University of Idaho students to lead vigil on anniversary of Moscow student deaths

People hold lights while standing at a vigil in Boise, Idaho on November 23, 2022. Many of them are wearing black.
People hold lights at a vigil in remembrance of the four victims in Boise, Idaho on November 30, 2022. (Credit: University of Idaho)



A vigil in honor of the four students killed last fall will be held Monday, Nov. 13 in Moscow, Idaho. 

People will gather at the University of Idaho campus on the Administration Lawn to hear speeches from students (many of whom are involved in Greek life) in remembrance of victims Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin. 

The ceremony will be student-led, said Blaine Eckles, the dean of students at the university.

“When we reflected back on the vigil we had last year, we didn’t have any students speak,” said Eckles. “It was really important to our students that they have a voice in remembering their friends, and I’m really proud of how they’re coming together.”

Four students, each representative of a Greek chapter the victims were part of, will speak at the event.

Goncalves, Mogen and Kernodle were all roommates living in a house together on King Road in Moscow. All of the students  including Chapin, who was spending the night  were stabbed to death in the early hours of Sunday, Nov. 13, 2023, according to Moscow Police.

The crime shocked the usually-quiet college town and word of the attack soon grabbed attention from international media. Investigators were unable to publicly identify a suspect for more than a month. 

State police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were pulled in to assist, leading to the eventual arrest of Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old Washington State University criminology student. Kohberger has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and with felony burglary for allegedly entering the students’ house with the intent to commit murder.

The state is seeking the death penalty against Kohberger, as the prosecution considers the attack, “especially heinous and cruel.”

“It is important that the students lead this effort toward healing,” Tanner McLain, president of the Associated Students of the University of Idaho, said in a press release about the upcoming vigil. 

“We want to ensure we continue to tell their stories, to honor their legacy and to provide a place where each student can heal. Together we are moving forward,” said McLain, who sits on the planning committee of the event. 

The ceremony is open to everyone. 

“I think students are looking forward to that experience where they can come together again, to remember our Vandals that we’ve lost in a beautiful, candlelit ceremony,” said Eckles.

People can show solidarity by turning on their porch lights from 6 to 7 p.m. on the night of November 13, marking one year since the tragedy.