After six weeks of investigation, on Dec. 30, 2022 authorities arrested Bryan Kohberger as the key suspect in the quadruple murders of four University of Idaho students. This case (which is ongoing) has captured the attention of our nation, for good reason, and seemingly challenged investigators.
To the untrained eye, the connections between Kohberger and the four victims seems hard to put together. Using ShadowDragon SocialNet to look for any correlation between the potential attacker and the victims, we discovered that Kohberger followed two of the four victims on social media.
More specifically, we find that many of the women Kohberger follows online appear to be women he objectifies. Another example is a specific plastic surgeon he follows (@drarykrau), further showcasing a pattern of lifestyle objectification. This lifestyle of objectification, along with possible psychopathy, indicates a very interesting and distinct correlation to two other notable attackers in the last few years:
- Las Vegas Shooter, Stephen Paddock
Considering his lifestyle and limited breadcrumbs, Paddock had been very segmented and compartmentalized in how he organized things. Additionally, he had very objectified sexual preferences (Macrophilia) and what also appeared to be pedophilia. Mixing these things with interviews from prostitutes he had utilized, there is a distinct pattern of a self-seeking gratification lifestyle, stimulation and objectification. Many of these findings had been discovered through his DeviantArt account.
- Austin Serial Bomber, Mark Conditt
Federal agencies investigating this case had found "no evidence that recognized ideology," posing the question of what had fueled the bombing spree. ShadowDragon discovered some of his social media accounts by analyzing one of the few breadcrumbs available. A large percentage of the accounts that Conditt followed online were porn stars.
At a minimum, the correlation between these killers shows a lifestyle where desires and impulses are fed, and a total lack of meaningful human relationships.
As the Kohberger case continues to unfold, it will be interesting to see if we will witness the unintended consequences of obsessive social media use and a lifestyle of objectification.
ShadowDragon is continuing to research this suspect with publicly available information to assist investigators in any way with open source intelligence (OSINT) that allows them to clear up details about the case.
With extensive experience in defensive and offensive security, Daniel has been a quiet trailblazer in digital intel-gathering long before cyber intelligence became a discipline. More than a decade ago he was inventing and applying his own intelligence tools in support of companies and governments around the world facing urgent threats. Using this deep understanding of web technologies and the behaviors of cybercriminals, he has enhanced, updated and packaged these tools under ShadowDragon.
Daniel is a member of the Odonata Holdings, Inc.