The tarot card reader from Texas who has pinned the murder of four Idaho college students on a professor — despite the fact that police have cleared the professor of suspicion — says that she expects that the defamation case against her will ultimately be her vindication.
Rebecca Scofield, an associate professor and the chair of the history department at the University of Idaho, sued TikTok personality Ashley Guillard earlier this month for defamation Guillard took to social media to implicate Scofield in the murders of four university students who were stabbed to death in November.
Xana Kernodle, her boyfriend Ethan Chapin, and Kernodle’s roommates Maddie Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves were all stabbed to death as they slept in their Moscow house on Nov. 13. Police have not made any arrests in the slayings.
Guillard says that Scofield is behind the killings, and told NewsNation in an interview that she thinks a jury will believe her.
“They will see in court why it is true,” Guillard said.
In her defamation lawsuit, Scofield accuses the Texas TikToker — who she says she has never met — of damaging her reputation as a professor and endangering her and her family.
“Guillard’s false TikToks have damaged Professor Scofield’s reputation,” the lawsuit alleges. “They have caused her significant emotional distress. She fears for her life and for the lives of her family members. She has incurred costs, including costs to install a security system and security cameras at her residence. She fears that Guillard’s false statements may motivate someone to cause harm to her or her family members.”
Guillard has linked Scofield romantically to one of the victims — presumably Goncalves — who is identified in the complaint only by the initials “K.G.” According to Guillard, Scofield ordered the execution of the four students after planning their murders.
“Guillard’s statements are false,” Scofield’s defamation complaint says. “Professor Scofield did not participate in the murders, and she had never met any of the victims, let alone entered a romantic relationship with them.”
Scofield says in her complaint that she and her husband were in Portland, Oregon, visiting friends when the murders occurred. According to NewsNation, police in Moscow, Idaho police have cleared the professor of any suspicion.
Guillard, however, insists that she has evidence to back up her claims, and adds that anyone who doesn’t believe her has “blinders” on.
“When I go to court and they see the evidence or they see how I connect the dots, then they’ll make a decision as it pertains to whether they want to continue to live in blinders or believe it,” Guillard told NewsNation. “If they don’t, I don’t care.”
A lawyer for Scofield issued an unequivocal statement about the impact of Guillard’s social media posts.
“The statements made about Professor Scofield are false, plain and simple,” Scofield’s lawyer Wendy Olson said in a statement emailed to Law&Crime after the lawsuit was filed. “What’s even worse is that these untrue statements create safety issues for the Professor and her family. They also further compound the trauma that the families of the victims are experiencing and undermine law enforcement efforts to find the people responsible in order to provide answers to the families and the public. Professor Scofield twice sent cease and desist letters to Ms. Guillard, but Ms. Guillard has continued to make false statements, knowing they are false. Thus, this lawsuit became necessary to protect Professor Scofield’s safety and her reputation.”
The University of Idaho, while not involved in the litigation, criticized the accusations against Scofield.
“Speculation and rumors do not help the investigation or the families,” Kyle Pfannenstiel, a spokesperson for the university, said in a statement emailed to Law&Crime. “While this lawsuit is a private matter, U of I does not condone spreading false information and finds this particular allegation to be one of the worst we have seen.”
According to the NewsNation report, Moscow police haven’t said whether criminal charges are being considered against any online sleuths, but officials have indicated that the rash of speculation is taking focus away from solving the actual murders.
[Video courtesy NewsNation.]
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