THE CO-ED KILLER
WARNING! THE CONTENT IN THIS SEGMENT IS VIOLENTLY GRAPHIC & NOT APPROPRIATE FOR ALL AGES
At the age of 15, while residing with his grandparents in North Fork, California, Edmund Kemper already stood over 6 foot 4 inches tall and weighed 275 pounds. Estranged from his father, and having a back-and forth-relationship with his mother, Clarnell Strandberg Kemper, Edmund already demonstrated early signs of mental and emotional instability.
He began fantasizing about death and murder at an early age and ultimately acted upon these fantasies. In the early morning hours of August 27, 1965, Edmund Kemper shot and killed his grandmother in a psychotic rage, while she sat at the kitchen table working on her children’s novel. He hated his grandmother. She was domineering like his mother and she could easily infuriate him. The teenaged Kemper, fascinated with what he had done, simply watched as his grandmother lay dying, the blood pooling from her body, as he sat idly doing nothing to assist her. He simply stared as the life left her eyes.
After realizing what he had done, he feared how furious his grandfather would be and decided he had only one solution: his grandfather must also die. It was only a matter of time before his grandfather would arrive home from the grocery store and discover what he had done. When Kemper’s grandfather arrived home from the store with a bag of groceries, the teenager charged from the house with a .22 caliber handgun and shot the elderly man before he had a chance to shut the car door, killing him instantly.
Edmund Kemper then called his mother informing her of what he had done and she convinced him to call the police. Disturbingly, Edmund’s mother was not shocked by what he had done. As a child, Edmund would often abuse animals and played with their rotting corpses, posing them as trophies in his bedroom closet of his mothers Aptos home.
Edmund’s mother, Clarnell Strandberg Kemper, was well aware of her son’s strange behavior, which only strengthened her abusive behavior towards him. She constantly belittled him, humiliated him, and blamed him for his father leaving her. Clarnell was a very controlling and domineering woman, even forcing Edmund to sleep in the basement of their home when Edmund was an 8-year-old child. One can only imagine the fear of any youngster being forced to sleep in a cold basement, and one can only envision the fearful cries he made that fruitlessly lay upon cruel mothers deaf ears. Edmund’s mother was said to have a padlock on the trap door to the basement leading to young Edmund's dark dungeon below the kitchen floor. Edmund's mother feared her young son had intentions of raping his sister and it was believed his mother had the onset of a borderline personality disorder.
After Edmund murdered his grandparents, he was sent to Atascadero State Mental Facility where he served fewer than five years. During his stay at the facility, Kemper’s I.Q. level was tested and registered at staggering 145 – the average persons IQ is between 90-100 – Kemper was a genius, with his extraordinary intelligence, he was able to successfully manipulate his doctors and facility staff, gaining their trust and even gaining access to test results, allowing him to memorize answers and manipulate the outcome of psychological tests. Eventually Kemper was able to convince his physicians, attorneys, and state officials that he was stable enough to re-enter society. Kemper was released in 1969 and relinquished back into his mother’s custody in her Aptos home. Kemper's juvenile record was sealed.
Kemper, now standing at 6ft 8 inches tall and over 300 pounds; known as "Big Ed," was a free man. However, between 1972 and 1973, Kemper’s mental state began to deteriorate once again. The demands of Kemper’s controlling and abusive mother had taken their toll and once again, Kemper snapped. His inability to have relationships with the opposite sex became frustrating as well, and his failure to be able to pursue his dreams of becoming a police officer added to his aggravation.
Kemper’s mother worked at the University California at Santa Cruz as an administrative assistant, and her son grew increasingly upset with his mother for not helping him find a girlfriend at the university instead she constantly belittled him and criticizing his manhood. Kemper resented his mother and as a result, began to hate all women.
In May of 1972, Kemper picked up two college students hitchhiking from the College campus. Mary Ann Pesce and Anita Luchessa. Kemper brought his victims to a secluded area and brutally choked and stabbed them to death. He then dissected their bodies and had sex with one of the victims; corpse.
September 1972, Kemper picked up 15-year-old Aiko Koo, who was hitchhiking. He ultimately choked her to death and brought her body back to his mother’s Aptos home, where he dissected her body, had sex with the remains, decapitated her and buried her head in his mother’s garden. The rest of her remains were buried elsewhere on the property.
In January 1973, Kemper picked up 19-year-old Cindy Schall, a Cabrillo College student in Aptos. He took her to a secluded area, shot her, and brought her body back to his mother’s house where he dismembered her body in the bathtub, decapitated and buried her head in his mother’s garden, then disposed of the rest of the remains in a nearby ravine.
In February 1973, Kemper entered the UCSC campus and picked up 24-year-old Rosalind Thorpe 22-year-old Allison Liu. He shot them both in the head and drove their lifeless bodies back to his mother’s house where he decapitated them and sexually abused their bodies. He dumped their remains the following day.
On Good Friday 1973, Kemper saved his mother for last. Finally fed up with his mother’s endless taunting and complaining, he beat her in the head with a claw hammer while she slept. He then cut off her head, had oral sex with it, then placed it on the mantel above the fireplace, where he tauntingly threw darts at her face. Kemper also removed his mother’s vocal cords and placed them in the kitchen garbage disposal claiming that this was a fitting end to her constant bitching. But Kemper did not stop there. He later called his mother’s best friend Sally Hallett, inviting her to dine with him and mom. Upon her arrival, he violently punched Sally in the stomach as she entered the home, knocking the wind out of her, and then proceeded to choke her to death. He then left the Aptos home and began driving to flee the state. He later called authorities and finally turned himself in.
Edmund Kemper dubbed the Co-Ed Killer, is considered one of the nation’s most historically diabolical serial killers of his time. It was during his reign that Santa Cruz County became known as "The Murder Capital of the World"
~Strange to think that perhaps if Kemper was simply loved as a child – that maybe the outcome for all involved -could have been very different ~