‘Attracts this kind of madness’: Concern over college granting access to ‘crime lab’ after Kohberger arrest

As details emerge about Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger, one of the most disturbing is that he was going for a Ph.D. in criminology at the time of the brutal murders of Ethan Chapin, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Maddie Mogen.

And to add an additional chill to the bone-chilling crime, it appears that Kohberger’s Washington State University (WSU) doctoral program offers students access to a “crime lab” database full of police bodycam videos and live streams from security cameras positioned both on and off campus.

An inside source warned Fox News Digital (FND) that the research tools, aimed at giving insight into policing and the “complex social interactions” that occur between citizens and police officers, “as well as other government functions,” could be used for evil deeds, such as the one committed in Moscow, Idaho, on November 13, 2022.

While WSU told Fox News that Kohberger did not participate in the program, the source — an employee of the school with direct knowledge of the department — says students who do have at their fingertips unredacted crime scene images and security camera feeds that allow them to zoom in on faces via remote control.

It’s the perfect setup for a deranged mind.

“I don’t think that any amount of positive research that has come out of this department is worth the risks of letting a wolf in the henhouse,” the insider said. “They are all obsessed with crime and criminals — you’d have to be to have a Ph.D. in criminology — but sometimes that obsession goes to other levels and attracts this kind of madness.”


(Video: YouTube)

“WSU’s Complex Social Interaction Lab (CSI Lab) and Division of Governmental Studies and Services (DGSS) are research entities on campus,” Fox News noted.

The campus is located in Pullman, Wash., and according to the source, the Pullman Police Department shares bodycam footage with the CSI Lab database. WSU confirmed that more than five police departments do the same.

The footage was used as part of a study that looked for evidence of bias in five years’ worth of Washington State Police (WSP) stops data. Ultimately, the results of the study were “mixed.”

Multiple screens provide live feeds from security cameras positioned around Pullman, “including one of a person in a car in a restaurant parking lot near Greek Row.”

Students must fill out a brief questionnaire to gain access to the CSI Lab, and WSU “vehemently denied” Kohberger was permitted entry, though the CSI computers are housed on the same floor in the building that the graduate offices call home.

“The bodycam terminals are separated from the department’s main conference room by a soundproofed wall and communicate with the internet only through limited pathways,” according to FoxNews.

WSU’s vice president of marketing and communications, Phil Weiler, told the network that the facility is “strictly controlled.”

“To be clear, Bryan Kohberger never had access to any footage from the Complex Social Interaction Lab at Washington State University,” he said. “Access to that facility is strictly controlled. All research assistants must complete a background check, an FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Level 2 certification, be fingerprinted by the FBI and sign a confidentiality agreement in order to enter the facility.”

Weiler also said that, since the advent of COVID-19 in 2020, the DGSS’s closed-circuit TV program was suspended.

Student employees are not able to access personally identifying information or raw data in the WSP study, and those who are granted access to the facility must swipe a key card that tracks who goes in or out.

But, says the source, the system isn’t foolproof.

Citing direct knowledge, the insider claims there are “multiple individuals who have not gone through the vetting or training to enter the facility and work as part of their duties, including our technical support staff.”

And, while the Moscow Police Department told FoxNews Digital that it does not contribute bodycam footage or live streams from its security cameras to the WSU database, the outlet reports, “Public records show MPD officers visited the victims’ home at least three times during the same semester as Kohberger was attending WSU, resulting in the creation of several body and dashcam videos showing interactions with the victims.”

Just hours before the murders took place, two of the victims were caught on a public Twitch stream ordering food on their way home.

Only 10 miles separate the Pullman campus from Moscow, Idaho.

And according to an affidavit in support of Kohberger’s arrest warrant, the suspect applied in recent months for an internship with the Pullman Police Department.

The insider says the WSU program is “neutering police.”

“I’ve always been skeptical of the research this department has done, especially the folks that don’t go on to solve real-world crime in law enforcement but stick around in academia and live and breathe this stuff on taxpayer dollars,” the source said. “And what does it really amount to? Basically just neutering police more and more every day. It’s just sickening after all this.”

 

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