In the course of the ongoing investigation into the d*aths of four University of Idaho students, there have been reports of police searching for a specific knife that may have been used.
“There has been a lot of talk about the terminology used to describe the weapons,” the Moscow Police Department said on Tuesday evening. “The type of knife to be used in the att*cks is believed to be a fixed-blade knife. Detectives are still looking for weapons.”
The update comes just days after Idaho statesman reported that the manager of a Moscow construction store said investigators visited his location several times, asking if anyone had recently purchased a Ka-Bar brand knife.
On November 13, police entered a home near the University of Idaho and discovered four people fatally stabbed. Police said some had defensive wounds, but no suspect had been identified.
“They specifically asked if we carry Ka-Bar style knives, which we don’t,” said Scott Jutte, a building supply store manager. Idaho statesman. “If we had done that, we could have reviewed the surveillance footage. But it wasn’t something I could help them with.”
said Thomas O’Connor, a former FBI agent Newsweek about a particular knife that police said they were looking for and explained how it could help build a “mosaic” that could solve the crime.
“When you talk about a knife like the Ka-Bar, which is a military-style knife, any of these fixed-blade knives that are big, serrated, double-edged,” O’Connor said. “They will leave some type of entry wound in the body, and the forensics office will be able to tell if it was a double-edged knife right at the entrance. Different types of cuts will be specific to different types of knives.”
O’Connor also explained how police identifying the type of knife can help identify a suspect.
“If you have kitchen knives, you will have thousands of Cutco kitchen knives in the region. If you have the Ka-Bar, you’re going to have fewer people who have them and you’re going to have fewer people who bought them,” O’Connor said. “So when you go to hunting stores and military surplus stores, I hope someone there will say, ‘Hey, this guy came in here three weeks ago and bought one of these knives.’
“If they can identify the type of gun and if it’s something other than household items, they have a better chance of linking it to a specific person, which can be a hit, but that’s police work. Evidence left by the knife in the victims will help identify the type of knife, and this will motivate investigators to take to the streets.”
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