Years later, Mr. Kohberger appeared to be doing much better, studying psychology at DeSales University in Eastern Pennsylvania and telling one friend that his drug problems were in the past.
“I only used when I was in a deep suicidal state,” Mr. Kohberger wrote in May 2018 to Mr. Baylis, with whom he had been friends since eighth grade. “I have since really learned a lot. Not a person alive could convince me to use it.” Mr. Kohberger followed up later that day, telling Mr. Baylis that he had been off drugs for two years and telling him to not mention his drug use again, according to screenshots of their conversation on Facebook Messenger.
He told Mr. Baylis at one point that he thought he had been depressed since he was 5 years old, for so long that he had “developed a weird sense of meaning.”
In one message from October 2018, Mr. Kohberger wrote that he was interested in studying criminals. He said he would like to be involved in capturing violent criminals but that it could be difficult to get a job like that.
“I’m thinking more along the lines of dealing with high-profile offenders,” he wrote. “Counseling.”
Among the details that emerged in a police affidavit last week was that Mr. Kohberger had, last fall, applied for an internship with the Police Department in Pullman, Wash., where he was living while studying at Washington State. Officials have declined to say whether or not he got the internship.
The University of Idaho victims — Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20 — were killed after spending a typical Saturday night around town, with two of them going to a party and two others going to a bar before returning home in the early morning hours. Investigators believe all four were killed shortly after 4 a.m.
Two more roommates were at home at the time of the attack but were not hurt. One told the police that she had heard crying and voices around 4 a.m., and had opened her bedroom door to see a man — wearing black clothing and a mask — walking by her toward the home’s back door, according to a police affidavit. The roommate locked herself in her room, and it is unclear what she did after that, but no one in the apartment called 911 until just before noon.