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‘TikTok detectives’ took the Idaho murder investigation too far 

Megan Brownell photojournalist 

I am sure that most people know about the four murders of University of Idaho students that took place back in November. The tragic case blew up on social media quickly, with the entire country mourning the loss of students Maddy Mogan, Kaylee Goncalves, Ethan Chapin, and Xana Kernodle. 

 For those who don’t know, these four students were brutally murdered in their college home on Nov. 13 around the times of 4-4:25 a.m. after a night out with friends. Quickly, it was revealed that there were actually six people in the house, leaving two other roommates that survived non-injured.  

The case took to TikTok quickly, and in the next few days people started assuming things, and trying to solve the case themselves. Obviously, lots of people on the app quickly started questioning if the surviving roommates did it, because it was ‘suspicious’ that they were unharmed. The biggest thing with it too, is that the 9-1-1 call was not made until about 12:00 the next morning. This also raised red flags to these tik tok users saying that’s why it was not called because they ‘did it.’ 

The call originally was because of an unconscious person, and with new information coming out from one of the roommates actually seeing the killer think it was her, that she was so frozen from fear she passed out later in her room. But why would these people who aren’t police officers or trained detectives rush to assume who did it? We really don’t know. But it was severely wrong for them to do so because imagine, being traumatized by seeing some man in your home you don’t know, just to find out your best friends were murdered by him that very night. Imagine the grieving of such a horrible event just to go on social media and see 100s of 1,000s of people online accusing you of murdering them.  

Not only were people accusing the roommates, they were accusing Maddy and Kaylee’s boyfriends, and some people even went as far to accuse Kaylee’s dad and even Ethan. Lots of these people who ‘had experience because they know and love true crime’ assumed so much from the little evidence released to the public and started naming names at random because they thought they could get it figured out before the police.  

Of course, once an arrest was made we found out lots of the evidence was hidden to help the suspect from going into hiding, such as they had his DNA from the scene. It all is honestly disappointing seeing these people accusing people involved with the students while they were grieving the unthinkable. Obviously the police weren’t going to release anything that would harm the investigation so these people should have left it up to the professionals.  

Sure, you can have your theories and submit any tips or ideas to the police to formally investigate, but in large cases such as this one it is best to keep them to yourself. These surviving roommates and friends and family of the four students had to see many people all over the internet accuse them of murder, and just sit back and wait to have them be proved wrong, and thankfully that’s what happened when no one knew about the connections the actual killer had to the girls.  

In conclusion, this was taken too far for people who had zero place to accuse people of murder, and next time it should be left up to the professionals.  

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