The Story of the Idaho Murders | Crooked Media
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January 26, 2023
Dare We Say
The Story of the Idaho Murders

In This Episode

Online sleuths, beware! Josie, Alycia, and Yasmine dive deep into the murder of four University of Idaho students with our show mommy (showrunner), Caroline Reston, before discussing the ethical implications of true crime content. 

Show Notes






Yasmine Hamady: [music break] Hi, everyone. I’m Yasmine.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Hi, I’m Alycia Pascual-Peña. 


Josie Totah: Do we need to s– I feel like they know who we are at this point. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: True. 


Yasmine Hamady: No one knows who you are Josie. No one knows who you are.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: What if no one’s ever heard this episode, like this show before? What if they’re like, what the fuck is Dare We Say. 


Josie Totah: Hopefully– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –they would think it was like like a like a sex telephone–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: No. 


Josie Totah: Like a hotline. 


Yasmine Hamady: It’s. It’s a hotline. It’s a hotline where we tell you uhh yeahh.


Josie Totah: Okay, whatever. Welcome to the show. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Uh yeah this is our show guys. [laughter] Hang out with us. 


Josie Totah: Um. Anyway. 


Yasmine Hamady: Hi guys! 


Josie Totah: So how are you. Why are you still gone? And what’s new with you? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Mm hmm.


Yasmine Hamady: Well, I’m taking the first flight Saturday morning from London Heathrow to, I hopped off a plane at LAX [sings briefly Miley Cyrus song/melody] and I’ll be with you guys. So I expect to sleep over at one of your houses. Um. I’m still here. I’m coming back this weekend. I’m so excited. I just moved in my brother into his dorm in London. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: That’s insane. 


Josie Totah: I yesterday, or two days ago I was flying back from Utah and I was on the plane, and then at the beginning of the flight, the pilot was like, okay, well, just letting you guys know this is going to be a rough flight. It will be extremely bumpy and just a fair warning. And then halfway through like no, not halfway through like 20 minutes before the end of the flight or 30 minutes before the end, the flight attendants were like we will not be standing up to collect your trash. We will be sitting down. Please stay seated. Buckle up, buckle up, stay tight, stay tight. And the plane was like dipped like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: No! 


Josie Totah: –literally 20 feet and then was like– 


Yasmine Hamady: No. 


Josie Totah: –going side to side. Like I was like surfing. And then literally I just like, saw this girl watching Don’t Worry Darling, she was sitting next to me. 


Yasmine Hamady: No. 


Josie Totah: And she seemed like so concerned, like I felt her jolt and we didn’t even say anything. We just grabbed each other and we’re holding on to each other– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –so tight and we’re like, what’s your name? Like, where are you from? And we were just like, talking about everything. I was being so honest with her because in those moments you just– 


Yasmine Hamady: You could have gone down. 


Josie Totah: You could have gone down. So I was just like telling her all about my life. And we were like, [making stuttering sounds] I’m from the Valley, I’m from San Francisco and um yeah where are you from? And she’s like, I live in uh West Hollywood. And uh I am a writer. And anyway, she was a writer, and we ended up she ended up telling, like pitching me her shows within like the landing period. And finally when we landed, we were like, oh, fuck. It literally was like the biggest relief because it was so literally the scariest flight I’ve ever been on– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –in my life. 


Yasmine Hamady: I just think it would be really not funny, but tragic. Not only if you went down– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Stop. 


Yasmine Hamady: –because you would have not been here, but– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: What. 


Yasmine Hamady: You would have also gone down watching, Don’t Worry Darling. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh. 


Josie Totah: Well, I wasn’t watching Don’t Worry Darling, I was watching– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Erin was. 


Josie Totah: –That nineties show. Anyway so yeah, that was a god sent moment and yeah. Okay.


Yasmine Hamady: Well I’m so glad you’re here. 


Josie Totah: Thanks. Um. [burp sound] Oh, my God. I’m so sorry. 


Yasmine Hamady: We need to keep that in. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: It was beautiful. 


Josie Totah: No. 


Yasmine Hamady: We need to keep that in. I wish I could–


Josie Totah: –I will, I will–


Yasmine Hamady: I wish I could inhale that. 


Josie Totah: –commit. 


Yasmine Hamady: I wish I could inhale it. [music break] 


Josie Totah: So today we’re doing something a little bit different. Our producer, Caroline Reston and I have been extremely obsessed with learning about the Idaho murders. And for those of you that don’t know, the Idaho murders were a group of college students who were killed in their home about a few weeks before Thanksgiving last year. Caroline and I have been talking about it so much, not only about the murders themselves, but the conversation around murder and true crime in general, and why we feel it is important to discuss it. So that’s what we’re going to do today. 


Caroline Reston: Yeah, thanks for having me on. I, my TikTok is to a, is literally only Idaho murders, so I know way too much. I have not had a good night of sleep in months.


Yasmine Hamady: Well welcome to the pod Caroline– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: That’s terrifying. 


Yasmine Hamady: –we’re beyond grateful to have you. And it’s crazy how much TikTok will like listen to everything that you talk about and your whole algorithm will be exactly that for the next nine years. 


Caroline Reston: I know. And also, just to preface, we’ve done extensive research on this. It’s not just TikTok information. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yes that’s good. It’s not just TikTok knowledge. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. It’s not. And I think it’s important just to start off by also saying from the pod, it’s this is not a way to glorify, romanticize, or uh put this in like a fantasy way. We’re just trying to talk about this really horrific thing that happened and why people are so fascinated with true crime. 


Josie Totah: Exactly. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: So Caroline and I will be walking everyone through what happened. This story revolves around four close friends. Xana, Ethan, Kaylee and Maddie. On the evening of November 12th, as I mentioned, just two weeks before students were supposed to go home for Thanksgiving break, these four friends were out. Ethan and Xana were seen at the Sig Chi house at the University of Idaho campus. At approximately 9 p.m. on November 12th to about 1:45 a.m.. The surviving roommate estimates that around 1:45 a.m., Ethan and Xana returned home to the house. Meanwhile, Kaylee and Madison were at a local bar called the Corner Club in Moscow between 10 p.m. to about 1:30 in the morning. And at approximately 1:30 a.m., CCTV footage shows Maddie and Kaylee are at a local food vendor called the Grub Truck in downtown Moscow. The Grub Truck livestreams video from their food truck on Twitch, which is available if you guys want to see that. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah, I watched it. It’s it’s crazy. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Interesting. 


Josie Totah: It’s chilling that just hours before their murders, they’re living so freely and happily. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: So that was the last time they were seen, like on camera? 


Josie Totah: Yes. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Was at this food truck? 


Josie Totah: Yeah. The two surviving roommates both made statements during the interviews to investigators that all of the roommates were home by around 2 a.m. and asleep, or at least in their rooms by approximately 4 a.m. and Xana through digital history? 


Caroline Reston: Yeah. So essentially, like they looked into her phone and like activity and like data on her phone showed that she was most likely on TikTok at like four am, 4:12 a.m., which means she was probably awake in the window that these murders happened. 


Josie Totah: And the records obtained– 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh my god. 


Josie Totah: –from the download showed that she had actually ordered a DoorDash that she had– 


Yasmine Hamady: Jesus. 


Josie Totah: –obtained around approximately 4 a.m. So she was definitely up and likely awake, like you said, by around 4:12. 


Caroline Reston: Yeah. And like what’s honestly, I’m going to get into the murders the murder part of this but what’s so creepy about it is this like, this is such a normal college Saturday night. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: Like you’re out– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: You’re drinking, you’re ordering DoorDash, you’re going– 


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: –to a food truck. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You’re on social media. 


Caroline Reston: So– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –Like, still are out late. 


Caroline Reston: Yeah, it just is so relatable and it it just makes it all so much creepier because obviously, it could have been– 


Josie Totah: Any of us. 


Caroline Reston: –any one of us. 


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: So essentially all four of the murders. So in the house of all these roommates, there were six roommates, two surviving roommates, and all of the murders went down between around four a.m. and 4:25 am. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: So four people were murdered in 20 minutes? 


Caroline Reston: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: In 25 minutes. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Whoa. Okay. 


Josie Totah: And I think it can be helpful to mention the layout of the house, because I think it’s really integral– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes. 


Josie Totah: –to the intrigue in this story. 


Caroline Reston: Right. So the way the House is configured is that there are three floors, but the second floor is where the entrance is, the front door entrance and the first floor. Think about, think about it more as a basement. So the two surviving roommates, one was in the basement, one was on the second floor. Kaylee and Madison were on the third floor, and Xana and Ethan were on the second floor. 


Josie Totah: Yeah so–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh wow. 


Josie Totah: On the opposite side–


Caroline Reston: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –of that floor. So think of it like like a house that is quite long, right? 


Caroline Reston: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Okay. 


Josie Totah: And so on one side, you have two of the roommates and on the other side you have the surviving roommate. 


Caroline Reston: Yeah. So like, Josie was just saying, around like four, 4:12 a.m., Xana and Ethan, who are boyfriend girlfriend, got a DoorDash Order. They were on their phone. Meanwhile, Kaylee and Madison, the two roommates who were best friends, were in their room, presumably asleep. So the murderer came in on the second floor and went to the third floor to Kaylee and Madison’s room first, where he proceeded to horrifically kill them in their sleep, which is just a whole level of inhumanity. According to the coroner Kaylee and Madison didn’t have any defensive wounds, so which probably suggests that they were asleep. 


Josie Totah: When the murders happened. 


Caroline Reston: When the murders happened. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: And their wounds were utterly incredibly savage and deep. Kaylee’s dad described it as these weren’t stab wounds, these were gouges of someone who was being targeted. Kaylee and Madison were murdered. So after he killed them, he went down back to the second floor where Ethan and Xana were. They’re presumably awake and proceeded to kill them. Now, the coroner reported that they had defensive wounds, meaning they were awake and fighting back, which is consistent with their wounds, because one of them was on the floor and one of them was in the bed. So something– 


Josie Totah: An altercation had gone down.


Caroline Reston: Yeah an altercation had gone down.


Josie Totah: Think they really were. And also, court documents revealed that a security camera from a nearby home captured audio of what was like a whimper, a loud thud, thud and a dog barking, which would make sense. And even one of the surviving roommates said that because she was up during that time, she heard something to the effect of another girl saying, I think someone’s here. And then– 


Caroline Reston: Someone else saying, don’t worry, I think I can help you. 


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: Um. 


Josie Totah: Which is chilling. 


Caroline Reston: The most chilling part of the story is after all of the murders went down, one of the roommates, you know, who kept hearing noises, checked outside of, it was the one of the surviving roommates kept looking out, out of her bedroom door to see like, what was happening. And both times she reported, like, different sounds. And the third time she saw a tall black figure. All in all wearing black with a black face mask with bushy eyebrows, walk towards her in the middle of the night and walk out the sliding door on the second floor. So she says she froze in shock and went back into her room and locked the door. She said she didn’t recognize him, but just that all this had gone down, she did not immediately call 911, which has caused a lot of conspiracies. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: But you know– 


Josie Totah: And rightfully so as well, too, because I think a lot of people may presume that when you’re in a situation like this, that you may act differently, but you really never know– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –Until you’re there. 


Josie Totah: –Until you’re there, what you would do. 


Caroline Reston: Yeah. So I just want to paint a little bit if it’s okay with you guys. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: Paint a little bit of a picture of why I want to defend the surviving roommates, because it’s like, think about it. It’s four a.m., you’re super drunk. There are a bunch of– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You go to sleep. 


Caroline Reston: –people in your house probably all the time. Like, it’s not that crazy that a creepy figure might be walking across your house when you’re just, like, not really paying attention and who knows, and you’re scared. 


Yasmine Hamady: But. But he didn’t hav- but did didn’t you say that he had something over his face? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: Yeah but– [banter] — a face mask like. 


Josie Totah: You’re exhausted and you’re drunk. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: And my friend [?] was saying to me the other day that when she read about this, she immediately thought of me, which is a little concerning. 


Yasmine Hamady: Um that. 


Josie Totah: But she basically was just like, I remember that was like your house in college all the time. People were always going in and out. Like I had– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –six other roommates. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: So seven in total, like and one of them always had a boy over or someone over. Like, if I was going to the bathroom, I wouldn’t have thought twice about seeing someone. And especially after being drunk and exhausted, you’re not even, like, fully seeing– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –what’s in front of you. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You’re not in your right mind. Like, it’s been insane because I’m not that familiar with this story, but the discourse that I have seen on my TikTok is people like very aggressively saying, Oh, how could she like, she has something involved. X, Y, Z. And I’m like, the lack of empathy and compassion is crazy. One just–


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah, there it is. There it is.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: One, just the ability for people to talk about these murders in such a callous way is disgusting. Like, let’s never forget people lost their lives and should still be here and were murdered violently. One and then two, you don’t know what you would do unless you were in that situation. You’ve never been in a house– 


Yasmine Hamady: Exactly Alycia. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –Thank God, and I hope you never are. You’ve never been in a house where four of the people that you loved and lived with were murdered. That’s just not on the top of your brain. You know, like- 


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I come from, you know, a very. I think area where there’s a lot of adversity. Right. But if I’m at college, like I was an R.A., I lived with eight other girls I never met. 


Caroline Reston: I didn’t know you were an RA. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I was placed there. You didn’t know I was an RA?


Caroline Reston: No. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah, I was an RA. 


Caroline Reston: I love that for you.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: But– 


Yasmine Hamady: She was definitely an RA. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I was placed in a house with seven other girls that I had never met. There were, they were on sports teams. There were guys in and out of the house. Because I was an R.A., I was used to seeing things at 4 a.m. on duty that were– 


Yasmine Hamady: Sure. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –so peculiar it wouldn’t have been in the front of my mind to be like–


Caroline Reston: You never think the worst is happening. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh. Yeah. And it’s unfortunate that you kind of have to like, you have to, like, be up on guard and be protective. But it I think that we should have a lot more compassion for this person. 


Josie Totah: I agree. So about 8 hours later, one of the surviving roommates called 911, and it is reported from that 911 call that there was some sort of unconscious person and not much more from what they released to the public of what was said specifically on that call. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Mmm. 


Josie Totah: And when the police came to the house they found obviously a horrific crime scene and realized that this was going to be a long, long journey and much more serious than probably anything they’ve dealt with in any recent time. So when investigators found this crime scene, they immediately started looking at CCTV footage from the neighborhood and looking through the security footage in this King Road neighborhood. The police were shown several sightings of a vehicle that they refer to as suspect vehicle one, which was a white Hyundai Cilantra. 


Caroline Reston: Elantra. 


Josie Totah: Elantra? Oh. 


Caroline Reston: Does it say Cilantra?


Josie Totah: Cilantro. 


Yasmine Hamady: Not cilantro. Please. [laughter]


Caroline Reston: [laughing] Wait, let me double check. 


Josie Totah: It’s an Elantra. 


Caroline Reston: It’s an Elantra. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: That’s me writing Cilantra. 


Josie Totah: Okay. 


Caroline Reston: Okay. 


Josie Totah: So when the investigators started this case, they immediately went to the CCTV footage of the King Road neighborhood, where around 3:30 a.m. to about approximately 4:20 a.m., a Hyundai Elantra was seen driving around and these sightings show what is referred to in the affidavit as suspect vehicle one making an initial three passes by the King Road residence where they all had lived and leaving via a street called Willandra drive. 


Caroline Reston: At 4:20 a.m. like speeding away. 


Yasmine Hamady: So he was going around the house before he even entered it. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Surveiling the house. 


Yasmine Hamady: Jesus Christ. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: So he chose this house. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. This was targeted. 


Josie Totah: Well he actually chose this house yeah much sooner than this is what is presumed. And based on the detective’s experience as a patrol officer, this is a residential neighborhood with obviously a very limited number of vehicles passing in. It’s highly unlikely that another car that didn’t belong to that neighborhood would be driving during the early morning hours of this time. And upon review of the CCTV footage, there’s actually only a few cars that enter and exit this area during this time frame. So this was extremely out of the ordinary. 


Caroline Reston: Yeah. And then so um they obviously wanted to look into this car more and as they like started, they were able to obtain records of video camera footage around the neighborhood weeks before. And what they saw was multiple times this white Hyundai Elantra circling the neighborhood, I think almost– 


Yasmine Hamady: Jesus! 


Caroline Reston: –eight times, weeks before the actual murders. So with that information, they wanted to–. 


Yasmine Hamady: Premeditated. 


Caroline Reston: Yeah. So with that information they were like, okay, so cell phone data must be linked to this car. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: So that’s when they got a warrant. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like the towers and stuff. 


Caroline Reston: Yeah. So once they got they were able to identify whose car this was. They were able to get a search warrant for their cellular phone data to see if pins matched up with the car’s location on top of whether or not the cell phone pins ever were close to the home. So with the Hyundai Elantra, they were able to, based on just like registration, be able to tie it to a suspect. And once they were able to do that, they were able to get a search warrant for the suspect’s cell cellular phone records to see his movements. 


Josie Totah: And based on previous research of crimes in general, it is really common for suspects and perpetrators to, like, leave their phone when they’re entering a crime scene or to turn their phone off. So it looked extremely how do you say– 


Caroline Reston: Suspect. 


Josie Totah: Suspect. 


Caroline Reston: Sus. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Sus! 


Yasmine Hamady: Sus. 


Josie Totah: Sus when the detective applied and was granted a search warrant for historical phone records. It revealed in the early morning hours of November 13th that although the phone was in the area, there was a lack of data with that specific phone between 2:47 a.m. and 4:48 a.m., which is consistent with the suspect attempting to conceal his location during this homicide, which is what they had expected as that’s quite common with people like I said turning off their phones. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: So that made him look even more– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Even more. 


Josie Totah: –Guilty. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: Jesus. 


Caroline Reston: Once they were able to align those two datas, they started to really zone in on this guy. Plus, like they found DNA on a sheath left like a knife sheath left in the house so– 


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh god. 


Josie Totah: The only evidence that was left in the house that could be relating to a suspect was not only um like you mentioned the sheath, but also a shoe print in the was it the living room or– 


Caroline Reston: I think it was right outside of uh one of the surviving roommates rooms. 


Josie Totah: So there it’s like a van shoe print in the ground so– 


Caroline Reston: It had like a diamond pattern, which I found interesting. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Interesting. 


Yasmine Hamady: I feel like he’s prepped this– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: For weeks, obviously, because he’s been surveilling. But also like–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: He was in full black. He wasn’t trying to be recognized.


Yasmine Hamady: He knew, exactly. He knew exactly what he was doing. 


Josie Totah: Yeah, he had been seen in the area before. But not only that. It’s good that you mention that because he actually was a Ph.D. student at Washington State University pursuing a degree in criminology. 


Caroline Reston: And we’re talking about Bryan Kohberger. 


Yasmine Hamady: Fuck off.


Josie Totah: Yes. The suspect. And he had earned undergraduate degrees in psychology and cloud based forensics. And he actually received– 


Yasmine Hamady: What? 


Josie Totah: –his master’s in criminal justice. So this was something he was extremely passionate about. His friends that were interviewed in documentaries that I was watching last night spoke a lot about how he was extremely interested in this subject and the idea of crime in general. And while he was studying at school, uh his university approved a Reddit survey that he put out asking suspects of murders and crimes how they committed their crimes, what was their mindset. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Whoa. 


Yasmine Hamady: No. 


Josie Totah: While they were doing it. 


Yasmine Hamady: No. 


Josie Totah: And that was actually a university– 


Yasmine Hamady: This university? 


Josie Totah: It was actually a university– 


Yasmine Hamady: Approved this? 


Josie Totah: –approved study– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: How is that– 


Josie Totah: –that he conducted. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –ethical? 


Yasmine Hamady: I’m sorry. And also that that is so diabolical. 


Josie Totah: Well, it’s ethic– 


Yasmine Hamady: That is so diabolical.


Josie Totah: It’s ethical because this is consistent with people who pursue degrees– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –in criminal law. 


Yasmine Hamady: Sure. 


Josie Totah: It’s not totally out of the normal to release a survey like that. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah to want to understand suspects and why they do what they do so you can– 


Josie Totah: But it definitely– 


Yasmine Hamady: Sure. 


Josie Totah: –substantiates the circumstantial evidence surrounding the fact that he had thought about this. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh, yeah. 


Josie Totah: This was something that was on his mind and– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: He was fascinated with murder. 


Josie Totah: And that’s something he was extremely fascinated with. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: As morbid as that sounds. 


Yasmine Hamady: Also he was also he was very knowledgeable about what to do and how to get away with it. And also what–


Caroline Reston: And yet he made a lot of mistakes. [laughter]


Josie Totah: And yet he was dumb as fuck.


Caroline Reston: [laughing] Yeah he’s a fucking idiot. 


Yasmine Hamady: Many mistakes. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Geez. 


Josie Totah: And I think it’s important to clarify that although he was a student pursuing a Ph.D., he actually wasn’t a student at the University of Idaho. He was a student at Washington State University. And it has been said that him and his dad planned to drive from Washington State University to Pennsylvania, where his family lives for Thanksgiving break. So that was already planned. So around a few days or so after– 


Caroline Reston: A lot to be thankful around that [awkward laugh] Thanksgiving dinner. 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh my god okay. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. Geez.


Josie Totah: So around a few days or so after the murder. Him and his dad drove from Washington to Pennsylvania. And along this route, they were stopped by the police two times for traffic violations. I– 


Yasmine Hamady: Shut up. 


Josie Totah: –believe one of them was for tailgating, if not both of them. And you can actually see on the police officer’s body cam footage him talking to the police officer sort of anxiously. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah ominously.


Josie Totah: Ominously. 


Yasmine Hamady: Mmmm. 


Caroline Reston: And he’s talking about at some point like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Like he knew something was– 


Caroline Reston: –a mass shooting that happened. 


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: Which is like very unclear what he’s talking about. 


Josie Totah: And also why he’s speaking of it. On December 27th, Pennsylvania agents recovered the trash from Kohberger’s family residents in Pennsylvania. And on December 28th, the Idaho State lab reported that the DNA obtained from that trash identified a male as not being excluded as the biological father of a suspect profile, which means at least 99.9998% of the male population would be expected to be excluded from the possibility of being the suspect’s biological father. 


Caroline Reston: Usually when they do DNA, for example, like the Golden State killer, the way the reason why it took so long to get him is because they connected to him to his like 50th generation great grandparents. So connecting that family tree takes forever where in this case, the DNA match was so close it connected straight to the father. So it was easy to find, figure out who it was. 


Josie Totah: So it was clear this DNA got correlated with the DNA found on the scene, found on the knife sheath. That had to do with the fact that this exact person was registered under the car that was seen in the area, whose phone number was tipped off by cell records showing that he had been in and around the house where the murders occurred over 12 times and specifically was turned off during the exact hours of the murders, that it was unequivocal the suspect was Bryan Kohberger, and they were going to arrest him. [music break] So on Friday, December 30th, Bryan Kohberger was arrested. Doors were busted open, windows were shattered, it was an a pretty intense raid. Also, another thing that I found really interesting is when Bryan was arrested, he reportedly said the words like, was anyone else arrested? And I thought that was interesting– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: What? 


Josie Totah: –because I think that could attest to two separate theories. And one is sort of prosecutorial theory and one is a defense theory. And the prosecution’s– 


Caroline Reston: Okay Judge Josanna over here. 


Josie Totah: Hi. 


Caroline Reston: Fuck. 


Josie Totah: Through the prosecution– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah Jos, this is not an ick or a yum. 


Josie Totah: Through the prosecution’s perspective of what that means. If I was a prosecutor, I would say that maybe he had said that because there were, I don’t know, other people involved. And that’s why he was wondering if anyone else was involved or that he was extremely, you know, curious and concerned because he had a coconspirator, which could be one take on that and another take on that, which is sort of more of like the defensive side is he was so shocked that he was arrested that he was just wondering like, oh, was anyone else arrested that like maybe look like me or maybe I just fit the description or that I was just like another person who happened to be in the area. 


Yasmine Hamady: Mmm mm hmm. 


Josie Totah: And that could be adding to his case because he is you know obviously an educated man. So I’m not quite sure why that sentence was said. 


Caroline Reston: I took it as like, oh, I studied criminology and I’m going to fuck with the cops. May like kind of steering them in the wrong direction by being like wait did other people do it so they’re wasting their time investigating something else when he clearly seems like a lone wolf here. 


Yasmine Hamady: I just think he’s a–


Caroline Reston: Like it’s a diversion– 


Yasmine Hamady: –fucking idiot. 


Caroline Reston: That’s the word. 


Yasmine Hamady: Period point blank. I think he’s just opening his mouth just to say something, to try to not get caught, even though we know it was you. Like you’re done. You’re done. 


Josie Totah: Yeah, I think it’ll be really hard for the defense’s case on this because obviously the evidence is overwhelming, not just circumstantial, but the DNA itself like is insurmountable. And I think it would be insane if he were to not plead guilty. And–


Caroline Reston: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: So the day they arrested him, a warrant was served to basically enter the home of Kohberger’s apartment in Pullman, Washington. And through this search, they found a plethora of items that they’ve collected for research and to do testing on. One was a black glove. One was a Walmart receipt with one Dickey’s tag. Two Marshall’s receipts. [scoff] Why are you shopping at Marshalls? I’m like, come on. We should have known not to trust him. 


Yasmine Hamady: Please.


Josie Totah: Um dust container. Eight possible hair strands, one fire stick remote, one possible animal hair strain, several possible hair strands, one computer tower, one collection of dark red spot? And two cuttings from uncased pillows of like a reddish brown stain. There was no indication of if those were bloodstains or what they were specifically, but that the color of them were reddish brown. And then two top and bottom mattress cover packages separately, both labeled as multiple stains. And one was only tested. So they have collected like a mass amount of evidence to prove that this is him, which is just obviously unequivocal that they’re their case is so. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes. 


Josie Totah: Built and strong. 


Caroline Reston: So where we are sort of now, investigators and the public are obviously obsessed with figuring out what the motive is. Why did he do this? Did he have any connection to the roommates? Um. And something that was really interesting that came out recently um was that about two weeks before the killings, uh Kohberger um had DM’d I believe it was Kaylee several times a variation of, hey, how are you? Um. None of which she answered, none of which is, people aren’t sure if she even saw it. It went into like her, you know, when you get a message from a stranger, it goes into it’s own little inbox. 


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: So that’s where these messages were found. And he had repeatedly DM’d her again, a variation of, hey, how are you? To no response. So, I mean, that I’m just– 


Yasmine Hamady: Jesus. 


Caroline Reston: I’m always obsessed with like any any murder, like any man murdering a bunch of women I just assume is an incel. This just honestly– 


Yasmine Hamady: It’s a 100% an incel. 


Caroline Reston: –confirms it a little bit more. Um.


Caroline Reston: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: That he seemingly knew who these women were and were pusu– was pursuing them and being rejected in some sort of form. 


Josie Totah: And that in conjunction with the fact that a former employee at a restaurant in Moscow, Idaho, where Maddie and Xana were servers at said that Kohberger came in at least twice to pick up food from there. So it is speculated that he did know these people and that maybe he didn’t have direct interactions with them, but he had been near and around them. 


Caroline Reston: Yeah. So what is to come is that he has yet to put in a plea. He has repeatedly and him and his family has said he’s not responsible for this. So if they keep going with that, I imagine he’ll put in a not guilty plea. But I mean, this evidence feels, like you said, insurmountable. So ultimately, he hasn’t entered a plea yet. He is facing four counts of first degree murder and one count of burglary. If he’s convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison or the death penalty, because in the state of Idaho, the death penalty is still legal. Um. So he has some real consequences coming his way. And that’s pretty much where– 


Yasmine Hamady: Jesus. 


Caroline Reston: –we’re at now. We’re waiting to hear what his plea is going to be. We’re obviously waiting to hear more information about how he’s connected to them, what a possible motive was. It’s really fucking creepy. It’s scary how many unanswered questions there are despite the amount of evidence we have. [music break]




Josie Totah: Okay. So it’s chilling and it is horrific. But I think what’s even more chilling is the conversation surrounding these murders and the way people are obsessed with talking about them, including ourselves and also the Internet sleuths that have actually done a lot of damage, basically accusing people and associating people and– [indistinct talking in background] 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –claiming them to be suspects or having to do with this– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –murders when they have nothing to do with it at all. I think that’s really dangerous. And I just wanted to pose the question to you guys. Why do you think we as a culture are so obsessed with talking about true crime and specifically with– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –White women? I feel like there is–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Absolutely. Um.


Josie Totah: –a trend there. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I don’t know. Like, obviously these murders are horrifying and I think it’s a part of the human condition to unfortunately, be fascinated by death. You know, there’s so much unknown there, that I get. But there’s this other sphere that I think is really scary when we’re romanticizing it and when we get like, swept up in it. And I think that we’re seeing that more and more obviously, like with podcasts, with shows like there’s so many really dark, morbid shows that are not like things that are people just writing, creating, right? Because people can create dark art, but it’s like real people’s stories and lives. And that’s what I think is dangerous, especially with like the Idaho murders. Like everything that I’ve seen online, like, are using the victims who are still alive names, harassing them, accusing them of having a place in this. Like it’s it’s really scary. And then also there is this really niche group of people that once again, I understand being like, this is awful. Like, this is a news story. We are fascinated with murder because we are humans and unfortunately we all have to die, cool. But then there is this niche group of people that I think that are obsessed with the idea of like potentially being in one of these types of stories. And it genuinely makes me uncomfortable on a spiritual level to see that. But I honestly didn’t think that up until these last few months because I’m seeing TikToks where like girls are cutting off pieces of their hair and putting it in books and like doing like really peculiar things. 


Josie Totah: Yeah, there’s a new trend that’s going around. I think it’s like if I go missing trend or people are leaving traces of their DNA– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: For detectives– 


Yasmine Hamady: What? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –to find them if they go missing. And– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: It’s funny because Whoopi Goldberg said, like on The View, she was like, if you’re Black or Indigenous, honestly, this is a good thing because there is such a lack of of drive and conversation around– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –those investigations. 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh my god.


Josie Totah: –of a person of color getting missing than it would– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –be for a white person. 


Yasmine Hamady: Of course though.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: So here’s the thing, too. Like, I think there’s a difference between women being taught like self-defense and having safety precautions, like sharing your location. That is not what we’re talking about. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes, yes. [indistinct]


Alycia Pascual-Peña: We’re talking about. I don’t that’s a different episode, but there’s a different conversation in regards to like I think that when you are a person of color or if you are part of a marginalized group, you have spent your whole life feeling like you are in a mode of survival or feeling as if there is some impending danger your whole life. But if you are someone of a great amount of privilege and you haven’t felt that danger, there’s something like bad and scary and dangerous that you think is cute in a way that isn’t funny. And people lose their lives because they’re in danger a lot. You know what I mean? So it’s really it’s just really odd to me. In addition, how we– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –talk about something like so dark, so tragic with just a lack of care and lack of compassion, like these were real people’s human’s lives. Like, it’s not a story that somebody just wrote a script. Like, it’s actually terrifying to me how people are just talking about this, making jokes, making assumptions, saying what they would do. Because I’m like you– 


Josie Totah: The ramifications of it are–. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: Insurmountable. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: See, Alycia. Alycia, like, no, I think. I think you you hit it on the nose where it’s a lot of times a lot of people like to fantasize about what if this was me? Look at all the attention. And it does has to do with a lot of attention that this is getting. And a lot of times on social media, like on TikTok, you see so many people who honestly know nothing about this these cases, who know nothing but have read one news article and will give well if I were in this circumstance, this is what I would do. Or the two surviving roommates, they should be in prison for doing X, Y, and Z when it’s like you weren’t there. You don’t know what anything was going down. And I feel like it’s so easy on the outside to give an opinion when when you have no idea what the ramifications are. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Do you’ll think that all this information should be available, because I don’t. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah 


Josie Totah: Well, it’s interesting because only some of this information has come out and the I believe it was a judge or someone involved in the investigation didn’t want a lot of this evidence to be released until like the first week of March. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: Which is why it was shocking that we received so much information, I think, just a few days ago um from when we’re recording this, because they said that it could be of damage to the investigation. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: That it could possibly endanger the surviving roommates. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: It has. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: It could possibly ruin the process of trying to–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: –charge and convict this man.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And like, the integrity of the case. I feel like it has. 


Caroline Reston: Well, I also think here information is power. And I don’t necessarily think having to hear in detail the injuries of the victims is something we need to know. But I think it is good to have a lot of the information out there, because– 


Yasmine Hamady: I agree. 


Caroline Reston: You know, Reddit’s going to Reddit. People are going to go crazy. The less information you have, the more the conspiracies run wild and the more like that puts people who are affected by this murder in danger. 


Yasmine Hamady: I agree. 


Caroline Reston: So I think having the information out there is important to getting the story straight. Now, we all have. There is no set of truths anymore in our culture. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: So. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: There’s always going to be people who uh who doubt. But I think getting as much information and like this is what happened. All of your conspiracies are bullshit. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Caroline Reston: Is a good thing. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I think there’s power to that to an extent. 


Yasmine Hamady: See, that’s the that’s the thing. Caroline, I yeah, I think I just feel like. I feel like especially in the year of 2023 and with Reddit, social media, TikToks and whatnot, conspiracy is on the rise. I sound like a crazy mom saying that, conspiracy’s on the rise, but it really is. You see like even with Alex Jones. Correct. With he’s saying um the Sandy Hook massacre didn’t happen and people actually believe that it’s because I feel like if truth, the truth isn’t shared with a reliable source then it gives people the opportunity and the freedom to start steering away from what actually happened. And I feel like in cases like this, you need to have the truth. And I do agree. I don’t think what happened to the victims, the atrocities, the exact detail or the autopsies should be public information. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: I don’t think that’s anyone’s concern– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I also don’t think that–


Yasmine Hamady: –except for the families to be mourning. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –the murderer should be getting fame, which he is, because it empowers other people not to take it there and not to make it that dark. 


Yasmine Hamady: Hundred percent. A hundred percent.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: But one of there is a plethora of reasons that school shootings happen. 


Yasmine Hamady: No, you’re right. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: We know that. 


Yasmine Hamady: You’re right. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Please end and ban arms in this country. I said what I said. But anyways, one of the many reasons that I think school shooters, at least this is what experts have said, I don’t know nothing but psychologists and stuff is the fame that they get after because they become phenomenons. So I don’t even want to say this man’s name. What he did was awful. I hope that he is tried properly under the law, but him gaining fame in the way he is on TikTok and Reddits and everything else, does people who are not mentally well could encourage them in a way. 


Josie Totah: I think that’s important to note. One thing that I find, I don’t want to say joy in but– 


Yasmine Hamady: Agreed. 


Josie Totah: I’ve seen it spoken a lot or said a lot by a lot of investigators and detectives and lawyers and people who are very familiar with crime and these types of cases is when they mention how dumb he is, because he actually is quite dumb. There are so many steps that occurred that clearly indicated that he is dumb. 


Yasmine Hamady: He’s an idiot. 


Josie Totah: And he’s not as smart as he thinks he is. Because–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: He’s not a man to put on a pedestal. 


Josie Totah: Well, there are so there’s so much evidence um through the phone records that he had been over 12 times to the house and had only turned off his phone during the exact hours of the murders themselves. 


Yasmine Hamady: He’s such a fucking idiot. 


Josie Totah: So, I mean, he’s a fucking idiot. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: He’s he’s not that bright. And ultimately he left his shoe print. He left his DNA on the knife–


Caroline Reston: He was seen– 


Josie Totah: –sheath.  


Caroline Reston: –by one of the roommates. 


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Literally. 


Josie Totah: Like he– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Walking out the house. 


Josie Totah: He clearly didn’t do as you know–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Well as he thought he was going to do. 


Josie Totah: –intelligent as he thought he was going to. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Well, I. I’m going to ask you guys a question that I don’t even think I fully have my own answer to. But how do, how do we think that we should be approaching situations like this where awful things are happening, it feels like violence and crime is like only rising. You know, not to sound– 


Josie Totah: Like a Republican. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. Ugh. But, um you know, horrific things happen. And now because of social media and all of these other resources, we speak about it more. There’s more of an audience. So is there an ethical and moral way that we go about handling these situations? 


Josie Totah: I think social media has proven to be an incredibly useful tool for so many reasons, and– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Agreed. 


Josie Totah: Particularly with technology and DNA technology and genealogy, which we have seen, be able to find people that were involved in cold cases for several years. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah yeah. 


Josie Totah: And especially with um Gabby and when she was missing. 


Caroline Reston: Gabby Petito. 


Josie Totah: Yeah ok TikTok. But I also think with any useful tool there is the abuse of that tool. And I think we see that so much. And so your question was how–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: How do we approach it? How do we talk about it? Do we not talk about it at all?


Josie Totah: I think we approach it with discernment and with with education. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I agree. 


Yasmine Hamady: Mmm. 


Josie Totah: I think we have to look at the facts. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: I think– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And respect and compassion. 


Josie Totah: Yeah. As a society, we’ve gotten so used to speaking before reading and claiming before thinking. And I think that the more that we research and understand the facts, the more we can better equip ourselves to make statements that aren’t based on irrational theories–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –and conspiracies and that can actually like contribute to benefiting for a case. Because–. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: I think that I think there is something to say about it being helpful. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: No, I I agree. I think it’s important that we do have conversations about like defense and being able to note things and have the discernment to go, okay, this isn’t a safe situation. I think there’s so many resources. I think we find people, you know, this there’s this whole movement that everybody should be tuned into in regards to finding Indigenous women that go missing or unfortunately are sex trafficked. Right? So I think that that’s important. But I also do think it’s really important that we don’t get desensitized to death and we don’t get desensitized to forgetting the fact that these are people’s lives and there are families– 


Yasmine Hamady: I agree. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –mourning right now. So it’s not cute for you to get on your phone or get on a podcast or get on a TikTok and be like, this is what I would have done. Or is that girl crazy? Or why were they up late drinking anyways having that fun like, please shut up, leave those type of opinions to yourself and remember that people died and take a moment and respect that before you say anything. And sometimes you don’t need to say nothing at all. I think frankly, in a lot of moments in regards to true crime and death and stuff, I don’t need to say nothing at all– 


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Except send those families love, you feel me? 


Caroline Reston: I think no matter what, like true crime and these types of crime stories are always going to be something that our culture is obsessed with. Like, that’s just a truth that’s going to be going on forever. So I think one thing we didn’t ask ourselves is like, whose stories are we elevating? Are we just elevating missing white girl stories? Um. Are we just elevating, you know, stories that feel relatable to you personally? Because, like Alycia was saying, the amount of Indigenous women and women of color whose stories are never told and whose murders happen so often and don’t hit any mainstream media is so horrifying. So–


Yasmine Hamady: Mm hmm mm hmm. 


Caroline Reston: –if we do find ourselves obsessed with these stories, there are stories, we’re talking about it, and bringing it to the mainstream is going to be beneficial. So you can get your sick fantasy fix while also doing a good thing. Because let’s be real. I’m a white girl who loves true crime. I’m still always going to be engaging in true crime. I’m going to try and make sure that stories I’m looking into aren’t just the Gabby Petito stories whose stories should be told, too, because she also died unfairly. But–


Josie Totah: Everyone’s stories should be told.


Caroline Reston: Yeah, everyone’s stories should be told.


Josie Totah: And it should have equal– 


Yasmine Hamady: See, I think I think that’s important to call out. And I also feel like at the end of the day, we’re all like, you have to look at it from a human standpoint. For example, Crime Junkie. I think that’s an amazing place to listen to true crime, because they also have a foundation solving cold cases. They also always uh share stories about Indigenous and POC women and sex workers as well who’ve gone missing. But I pose a question to look inwards and really ask yourself, why am I fascinated by this? Obviously, it’s the human condition to be fascinated by death, like Alycia said, but really, why am I listening to this? Why is it entertaining to me? That’s the at least for me that’s what I ask myself when I like really like an episode. 


Josie Totah: The relationship to the media and true crime has existed for so long and also perpetrators relationship to them as well. And the police like specifically with like the Zodiac killer and how he taunted investigators. 


Yasmine Hamady: Mm hmm. 


Josie Totah: And, you know, there was newspaper editorials and it’s just something that’s always been around. I think it’s just exacerbated by social media– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes. 


Caroline Reston: Absolutely. 


Josie Totah: –and the way we use social media on a much more visceral level. 


Yasmine Hamady: Have you guys seen on TikTok how they’re like the killer, look how handsome or like, you know, how a lot of people on– 


Caroline Reston: Yeah Ted Bundy was not hot. 


Yasmine Hamady: –social media will be like–


Caroline Reston: I don’t know where that narrative came from.


Yasmine Hamady: Well no even– 


Caroline Reston: Not a hot man. 


Yasmine Hamady: –this case. They were like, he’s a young man getting his Ph.D. like, look how attractive I’m like you guys are sick fucks. 


Josie Totah: Yeah. There were people writing love letters–


Yasmine Hamady: You guys– 


Josie Totah: –to Ted Bundy and– 


Yasmine Hamady: Love letters to him! And I’m–


Josie Totah: Were trying to get married to him. He had his long term partner– 


Caroline Reston: I mean, I did write a letter– 


Josie Totah: –who was impregnanted. 


Caroline Reston: –to Manson onc– no, I didn’t. 


Josie Totah: Oh my god. 


Caroline Reston: I thought about it though. 


Josie Totah: Jesus Christ. [music break]


Josie Totah: I think at the end of the day, there is no exciting end to the story. It is tragic and it is awful. And no– 


Yasmine Hamady: No. 


Josie Totah: –matter what happens with this trial, the victims are Ethan, Xana, Kaylee, Maddie, their families and the two surviving roommates. And that is unequivocal. And no matter what, they’re going to have to live with that for the rest of their lives, which is horrifying and saddening. But I’m glad that we’re having conversations, at least around how we can be better communicators in the culture of true crime in general, because I think we can do a lot of good if we are well intentioned. And I think starting that conversation is like a good first step. 


Caroline Reston: Yeah. [music break]


Josie Totah: Dare We Say is a Crooked Media production. 


Yasmine Hamady: Caroline Reston is our showrunner, producer and Mommy and Ari Schwartz is our producer and show Daddy. Fiona Pestana is our associate producer and Sandy Girard is the Almighty executive producer. 


Josie Totah: It’s hosted and produced by me, Josie Totah. 


Yasmine Hamady: And me, Yasmine Hamady. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And me, Alycia Pascual-Peña. Our engineer and editor is Jordan Cantor. And Brian Vasquez is our theme music composer. Our video producers are Matt DeGroot, Narineh Melkonian, and Delon Villanueva and Mia Kellman. 


Josie Totah: Lastly, thank you to Jordan Silver, Gabriela Leverette, Jesse McLean, Caroline Heywood, Shaina Hortsmann, Deisi Cruz, Danielle Jensen and Ewa Okulate for marketing the show and making us look so damn good.