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  • Joseph A. Del Russo, JD

The Drip Drip of Anonymous Sources

This post references the Idaho University murders of 2022. If you were hoping for some dramatic and satisfying detail about the backstory of these chilling murders in the Idaho panhandle. —- not happening. there are a few possible reasons. Most likely the investigators do not want to compromise the integrity of any information they learn from his arrest. especially if he made any statements about the crime. If information is NOT available publicly— for example a detailed description of the murder weapon; and he made an admission where he described the murder weapon, The prosecutor would smile. If the Moscow Pullman Daily News described the weapon on the front page, the prosecutor will groan. The information has to be closely guarded, in fact, the victims’ families have not been advised of what he may or may not have said or any of the dynamics of arrest related evidence. and I would venture to guess the Pennsylvania State Police have not received detailed information about case dynamics.

nevertheless within a week we will have far more detail about possible motives, and how the accused fits into the crime scene puzzle. And this information will arise from anonymous sources. And there will be many. In fact it’s already started. We now know that DNA played a role. From an anonymous source.

So what do we know right now, which could be quite different even as I type this, A white Hyundai was spotted in the neighborhood of the murders, this defendant has a connection to the university system in that region. And there is some form of DNA connection.

Of course the media has already begun the deluge of psychological, historical, and social media investigation into the defendant. and that can be helpful.

But be aware that DNA often does not prove guilt. The type of DNA, where the DNA was found, possible laboratory and crime scene contamination, and many other factors can compromise its usefulness.

My understanding is that this was a “party house”, people came in and out, sometimes without specific invitation. obviously if it is blood DNA on both sides of the equation it’s very good for the prosecution.  If his skin DNA was found in the home somewhere, perhaps not so helpful in a “party house”.

On the other hand if victim DNA is in the white Hyundai, then the prosecution is in great shape.

going to be fascinating to see how the drip drip of anonymous information unfolds over the next week. May the victims and their families find some peace sooner than later.

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