Acclaimed author James Patterson will write a true crime book about the grisly murders of four college students in Idaho – and gather information for suspect Brian Kohberger’s upcoming trial.
Patterson has teamed up with journalist Vicky Ward for the non-fiction work, which “will draw on dozens of exclusive interviews, numerous reports from the field and copious court transcripts.”
Publisher Little, Brown and Company announced the project and Skydance Television, the production company, also plans to acquire the rights to a docuseries.
Patterson said: “The last time a true crime story haunted me so deeply was when I covered Jeffrey Epstein in Filthy Rich. The Idaho murders have captured the imagination of the world and I am as implicated as anyone else. Because it all happened in such a small town, there are certainly echoes of In Cold Blood. It’s an exciting challenge, and Vicky and I look forward to investigating further.
Kohberger allegedly brutally stabbed to death best friends Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, both 21, and young couple Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, both 20, in the early morning hours of Nov. 13 at their college dorm in Moscow, Idaho.
James Patterson, one of America’s most prolific authors, will write a non-fiction book about the grisly murders of four University of Idaho students. The book could also become a docuseries
Maddie Mogen (top) Kaylee Goncalves (left) Xana Kernodle (right) and Ethan Chapin (center) – all University of Idaho students – were stabbed to death on November 13 in the quiet college town from Moscow
In Cold Blood is Truman Capote’s non-fiction novel about the Clutter family murders in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959. Four members of the family were killed in their home by two ex-convicts.
Ward said the intrigue around the “frightening” murders is deepened by the profile of “sphinx-like” suspect Brian Kohberger, who appeared in court on Monday and declined to plead to four counts of murder.
Journalist Vicky Ward will co-author the book
Criminology student Kohberger, 28, was expected to plead not guilty, but instead opted to use Idaho’s ‘silence’ plea, meaning he did not plead anyway but that he can always be judged.
A trial date has been set for October 2. Ward and Patterson will include the trial in their book.
Ward added, “The story of the Idaho murders is as fascinating as it is chilling. You have a small town that doesn’t usually lock its doors.
“You have a tight-knit group of popular, seemingly carefree and good-looking college kids. And you have a suspected murderer, who looks like a sphinx and studies crime.
“He knows something we don’t. What is this? While being careful not to glorify the alleged killer, how could an investigative reporter not want to unravel this gruesome and deeply disturbing mystery.
“I’m privileged to be on this trip with James Patterson, America’s greatest storyteller. Follow us as we dive in.
The book will also detail Kohberger’s upcoming trial, which is scheduled for October 2. He appeared in court on Monday (pictured) but refused to plead guilty.
Police apprehended Kohberger during a raid on his parents’ home in Poconos Mountains, Pennsylvania on December 30 and he was flown back to Idaho in a small Pilatus PC-12 turboprop plane on January 4.
Since returning to Gem State, the alleged killer has been locked up in Latah County Jail, with prison sources telling DailyMail.com he spends his time obsessing over TV coverage of the case and turned to God – meeting with a local pastor every Sunday.
Monday’s appearance, which saw Kohberger arrive in court wearing a pale orange jail suit, is his first since he was formally charged with the murders in early January.
Kohberger sat in silence as Judge John Judge read his rights and reiterated that he faced the death penalty if convicted of any of the murder charges before answering ‘yes’ when asked. asked him if he had understood several times.
The Moscow, Idaho home where the murders took place is now boarded up
BFFs Kaylee and Madison were found dead in bed next to each other
Ethan and Xana were found downstairs, and Xana was discovered slumped on the floor of her bedroom in the off-campus house.
Then, as the four charges of murder and one of burglary were read by Judge Judge, he sat flipping through his charge papers and shifting in his seat before his lawyer Anne Taylor told the judge that his client would “keep silent” when asked to respond. .
The non-pleading now means the case will go to trial, with Taylor asking the judge to schedule a six-week trial now set to begin on October 2.
A title and release date have yet to be announced for Patterson’s book on the case.
The author, whose books have sold more than 425 million copies, has only written two other true mystery novels before.
His book Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich was released in 2016 and tells the story of the pedophile financier’s long campaign of abuse against young women.
Patterson also co-wrote All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez, the Superstar Whose Life Ended on Murderers’ Row – about the fall of the former New England Patriots tight end.