Edmund Kemper is a serial killer, cannibal, and rapist. He was perverted and twisted because of the unbelievable acts he did while he was free. He was known as the ‘co-ed killer’ and have murdered 10 people between 1963 to 1973. His targets were mainly female hitchhikers. But, at the height of his killing spree, he also killed his paternal grandparents and even his mother. Let’s take a look at these 10 gruesome facts about Edmund Kemper that are frightening even in today’s time.
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Why Is He Famous?
The story of Edmund Kemper became popular up to this day. Netflix “Midhunter” caught viewers’ attention, for they got to know Edmund in a new way, and his story is both amazing, in a wrong way, and terrifying. It is an exciting thing to get to know a serial killer’s mind and the childhood trauma they experienced to push them to become what they are now.
1. Boredom Caused Him to Kill His Grandparents
Edmund Kemper had a rocky childhood. His parents would often fight, and it affected him in the worst way possible. His parents divorced, and he was left with his abusive mother. At 15 years old, he ran away from his mother and tracked down his father. He was rejected by his father and was given off to his paternal grandparents.
Kemper’s grandparents were not good in any way. His grandfather was already senile, while his grandmother undermines him and his grandfather. He was also isolated due to living on a farm in the middle of the California mountains. He said he was a” walking time bomb” because of his grandmother’s actions, and one day, he just ticked off. In August 1964, he killed his grandmother with a hunting rifle in their kitchen. When his grandfather returned home, Kemper also shot him and was killed. After the said event, he panicked and called his mother, who told him to call the police. Once the police arrived, they asked why he killed his grandparents, and his reply was, “I just wanted to see how it felt to shoot Grandma.”
2. He Dismembered Cats as a Kid
As a kid, Kemper mutilated neighborhood cats. He would dig up holes in his backyard, bury a cat alive, dig it up again and dismember its head from its body. Edmund would then proceed to impale the head of the cat on a spike. During his early teens, he killed and dismembered his pet cat. He then hid the lifeless body in his room and was later on discovered by his mother.
Abusing animals at a young age is a sign that a child is problematic. And, if you love true crime stories, you will notice that most serial killers at a young age abuse or mutilate small animals. This feeds their desire to kill, and small animals are easy targets that could not defend themselves. The bodies can be easily hidden too. As the child grows older, the desire to kill more and more escalates. Most serial killers do not get the satisfaction of killing animals anymore and will progress to killing humans.
His mother ignored these signs and continue to live normally, which led Kemper to feed the rage inside of him. And when he was “shipped” off to live with his father.
3. The Heads of His Victims Were His Trophies
At an early age, Edmund Kemper had anger issues towards her mother. He was not raised by his mother, and he felt abandoned. Now, this anger turned into hate. In an interview conducted by the police, Kemper told them that he is destroying what his mother embodies when he kills.
HE would stab and strangle his victims. When they die, he will mutilate and dismember their corpse. He would throw the dismembered body, and the parts were later on found washed up onshore. He buried the head of one of his victims in his mother’s backyard. The other heads he kept on a spike.
Later on, he admitted that one side of him wants to date a girl and feel what it’s like to love and be loved in return. But, on the other hand, he wanted to see what their head would look like on a spike. He followed the latter and ended with 10 victims before he was convicted.
4. He Brutally Murdered His Mother
His hatred towards his mother never went away, even as they lived together. In 1973, his rage reached the boiling point, and he ended his mother’s life. After a night of drinking, his mother went home and started arguing with Kemper. He then entered her room and smashed her head with a hammer before slicing her throat. After that, he pinned her head on a wall and screamed at the head for hours while throwing darts at it. He also confessed to ripping out her voice box because, for years, she has been mistreating him and saying mean things to him.
He then dismembered his mother’s body and hid the parts around the house. Later on, a friend of his mother went over, and he also killed her. When he confessed, he told the authorities that he wished that his mother died a peaceful death. It is frightening to think that a person could do this to his mother. The good thing is that this was his last kill, and he would then confess everything to the police.
5. He Confessed Everything He Did to Authorities
Shortly after his mother’s death, he fed the state and made his way to Colorado. While on the way there, he realized that once the police find out, they would easily trace the murder back to him. He then called the police station and confessed everything he did.
The police, at first, did not believe the confession. Kemper was a close friend to Santa Cru’s police, and they would drink at bars and talk about their day together. They called him “Big Ed” and referred to him as a gentle giant. Their mistake was that they openly talked about the investigation of the “Co-Ed Killer,” so he anticipated their moves. He was always one step ahead of the police.
After his confession, he was asked about the proper punishment he deserves, and he answered “death by torture.” He was deemed mentally sane and would then be given a life sentence without parole.
6. He Weighs About 250lbs and is 6″ 9′ tall
Kemper was born in Burbank, California, on December 18, 1948. He was a bright child, but his parents’ rocky relationship will soon affect him negatively and eventually push him to become one of America’s most terrifying serial killers.
Edmund Kemper was a giant. By the time he was in high school, he was already a foot taller than his classmates. Edmund’s IQ of 145 also used his brain to pursue his victims without them having suspicion. He could scare his victims through his stature, and fighting him will not do anything for them. All of this was to his advantage, and he would always successfully kill his victims without a sweat. That is why the police dubbed him as a ‘natural-born killer.’ Also, people were intimidated by his size. But, it was not long before he showed signs of psychiatric problems. But, with his parents always fighting, he was not appropriately treated.
7. FBI Agent Robert K. Ressler was Terrified of Kemper’s Size
As an FBI Agent, you will be facing bizarre situations and different kinds of people. During their interview, Ressler was terrified of the size and demeanor of Kemper. Anyone would be intimidated at first sight of Kemper. He was intimidated by Kemper and hit the panic button so that a squad may enter the room. Kemper even threatened him while they wait for the police squad to arrive. It took 30 minutes for the squad to get to the interview room, and luckily for Ressler, he was untouched.
This kind of interaction first started when a psychiatric doctor named Donald Lunde interviewed Kemper. Kemper was twice as heavy and a foot taller than Lunde. Lunde was also threatened by Kemper, and he hit the panic button of the interview room. Luckily for him, the squad arrived only 7 minutes after the panic button was pressed.
8. Edmund Kemper is Still Alive Today
Edmund Kemper was sentenced to life imprisonment for first-degree murder on November 8, 1973. He is currently imprisoned in California Medical Facility.
After a few years in prison, Kemper lent his voice to be used in audiobooks. Some of the recordings he made are for ‘Flowers in the Attic,’ ‘The Glass Key,’ and ‘The Rosary Murders.’ He has over 5,000 hours of recording books and was awarded twice for his efforts.
In 1985, he completely waived off his parole hearings and was living his best life behind bars. In 2017, his lawyer told the media that Kemper believed that he will never be let out of prison but was genuinely happy where he is now. Today, he is over 70 years old and is in good health.
Sadly, he has to live a life full of regrets and mistakes he wished he never did. He has outlived his victims, but for sure, he had suffered the way his victims did, and he knows it as well.
9. He Controlled His Psychiatric Results to His Favor
Edmund was sent to the California Youth Authority in Atascadero shortly after his grandparents’ death. While in custody, doctors found out that Kemper suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. They immediately gave him the proper treatments he needed.
Due to his high IQ, he managed to manipulate the staff to access the assessment devices. Shortly after that, he memorized all the responses he needed to know to pass the test. He was released with clean records after the test showed he was well enough. He went to live with his mother in California, and we all hoped this was the end of Kemper’s life story. But, this was just the beginning of the terrible crimes he committed.
He had outsmarted doctors and nurses, and even his victims. He could quickly kill with his size, but he took his time committing the murders we now know today with his high IQ levels.
10. He Had Devious Plans to Make His Victims Feel Safe
Edmund wanted to work and applied as a state trooper. He was rejected because of his size, so he became bored. In the past, when Edmund became bored, his urge to kill rises. So, he found a way to feed his desire. He went around looking for female hitchhikers to murder. He would act as if he is in a hurry by looking at his watch and sighing. This way, the victims would think that he is in a hurry and does not have the time to hurt them. And, this was the perfect plan.
In 1972, he started his killing spree. First, he murdered an 18-year-old girl named Mary Anne Pesce, then an 18-year-old Anita Luchessa. Shortly after that, he murdered 15-year-old Aiko Koo. The next year he three more girls. A 19-year-old Cindy Schall, 23-year-old Rosalind Thorpe, and 21-year-old Alice Liu.
These girls were at their prime, and they were relatively small compared to Kemper’s size. We could only imagine the struggles of fighting back; they had to go through before their lives were ended.
Edmund Kemper Documentary
Edmund Kemper’s story is one of the many stories about a serial killer. An Amazon Prime documentary about him was titled “Kemper on Kemper: Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer.” In this documentary, we get to why someone like Edmund can commit such hideous crimes. In a society where people watch this kind of show, serial killers’ stories have become popular over time.
Luckily for us, these documentaries will show us what is going on inside a serial killer’s mind. But, it does not mean that you could go and have a killing spree of your own. These documentaries are filmed and produced so that younger generations can understand them better. Not because they want to become a serial killer, but so they can identify these behaviors for themselves.
The life of Edmund Kemper is gruesome and disgusting, and that led him to kill his victims. If he had not confessed, there will be more deaths than you could only imagine. But, remember that these films are for education purposes only. Some have personal interests that would help them become more successful. Even though Kemper was only charged with a life sentence and can be paroled, we now know that deep inside, there is something good in his heart.
Would you be willing to watch films and documentaries that are based on these horrible crimes? Remember not to get easily influenced by everything you see and learn from Edmund Kemper’s. Also, not every child with an ugly childhood will turn out to be a serial killer. Some killers have their little bubbles that once popped. He could not stop. Always stay safe and be vigilant with the people you meet and the people around you so you could still live a carefree life.