Alleged ‘incel’ Bryan Kohberger took front-row seat at ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ author Margaret Atwood lecture
Byran Kohberger was pictured in a front-row seat at a 2018 lecture of prominent author Margaret Atwood at Northampton Community College – years before he was accused of murdering four University of Idaho students.
Atwood’s body of work includes the bestselling novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a dystopian story about a government-sponsored subjugation of women. It was adapted for television by Hulu in 2017 and protesters on a range of women’s issues at times have appeared in costumes from the show.
While authorities have not divulged a possible motive in the Idaho student stabbings, past acquaintances have described Kohberger as frustrated by females – and even sexist as a result, according to some reports.
One woman who met the criminal justice student on a Tinder date seven years ago turned to social media claiming her interaction with him was so awkward she pretended to vomit to get him to leave her apartment.
A former friend told Fox News Digital that Kohberger had been ruthlessly bullied by female classmates.
Sarah Healey, who went to a Pennsylvania high school with Kohberger, said he was shy and kept to himself and a small group of friends, but some of their classmates – especially females – mocked Kohberger and threw things at him.
“I honestly think that’s what led up to this, because he didn’t get the proper help, and it was mainly females that bullied him,” she said.
However, he lost weight, kicked a heroin addiction and found academic success in college.
In the spring 2018 semester, Kohberger made the dean’s list at Northampton. He went on to get a master’s degree in criminal justice at DeSales University and was studying for a Ph.D. in criminology at Washington State University at the time of the student stabbings.
“He didn’t come here for the author,” said John Kelly, a criminal profiler and psychoanalyst who has interviewed numerous serial killers, said of the Atwood lecture. “He came here for the audience.”
In the photo, Kohberger is surrounded by women – with very few other male audience members in the room, Kelly noted.
“In other words, he’s an incel, he doesn’t like women, but how come he still has to have some kind of distant relationship?” he said. “I totally believe this guy was always looking.”
“He’s an extremely visually oriented kind of guy,” Kelly said. “This guy’s a ‘looker,’ all the way. He’s the kind of the guy who’s not gonna chat somebody up to try and get a date or something like that. He’s strictly, pretty much focused on looking.”
He is also focused on showing off the skills he does have, the profiler said.
“He’s sitting in the front, he likes to ask or give the extravagant answers to the questions,” Kelly said of Kohberger, who once claimed to have won a competitive “extemporaneous speaking” championship. “He’ll answer them in a very upper-class way.”
Another former classmate from WSU told told The Tribune Democrat that Kohberger had a reputation for giving eloquent answers.
“One thing he would always do, almost without fail, was find the most complicated way to explain something,” he told the paper. “He had to make sure you knew that he knew it.”
The image, which surfaced on Reddit Tuesday night, was originally published in the Summer 2018 issue of the Northampton Magazine, along with an interview with Atwood, who visited the campus that April to deliver a lecture for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
A representative for the author did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.
Police have said that the Idaho victims or their home, near the heart of the campus’ Greek Life community, had been targeted in the attack. According to a probable cause statement in Kohberger’s arrest warrant, he allegedly stalked the off-campus rental home a dozen times before the murders and revisited the scene hours later.
“He saw these girls somewhere,” Kelly said, if the allegations against Kohberger are true. “These types of guys would be looking, stalking, peeping at them through that hill out in the back there.”
When police raided Kohberger’s parents’ home in the Poconos during his arrest on Dec. 30, they seized dozens of items of evidence. One was an unnamed book, with “underlining on page 118.”
For reasons that remain unclear, Kohberger was pressured into resigning from his job as a school security guard in 2021, prior to his arrival at Washington State University to pursue a Ph.D. in criminology.
“I just wanna hear this guy’s explanation on how his DNA ended up on a Ka-Bar knife sheath under Maddie’s body,” Kelly said. “He doesn’t have a shot in the world unless he has some kind of explanation.”
Kohberger is charged with four counts of murder and felony burglary for allegedly stabbing to death four University of Idaho students Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20.
The victims were given posthumous honors at the spring 2023 commencement last month.
Kohberger’s trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 2 and could take up to six weeks. A judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf at his arraignment last month.
Fox News’ Chris Eberhart contributed to this report.