True Crime

LETTERS FROM A SERIAL KILLER

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LettersFromASerialKillercoverR6“After termination … there is a let down. Anytime you get an adrenaline rush like that, there’s a letdown. Hard enough where it puts you to sleep.” – Curtis Dean Anderson from jail.

Letters from a Serial Killer is about two women and their quest to find Xiana Fairchild, who was snatched off the streets of Vallejo on her way to the school bus stop and never seen again.
It is about the mother who raised Xiana and the newspaper reporter who covered the story.

In this book, Kristi Belcamino and Stephanie Kahalekulu share details of their jailhouse conversations with the man who took Xiana, the letters he sent from behind bars and how they are forever bonded by their dealings with a monster, but more than that—by their quest for justice for Xiana.

“Heartbreaking and horrifying, Letters From a Serial Killer delves into the thinking of a monstrous murderer – but it also reveals the brave struggles of the women who faced him in order to find justice for his victims. It’s a powerfully emotional true account that simply must be read.” – Claire Booth, author of true crime book, The False Prophet

“An unflinching look at the mind of a notorious Northern California predator who shattered young lives – and invaded the psyche of the reporter who dared to confront him.Together with an anguished victim’s mother, Kristi Belcamino fought for answers, at great personal and professional peril. Letters from a Serial Killer is required reading for the armchair criminal profiler. But be forewarned: this book is not for the meek.”- Henry K. Lee, author of Presumed Dead: A True-Life Murder Mystery

Select Reviews (full reviews below)

The Reading Room

Art Books & Coffee

Interviews:

KRON4 San Francisco

Darkness Radio March 29

House of Mystery

San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times/Vallejo Times Herald

Order Letters From a Serial Killer here.

REVIEW from ART, BOOKS, & COFFEE

In this heart-wrenchingly honest, gripping, and at times disturbing look at the inner workings of a missing child case, Kristi Belcamino and Stephanie Kahalekulu pull back the curtain to what it is truly like to go through an experience that changes the lives of all those involved.

Since day one, I have loved the Gabriella Giovanni Mystery series written by Kristi Belcamino. The stories, the character interactions, and the grit that fills the pages are what makes them so engrossing. This is why, when I had the opportunity to read Letters from a Serial Killer, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to know the backstory.

In the pages of this book, you will be greeted with true evil, but you will also be shown the resilience, the strength, and the compassion that people can have. In all honesty, I was not ready for what I read. There was real darkness in these pages that, at times, made me want to step away. However, I found that as I kept reading, my obsession with the case almost paralleled Kristi’s journey. Through her thoughts and words, I was able to see why she wanted to desperately to find the truth for Xiana Fairchild and her family. Then, when I was able to read Stephanie Kahalekulu’s reactions to what was going on, I felt a whole new understanding for the case. As the woman who raised Xiana, she went through so many emotions. Now, I am not saying that I could ever understand exactly what she experienced. How could I? This was her journey. It was (and is) heartbreaking for the reader to see everything that Stephanie was faced with. Yet, there is also a level of respect. Respect for her strength and for her ability to have hope.

These two women were brought together because of a tragedy. For different reasons, they were pulled into the world of Curtis Dean Anderson. Because of this, they were able to write this book. A book that gives a voice to the victims of a serial killer. Even with the words Curtis Dean Anderson littering the prose, it is apparent that this book is not for him. It is for Xiana. It is for Stephanie. It is for Kristi. It is for all those who have been through something like this and come out the other side.

I applaud both of these women for writing their story as difficult as it may have been. Because with out them, I would have never known about Xiana. I only hope that now, Kristi and Stephanie can keep that box in the dark basement closed and that they are able to move forward, though I am sure they will never forget.

THE READING ROOM

Letters from a Serial Killer by Kristi Belcamino and Stephanie Kahalekulu

It is a true story, one of the most heinous of crimes resulting in the deepest of heartache.  I became friends with Kristi Belcamino through her role as the author of the Gabriella Giovanni crime/mystery series.  Kristi is a bright, joyful person with whom you immediately feel better about the world and its inhabitants.  And, she is this bright light, no deception there.  But, she carries a heavy burden inside, one that led her to write the fiction series, with the first book, Blessed Are the Dead, a direct link to the burden of experience that lies within her.  That experience is her encounter with Evil in the name of Curtis Dean Anderson, a pedophile, a kidnapper, a murderer.  The true account of that horrific experience is now available in the book Letters from a Serial Killer by Kristi Belcamino and Stephanie Kahalekulu, the aunt of Xiana Fairchild.  Xiana was abducted by Anderson in 1999, and both of these women corresponded with and visited Anderson to try and obtain information about Xiana, hoping to bring her home safely.  Below is a review of this heart-shattering book.  Whether you read Kristi’s fiction series (which is an amazing series) or not, Letters from a Serial Killeris an important book you need to read.  Protecting children from evil is a responsibility we all share.

Letters from a Serial Killer by Kristi Belcamino

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As hard as this true story was to read because of the monster at the center of the case, I can’t begin to imagine how hard it was for Kristi Belcamino, along with Stephanie Kahalekulu, to relive and write. A pedophile who kidnaps and murders is the lowest of the low, the most evil of the evil, and to look this evil in the face requires a strength that few of us could muster.

Curtis Dean Anderson is the nightmare that every parent wants to believe is just that, a nightmare and not a reality. Kristi Belcamino, who was a crime reporter for the Contra Costa Times in the late 90s gained the knowledge of that reality when seven-year-old Xiana Fairchild went missing on her way to school in 1999 in Vallejo, California, a community across the bay from the city of San Francisco. At the time, Xiana lived with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend in a rundown apartment in Vallejo, but it was Xiana’s aunt, Stephanie Kahalekulu, who had raised Xiana, up until six months prior. Xiana’s life with Stephanie was a good one, full of love. It is Stephanie with whom Kristi became friends in the long search and hope for finding Xiana alive. Kristi’s newspaper coverage became more than a story for her paper; it became her life, all consuming. Stephanie’s life, too, became a complete commitment into this living nightmare, as she uprooted her life and those of her two children from a peaceful, orderly one in Colorado to a chaotic, gut-churning one in California.

A break in the case came when Anderson was arrested for the kidnapping of another little girl, one who was fortunate to get away from him before he could end her life. With his arrest, both Kristi and Stephanie had renewed hope that Xiana would be found alive. So began a cat-and-mouse game that Anderson played with the two women, with them visiting him and corresponding with him through letters, hoping to gain information that would lead them to Xiana’s safe return. Kristi, with her brilliant writing skills and emotional immersion, and Stephanie, with her heart-on-the-line descriptions, relay to us what horrors they endured in communicating with this Evil in the guise of a human. Hope and then despair, crumbs of information that led nowhere, demands that couldn’t or wouldn’t be met, heartache and grief. It was a trail of terror that led to the ultimate anguish.

It has been sixteen years since both women have dealt with this Evil and fifteen years since they discovered the truth about Xiana’s fate from the grim discovery of her skull, and, yet, they deal with it every day of their lives. How can something this wretched not impact the rest of your life? Kristi and Stephanie have found their own ways of managing the torment within, and their bravery in bringing this important account to readers must be commended. Heroes do what must be done for the good of the world, and Kristi Belcamino and Stephanie Kahalekulu are heroes indeed.