On December 18, 1948, serial murderer baby boomer Edmund Kemper was born in Burbank, California. A rough childhood was another characteristic he shared with serial killers. In the Second World War, his father, E.E., was a hero and a gun enthusiast; his mother was Clarnell. His parents divorced when Ed was nine years old, and his mother took him and his sister to live in Helena, Montana. He had a severe reaction to the breakup and started showing indications of significant mental illness. It was a prized possession for him to dismember and display the severed head of the family cat that he had slain in the back yard, where it had been buried alive. While playing with her dolls, he also began to mutilate them. He once admitted to his sister that he had a thing going on with one of the teachers. His sister made fun of him for not kissing her. The only way he could do it was to murder her first, Edmund said gravely. Not alone was Edmund’s behaviour an issue; his size was also a concern. Edmund inherited his parents’ height, and as he grew older, he became even taller than his friends. Despite this, Edmund was terrified of being bullied because of his stature. She was unable to bear the strain of their deteriorating relationship any longer. She sent him to live with his father because she thought he was a “genuine oddball”. His father, unable to deal with him, moved him to live with his paternal grandparents in California, where he was raised on a farm. On August 27, 1964, Edmund Kemper made the transition from animals to people. His grandma and grandfather both opened fire on him, eventually killing him.
By adding, “I simply wondered how it would feel to shoot Grandma,” Kemper was deemed mentally ill and detained in Atascadero’s guarded hospital for evaluation. In 1969, Kemper, now 6 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 300 pounds, convinced physicians that he was a changed man and was released from prison to his mother’s custody.
This was a blunder, to put it frankly. The San Francisco Bay Area college town of Santa Cruz was now home to Clarnell, his mother. Kemper sat on his hands for the next two years. Because of his height, he wasn’t accepted into the police academy and was instead sent away. A frequent at a police club called the Jury Room, where he met a large number of investigators, he was not discouraged. Additionally, he did odd jobs and purchased an automobile that resembled the ones used by the police as undercover vehicles. He began picking up female hitchhikers in his automobile and quickly mastered the technique of making them feel comfortable. To make matters worse, he modified the vehicle in such a way that the passenger-side door could not be opened from within. In hindsight, it’s clear that he was just waiting for the right opportunity to arise. Mary Ann Pesce and Anita Luchessa, both 18, were hitchhiking to Stanford University on May 7, 1972, when he eventually picked them up. Afterward, he drove them down a dusty road and stabbed them both to death. In addition to sexually assaulting and photographing the victims, he also severed their heads, dumped them in a ravine, and then buried the remains. He was slain for the second time in four months. It was fifteen-year-old Aiko Koo who was the victim of this latest attack. He killed her by strangling her, then raped and dissected her body at his house. They were delighted with his development and deemed him officially “safe” the next day when he went to court for a meeting of the court psychiatrists.
Of course, they were completely incorrect. Kemper killed another student, Cindy Schell, four months later. Schell had been forced into the trunk of his car by this point, and he had a revolver with him. After raping, beheading, and dissecting her, he disposed of her body. Her head was laid to rest in his mother’s garden by her son. Kemper attacked again in less than a month. Rosalind Thorpe and Alice Lin, two more hitchhikers, arrived this time. He killed them both before they could even get inside the car. For supper with his mother, he left both bodies in the trunk and returned later to decapitate them, then brought Lin’s decapitated body into the house to be raped.
Kemper’s irrationality had gotten out of hand. This is when he allegedly pondered murdering everyone in his neighbourhood. Rather, he made the conscious decision to remain closer to his family. His mother was hammered to death, her head severed and raped, and she was imprisoned in a garbage disposal unit during the Easter weekend of 1973. He then summoned Sally Hallett, a friend of his mother’s, to his house in an attempt to hide his crime. After killing Hallett, he got in his car and drove west on Easter Sunday. He realised the game was over when he arrived in Colorado. His buddies on the Santa Cruz police department were informed of what he had done, where, and when via phone.
There was no legal wiggle space for Kemper after his confession, other than on the basis of insanity. In the end, the jury found him guilty of eight charges of murder and concluded that he was sane. “Death through torture” was what Kemper reportedly answered, when asked what the proper penalty should be. Because of his conviction for murder, he has been condemned to spend the rest of his life in jail. Kemper is well aware of and takes pleasure in his celebrity, which adds credence to the court’s conclusion that he was a sociopath rather than a psychopath. He has done a lot of interviewing (including one shared with John Wayne Gacy that was broadcast live). “What do you think when you see a lovely girl strolling down the street?” he asked himself rhetorically. “One half of me thinks I’d like to talk to her, date her,” said Kemper. “I wonder how her head would look on a stick,” says the other side of me.
That Kemper’s parole bids have been denied is understandable in light of his comments.