Bryan Kohberger Photo Sparks Ted Bundy Comparisons Amid Idaho Murder Arrest

Bryan Kohberger Photo Sparks Ted Bundy Comparisons Amid Idaho Murder Arrest thumbnail

The suspected murderer of several Idaho college students is drawing comparisons to serial killer Ted Bundy after mugshots began making their way across the internet Friday.

The suspect arrested in Pennsylvania Friday—Bryan Kohberger—was a Ph.D. student in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University, nearly 300 miles from Bundy’s alma mater. Bundy received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, majoring in psychology, before moving on to law school at the University of Utah.

Both stalked and murdered college students, both using similar methods to kill their victims.

Killer Side-by-Side
University of Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger (left) and serial killer Ted Bundy (right) pictured side-by-side in their respective mugshots.
Newsweek Photo Illustration

Both also had chilling similarities in their interests that hinted at their alleged crimes: a Reddit post seemingly belonging to the killer unearthed shortly after Kohberger’s arrest appeared to show Kohberger asking questions about how crimes are committed, how victims were targeted, and how someone would leave a crime scene. Bundy, who was roughly the same age as Kohberger at the time of his first murders, spent that time as assistant director of the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Commission in the Washington city of Olympia, where he wrote a pamphlet for women on rape prevention.

The most chilling comparison, however, is their likenesses: in side-by-side comparisons of their mugshots posted on social media, both men have similar hairstyles, similar brows, the same thin lips, gaunt cheekbones, and matching ears, drawing some to comment on the eerie similarities between Bundy and Kohberger.

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Amazing work of detectives and FBI. The families can have justice now.

I’m creeped out by similarities w/Ted Bundy. Both studied psychology/criminology at UW. Both stalked & murdered college students. I was a Chi Omega Sorority member in the 90s and we never forgot what Ted did

— ZoëbethC-MeidasMightyⓂ️Ⓜ️👑🇺🇦🦇🎃💀 (@Meidas_ZobethC) December 30, 2022

Though little is currently known about the motivations driving the Idaho killings, the nature of Kohberger’s alleged crimes drew comparisons to Bundy well before Friday’s photo release. In early December, John Henry Browne—Bundy’s onetime attorney—told news outlets he believed there were numerous similarities between the Idaho killings and those committed by his client, who left behind only paltry evidence at the start of his killing spree that left some three dozen victims dead.

“Just the randomness of it is actually something that does stand out,” he told Fox News Digital in an interview earlier this month. “Of course, most of Ted’s misbehavior was random. There were times when Ted would follow people and then decide not to kill them. And that was his way of exercising his grandiosity, you know, ‘I can control life here and there.'”

At present, Kohberger is being held for extradition in Monroe County Court in Pennsylvania for first-degree murder by the Moscow Police Department as well as the Latah County Prosecutor’s Office in Idaho.

Victims of the November 13 murders include 20-year-old University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle as well as 21-year-old classmates Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen, all of whom were killed early in the morning in their off-campus home in Moscow.

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Kohberger is expected to be in court sometime next week.

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