January 24, 2023

Who Did His Applicant Interview at WSU?

Filed under: General — Tags: , — Bill @ 7:44 pm

It may surprise OpenCdA readers outside 10 counties of North Idaho to hear that we do occasionally get murders committed up here. Among those relatively few incidents, even fewer are multiple homicide incidents that will be charged and prosecuted as first-degree murder.

Consequently, many people here were genuinely shocked and surprised when we learned that on November 13, 2022, between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., University of Idaho students Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, Kaylee Goncalves, and Ethan Chapin had been stabbed to death while sleeping inside their home on Kings Road in Moscow (Latah County), Idaho. Two other residents of the house were unharmed.

Then on December 30, 2022, we learned that a suspect in the four homicides, Bryan Christopher Kohberger, age 28, had been arrested in Pennsylvania and would be extradited back to Moscow to be formally charged and tried for the murders.

Almost as shocking and surprising as the homicides themselves was the revelation that at the time Kohberger allegedly committed them, he was pursuing a PhD in Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University (WSU) and living in Pullman, Washington, about eight miles from Moscow. He was also a Teaching Assistant in the Criminal Justice and Criminology Department. Prior to enrolling at WSU, Kohberger had earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in criminal justice at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.  

The Idaho criminal justice system will deal appropriately with Kohberger in the continuing investigation and eventual trial. We’ll have to wait until the trial for some the answers relating to the crime itself.

However I believe there are some logical questions WSU System President Kirk Schulz should insist be answered immediately to see if there are any necessary improvements that can be made in the admissions and hiring processes for graduate students and faculty in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

  • Who from the WSU Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology personally interviewed Kohberger prior to his admission to the doctoral program?  
  • What did the interviewers hope to observe and to learn that they did not already know from reviewing Kohberger’s application materials?
  • How had the interviewers prepared to conduct Kohberger’s interview?  Had they researched and read all available records and writings (including social media) about and by Kohberger?  Had they spoken to instructors and students from his graduate program in Pennsylvania?  Had they reviewed his employment, education, and criminal history?  
  • Did Kohberger’s interviewers have extensive law enforcement, counterintelligence, or other career experience interviewing to detect deception and assess behavioral anomalies?   Were they professionally experienced eliciting information that might have revealed malevolent intent or raised questions about Kohberger’s suitability for a criminal justice career?
  • Had any of Kohberger’s interviewers ever worked in occupations in which their regular duties required them to have and exercise the legal authority to determine if an interviewee should be involuntarily committed for psychiatric evaluation?
  • What were Kohberger’s career aspirations?  Why was he seeking a doctoral degree now?  Why did Kohberger decide to apply specifically to WSU’s doctoral program in Criminal Justice and Criminology?  Had he applied to other institutions’ doctoral programs and been rejected?  If so, which programs had rejected him and why?

Graduates pursuing any advanced degree from WSU’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology may be employed in a wide range of occupations. In some occupations such as law enforcement, their duties and obligations will require them to make timely and accurate assessments of a person’s state of mind, particularly an assessment of whether the person being interviewed represents a danger to himself or others. It seems reasonable to require that the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology should be making that assessment of its applicants for its master’s and doctoral programs.

March 23, 2016

Even Later to the Party …

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Bill @ 12:15 pm

EDITBOARDOur post entitled Late to the Party on October 27, 2015, pointed out that even back then, Coeur d’Alene Press Publisher Jim Thompson (left in photo) and Editor Mike Patrick were waaaaay late to the urban renewal agency examination party.

Well, again today Frick and Frack demonstrated their remarkable ability to editorialize in arrears. This morning’s editorial was headlined You can’t blame ’em for asking.

The editorial finally and we suspect begrudgingly acknowledged that for years Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency, ignite cda (née Lake City Development Corporation), had been engaging in “… the practice of lining friendly pockets under the guise of resurrecting worn-down parts of town.”

Honest and diligent citizens like Mary Souza, Dan Gookin, Kathy Sims, Sharon Culbreth, Frank Orzell, and others have been delivering the evidence of that practice for years.    The Press chose not to investigate and then report it as news.

But today’s editorial contained a real whopper. (more…)

March 10, 2016

Apple Bites, Part 4

Filed under: General — Tags: — Bill @ 3:34 pm

AppleCore copyToday the US Department of Justice filed its 43-page Government’s Reply in Support of Motion to Compel and Opposition to Apple Inc.’s Motion to Vacate Order.

The issue to be decided at the end of all this is whether Apple must obey a lawful court order compelling it to bypass safeguards on one specific Apple iPhone 5C used by the San Berdo Two terrorists.

We have linked to the two earlier filings in our preceding Apple Bites posts.

Regardless of how our readers feel about the issue, the filings by both Apple and the Department of Justice do a good job of explaining the challenges created by public key encryption and attendant security features in telecommunications devices.

February 28, 2016

Why We Call Them ‘Skews’ Media…

Filed under: General — Bill @ 11:24 am


When it comes to accurate reporting of news, this screen cap exemplifies why we have come to call them ‘skews media’ rather than news media.   It has become increasingly apparent that in what used to be called journalism, accuracy in reporting and editing have been flushed.

October 28, 2015

Whoa, Governor!

Filed under: General — Tags: — Bill @ 7:08 pm

gambling-games1Idaho Governor Clement L. Otter churned out a press release today in which he called for the reinstatement of the historic horse racing/instant racing terminals in Idaho.

Our earlier OpenCdA posts expressed our views on how this entire debacle was propagated by almost everyone in state government except the janitors who clean the restrooms at the Capitol.

So while we agree it is noble to try and make whole those equine-related businesses who were financially damaged by a reckless Idaho Legislature, we want to say, “Whoa, Governor!” (more…)

October 19, 2015

Who Gets It?

Filed under: General — Bill @ 7:52 am

USSS BadgeSeveral skews agencies (Newsmax, Fox News, etc.) are reporting that presidential candidates Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson will soon receive Secret Service protection.  That is probably correct.

The skews agencies also imply that the Secret Service determines which presidential candidates get protection.  That is wrong.

Major candidates  for President and Vice President as identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security are eligible receive Secret Service protection after the Secretary has consulted with the Congressional Advisory Committee (Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader, Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, and one additional member selected by the others).   Those candidates can decline protection if they choose.

Criteria have been established to assist the DHS Secretary and the Congressional Advisory Committee in their decision making (as of 2008). Candidates must:

  • Be publicly announced
  • Have some degree of prominence as shown by opinion polls
  • Be actively campaigning and entered in at least 10 state primaries
  • Be seeking the nomination of a qualified party
  • Have qualified for matching funds in the amount of at least $100,000
  • Have received contributions totaling $10 million

Hillary Clinton receives protection not because of her candidacy but because former presidents and their spouses are entitled by law to receive it for life or until the deceased president’s surviving spouse remarries.  Former president’s children receive protection until age 16.  The protection is offered to “formers” but can be declined.  Only former President Richard Nixon declined protection after he left office.

OpenCdA speculates that candidate Bernie Sanders does not yet meet one or more of the required criteria.  However, the President could still direct the Secret Service to provide him with protection.

December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Filed under: General — Bill @ 12:00 pm


June 22, 2014

Wise Words

Filed under: General — Bill @ 7:24 am

VinScullyOn June 18th, radio and television baseball broadcasting legend Vin Scully called the 19th no-hit baseball game of his career.  In today’s story headlined Vin Scully stays up to date with his no-hitter calls, Scully was asked the inevitable “Will you be back broadcasting next year?” question.

Scully responded, “”I don’t want to just be hanging on.  That’s why I want to watch my work and, if I’m worthy of it, continue.”

Wise words spoken sincerely and honestly.  We don’t think Scully would mind if public officials emulated him and practiced similar introspection and humility.

May 29, 2014


Filed under: General — Bill @ 7:27 am

Fact CheckThe image below was copied from a Los Angeles Times opinion piece online today.  Use your appropriate mouse button to enlarge the image.

Note the image’s caption identifies the three handguns as “Glock handguns. ”

Well, no.  While we are not firearms aficionados, we do immediately recognize the handgun in the upper right as being a Sig Sauer (very likely a P226), but certainly not a Glock.

Maybe before editorializing about gun control, Times writer Scott Martelle might want to take a handgun orientation and safety course.

(Mouse click on image to enlarge)

(Mouse click on image to enlarge)

ADDENDUM on 05-29-2014 at 2:30 PM:  We just followed the link to the entire LA Times op-ed piece and notice the word “Glock” has now been removed from the photo’s caption.  However, there is no mention of a correction in the op-ed.

January 13, 2014

Sunshine and Kept Promises in 2014 – Mary Souza’s Newsletter

Filed under: General — Bill @ 3:25 pm

01-12-2014 Souza Newsltr Title Graphic
Dear Newsletter Readers,

Happy New Year!  I have a feeling that 2014 will be a much better year, all around. Our new mayor, Steve Widmyer, along with the rest of the new council, were sworn into office last Tuesday… out with the old, and in with the new.  On that note, let me cover a couple of year-end decisions by the old mayor and council. File these tidbits under the category “Elections have consequences”.  Or maybe, better yet, let’s call it “To the victors go the spoils”: (more…)

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