Edmund Kemper, who is popularly known as “The Co-Ed Killer,” is one of the most monstrous serial killers of American descent that is often overlooked. At 6’9″, Edmund Kemper was an intimidating serial killer with an IQ of 145.

And just like it is with most serial killers, Edmund’s serial killing tendencies can be attributed to his troubled childhood. He exhibited this trait at a very young age when he stalked his second-grade teacher with a bayonet and decapitated his sisters’ dolls.

Edmund Kemper Had A Troubled Childhood

In 1948, Edmund Kemper was born in Burbank, California, to Edmund Emil Kemper II and Clarnell Elizabeth Kemper.

His father, Edmund Emil Kemper II, was a World War II veteran who worked on nuclear bomb tests in the Pacific, and his mother, Clarnell, who suffered from a borderline personality disorder, was an alcoholic.

Emil Kemper II and Clarnell Elizabeth’s marriage can be best described as a “damaging and loveless” one. Clarnell often chastised her husband because of his “menial” job and would never hug Kemper for fear that it would “turn him gay.”

According to Emil Kemper II, living with his wife Clarnell, was nothing compared to all his suicide missions during wartime, he said:

“Suicide missions in wartime and the later atomic bombs testing were nothing compared to living with Clarnell.”

At the same time, Kemper demonstrated dark fantasies relating to death and s*xuality. His serial killing adventure began when he stalked his second-grade teacher outside her house and decapitated his sister’s dolls in elaborate rites.

Although he began to display these traits from an early age, his parents were ill-prepared to deal with his problems.

In 1958 when Kemper was 10, he killed his family’s cat. Three years later, he also killed his family’s pet cat, but this time, he kept pieces of the cat in his closet until his mother eventually found them.

Edmund’s father left him in the company of Clarnell and his two sisters in 1957. This made Clarnell more aggressive towards him as she constantly berated and insulted him. She believed that no woman would ever love him, and she never shied away from telling him this at every chance she got.

By the age of 15, Edmund was already 6’4″ tall, and Clarnell feared him, not particularly because of his intimidating height. She feared that he could harm his sisters, so she often made him sleep in a locked basement.

During one of his interviews, Edmund described his mother as a “sick angry woman.” It was later established that Carnell suffered from a borderline personality disorder.

When he was 14, Edmund fled from his mother’s house to live with his father, Edmund Emil Kemper II in California. But his father had remarried at this point, and so he sent him to live with his paternal grandparents on their ranch.

Edmund Kemper’s First Murders

On August 27, 1964, Edmund got into a heated argument with his grandmother Maude Matilda Hughey Kemper. The enraged 15-year-old fatally shot his grandmother in the head before firing twice more into her back with a .22 caliber rifle that his grandfather had given him for hunting.

Some reports suggest that Maude Matilda Hughey Kemper was stabbed severally with a kitchen knife after she died.

When his grandfather, Edmund Emil Kemper, returned from grocery shopping, Edmund also killed him as he was walking up the driveway towards the house. Edmund claims that he killed his grandfather so that he would not have to find out his wife was dead.

After killing his grandparents, Edmund was unsure of his next line of action, and so he called his mother. Carnell urged him to report to the local police. He then called the police, who eventually took him into custody.

Because Edmund was only 15 years old when he murdered his grandparents, his crimes were considered incomprehensible.

He was also diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic by court psychiatrists who sent him to Atascadero State Hospital, where it was established that he had an above-average IQ of 145.

Against the recommendations of psychiatrists at Atascadero State Hospital, Edmund was finally released on his 21st birthday in 1969.

He was released into the custody of his mother Carnell, who was now working at the University of California, Santa Cruz, as an administrative assistant.

Although Edmund was required to check in with probation psychologists, he managed to convince them that he was rehabilitated, and on November 29, 1972, his juvenile records were permanently erased. The final report from his probation psychiatrists read:

“It is my opinion that he has made a very excellent response to the years of treatment and rehabilitation, and I would see no psychiatric reason to consider him to be of any danger to himself or to any member of society…”

Edmund Kempler’s Infamous Co-Ed Murders

Edmund’s first victims were two 18-year-old hitchhiking Fresno State students Anita Luchessa and Mary Ann Pesce, who were hitchhiking when Ed was driving around Berkley, California, on May 7, 1972.

Although Anita and Mary Ann’s destination was to Stanford University, Edmund took them to a wooded area where he intended to r*pe them.

He however panicked and stabbed the two women to death.

He hid their bodies in the trunk of his car and drove back to his house in Alameda.

On the way home, he was flagged off by a police officer for having a broken taillight, but the police officer did not bother to search his car.

Once home, Edmund had s*xual intercourse with their corpsesdecapitated them, severed their heads and then dismembered them before disposing pieces of their bodies in plastic bags.

Edmund’s next victim, Aiko Koo, suffered the same fate on the evening of September 14, 1972.

She was a 15-year-old Korean dance student who decided to hitchhike because she missed her bus.

Ed drove her to a remote location where he pulled a gun on her before he accidentally locked himself out of his car.

He however persuaded Koo to because he had previously her trust while holding her at gunpoint.

Once he made his way back into the car, choked her until she became unconscious, r*ped her, and eventually kill her.

Edmund moved back in with his mother at her home on the UC Santa Cruz campus by early 1973 when he could no longer sustain himself financially.

He continued his killings, murdering three more college students that he picked up around the campus.

Cindy Schall’s murder in January, 1973, is perhaps the most troubling.

After he fatally shot her with a .22 caliber pistol in a wooded area, Ed kept her body in his room until his mother left for work the next day.

He removed the bullet from Schall’s corpse and had s*xual intercourse with it for several days until he discarded the rest of Schall’s remains by throwing them off a cliff.

He kept the severed head and regularly engaged in irrumatio with it before burying it in his mother’s garden facing upward toward her bedroom.

According to him, he did this because his mother “always wanted people to look up to her.”

Edmund Kempler Murdered His Mother With A Claw Hammer

On April 20, 1973, Kemper’s killing spree came to a halt after he battered his mother to death with a claw hammer while she slept in her bed.

He then decapitated and engaged in irrumatio with her severed head before placing it on a shelf and screamed at it for an hour.

To justify his actions, Edmund said:

“That seemed appropriate, as much as she’d bitched and screamed and yelled at me over so many years.”

In a bid to cover his tracks, he invited his mother’s best friend, a 59-year-old Sara Taylor Hallett, and murdered her and made it look like his mother and Hallett had gone away together on vacation. 

He then stole Hallett’s car and drove to Colorado, before calling the police from a phone booth to confess to murdering his mother.

When asked why he turned himself in, Edmund said that:

“The original purpose was gone…I just said to hell with it and called it all off.”

He was arrested and convicted of eight counts of first-degree murder.

He attempted suicide twice and even requested the death penalty, but failed on all counts.

Edmund Kemper was sentenced to the California Medical Facility alongside Charles Manson and Herbert Mullin, where he still resides to this day.

He willingly participated in several interviews from reporters and law enforcement while in prison.

According to Mindhunter, Edmund’s testimony will help law enforcement agents understand the minds of serial killers.

Edmund Kemper became a model prisoner at the California Medical Facility, where he has spent over 5,000 hours narrating books on tape for the blind and helps other inmates schedule appointments with psychiatrists.

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