The mother of University of Idaho murder victim Ethan Chapin made a surprise appearance at CrimeCon 2023 to beg the true crime community not to forget about the four slain students.
Stacy Chapin addressed the audience at the crime convention following a panel by Jacksonville State University professor Joseph Scott Morgan on Saturday.
During the session, titled The Idaho Murders: An Expert Forensic Analysis,” Mr Morgan delved into the quadruple stabbings that shocked the college town of Moscow in November 2022. The veteran death investigator was the solo speaker of the panel in which he took true crime fans on a journey through the killings of Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves.
When the session concluded, Ms Chapin introduced herself during a Q&A. She said she couldn’t sit through the lecture because hearing details about her son’s murder was too difficult, but later returned to the auditorium to deliver an important message.
“I actually did not sit through it [the panel],” Ms Chapin told the packed room as she fought through tears. “But I just wanted you all to know that these were four of the greatest kids. And all the great things you read about them are legitimately true.”
When Ms Chapin struggled to continue speaking as she choked back tears, the crowd showed their support by applauding.
“My son ... was an incredible human and we all miss him terribly,” Ms Chapin continued. “I’m not a true crime follower but I’ve been now thrust into the epicentre of something that has become pretty incredible.”
She added: “Don’t forget these kids. They were truly amazing kids in the prime of their lives.”
Thousands of true crime fanatics, along with some of the biggest names in the popular genre, gathered in Orlando over the weekend for the three-day conference focused on murder and mayhem and all things true crime.
Bryan Kohberger, a former Washington State University PhD criminology student, was charged with the murders of Chapin, Kernodle, Mogen and Goncalves.
Mr Kohberger was linked to the crime through DNA found on a knife sheath at the scene, cellphone records and his white Hyundai Elantra, a similar model of the car seen near the murder home around the time of the murders.
The case is headed for trial and prosecutors announced earlier this year that they will be seeking the death penalty.
The proceedings were tentatively scheduled for early October before the defence argued that they needed more time to review the evidence in the case. A new date has not been announced.
Earlier this month, both prosecutors and the defence asked the judge to block cameras from the courtroom during the trial. Latah County Judge John Judge has yet to rule on the motion.