Bustamante called self 'psychopathic killer,' threatened Benoit

Police say Ernesto Bustamante killed UI graduate student Katy Benoit before killing himself on Monday, August 23, 2011.

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by Scott Evans

Bio | Email | Follow: @ScottEvansKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on August 24, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 9 at 12:41 PM

MOSCOW, Idaho -- Ernesto Bustamante threatened Katy Benoit with a handgun several times after the former University of Idaho professor and his student broke off a sexual relationship in March, according to court documents filed in Latah County.

Police say Bustamante, 31, shot and killed Benoit, 22, Monday night in Moscow, then killed himself several hours later.

It appears the documents were filed after Benoit died, but before officers found Bustamante's body on a hotel bed. It appears they were likely filed to help officers get a search warrant for his hotel room.

Court documents say Benoit and her two roommates were making cookies Monday night when Benoit stepped outside to smoke a cigarette.

When interviewed by police, the roommates said Benoit was on the porch for only two minutes when they heard multiple gunshots.

One roommate said she found Benoit on the ground and she had been shot several times in the upper body.

Neither roommate says they saw Bustamante pull the trigger, but they suspected he was responsible.

A neighbor told police they saw a man wearing a dark trench coat and hat leave the scene in what was later determined to be a rental car belonging to Bustamante.

That led officers to a 2nd floor hotel room where Bustamante was believed to be located.

To get a better idea of whom they were dealing with, officers interviewed people close to Bustamante.

Benoit's roommates say she and Bustamante were involved in a sexual relationship that began to deteriorate in March.

One roommate told officers Benoit had said Bustamante pointed a handgun at her on multiple occasions, and even put a gun into her mouth at one point.

Police also learned that in June that Benoit filed a complaint with the University of Idaho. The University gave Bustamante the option of being fired or resigning as a result of that complaint.

A person describing himself as a close friend says Bustamante had multiple handguns and multiple personality disorders.

He even told officers that Bustamante defined one of his disorders as a "psychopathic killer."

Bustamante called another disorder "the beast."

We have reached out to the University of Idaho to see how much they knew of the relationship between Bustamante and Benoit, but so far we haven't heard back.

On Tuesday, police said that they were never asked to get involved in the university's separation with Bustamante because it was a personnel matter.

It appears that police learned about Benoit's and Bustamante's relationship Tuesday while they were trying to contact him in the hotel.

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