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Crime News University of Idaho Murders

Idaho Murder Victim’s Mom Writes Children's Book to Preserve Son’s Legacy

"Ethan Chapin would want us to do something good with this," Stacy Chapin said.

By Cydney Contreras

It's been more than 18 months since Ethan Chapin and three other University of Idaho students were found slain in an off-campus apartment on November 13, 2022. The killing made national headlines as police sought to find the perpetrator who had killed Ethan, his girlfriend, Xana Kernodle, and her roommates, Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen, in their sleep.

Since then, Ethan's name has become synonymous with the tragic events that unfolded at King Road in Moscow, Idaho. But Ethan's mom, Stacy Chapin, wanted her son to be remembered for more than just the way he died, leading her to write a children's book about Ethan, one of three triplets. 

"Everyone loved him; he was forever funny, laughing, easy-going and eternally sunny," she writes in the book The Boy Who Wore Blue.

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The title is owed to the fact that Ethan wore blue to distinguish himself from siblings Maizie, who wore pink, and Hunter, who wore orange. The book chronicles their upbringing, from growing up together in their hometown of Conway, Washington to going to school together at the University of Idaho. 

"It's bittersweet," she said of the writing process.

Ethan Chapin's Triplet Siblings

Xana Kernodle, Ethan Chapin, Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen

Writing also reminded Stacy of how difficult it must be for Maizie and Hunter, who are set to graduate from the University of Idaho in 2026. They did everything together, with Stacy calling Ethan the siblings' "glue."

"I am just moved by their courage and strength," Stacy said. "I can sit here and talk to you about what it’s like to lose a kid, but I cannot imagine being a triplet."

All members of the Chapin family have resolved to make something good out of the tragedy, setting up the Ethan's Smile Foundation to provide scholarships to students across the country. This year, they awarded about $50,000 to 33 students, according to the outlet. 

RELATED: University of Idaho Murder Victims' Ex-Roommate Reveals Final Text: "Knew Something Was Wrong"

"I told the kids at the beginning, this is not going to sink us," Stacy said. "We are going to take a left turn, and our family looks a lot different right now, but by God we will persevere."

Besides, she said, "Ethan Chapin would want us to do something good with this."

The family of Ethan's girlfriend, Xana Kernodle, has also started their own scholarship foundation to help students attend the University of Idaho.

Stacy Chapin says Ethan was in the "right place at the wrong time"

Bryan Kohberger listens during his arraignment hearing

While Stacy misses her son every day, she understands she can't go back in time. She told The Columbian, "I would not change anything if I could go back, even knowing the outcome... We literally spent a lifetime with him … we are so blessed to have had him for 20 years."

Bryan Kohberger, a former graduate student at Washington State University, was arrested and charged in the students' killings. A trial date has not been set as Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial.

In the latest preliminary hearing, Kohberger's attorney asserted their client's innocence, stating that Kohberger couldn't have killed the students because he was "out driving" at the time of the crime.