TAMPA (Court TV) — Are you searching for someone to exchange letters with as you await the darling buds of May? If so, you are in luck thanks to websites like Meet-An-Inmate.com, which offer pen-pal systems to inmates all over the U.S., including convicted killer Katherine Magbanua!
Magbanua’s profile on Meet-An-Inmate.com says:
“Hey y’all! My name is Katherine but everyone calls me ‘special k’ or ‘kay’ for short in here. I’m originally from the Philippines but grew up in the beautiful city of MIAMI! I love the beach, a big FOODIE, and watching movies (gotta love those action packed and chick flick comedies) it can get very hard in here physically and mentally so I’m ready for some type of entertainment and lots of laughter. Hit me up if you have something interesting to talk about… until then “live it up like it’s your last!” Stay blessed <3… xoxo”
Courties may remember Magbanua for her role in the death of Florida State University law professor Dan Markel, who was gunned down while pulling into the garage of his Tallahassee home. Magbanua was the point person between Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera, whom Charlie Adelson hired to kill Markel.
Garcia, the father of Magbanua’s two children, was the triggerman. Markel was the former brother-in-law of Adelson, a wealthy South Florida periodontist. At the time of his death, Markel was battling his ex-wife, Wendi Adelson (Charlie’s sister), over their two preschool-aged sons.
At her 2022 retrial, Magbanua was found guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy, and solicitation to commit murder. She was given a life sentence for the first-degree murder charge and two additional 30-year sentences on the other charges. She was ordered to serve all sentences consecutively and without the possibility of parole.
If you decide to send Magbanua a letter at the Lowell Correctional Institution in Tampa, she’s a former bartender who’s open to receiving letters from both men and women, she likes yoga, and she turns 40 this year.
Anyone can create a profile on Meet-An-Inmate.com, so Court TV cannot say for certain that Magbanua herself created her own profile.
You’re probably not alone if you’re baffled about why a website that facilitates connections between incarcerated individuals and folks on the outside even exists. Although in Magbanua’s situation, she’s never getting out of prison, Meet-An-Inmate.com has a noble aim: To help inmates turn their lives around to achieve success upon release. In short, it offers hope. And hope, as the saying goes, springs eternal. The website reads:
“Inmates who establish and maintain positive relationships with people outside of prison are less likely to return to prison in the future, also improving the inmates chances of successfully reintegrating into society when released. Becoming prison pen pals is an excellent way to do that. It’s amazing how a small amount of communication with the outside world can improve a prisoner’s outlook on life. Your letters are sure to remind them that they truly deserve a second chance.”
Strangers reaching out to folks who are behind bars isn’t exactly a new concept. Alex Murdaugh regularly receives letters of support; Gypsy Rose Blanchard met her husband when he initially reached out via snail mail; and both Lyle and Erik Menendez are married to women who were their pen pals before they were their spouses.
Meet-An-Inmate.com launched in 1998. Inmates pay a fee to maintain a profile on the site, but it costs nothing to access the site and exchange letters with inmates. The site urges users to be cautious when it comes to sharing information with convicted felons. In other words, don’t get scammed. Meet-An-Inmate.com accepts all applicants regardless of crime, so they suggest that users research their potential pen pals’ crimes on their own before initiating contact.