Edmund Emil Kemper was born December 18, 1948, AKA "The Co-ed Killer", is a serial killer who was active in California in the early 1970's. He
started committing crimes at the age of 15 by shooting both his grandparents. Kemper later killed and dismembered six female, student,
hitchhikers in the Santa Cruz area. He then murdered his mother and one of her friends before turning himself in to the authorities hours later.
Kemper was the middle child and only son born to Edmund Emil Kemper, Jr. and Clarnell Strandberg. As a child he was extremely bright, but
displayed sociopathic behavior from a young age: he tortured and killed animals, and fatally stabbing a cat. He acted out bizarre sexual rituals
with his sisters' dolls, was a pyromaniac, and showed signs of necrophilia; once, when his sister asked him to kiss a teacher he had a crush on,
he replied, "if I kiss her I would have to kill her first."
Between May 1972 and February 1973, Kemper embarked on a spree of murders, picking up female students hitchhiking, taking them to isolated
rural areas and killing them. He would stab, shoot or smother the victims and afterwards take the bodies back to his apartment where he would
have sex with them and then dissect them. He killed five college girls. He would often go hunting for victims after arguing with his mother.
Mary Anne Pesce and Anita Luchessa
On May 7, 1972, Kemper was driving around UC Santa Cruz campus, where he picked up two 18-year-old college students named Mary Anne
Pesce and Anita Luchessa, who were hitch-hiking to Stanford University. After driving for about one hour, he drove on to a rural area in Alameda,
California, where he stopped the car and thumb cuffed both girls. He then fatally stabbed both Pesce and Luchessa.
Kemper drove the bodies to his mother's house, where he brought the bodies to his room and took photographs of them for sexual pleasure.
That night, Kemper dismembered the bodies and placed Pesce's dismemberments in a duffel bag, which was discarded on a mountain side road.
He used Luchessa's severed head for oral sex, before he dumped her remains in a ravine.
On the night of September 14, 1972, Kemper had picked up 15-year-old Aiko Koo, who had decided to hitchhike home instead of waiting for a
bus. While keeping her at gun point, he stopped his car at the side of a road and strangled her to death. He placed her body in the trunk of his
car and drove back to his mother's house. In his room, he proceeded to rape and dissect her body, as well as conduct several experiments on
her corpse. He later dismembered her body and buried her severed head in his mother's garden as a joke, later remarking that his mother
"always wanted people to look up to her." He buried the rest of her remains in the backyard of his mother's house.
At his trial he pleaded insanity, but he was found guilty of eight counts of murder. He asked for the death penalty, but
Edmund Kemper remains among the general prison population and is incarcerated at California State Prison, Solano,
in Vacaville, California.
On August 27, 1964, Kemper shot his grandmother while she sat at the kitchen table. When questioned, he said that he
"just wanted to see what it felt like to kill Grandma," and that he killed his grandfather because he knew he would be
angry at him for what he had done to his grandmother.
On January 7, 1973, Kemper was driving around the Cabrillo College campus, where he picked up 19-year-old student
Cindy Schall. He stopped his car in a secluded area by woods, where he fatally shot her with a .22 caliber pistol. He
kept the body in his room overnight until he removed the bullet from her head and beheaded her, burying her
severed remains in a ravine.
Rosalind Thorpe and Allison Liu
On February 5, after an argument with his mother, Kemper left the house in search of possible victims. He later
encountered 24-year-old Rosalind Thorpe and 23-year-old Allison Liu, who were on the UC Santa Cruz campus.
Thorpe entered his car first, which apparently reassured Liu to enter after her. Right after leaving the university
grounds, Kemper fatally shot Thorpe and Liu with a .22 caliber pistol. He then wrapped their bodies in blankets, and
placed them both in the backseats of his car. He drove back to his mother's house where he beheaded them, while
his mother was in the backyard. He then performed sexual activities with their bodies. The next morning, he
dismembered the bodies of Thorpe and Liu, and discarded the remains off a seaside cliff.
Clarnell Strandberg Kemper and Sally Hallett
On Good Friday of 1973, Kemper attacked his sleeping mother and battered her to death with a claw hammer. He then beheaded her, and used
her decapitated head for oral sex before using it as a dartboard. He also cut out her vocal cords and put them in the garbage disposal, but the
machine could not break the tough tissue down and regurgitated it back into the sink. "That seemed appropriate," he said after his arrest, "as
much as she'd bitched and screamed and yelled at me over so many years". His murderous urges not yet satiated, he then invited over his
mother's best friend 59-year-old Sally Hallett. When she entered the house, he strangled her to death and then left the house.
Kemper was driving eastward trying to leave California, but when word of his crimes hit the radio airwaves he became discouraged, stopped the
car, called the police and confessed to murdering his mother. By this time, he did not speak of his crimes as the "Co-ed killer", and waited inside
his car until he was arrested.
In the summer of 1963, Kemper ran away from home and hoped to seek his father in California. Once there, he learned that his father had
remarried, and did not want anything to do with him; the senior Kemper placed his son in the care of his paternal grandparents – Edmund and
Maude Kemper. His grandparents lived on a 17-acre ranch in the mountains of North Fork, California. Kemper had found it unpleasant living in
North Fork, especially because he disliked his grandmother.
being allowed access to prisoners' tests. With the knowledge he gained from his "apprenticeship" he eventually was able to impress his doctor
at the hospital enough to let him go. Kemper was released from prison in 1969, after serving less than five years. Against the wishes of several
doctors at the hospital, he was released into his mother's care.
He worked a series of menial jobs before securing work with the State of California's Department of Public Works/Division of Highways in District
4 (now known as Department of Transportation or Caltrans). By that time, his height had reached 6 feet 9 inches and he weighed about 360
Kemper had a close relationship with his father, and when his parents divorced in 1957, was devastated. He then had to be raised by his
mother in Helena, Montana. He had a horrible relationship with his mother Clarnell, a violent woman who would constantly belittle and humiliate
her son. Clarnell often made her son sleep in a locked basement, because she feared that he would rape his younger sister. It is alleged that
she had borderline personality disorder.
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