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

The murderer who ruthlessly slaughtered four University of Idaho students is likely a “younger” man and a first-time killer, famed former FBI profiler Jim Clemente said.

Clemente, a criminal behavioral expert and former New York State prosecutor, believes the person who killed Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Madison Mogen, 21 on Nov. 13 likely knew at least one of the victims.

“This is an extremely risky crime for the offender — unless he knows one or more of the victims, or he’s been stalking one of them,” he told The Post on Wednesday.

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

Clemente feels certain the killer is a man, and said there are a few explanations for why four of the six roommates were killed. 

Blood oozes out of the side of an off-campus home where four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death.
James Keivom

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

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

Police apparently described the knife-wielding killer as “sloppy,” and said the aftermath of the murder was the most gruesome scene they had 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 guy’s done this before,” Clemente said, adding the stabber may have been motivated by “revenge or rejection or some kind of insult.”

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

“I feel the subject maybe a young unsophisticated person because the crime scene was apparently massive,” he told The Post. “Going into an occupied home where there were six people in different rooms in the middle of the night is pretty dangerous.”

Police in Moscow, Idaho have yet to name a suspect and have provided conflicting stories about what happened before the murder. They have also been unable to confirm reports Goncalves being stalked.

Idaho State Police Colonel Kendrick Wills  during a news conference on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 in Moscow, Idaho.
Idaho State Police Colonel Kendrick Wills during a news conference on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022 in Moscow, Idaho.
James Keivom

“Investigators have looked extensively into information they received about Kaylee Goncalves having a stalker,” The Moscow PD said in an update on the investigation on Tuesday night. “They have pursued hundreds of pieces of information related to this topic and have not been able to verify or identify a stalker.”

Clemente thinks authorities have a lot working against them because in addition to the offender likely fleeing town after the killing — and getting a nine hour head start before the alarm was raised — students also followed suit, out of fear or for Thanksgiving break. 

“That’s a big problem,” he said, because potential suspects and witnesses are now gone.


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


Still, locals should be on the lookout for people who stopped coming to work following the murders or changed their behavior drastically, he said.

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

Madison Mogen, 21, top left, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, bottom left, Ethan Chapin, 20, center, and Xana Kernodle, 20, right.
Madison Mogen, 21, top left, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, bottom left, Ethan Chapin, 20, center, and Xana Kernodle, 20, right were all brutally murdered.
the victims' home
The four victims shared this home with two other roommates, who were spared in the attack.

The roommates' dog
The roomates’ 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 during the brutal murders but spared.

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

The former FBI profiler also thinks the killer must be comfortable with blood to be able to fatally stab four people in quick succession, and might be a hunter for hobby or work as a butcher.

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