“I just wondered how it would feel to shoot grandma”
Born in Burbank, California on 18 December 1948, as a young child Edmund Emil Kemper III tortured and killed animals. His mother was disturbed and made Kemper sleep in a locked cellar. His first killing occurred on 27 August 1964 when he visited his grandmother, Maude, 66, at her 7-hectare (17-acre) ranch in North Fork and shot her at her kitchen table. When his grandfather, Edmund I, 72, returned home, Kemper killed him as well. He telephoned his mother to tell her what he had done. He told police “I just wondered how it would feel to shoot grandma.”
The 15-year-old was committed to Atascadero State Hospital but was released in 1969 despite the advice of his doctors who felt he still presented a danger. Despite having a near genius level IQ, Kemper worked at a series of menial jobs. By now Kemper stood 2 m (6 ft 9 in) and weighed more than 134 kg (294 lb). On 7 May 1972 Kemper murdered Anita Luchese and Mary Anne Pesce, two students at Fresno State College, Berkeley, after offering them a lift while they were hitchhiking. He stabbed them and took them back home where he had sex with their corpses. On 14 September he abducted 15-year-old Japanese schoolgirl, Aiko Koo, before suffocating her, having sex with her corpse, taking her home, decapitating her and having sex again with the headless body. He then cut her up and buried the body parts in the mountains near Boulder Creek.
Cynthia “Cindy” Schall was his fourth victim. He shot her on 8 January 1973, abused her corpse, cut her up in the shower and threw her off the cliffs at Carmel. There was another double killing on 5 February 1973 when he shot Rosalind Thorpe and Alice Liu but when he returned home, his mother was there so he had to decapitate them in the boot of his car. On Good Friday he murdered his mother and decapitated her. When her friend Sarah “Sally” Hallett came over for tea that day, he murdered her too before having sex with her corpse.
Thursday 27 August 1964-Friday 20 April 1973
Kemper eventually telephoned the police to confess that he was the killer they were seeking but they refused to believe him and he had to persist before he was arrested. He was tried at Santa Cruz on 23 October 1973. On 8 November the six-man, six-woman jury deliberated for five hours before finding Kemper sane and guilty of eight counts of first-degree murder. Kemper told the judge that he wanted to be tortured to death. He was sent to Folsom Prison for life where he became a model prisoner, helping to read books on tape for the blind.
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
After killing hs mother, Kemper cut out her vocal chords and tried to get rid of them in the waste disposal unit but they would not go down. He said, “That seemed appropriate as much as she’d bitched and screamed and yelled at me over so many years.”