Death of Dana Smithers and other rumors of student murder in Idaho (2023)

Death of Dana Smithers and other rumors of student murder in Idaho (1)

Following the stabbing death of four University of Idaho students on November 13, 2022, the amount of speculation and unfounded rumors circulating online may be unprecedented. Confusing information from the police, offering few details about the murders, has only fueled the frenzy of those seeking answers. With every news release from the Moscow Police Department, investigators seem to be playing a never-ending game of rumors, naming as suspects people they’ve already cleared — posters on TikTok, Facebook, and Reddit that have been identified and discredited people, further hurting grieving family and loved ones.

A possible Idaho affidavit and a Pennsylvania warrant have recently been released, providing new details and raising new questions — such as why 9/11 didn't stop until one of the victim's surviving roommates lived off-campus. The call came eight hours after the face-to-face collision with the alleged killer. However, a gag order prevented authorities and even the victim's family from elaborating or clarifying details, creating another information vacuum, filled with speculation and outlandish theories. Expectations are high for suspect Bryan Kohberger's preliminary hearing in June, when prosecutors will publicly present the evidence they believe is needed to persuade a judge to proceed with the murder trial.


However, on May 22, when it was revealed that KohbergerAlready chargedA grand jury in Moscow, Idaho -- the action is so secretive it practically means the public won't know any evidence against Kohberger from the start until the trial, scheduled for October.

There is another rush to fill the void of the deaths of Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, and Maddie Mogen, 21. Unable to verify. Here's a rundown of some of the latest theories, and whether they're true, false, or unproven.

Death of Dana Smithers and other rumors of student murder in Idaho (2)

False: Brian Coberg was also a suspect in the Dana Smithers murder.

Dana Smithers is a 45-year-old mother of three from PennsylvaniaDisappearedOn May 28, 2022, about 30 miles from Kohberger's home in Albrightsville, where he was arrested on December 30. She went out, leaving her phone, car keys and medication behind.


(Video) Dana Smithers | How's Her Horrid Death Linked to Bryan Kohberger?

On April 28, nearly a year after Smithers disappeared, police announced they had found her badly decomposed body in a wooded area. An autopsy later confirmed the remains were hers, but could not determine the cause or manner of death.

Social media investigators and TikTokers were so convinced Kohberger was involved in her disappearance and death that they even contacted her sister, who thanked them in Januarypost on facebook"Thank you to everyone who may have been in our area recently regarding the suspect in the horrific murder in Idaho at the time of my sister Dana's disappearance," he wrote, adding that he has retweeted all of their suggestions. to investigators.

But local police later denied the possibility of a connection.

in apost on facebookRecalling many of the messages sent by the Moscow Police Department, even in its wording, the department wrote: "The Stroud Regional Police Department is aware of the many news articles currently reported in which various media outlets report on the Dana Smithers SARPD investigation of missing persons and Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger. SARPD has no evidence to link Dana Smither's disappearance to Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger."

Unconfirmed: Bryan Kohberger's parents testify to grand jury convened in Smithers' death.

According to several reports, which only cite one or more sources"close to the case" this "Familiar with the situationBryan's parents, Maryann and Michael Kohberger, testified separately before a grand jury in Monroe County, Pennsylvania.According to NewsNation reporter Brian Entin, which appears to be the first to report news of the grand jury, that Dana Smithers' sister "knew even before Coberg's arrest that an investigative grand jury in Pennsylvania was investigating her sister's case and other cases."Edin says"After Kohberger's arrest, she said a grand jury began investigating whether Kohberger had anything to do with her sister's disappearance. He said it was clear he had no connection and there were indications he was not in the area Seeing her sister for the last time. "


Like the Moscow conference convened for Kohberger, the grand jury was asked to evaluate whether evidence and witness testimony supported criminal charges.Judges can allow attorneys to share details and/or transcripts of grand jury proceedings with other law enforcement agencies, or all attorneys, jurors, and court personnel are "sworn to secrecy" and could be held in contempt of court if they disclose procedural information.Witnesses in Pennsylvania, however, have no such obligation, so one or more of them may have shared their participation and testimony with reporters.

Death of Dana Smithers and other rumors of student murder in Idaho (3)

Young Kwak via Reuters

(Video) Bryan Kohberger Parents Testify Before Grand Jury in Woman’s Death

Wrong: Victim's family calls for death penalty if Kohberger is convicted.

Only prosecutors can decide whether to seek the death penalty, although the wishes of families may influence their decision. despite the headlines saying soIdaho victim's family supports death penalty for killer, to summarize: OOnly the Goncalves family seems to have said this publicly. Rata County District Attorney Bill Thompson in Moscow has until July 21, 60 days after Kohberger pleaded not guilty, to decide whether he intends to do so.

Likely: If the convicted murderer is sentenced to death, he will be executed by firing squad.

Although recent legislation in Idaho authorizes executions by firing squads,law, which will take effect on July 1, will only be allowed if the drug used in the lethal injection is not available.


Unconfirmed: Bryan Kohberger is "Pappa Rodger".

'Dateline' claimed in a recent episode ('Killing on the King's Road') that 'investigators are now convinced' of the 'Pappa Rodger' Facebook account - a prolific posterUniversity of Idaho Murder Case - Case Discussion Facebook Group- Owned by Kohberger, but this has not been publicly confirmed. People pointed to the time when the poster left Facebook roughly coincided with Kohberger's arrest as evidence that they were the same person. Poster Says Trust Researchershe found the scabbardandother positionsAlso aroused suspicion. Although Pappa Rodger's head looks like Kohberger, it's not him: it's a realistic soldier's head, created at least 10 years ago by digital artist Yi Xu using Photoshop, V-Ray, 3ds Max, and Zbrush software.According to a 2013 blog"In this work, I tried to archive the photography effects and learn some lighting and hair skills. "The report is some pictures from the Internet," said Yi Xu.

Death of Dana Smithers and other rumors of student murder in Idaho (4)

Ted S. Warren via AP

Likely: No trial if Kohberger pleads guilty to avoid the death penalty.

Typically, defendants who plead guilty do not go to a jury trial or hear evidence. Instead, there will be a sentencing hearing where the judge and defendant will hear victim impact statements from loved ones. The idea that the public might not have access to details of the case against Kohberger has gone too far for online sleuths, but District Attorney Bill Thompson could choose to drop his appeal because Federal prosecutors did it for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. If Thompson decides to seek the death penalty, there will be a sentencing trial. A jury heard six months of testimony from Parkland, Fla., man Nicolas Cruz who confessed to killing 17 people before sentencing him to life in prison.

collective delusion? Photos of housemates and their friends 'deleted' from internet after murder

(Video) ‘Murder Upon Murder’: Death Penalty Expert Weighs in on Bryan Kohberger Case


On Nov. 13, local news sites published a wide-format photo of several distraught students wearing gray blankets gathered next to police officers after they walked to the crime scene. "Jessica Reed KrauseShe wrote on her Substack, claiming he had "disappeared". The so-called photo triggeredhuge open discussion on Reddit: Many people said they remembered seeing the image (me included!). Others attribute it to the Mandela effect (widespread false memories) or confusion with afterimages of shocked/sad neighbors. (I personally think what we "remember" are pictures of another tragedy, like a school shooting.) Redditors then dig and zoom inPhoto posted on local news siteIt isdiscussEither depicts a group of (1) people sitting in blankets on the ground, (2) garbage bags, or (3) a snow mountain. In an article titled "student v garbage bag," one personCompare back and forth to The Dress.

Unconfirmed: The identities of the two women were found on latex gloves in a room at Kohberger's parents' home.

Among the handwritten items police seized from Kohberger's home were "ID inside the glove box’, but not the type of glove, where it was found, or who the IDs belonged to. There has been speculation that one or all of the cards belonged to Smithers, but that was shot down by police. Dateline reports that police said the identities belonged to two The women, whose unnamed sources told them none of them were victims of the Idaho murders — but could not verify that as police remain under a gag order.

Death of Dana Smithers and other rumors of student murder in Idaho (5)

Ted Warren/AP


Unconfirmed: Kohberger's phone dropped into the Wi-Fi in the victim's home.

On the "King Road" episode of "Dateline," NBC reporter Keith Morrison said, "Now Kohberger's phone, his electronics, they're telling the police that's 12 times that Kohberger went to Moscow and around King The road before the first murder on a trip - at least once close enough to connect to Wi-Fi at home."

However, during the show, when a Twitter user asked: "Did he connect to the WiFi at 1122 King Rd during the 12 trips he was there?"producer answer, "Yes, at least once, according to the PC's affidavit." But that's not accurate: Wi-Fi isn't mentioned in the probable cause affidavit.

(Video) Police: 'No evidence' Kohberger involved in Pennsylvania death | Banfield

Unconfirmed: Kohberger's sister suspected he was the killer and searched his car, saying he always wore latex gloves around the house.

This was also reported by Dateline, which cited an unidentified source but did not say how the source was connected to the case.

(“Dateline” did not respond to a request for comment or clarification about the specifics of their coverage of the “King Road killing.”)


Wrong: On the night of the murder, a DoorDash driver delivered drugs, not food, to victim Xana Kernodle on King Road.

In the popular House Inhabit Substack on May 23, titled "Murders in Moscow: Update 1Jessica Reed Kraus asked, "Is there a quietly rampant drug problem at the heart of this case?"

Some on social media claimed the victim and surviving roommate were drug dealers. Two people charged in the investigation into the overdose death of a 22-year-old University of Idaho student in Centralia, Washington have been the subject of wild theories on TikTokers. (Their case was dismissed in late May.)othersThe woman is believed to have been arrested Cops say it was a DoorDash driver making a delivery on King Road, but she delivered a "blanket" (TikTok's term for "drugs" — seriously). Supporting their theory, they said, was the fact that the woman's co-defendant's brother drove a Hyundai Elantra, which model car investigators say the killer drove.

Moving on, friends: Rampant rumors and reports from anonymous sources will remain the norm in Idaho stabbings -- and there may be more -- unless the gag order is lifted and/or a trial begins.

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(Video) Bryan Kohberger's parents testify in woman's disappearance in Pennsylvania | LiveNOW from FOX


Who is Dana Smithers? ›

Dana Smithers, a 45-year-old Pennsylvania mother of three, vanished on May 28, 2022, after leaving her friend and neighbor's home. The neighbor, Tara Cioni, who lived a few houses down from Dana, told NBC Dateline that they have been friends for over 16 years.

Who is Brian Kohberger? ›

What we know about the man charged in the Idaho quadruple murders. More than six weeks after four college students were slain in an off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho, police arrested a suspect, Bryan Christopher Kohberger, who is charged with their murders.

Who is the mother of Bryan Kohberger? ›

Bryan Kohberger's father is Michael, and his mother is Maryann. Michael and Maryann had three children together — two daughters and a son. Their eldest daughter, Amanda, was born in 1988, and their second daughter Melissa was born in 1991. Bryan is their youngest child, and was born in 1994.

Where did Bryan Kohberger live? ›

He was arrested on Dec. 30, 2022, at his family's home in Pennsylvania, after driving cross-country to spend the holidays in Albrightsville.

How was Dana Smithers found? ›

Remains found

Almost one year later – on 27 April – Smithers' remains were found in a wooded area in Stroudsburg. Stroud Area Regional Police said that a Borough employee had discovered decomposing human remains in a wooded area close to Park Avenue in the Borough of Stroudsburg.

When was Dana Smithers found? ›

Her phone, purse, and other personal items were later recovered at her house. UPDATE: On May 1, 2023 the Stroud Area Regional Police Department in Pennsylvania announced that Dana Smithers has been found dead.

How was Kohberger caught? ›

The Idaho State Lab identified male DNA on the sheath's button clasp, which was later linked to Kohberger after investigators retrieved genetic material from the trash outside his family's home. Yachmetz believes police are also aware of additional DNA evidence.

How tall is Bryan Kohberger? ›

Quick Facts
Full Real NameBryan Christopher Kohberger.
School/CollegePleasant Valley High School. Northampton Community College. DeSales University. Washington State University.
Height5 feet 8 inches
Weight65 kg
7 more rows
Jun 6, 2023

What happened in the Murdaugh murders? ›

The 'Murdaugh Murders': What to Know About the Case in South Carolina. Alex Murdaugh, once a prominent lawyer, was found guilty of killing his wife and son as his finances and legal career fell into ruin, and was sentenced to life in prison. WALTERBORO, S.C. — The killing of a mother and son.

What does Bryan Kohberger's father do? ›

Records show that Michael Kohberger Jr. was a maintenance worker for the school district from 2006 through June 2019, while Maryann Kohberger was a paraprofessional assisting special-needs students until around 2020.

Is Bryan Kohberger an only child? ›

Does Bryan Kohberger Have Siblings? The Pennsylvania native is the couple's only son, though he has two older sisters named Amanda and Melissa.

Is Bryan Kohberger married? ›

As of 2022, Bryan Kohberger was not known to be married.

Where did Peter Bryan live? ›

In 1987, Peter Bryan lived in the Flying Angel, Custom House, East London. Police were called when he attempted to throw another resident from his sixth-floor window. The victim reported that the initial attack by Bryan was unprovoked. Police took no action against Bryan in the attack.

Where was Dana Smithers last seen? ›

Smithers was reported missing on June 4, 2022 after she was last seen on May 28, 2022 at approximately 11:05 p.m. via surveillance camera leaving a friend's house in Stroudsburg, not far from her home.

Were human remains found near Stroudsburg PA? ›

The remains were found April 27 by a Stroudsburg borough employee in a wooded area near an Interstate 80 East ramp, the Stroud Area Regional Police said. Police said there was extensive decomposition and a forensic dentist was needed to help identify the person.

How was Jerry Brudos captured? ›

Brudos gave police a false address, which increased their suspicions. At his garage, the police found copper wire that was determined to have been cut with the same tool that cut the cords used to tie the bodies. Brudos was arrested, and he made a full confession.

How did William Heirens get caught? ›

After the horrific murder of a 6-year-old girl, William Heirens was caught breaking into an apartment not far from where she was abducted. His fingerprint was matched to evidence found on the ransom note and after a month in custody, he confessed to all three murders. It was an open-and-shut case.

How was Joseph Vacher caught? ›


In 1897 Vacher attacked a woman who was gathering wood in a field in Ardèche, in south-central France. However, she put up a fight, and her screams were heard by her son and husband who both came to her rescue. They succeeded in overpowering Vacher and took him to the police.

What did Bryan Kohberger do? ›

Bryan Kohberger, the man accused of stabbing four Idaho college students to death, sat wordlessly in court during his arraignment on Monday as a judge read aloud the murder and burglary charges against him and asked whether the suspect was prepared to announce his plea.

Who are the parents of Brian Kohberger? ›

His mother, Maryann Kohberger, reportedly has already testified to the secretive panel, and his father, Michael Kohberger, is expected to testify some time on Thursday, May 25.

Where did Bryan Kohberger go to college? ›

Kohberger graduated from Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania with an associate degree in psychology in 2018. He next attended DeSales University in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he received a bachelor's degree in 2020 and a master's degree in criminal justice in May 2022.

Is Dana Smither missing from Stroudsburg PA? ›

Dana Smithers was last seen on May 28, 2022 at approximately 11:05 p.m. via surveillance camera leaving her friend's home in Stroudsburg.

When did Dana Smithers disappear? ›

Human remains discovered in Stroudsburg identified as missing woman. Stroud Area Regional Police now say a body found in Stroudsburg is that of Dana Smithers, who was reported missing in June of 2022.

Where was Laura Smither taken from? ›

April 20, 1997: Laura Smither is found

After 17 days of searching, Laura Smither's decomposed body was found 12 miles from her home in a Pasadena, Texas, retention pond by a father and son out walking their dogs. After weeks in the water, her cause of death was unclear.

Is Marjorie West still missing? ›

Marjorie West is a 4 year old American child who went missing from McKean County, Pennsylvania on May 8, 1938. Her disappearance was heavily covered by both local and national media, but her whereabouts have never been ascertained.

Was Dana Smithers ever found? ›

STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Human remains found in a wooded area have been identified as Dana Smithers, who was reported missing last year in Monroe County.

What is the oldest human remains found in us? ›

The Spirit Cave mummy is the oldest human mummy found in North America. It was discovered in 1940 in Spirit Cave, 13 miles (21 km) east of Fallon, Nevada, United States, by the husband-and-wife archaeological team of Sydney and Georgia Wheeler.

What is the oldest human remains in America? ›

When he died his bones lay in the earth for 13,000 years, and because they were discovered near Arlington Springs on Santa Rosa Island, he was named the Arlington Springs Man. His are the oldest human remains ever unearthed in the Americas.

Where was the oldest human remains found? ›

Some of the oldest human remains ever unearthed are the Omo One bones found in Ethiopia. For decades, their precise age has been debated, but a new study argues they're around 233,000 years old.


1. Dana Smithers | Bryan Kohberger's Parents to Testify in front of Investigative Grand Jury?
(Grizzly True Crime)
2. Kohberger's parents to testify before grand jury | Elizabeth Vargas Reports
3. ‘Cold Iciness’: Bryan Kohberger’s Body Language Before and After Arrest for Idaho Murders Analyzed
(Law&Crime Network)
4. Dana Smithers Missing out of Stroudsburg | Eyewitness News
5. Chilling New Details About Idaho Murders Suspect Bryan Kohberger, with Beth Karas and Peter Tragos
(Megyn Kelly)
6. Idaho Murders Latest: Parents Testify in PA Murder Investigation, Kohberger Implicated?
(Nancy Grace)


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