the victims

The four victims shared this home with two other roommates who were spared in the attack.


The roommate's dog

The housemates’ dog was spared in the fatal attack.


A police officer guards the off-campus home where four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death

The four victims shared this house with two other roommates who were home at the time of the brutal murders but were spared.


Moscow Police Chief of Police James Fry

Moscow Police Chief James Fry said authorities do not have a suspect at this time.


“It’s a big problem,” he said, with potential suspects and witnesses gone.

Still, local residents should be on the lookout for people who have stopped coming to work since the killings or have changed their behavior dramatically, he said.

“Someone in this community knows him,” he insisted.

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