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Criminology professor: Bryan Kohberger's education wouldn't have helped him commit Idaho murders

While the man accused of killing four University of Idaho students was a Ph.D. student studying criminology, experts said it did not contribute to the crime.

MOSCOW, Idaho — Bryan Kohberger, the man accused of killing four University of Idaho students, studied the psychology of criminals and crimes similar to the one he’s accused of. 

While the motive behind the killings of Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, is unknown, the fact that the man accused of was a Ph D. criminology student is just one of the many shocking revelations in this case.

“The factors surrounding this case have been extremely unusual,” said Dr. Casey Jordan, an attorney and criminology professor at Western Connecticut University.

We asked Jordan if Kohberger studying criminology can tell us anything about him or the case. 

“As a criminologist, believe me, I was really shocked but not really surprised to find out that the accused was doing a Ph.D. in criminology,” Jordan said.

Dr. Jordan has been teaching the subject for 35 years. 

“I can guarantee you that nothing he learned in his classes helped him if indeed he did factually commit these crimes, to commit these crimes or to try to get away with it,” Jordan said.

Jordan said criminology classes often delve into the psyche of an offender, topics Kohberger likely had in his undergrad studies at DeSales University.

“The truth is, it wasn't his higher education that may have contributed to his thought process. We believe the thought process was already there. If indeed again, he is guilty what he did was go into the field of Criminal Justice and Criminology as more of a symptom of his preoccupation, perhaps an obsession with true crime, and that he felt comfortable studying this because it appealed to him, but certainly his studies did not contribute to the crimes of which he is accused,” Jordan said

A few of the country’s most high-profile killers have a similar educational background as Kohberger, however, Jordan said that doesn't equate to a pattern.

“We do have several examples of people with higher education degrees, including the BTK, who had a degree in criminal justice, golden state killer, a degree in criminal justice. It's not unheard of, but let's agree it's extremely rare that people major in criminal justice, and then go on to commit heinous murders,” Dr. Jordan said.

Kohberger maintains his innocence. He is currently being held without bail and has said through an attorney, he expects to be exonerated.

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