Crime: How Police Can Use the Idaho Murder Weapon to Track Down the Killer

University of Idaho victim's father says Xana Kernodle had 'bruises,' put up a fight against killer

  University of Idaho victim's father says Xana Kernodle had 'bruises,' put up a fight against killer University of Idaho murder victim Xana Kernodle's father said the 20-year-old had 'bruises' and was 'torn by the knife' while putting up an apparent fight with her attacker.Xana Kernodle, 20, was killed in the early morning hours of Nov. 13 — along with her boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, and two friends, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves — in a home on King Road in Moscow, Idaho, near the university. Police have not mentioned any suspects or a motive as of Thursday.

Amid the ongoing investigation into the death of four University of Idaho students, there have been reports of police searching for a specific knife that could have been used.

Police tape hangs across the street in front of the house that Dennis Rader lives in February 26, 2005 in Park City, Kansas. On Wednesday, November 23, 2022, experts spoke to Newsweek about the ongoing investigation into the murder of four University of Idaho students. © Larry W. Smith/Getty Images Police tape hangs across the street in front of the house that Dennis Rader lives in February 26, 2005 in Park City, Kansas. On Wednesday, November 23, 2022, experts spoke to Newsweek about the ongoing investigation into the murder of four University of Idaho students.

"There has been much conversation about the terminology used to describe the weapon," the Moscow Police Department said in an update on Tuesday night. "The type of knife though to be used in the attacks is believed to be a fixed-blade knife. Detectives continue to look for the weapon."

Police release map in desperate search for leads in University of Idaho murders

  Police release map in desperate search for leads in University of Idaho murders Police have released an aerial map showing the University of Idaho murder victims' final movements before they were slaughtered Sunday in their home near campus."Detectives working on the University of Idaho homicides are seeking additional tips and leads to further the investigation," reads a post, accompanied by a map, that went up on the City of Moscow Police Department's Facebook page Friday afternoon.

The update comes just a few days after the Idaho Statesman reported that the manager of the Moscow Building Supply store said investigators visited his location several times asking if anyone had recently purchased a Ka-Bar brand knife.

On November 13, police responded to a home near the University of Idaho and discovered four people fatally stabbed. Some had defensive wounds, police said, but no suspect has been identified.

"They were specifically asking whether or not we carry Ka-Bar-style knives, which we do not," Scott Jutte, the manager of the building supply store told the Idaho Statesman. "If we did, we could've reviewed surveillance footage. But it wasn't something I could help them with."

Idaho student murders: Former officers say police 'jumped the gun' with initial 'targeted' attack statement

  Idaho student murders: Former officers say police 'jumped the gun' with initial 'targeted' attack statement Two former detectives with the LAPD and NYPD weigh in on information police have released regarding the murders of four University of Idaho students.The Moscow Police Department (MPD) described the attack as isolated and targeted in a Tuesday press release. Authorities have since revealed that the victims — Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21 — were stabbed to death, possibly while asleep, at about 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. on Nov. 13.

Thomas O'Connor, a former FBI agent, told Newsweek about the specific knife police said they are searching for and explained how it could help build a "mosaic" that could solve the crime.

"When you talk about a knife such as a Ka-Bar, which is a military-style knife, any of those fixed-blade knives that are large, serrated, double-edged," O'Connor said. "They're going to leave a certain type of entry wound in the body and the medical examiner's office will be able to tell you if it was a double-edged knife just by the entry. Different types of cuts will be specific to different types of knives."

O'Connor also explained how police identifying the type of knife could help lead to identifying a suspect.

"If you have kitchen knives, you're gonna have thousands of Cutco kitchen knives in a region. If you have a Ka-Bar, you're going to have less people that have those and you're going to have less people who have purchased those," O'Connor said. "So, when you're going to hunting stores and military surplus stores, the hope is, I would think, is that somebody in there says, 'Hey this guy came in here three weeks ago and purchased one of these knives.'

Idaho murders: police have 'cleared' phone calls victims made on the night of stabbings

  Idaho murders: police have 'cleared' phone calls victims made on the night of stabbings Police said Sunday that they have cleared multiple phone calls two victims of a Nov. 13 quadruple homicide near the University of Idaho campus made the night of the murders.Victims Kaylee Goncalves, 21, and Madison Mogen, 21, made "multiple" phone calls to a male subject just before they were stabbed to death while sleeping, but police have "cleared" the subject on the receiving end of those calls, Moscow Police Department Chief James Fry said during a Sunday press conference.

"If they can determine the type of weapon and if it's something that's not a common household appliance, then they have a better chance of tying it back to an individual, which could be a long shot but that's what police work is. The evidence left by the knife in the victims is gonna help identify the knife type and that gives investigators that foot-up to go out and hit the streets."

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Update on University of Idaho murders: How the community is coping amid deadly stabbings .
The University of Idaho is holding vigils Wednesday for four students who were stabbed near the campus on Nov. 13. Fear and uncertainty lingers.On Wednesday evening, students and faculty were expected to gather to remember Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21 and Xana Kernodle, 20, in a series of candlelight vigils including in the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center in Moscow, in front of the University of Idaho Water Center in Boise and in a cafeteria on the College of Eastern Idaho campus.

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