A former Bryan Kohberger university professor said the accused killer was “one of my best students of all time” – and the then masters candidate was one of only two students she recommended for a PhD. Program.
Michelle Bolger, 33, an associate professor at DeSales University in Pennsylvania, told the Daily Mail that Kohberger, who was arrested in the killing of four University of Idaho students, is a “great writer” and “brilliant student.”
“In my 10 years of teaching, I have only recommended two students for PhDs. program and he was one of them. He was one of my best students ever. Everyone’s shocked by this,” she told the outlet, adding that he’s “always been totally professional” with her.
The associate professor at the private Catholic university in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, said she was stunned that her former student had been charged with the shocking crime.
“I am shocked by what he is accused of. I don’t believe it, but I get it,” Bolger said. “This news is disturbing. I haven’t slept at all since hearing from Bryan.”
Bolger told the news outlet that she tutored Kohberger in an online class last year and helped him with his master’s thesis at DeSales.
“I never saw him in person, I couldn’t tell you how tall he was or how much he weighed, my only interaction with him was via email and Zoom. I didn’t know anything about him, whether he was married, had a girlfriend, etc.,” Bolger told the Daily Mail.
“He seemed normal to me, but then again, I only knew him because I had taught him online. I didn’t know anything personal about him. I think he worked full-time like most of our graduate students,” she added.
Bolger said she advised Kohberger on his thesis, which involved asking people about their thoughts and feelings while committing a crime.
“I was one of the professors who helped Bryan with his thesis proposal, his final project. He created a routine questionnaire for his thesis. It looks weird, I understand from the public point of view. But that’s normal in criminology,” she told the Daily Mail.
“It’s a criminological theory called script theory, it’s a normal theory about how and why criminals commit their crimes, etc.,” she said.
After graduating from DeSales last year, Kohberger enrolled as a graduate student at Washington State University in Pullman, just 15 miles from Moscow.
The 28-year-old was arrested Friday at his family home in Pennsylvania and will soon be extradited to Idaho to face four counts of first-degree murder after waiving his right to an extradition hearing.
He “is very keen to be cleared of these allegations and looks forward to resolving these matters as soon as possible,” his public defender Jason LaBar said in a statement.
Kohberger’s demeanor has changed markedly after the killing of four University of Idaho students, a former classmate revealed – describing how he went from being “constantly jaded” to “more talkative”.
“I noticed that sometimes he was a little late for class, he always had a coffee in hand, he just always seemed exhausted,” Benjamin Roberts, a fellow classmate at Washington State University at Pullman, told NewsNation .
“Bryan seemed to be on the brink of exhaustion and exhaustion, and at the time it was extremely difficult to tell which was which,” he told the outlet.
But Kohberger’s demeanor changed significantly after he allegedly killed Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin, 20, at their home off campus in Moscow, Idaho, on Nov. 13 killed, Roberts said.
“He seemed to get a little more talkative in the later parts of the semester,” the criminal justice graduate student told NewsNation.
However, he said he doesn’t recall Kohberger speaking specifically about the shocking crime that rocked the University of Idaho community.
Roberts said that Kohberger’s ongoing signs of exhaustion before the assassination didn’t fly the flag because it seemed consistent with the way many graduate students behave amid the rigors of academic life.
He described the alleged killer as clumsy but the kind of person who always wanted to make sure everyone knew he was very intelligent.
“He absolutely had to make sure you knew he was smart, he had these intellectual abilities,” Roberts told the outlet.
He also said it was disturbing that his former classmate was the person who ended up being the suspect.
“There’s something heavy about this,” Roberts said.
This article was originally published by the New York Post and is reproduced with permission
Originally published as Accused Idaho Killer, Bryan Kohberger was a “brilliant” student, says his professor