This article submitted by Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. It contains editorial content which is the opinion of the writer.
A comparison between Bryan Kohberger and a study offered by the US Secret Service on misogynistic extremism.
It’s possible that Bryan Kohberger had issues with women and attacked a place, not well-known specific victims.
Did Bryan Kohberger engage in misogynistic extremism? Did he dislike or hate women? The alleged killer of three women and one male college student in Moscow, Idaho indicates a pattern that possibly fits the term.
The United States Secret Service created a profile of the Hot Yoga Tallahassee homicides (described below) and there are similarities between the Tallahassee shooter and Kohberger.
Everything offered here is pure speculation based on news reports of Kohberger’s behaviors before and after the homicides.
Multiple stab wounds of three female and one male student indicate rage. Most stabbings are defensive or are part of a crime designed to disable or to accomplish a crime. Multiple stab wounds indicate passion, a personal attack. Where did that rage come from?
In the US Secret Service case below, a “location” containing women was attacked; the Tallahassee shooter did not know the female victims.
It’s possible that the Moscow, Idaho homicides fit the same pattern.
The criminal case may not offer evidence that Kohberger had extensive previous contact with the victims. He may have noticed them at a distance. He may have heard that multiple people visited their rental house. He may have assumed that entry would be easy. There is data that he, as a Ph.D. criminology student, would have access to stating that most burglaries involve unlocked doors or windows.
The understandable initial police focus involving murdered women is on prior contact; the victim knew her attacker. The vast majority of female homicide victims knew their attacker. That may not apply in this case.
Offenders with respected backgrounds hide in plain sight. Camp counselors, clergy, volunteers, and many others believe that their education or positions of trust make them partially immune from suspicion before an attack.
United States Secret Service Report-The Hot Yoga Tallahassee Attacker-Introduction (
On November 2, 2018, a 40-year-old gunman opened fire inside Hot Yoga Tallahassee, a yoga studio in Tallahassee, FL, killing two women and injuring four more before committing suicide. The attacker was motivated to carry out violence by his inability to develop or maintain relationships with women, along with his perception of women’s societal power over men.
For decades prior, he engaged in numerous instances of inappropriate and criminal behavior directed toward women and girls. These behaviors resulted in him losing several jobs, being barred from public locations, and having multiple contacts with law enforcement, some of which resulted in an arrest.
The behavioral history of the Hot Yoga Tallahassee attacker illustrates many of the behavioral threat assessment themes identified through years of U.S. Secret Service research examining targeted violence. Further, this attacker’s history highlights the specific threat posed by misogynistic extremism.
The Hot Yoga Tallahassee attacker did not appear to adopt any of these specific ideological labels, but his behavior and beliefs aligned with many who do. Although these labels and their origins vary, they all have proponents who have called for violence against women.
These behavioral themes are frequently seen in the backgrounds of other attackers and, as such, should be the focus of community-level violence prevention efforts to identify and intervene with those who pose a risk of engaging in targeted violence.
In the interest of summation, the gunman in the Hot Yoga Tallahassee shootings had:
- A long history of inappropriate acts toward women and girls.
- A long history of misogynistic writings, songs and videos.
- Family interventions towards the shooter because of inappropriate acts toward women and girls.
Professional history includes:
- Obtaining college degrees.
- He enrolled in graduate school in Florida and graduated with two Master’s degrees, one in public administration and the other in urban and regional planning.
- He was a teacher for Maryland and Florida school systems.
- He was an army officer.
Contacts with the justice system and administrators include:
- Multiple complaints regarding hostility towards women and girls.
- Multiple interactions with police for the same reasons.
- Several arrests for touching or harassing.
- College roommates in Florida later described him as odd and obnoxious.
- He admired Ted Bundy and other serial killers.
- He made fellow employees very nervous.
- He was court-ordered to attend counseling several times.
- He lost his apartment due to complaints of inappropriate behavior.
- He admired Hitler.
- His website was referred to a federal law enforcement agency.
Before the crime:
- There were extensive preparations before the shootings including the purchase of a gun, ammunition, ear protection and firearms practice.
- There were extensive violence-related writings and songs posted to his website.
The Attack At Hot Yoga Tallahassee
Around 4:35 p.m., SB left his hotel with a Glock pistol and a yoga mat. At 5:17 p.m., he arrived at Hot Yoga Tallahassee and signed up for the 5:30 p.m. class using his first and middle names.
He put on his hearing protection and drew the Glock pistol. The instructor asked what he was doing as SB opened fire at random. SB shot six people during the attack before his pistol malfunctioned, at which time a class member struck him with a vacuum cleaner and a broom. This allowed time for others to escape. Once he resolved the weapon malfunction, SB said something unintelligible and fatally shot himself. Tragically, two of the victims who were shot later died at the hospital.
Secret Service Conclusion
This case study demonstrates the importance of using a behavioral threat assessment approach that involves various community stakeholders who may be in a position to intervene with an individual who is escalating to violence. A superficial look at SB’s personal history reveals an individual who pursued higher education, served in the military, and held highly regarded professional positions of trust.
Hatred of women, and the gender-based violence that is associated with it, requires increased attention from everyone with a role in public safety. Regardless of whether an individual self-affixes a label to their extremist beliefs, such as “incel” or “anti-feminist,” the individual’s behavior should remain the primary focus. In this case, SB’s misogynistic views and associated behavior resulted in him being fired from multiple jobs, being banned from public locations, and being arrested.
Also note that the decision to carry out a violent act may occur well before a specific target is selected (emphasis added).
As demonstrated in this case study by SB researching yoga studios and cheerleading camps, an individual plotting an attack may explore multiple targets during the planning process before making their final selection.
Kohberger As Described By Vox And Other Media (selected, rearranged paragraphs)
Kohberger was a Pennsylvania native who grew up in the suburbs. His high school classmates described him as “analytical,” interested in human behaviors — but one friend described a physically and emotionally abusive friendship to the New York Times that “got so, so bad that I just shut down when I was around him.”
Kohberger graduated from Northampton Community College in 2018 with an associate degree in psychology; two years later, he graduated from DeSales University, then went on to study criminology there as a grad student.
While there, he took classes under legendary forensic profiler Katherine Ramsland, a household name in the world of true crime thanks to her long career and dozens of books covering famous cases. He also participated in a research study into criminal behavior, for which he recruited on Reddit using a retroactively chilling descriptor:
“This study seeks to understand the story behind your most recent criminal offense, with an emphasis on your thoughts and feelings throughout your experience.”
After getting his master’s degree in 2022, he began studying at Washington State as a criminology and criminal justice doctoral student.
There are striking parallels between Kohberger and the Golden State Killer, Joseph DeAngelo Jr. Both men gravitated to law enforcement: DeAngelo was a police officer; Kohberger worked as a security guard for a local school district and had recently applied for an internship with his local police department. Both had glowing newspaper write-ups for small acts of valor they had performed.
Both men also cased their crime scenes extensively: phone records showed Kohberger returning to the area of the King Road house again and again — “on at least 12 occasions” per the affidavit — beginning in June 2022, the earliest date that police could obtain records. That might be significant for multiple reasons. The evidence, instead, might point toward Kohberger being fixated, as authorities originally suggested, on the house itself (emphasis added).
The triumph of the investigation, however, is tempered by the realization that Kohberger seems to have been working the criminal justice system in order to become a better criminal.
Comparisons Between Kohberger And The Hot Yoga Tallahassee Attacker
From Vox and additional media, we understand that Kohberger:
Was highly educated, the same as the Hot Yoga Tallahassee attacker.
Was described as awkward in social settings, the same as the Hot Yoga Tallahassee attacker.
Was abusive towards friends, the same as the Hot Yoga Tallahassee attacker.
He was accused of inappropriate touching of women, the same as the Hot Yoga Tallahassee attacker.
He studied serial killers, the same as the Hot Yoga Tallahassee attacker.
He made people nervous, the same as the Hot Yoga Tallahassee attacker.
Both had very respectable positions.
Both researched previous acts of violence.
Both studied serial killers and their methods of operation.
Both engaged in extensive preparations before the crime.
Like the Hot Yoga Tallahassee shootings, Kohberger hid behind a facade of respectability which gave him some degree of immunity when law enforcement started their investigation. How many multiple homicides are committed by a Ph.D. criminology student?
The female targets in Tallahassee were unknown to the attacker. Some suggest that Kohberger targeted the house, not necessarily the female victims.
Other Media On Kohberger
According to CBS News:
“There was a comment that he made, and it was kind of a flippant guy talk thing. At one point, he just idly mentioned, you know, ‘I can go down to a bar or a club and pretty much have any lady I want.’”
CBS suggests that he was bullied when overweight.
CBS suggests that Kohberger had said that he would put a friend in like chokeholds.
Per CBS, a female friend says Kohberger started using heroin, which ended their friendship. You just saw him becoming more self-destructive. … He really stayed secluded. A friend described him as creepy.
Per the New York Post, describing a date with a woman, once inside her room, Kohberger wanted to watch another movie on Netflix — and that’s when things took a creepy turn. The woman said:
“He was very pushy when it came to coming back in my dorm with me. But I didn’t get like scary vibes or anything from that. I just thought he was a stage five clinger because he said he wanted to spend more time with me. He kept trying to touch me.”
What We Don’t Know
We don’t have an extensive history of Kohberger’s relationships with women. With the Hot Yoga Tallahassee attacker, there were endless instances and examples of hostility toward women.
We don’t know Kohberger’s social media profiles or writings. With the Hot Yoga Tallahassee attacker, there is a multitude of written materials.
We don’t know Kohberger’s relationship with the victims, if any.
Did Kohberger Want To Be Caught?
Kohberger allegedly left his cell phone on when casing the home multiple times. He left a knife shieth behind with his DNA. He had to know that his vehicle would be recorded by video cameras in the area.
He made so many fundamental mistakes that anyone with knowledge of violent crimes would avoid. How difficult would it be to turn off his phone (or not carry it at all) during the drivebys? How hard would it be to leave the knife shieth in his vehicle? If you’re going to make multiple drivebys, why not use different vehicles?
For a person with vast knowledge of criminality, it seemed that he wanted to be caught.
First, Kohberger is innocent until proven guilty. Defense attorneys suggest that this may not be the slam dunk case that everyone thinks it is based on the available evidence.
Second, if we were to accuse highly educated men (or males in general) who were awkward around women to the point where they made people uncomfortable, we would wade through a ton of humanity.
Third, we have extensive conversations with people documented by the media that suggest an uncomfortable profile of Kohberger. Whether these recollections are accurate or influenced by Kohberger’s arrests is anyone’s guess.
Fourth, we have Kohberger wearing surgical gloves at 4:00 a.m. taking trash from his family home and distributing it into the trashcans of other homes to prevent a possible DNA match.
Here is a meticulous murder suspect trying to hide evidence (he turned his cell phone off during the murders) yet he made so many fundamental mistakes at the murder scene as to suggest incompetence or a desire to be caught.
As we proceed, we will know much more about the case and the suspect. But at the moment, it’s possible that Kohberger attacked a place, not well-known specific victims, and that he may be motivated by a dislike or hatred towards women. But that has yet to be revealed.
But multiple stab wounds of different people indicate immense hostility toward the students (three women, one man) he may not have known well. If so, he may fit the misogynistic extremism pattern described by the US secret Service.
See more articles on crime and justice at Crime in America.
Most Dangerous Cities/States/Countries at Most Dangerous Cities.
US Crime Rates at Nationwide Crime Rates.
National Offender Recidivism Rates at Offender Recidivism.
An Overview Of Data On Mental Health at Mental Health And Crime.
The Crime in America.Net RSS feed (https://crimeinamerica.net/?
About the writer
Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr.
Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of directing award-winning public relations for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every national news outlet. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director of Information Services, National Crime Prevention Council. Former Adjunct Associate Professor of criminology and public affairs-University of Maryland, University College. Former advisor to presidential and gubernatorial campaigns. Former advisor to the “McGruff-Take a Bite Out of Crime” national media campaign. Certificate of Advanced Study-Johns Hopkins University. Former police officer. Aspiring drummer.
Author of ”Success With The Media: Everything You Need To Survive Reporters and Your Organization” available at Amazon and additional booksellers.
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