Edmund Kemper was born 18th December 1948 in Burbank California. 6’9 (2.06 m) in height and a high IQ, at 145.
Kemper was the middle child in his family, with an older sister and a younger sister. Kemper’s parents divorced in 1957 and moved to Montana with his mother and sisters. Kemper and his mother weren’t close, there was many problems between them and she was very critical of him, at the age of 10 she made him live in the basement. Kemper’s mother was worried he would harm his sisters or her.Kemper wasn’t a normal child, kemper would cut the heads of his sisters dolls and play dark disturbing games with his sisters, called ‘gas chamber’.
Kemper at age 10, buried one of the families cat’s alive and their second cat murdered with a knife. Kemper’s mother sent him to go and live with his father for a short period of time, but ended up back with his mother, who then sent Kemper to live with her parents, his grandparents.
Kemper was sent to live with his grandparents in North Fork, on their farm. Kemper spoke about hating it. Kemper began learning about firearms, but his grandparents took away his rifle after he killed several birds and other small animals. August 27th, 1964, Kemper finally took to murdering a human being. This being his grandmother in the kitchen after an argument, and his grandfather outside by his car. All with a gun, at the age of 15. Kemper hid the bodies of his grandparents and then proceeded to call his mother. His mother instructed him to call the police and inform them on what he’d done.
Later, Kemper would say that he shot his grandmother “to see what it felt like.” He added that he had killed his grandfather so that the man wouldn’t have to find out that his wife had been murdered. Kemper was later handed over to the California Youth Authority. He was referred to and had to take part in a series of tests, which determined that he had a very high IQ, but also suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. Kemper was eventually sent to Atascadero State Hospital, a maximum security facility for mentally ill convicts.
Kemper was released at the age of 21 in 1969. The prison professions declared it not be of best interest for Kemper to live with his mother, due to her alcoholic issues and psychological issues which have contributed towards his mental health. Kemper ignored this and he reunited with his mother in Santa Cruz, California, where she had moved after ending her third marriage to take a job with the University of California. While Kemper moved there, he attended community college for a time and worked a variety of jobs, he found employment with the Department of Transportation in 1971.
Kemper had applied to become a state trooper, but he was rejected because of his size, being 6’9 and weighing 300 pounds. However, he did hang around some of the Santa Cruz police officers. One gave him a training-school badge and handcuffs, while another let him borrow a gun. Later on that year Kemper was hit by a car while out on his motorcycle. His arm was badly injured, and he received a $15,000 settlement in the civil suit he filed against the car’s driver. Kemper being unable to work then turned his mind toward other activities. Kemper noticed a large number of young women hitchhiking in the surrounding area. He bought a car with his settlement money. Kemper then began storing the tools he thought he might need to commit murder which was lurking in his mind. He was even storing a gun, a knife and handcuffs.
Kemper began by picking up female hitchhikers and letting them go. However, when he offered a ride to two Fresno State students (Mary Ann Pesce and Anita Luchessa) they never made it to their destination. Their families and friends reported them missing , but nothing was found to be alarming until 15th August, A female head was discovered in the woods near Santa Cruz and was later identified as Mary Ann Pesce’s head. Anita Luchessa’s remains, were never found. Kemper later confessed that he stabbed and strangled Pesce before stabbing Luchessa. After the murders, he brought the bodies back to his apartment and removed their heads and hands. Kemper also committed necrophilia on their bodies.
14th September 14, 1972 -Kemper picked up 15 year-old girl named Aiko Koo. Aiko Koo, was trying to get to dance classes, she took the chance of hitch-hiking instead of waiting for the bus. She was sadly to be ended the way Mary Ann Pesce and Anita Luchessa were.
Jan 1973, Kemper continued to murder woman, picking up hitchhiker Cindy Schall, in who he shot and killed. Kemper took Cindy’s body to his home while his mother was out. He hid her body in his room. He dismembered her corpse in his room and would proceed to throw her parts into the ocean. Several parts were later discovered when they washed up on shore. He buried her head in his mother’s backyard.
5th February 1973, Kemper used a campus parking sticker his mother had given him to facilitate a double-murder. He drove to the university, where he proceeded to pick up two students, Rosalind Thorpe and Alice Liu. After picking up the two girls he shot the two young women then drove past the campus security at the gates with their bodies murdered his car. After the murders, Kemper dismembered their bodies and removed the bullets from their heads and disposed of their parts in locations different to one another. However, sometime in March 1973, some of Thorpe’s and Liu’s remains were discovered by hikers near Highway 1 in San Mateo County.
On Good Friday, 1973 he went to his mother’s home and attacked her in her sleep, first striking her in the head with a hammer, and then cutting her throat with a knife. As he had with his other victims, he then decapitated her and cut off her hands, but then also removed her voice box and put it down the garbage disposal. Kemper hid his mother’s body parts, Kemper later called his mother’s, friend Sally Hallett and invited her over to the house. Kemper strangled Hallett.
On April 23 he made a call to the Santa Cruz police to confess his crimes. At first, they thought it was a joke as they did not believe that the guy they knew as someone they worked alongside could be a killer. After interrogations he would lead them to all the evidence they needed to prove that he was in fact the infamous “Co-ed Killer.”
Kemper was found guilty and charged with eight counts of first-degree murder, Kemper went on trial for his crimes in October 1973. When asked by the judge what he thought his punishment should be, Kemper said that he should be tortured to death. He instead received eight concurrent life sentences. At present, Kemper is serving his time at California Medical Facility in Vacaville.
Kemper is seen as a welcoming inmate in prison, helping set up an and care for men with HIV.
Netflix series Mindhunters, explores one of the most heinous and often overlooked serial killers of American history is “The Co-ed Killer,” Edmund Kemper.
listen to Edmund kemper talk in a documentary here
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