Report: We Now Know Who Called 911 About Idaho College Murders, But No Name Revealed


For months, people have speculated on who discovered the bodies of four murdered University of Idaho students on Nov. 13.

NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield reported on her “Banfield” show Tuesday that sources revealed Ethan Chapin’s best friend, whom she did not name, discovered the bodies of Chapin and his girlfriend, Xana Kernodle, who were both 20.

The bodies of the other two victims, Kaylee Goncalves, and Madison Mogen, both 21, were also discovered in the home. All four had been brutally stabbed.

Banfield discussed the revelation with criminal defense attorney, Mark Geragos.

“This was Ethan’s best friend who actually made the discovery of the bodies,” Banfield said. “It wasn’t first responders … Up until now, we’d always assumed that perhaps they were behind locked doors and that’s why the roommate had called, ‘We can’t wake our friends up.’ It was Ethan’s best friend.

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“But not only that, he took the pulse, called out to call 911, and ended up talking to 911 on Dylan Moretensen’s cell phone.”

Banfield asked Geragos to comment on the case, which has been under a gag order since shortly after accused killer Bryan Kohberger’s arrest.

“Does it matter to the rights of the defendant in this case … [that] these kinds of details are all being gagged?”

Geragos, taking the opportunity to drop some names of several of his famous clients from previous high-profile cases, spoke out against the practice, because in his view, information is going to come out anyway.

“One of my frustrations in defending these cases is, when you clamp down on the coverage and you do it by way of a gag order — you’ll remember, many years ago, that started during with Michael Jackson and Scott Peterson and then Kobe Bryant … it was to protect the defense.

“Now, what it does … is that it works to the detriment of the defense.”

Even with gag orders, Geragos said, leaks continue and restricted information inevitably emerges.

“I always think, in these kinds of cases, more information is better than less,” the attorney said.

Banfield asked Geragos if there is a danger of “protecting the jury pool too much.”

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Geragos argued in favor of sequestering juries during the trial, rather than trying to clamp down on the flow of information.

“If they’re sequestered, I think that’s the magic silver bullet,” he told Banfield.

Kohberger is a criminology student who was in the first semester of a Ph.D. program at Washington State University at the time of the murders, according to the New York Times. While it is across the state line, the campus is just a 15-minute drive from the crime scene in Moscow, Idaho.

Kohberger has said he does not believe he will be convicted of the crimes, according to the Washington Post.

In a Dec. 31 story, public defender Jason LaBar of Monroe County, Pennsylvania, told the Post that’s why Kohberger did not fight extradition from Pennsylvania back to Idaho after his arrest.

“He’s willing to waive because he’s looking forward to being exonerated. Those were his words,” LaBar told the outlet during a phone interview.

“Whether that means he’s innocent or not, it’s implicit in saying he wants to be exonerated that he’s innocent. He didn’t use the word ‘innocent.’”

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Lorri Wickenhauser earned a journalism degree from California State University, Fresno, and has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona.
Lorri Wickenhauser earned a journalism degree from California State University, Fresno, and has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona.