Idaho murder house where four students were butchered is DEMOLISHED – despite opposition from victims’ families amid failure of judge to set trial date for suspect Byran Kohberger

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Written By Maya Cantina
  •  The house where four University of Idaho students were killed last year is set to be demolished Thursday, despite protests from some of the victims’ families
  • It is almost exactly a year since Bryan Kohberger, 29, studying for a PhD in criminology at nearby Washington State University, was charged with stabbing
  • Relatives fear the move may negatively impact a jury’s ability to reach a verdict. The home has already been combed for evidence and preserved in digital form

It has stood as a constant reminder of the horrors that took place within its walls – walls out of which the blood of the victims seeped.

But on Thursday the house in Moscow, Idaho where four of the town’s university students were slaughtered will be razed, with demolition trucks slated to arrive before dawn.

It is almost exactly a year since Bryan Kohberger, now 29, studying for a PhD in criminology at nearby Washington State University, was charged with stabbing to death 21-year-old friends Kaylee Goncalves and Maddie Mogen and Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin, both 20.

Kohberger was arrested during a raid on his parents’ home in the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania on December 30, six weeks after, investigators allege, he broke into this three-story clapboard rental and carried out the now infamous attacks.

Two roommates, Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke, both 21, escaped the November 13 killings at the off-campus property.

Mortensen told investigators that she locked her bedroom door after seeing a man dressed in black, wearing a mask, walk past her towards the house’s back exit at around 4am.

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The house where four University of Idaho students were killed last year is set to be demolished Thursday, despite protests from some of the victims’ families. The home is seen here Wednesday, the evening before the demolition

It is almost exactly a year since Bryan Kohberger, 28, studying for a PhD in criminology at nearby Washington State University, was charged with the stabbings. Currently awaiting trial, he is seen entering courtroom for a hearing in Moscow back in October

It is almost exactly a year since Bryan Kohberger, 28, studying for a PhD in criminology at nearby Washington State University, was charged with the stabbings. Currently awaiting trial, he is seen entering courtroom for a hearing in Moscow back in October

The former grad student is accused of stabbing Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Maddie Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin , 20, on November 13 in the home as they slep. Victims Goncalves, Mogen (on Kaylee's shoulders) Chapin and Kernodle are seen here

The former grad student is accused of stabbing Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Maddie Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin , 20, on November 13 in the home as they slep. Victims Goncalves, Mogen (on Kaylee’s shoulders) Chapin and Kernodle are seen here

The killings rocked the small college town as residents and students alike no longer felt safe in their beds.

All these months on, when DailyMail.com visited 1122 King Road on the eve of its demolition, the house seemed to suck all the air out of the corner on which it stood.

Sealed up and silent, set into the hill and surrounded by the mulch of fallen leaves it was as stark and as chill as the Idaho winter.

Little wonder that many locals with whom we spoke told of their relief that the moment of its demolition had finally come.

University representatives, City officials and contractors – whom DailyMail.com has learned are bound to secrecy by a Non-Disclosure Agreement – met at the site midafternoon Wednesday.

Grim faced and somber they finalized the details of the demolition that, according to University of Idaho President Scott Green, has been the school’s intention since they took ownership of the house earlier this year.

Green explained, ‘It is the grim reminder of the heinous act that took place there…it is time for its removal and to allow the collective healing of our community to continue.’

The school has already twice postponed the demolition – first at the start of the fall semester, then again in October when Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial. The trial has now been delayed indefinitely but seems likely to take place in the summer.

The school has already twice postponed the demolition – first at the start of the fall semester, then again in October when Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial

The school has already twice postponed the demolition – first at the start of the fall semester, then again in October when Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial

The delays came amid fears that a premature demolition would compromise a successful prosecution by depriving the defense of adequate time to gather what evidence they needed

The delays came amid fears that a premature demolition would compromise a successful prosecution by depriving the defense of adequate time to gather what evidence they needed

The university, which ordered the razing, has maintained that it was, ‘trying to balance what’s right for students [currently enrolled] and do right by the memories of the students that were lost’

The university, which ordered the razing, has maintained that it was, ‘trying to balance what’s right for students [currently enrolled] and do right by the memories of the students that were lost’

Not all the victims’ families agree that they have succeeded, as the home remained bordered up Thursday ahead of the looming demolition

Not all the victims’ families agree that they have succeeded, as the home remained bordered up Thursday ahead of the looming demolition

Two roommates, Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke, both 21, escaped the November 13 killings at the off-campus property.

Two roommates, Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke, both 21, escaped the November 13 killings at the off-campus property.

Mortensen told investigators that she locked her bedroom door after seeing a man dressed in black, wearing a mask, walk past her towards the house’s back exit at around 4am.

Mortensen told investigators that she locked her bedroom door after seeing a man dressed in black, wearing a mask, walk past her towards the house’s back exit at around 4am.

University officials on Thursday said of the home - which already been combed for evidence and preserved in digital form - ‘It is the grim reminder of the heinous act that took place there'

University officials on Thursday said of the home – which already been combed for evidence and preserved in digital form – ‘It is the grim reminder of the heinous act that took place there’ 

'While we appreciate the emotional connection some family members of the victims may have to this house,' they continued, 'it is time for its removal and to allow the collective healing of our community to continue'. The demolition, as of 8am, is scheduled to go on unhindered

‘While we appreciate the emotional connection some family members of the victims may have to this house,’ they continued, ‘it is time for its removal and to allow the collective healing of our community to continue’. The demolition, as of 8am, is scheduled to go on unhindered

The delays came amid fears that a premature demolition would compromise a successful prosecution by depriving the defense of adequate time to gather what evidence they needed.

The university has always maintained that it was, ‘trying to balance what’s right for students [currently enrolled] and do right by the memories of the students that were lost.’

Not all the victims’ families agree that they have succeeded.

Last month Cara Northington, Kernodle’s mother, added her name to a petition asking that jurors be allowed to visit the scene of the crime.

Writing on the change.org petition she stated, ‘My daughter was murdered in that house, and there is no way they should be destroying any evidence.’

Similarly, Goncalves’s family issued a statement earlier this month in which they asked, ‘Isn’t it better to have the King Rd. House and not need it than need the house and not have it?’

That, the statement continued, has been the family’s question to the prosecution and University of Idaho, ‘for the entire time the demo of King Road has been an issue.’

Why, they wanted to know, was it even up for discussion?

According to their statement, ‘This is one of the most horrific crimes in the history of Idaho and the University wants to destroy one of the most critical pieces of evidence in the case.’

Giving voice to their utter frustration the family described their resistance to the demolition as ‘like screaming into a void’ and added, ‘Nobody is listening, and everyone tells you how sorry they are for the decision, but the families’ opinion isn’t a priority.’

Relatives fear he move might negatively impact a jury’s ability to reach a verdict at trial early next year

Relatives fear he move might negatively impact a jury’s ability to reach a verdict at trial early next year

Contractors are seen meeting with school and city officials to finalize details of the demolish Wednesday

Contractors are seen meeting with school and city officials to finalize details of the demolish Wednesday

The evening before the demolition drew many others to the site as well. School officials view the demolition as a key step toward finding closure, a university spokesperson said

The evening before the demolition drew many others to the site as well. School officials view the demolition as a key step toward finding closure, a university spokesperson said

Road Closed signs are seen going up around 1122 King Road Wednesday, on a street that when school is in session is commonly overrun with students

Road Closed signs are seen going up around 1122 King Road Wednesday, on a street that when school is in session is commonly overrun with students

The final details surrounding the demolition are now all ironed out. With the house gone, attention can shift to the property's future

The final details surrounding the demolition are now all ironed out. With the house gone, attention can shift to the property’s future

In place of the rental, the university intends to create a memorial garden to honor the four students. Landscape design and architecture students were set to draft concepts for the garden this past fall

In place of the rental, the university intends to create a memorial garden to honor the four students. Landscape design and architecture students were set to draft concepts for the garden this past fall

The question of what to do with such properties has become increasingly common in recent years, as mass shootings and incidents of violent crime continue to ramp up

The question of what to do with such properties has become increasingly common in recent years, as mass shootings and incidents of violent crime continue to ramp up

Kohberger had been given access to the home as part of their preparations for trial earlier this year. Prosecutors also accessed the house as recently as December 21, the school said

Kohberger had been given access to the home as part of their preparations for trial earlier this year. Prosecutors also accessed the house as recently as December 21, the school said

Back in October the FBI used 3-D imaging and drones to map the house’s interior and exterior in a painstaking exercise that took several weeks and produced data that could be used at trial

Back in October the FBI used 3-D imaging and drones to map the house’s interior and exterior in a painstaking exercise that took several weeks and produced data that could be used at trial

Teams representing Kohberger reportedly took photographs, measurements, and drone footage – a process that mirrored work already undertaken by the prosecution

Teams representing Kohberger reportedly took photographs, measurements, and drone footage – a process that mirrored work already undertaken by the prosecution

Some, however, maintain there is no substitute for jurors being able to view the house themselves

Some, however, maintain there is no substitute for jurors being able to view the house themselves

In the months since the murders Tik Tokers and true crime junkies have turned the clapboard home into a ghoulish sort of tourist attraction. The former ‘party house’ had belonged to a private landlord who transferred ownership to the University of Idaho at the start of this year

In the months since the murders Tik Tokers and true crime junkies have turned the clapboard home into a ghoulish sort of tourist attraction. The former ‘party house’ had belonged to a private landlord who transferred ownership to the University of Idaho at the start of this year

For now, they are just concerned with making sure there is nothing left behind for souvenir hunters to claim

For now, they are just concerned with making sure there is nothing left behind for souvenir hunters to claim

They are not alone in their fears that the move might negatively impact a jury’s ability to reach a verdict at trial.

The evening before the demolition began many were drawn to take one last look at the site.

Local Linda Moser, 60, who has lived in Moscow all her life remembers the night the shelter in place alert was sent out following the attacks.

She told DailyMail.com that she understands the desire to ‘move on’ and ‘heal.’

She said, ‘This was so shocking to the whole community, the outpouring of love and concern and horror that followed was so stunning.’

But, she said, ‘Removing this house isn’t going to remove the image of it or the memory and I think it’s vital for jurors to be able to see it.’

The house has already been combed for evidence and preserved in digital form many times over.

Back in October the FBI used 3-D imaging and drones to map the house’s interior and exterior in a painstaking exercise that took several weeks and produced data that could be used at trial.

Kohberger appears in court in Moscow, Idaho, on Thursday. Judge John Judge - whose order allows the suspected killer's defense a chance to review the genetic evidence against him - speaks on the video screen in the background

Kohberger appears in court in Moscow, Idaho, on Thursday. Judge John Judge – whose order allows the suspected killer’s defense a chance to review the genetic evidence against him – speaks on the video screen in the background

Investigators allegedly matched the DNA on a Ka-Bar knife sheath to that of Kohberger. Pictured is a similar Ka-Bar seven inch hunting knife

Investigators allegedly matched the DNA on a Ka-Bar knife sheath to that of Kohberger. Pictured is a similar Ka-Bar seven inch hunting knife

Kohberger was arrested some 2,300 miles from the crime scene in Pennsylvania. He was attending college in nearby Washington State

Kohberger was arrested some 2,300 miles from the crime scene in Pennsylvania. He was attending college in nearby Washington State

Earlier this month, on December 14 and 15, teams representing Kohberger asked for access to the house as they continued their preparation for the trial whenever it may happen.

They took photographs, measurements, and drone footage – a process that mirrored work already undertaken by the prosecution.

But for Moser, and others to whom DailyMail.com spoke, this is no substitute for jurors being able to view the house themselves.

She said, ‘I worry that people looking at it on videos or 3-D models won’t get a sense of the scale of the place, won’t understand the acoustics.

‘I don’t understand the rush to tear it down. If it’s about healing, then surely the way to heal is to have a sound trial. I think they’re rushing to do this and they’re putting that in jeopardy.’

Yet many who have lived in the house’s shadow this past year told DailyMail.com that it was hard to imagine how real recovery could begin while the building remained intact.

In the months since the murders Tik Tokers and true crime junkies have turned the clapboard home into a ghoulish sort of tourist attraction.

Neighbors revealed how these true-crime-tourists had become an all-too-familiar sight on the otherwise quiet street; slowly driving by or standing outside, cellphones aloft, apparently oblivious to the bruise they were pressing with each selfie taken and video posted.

Cara Northington the mother of murdered student Xana Kernodle, 20 has added her name to demands that the house where her daughter was killed be left standing

Murdered student Xana Kernodle, 20

Last month Cara Northington, (left) the mother of murdered student Xana Kernodle, 20 (right)  added her name to a petition asking that jurors be allowed to visit the scene of the crime

The parents of Kaylee Gonclaves - seen here at after his daughter's death during a campus candlelight last year - also joined that effort, and on Wednesday again asked prosecutors 'stop the madness' and call off the demolition

The parents of Kaylee Gonclaves – seen here at after his daughter’s death during a campus candlelight last year – also joined that effort, and on Wednesday again asked prosecutors ‘stop the madness’ and call off the demolition

The snowy parking lot in front of the off-campus home where four University of Idaho students were found dead last year in Moscow, Idaho is seen here on November 29 of last year

The snowy parking lot in front of the off-campus home where four University of Idaho students were found dead last year in Moscow, Idaho is seen here on November 29 of last year

FBI agents spent two days at the house in Moscow at the end of October taking precise measurements for a detailed 3D model which may go before the jury

The university-owned house now has a constant security presence

FBI agents spent two days at the house in Moscow at the end of October taking precise measurements for a detailed 3D model which may go before the jury

Kohberger, meanwhile, has maintained his innocence in the case, and due to a sprawling gag order, few details have emerged

Kohberger, meanwhile, has maintained his innocence in the case, and due to a sprawling gag order, few details have emerged 

Crime-scene tape wreathed around the building in the immediate aftermath of the November killings had remained in place, along with a 24-hour security detail, preserving the integrity of a site that would, likely, have been trampled and plundered for morbid souvenirs.

The former ‘party house’ had belonged to a private landlord who transferred ownership to the University of Idaho at the beginning of this year.

The university swiftly erected a high chain-link fence around the property’s perimeter and hammered plywood panels over the windows.

The patio where a grill had sat along with trash that spoke of the parties once held there – cans of beer and hard seltzer –was cleared.

By the time the digger trucks moved in discarded screen windows, an old sofa and a laundry bin left in the yard remained the few unclaimed remnants of the lives once lived here.

The once vibrant memorial that sprang up organically along the house’s front wall had dwindled and withered.

Plastic wrappers preserved the husks of floral tributes, plush animals sagged from months battered by the elements and photographs tucked in glass frames survived only as bleached out, sea-sick green, shadows of the images placed there by those once moved enough to make the gesture, now long since gone. 

Investigators have already constructed the physical recreation of the house when it had been inhabited by the victims (seen with floor plan)

Investigators have already constructed the physical recreation of the house when it had been inhabited by the victims (seen with floor plan)

The manner in which the killer navigated the three-story home to kill the four students ¿ who were sleeping in separate rooms and floors ¿ in the early hours of a November morning has raised questions about his motives

The manner in which the killer navigated the three-story home to kill the four students – who were sleeping in separate rooms and floors – in the early hours of a November morning has raised questions about his motives 

Kaylee and Madison were found on the top floor of the Moscow, Idaho home in November 2022. College couple Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle, meanwhile, were found in a second-floor bedroom while survivors Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke were on the first floor

Kaylee and Madison were found on the top floor of the Moscow, Idaho home in November 2022. College couple Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle, meanwhile, were found in a second-floor bedroom while survivors Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke were on the first floor

A knife sheath with Kohberger¿s DNA on it was found by police alongside the bodies of the victims last year

A knife sheath with Kohberger’s DNA on it was found by police alongside the bodies of the victims last year 

Kohberger's lawyers were granted access to the murder scene on King Road earlier this month as they prepare their case for his defense

Kohberger’s lawyers were granted access to the murder scene on King Road earlier this month as they prepare their case for his defense 

Soon all this will be collected and thrown out as trash, as has happened with the other memorials that bloomed in the murders’ wakes next to Moscow’s town sign and on the university campus.

University authorities have yet to come up with a plan for what to do with the plot of land once the house is gone, beyond turning it into a ‘green space.’

For now, they are just concerned with making sure there is nothing left behind for souvenir hunters to claim.

The demolition is expected to take six to eight hours. Once finished, the materials that made up this house will be transported to a secret location to be buried or destroyed.

Meanwhile the ground on which it stood will be raked over until no trace of 1122 King Road remains.

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

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