After four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death in a Moscow residence by an assailant who remains at large, law enforcement continued to assure the broader community that it was under no ongoing threat.

By the time Moscow Police walked that back in a press conference Wednesday — at least in tone if not in substance — the statement had lost all credibility. In the process, they exposed the community and the UI to unnecessary risk.

From the beginning, Moscow Police confronted a bizarre case. The murderer killed with a knife. Even though the individual moved within an urban setting early enough Sunday morning for some college students to still be up, the perpetrator acted with stealth. So police did not learn of the case for at least eight hours and by then, the crime scene may have gone cold.

Recommended for you