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Edmund Kemper:co-Ed Killer

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The TV program "MUGSHOTS" uses the testimony of authorities that worked the case along with interviews with Kemper himself as to what was happening throughout the case from both sides of the story.

The product of a broken and abusive home, Edmund Kemper grew up timid and resentful, with a perception of his own inadequacy. Before the age of ten, Kemper graduated to living targets, burying the family cat alive and subsequently cutting off its head, returning with the gruesome trophy to his room, where it was placed on proud display despite his tender age, he brooded over fantasies of love and sex, with violence playing an inevitable role. One afternoon, discussing Edmund's childish crush upon a grade-school teacher, Kemper's sister asked him why he did not simply kiss the woman. Kemper answered, deadpan, "If I kiss her, I would have to kill her first." A second family cat fell victim to his urges; this one hacked with a machete, pieces of the carcass hidden in his closet until his mother accidentally discovered them. Kemper's mother first packed him off to live with her estranged husband, and then - after running away - the boy was delivered to his paternal grandparents, residing on a remote California ranch. There, in August 1963, fourteen-year-old Kemper shot his grandmother with a .22-caliber rifle, afterward stabbing her body repeatedly with a kitchen knife. When his grandfather came home, Kemper shot the old man as well, leaving him dead in the yard. Interrogated by authorities, Kemper could only say "I just wondered how it would feel to shoot Grandma." Motiveless violence displayed in his actions got Kemper committed to the state's maximum-security hospital in Atascadero. In 1969, a 21-year-old behemoth grown to six-foot-nine and some 300 pounds, Kemper was paroled to his mother's custody over the objections of the state psychiatrists. During Kemper's enforced absence, his mother had settled in Santa Cruz, a college town whose population boasted thousands of attractive co-eds. For the next two years, through 1970 and '71, Kemper bided his time, holding odd jobs and cruising the highways in his leisure time, picking up dozens of young female hitchhikers, refining his approach, his "line," until, he knew that he could put them totally at ease. Some evenings, he would frequent a saloon patronized by off-duty policemen, rubbing shoulders with the law and soaking up their tales of crime, becoming friendly with a number of detectives who would later be assigned to track him down. On May7, 1972, Kemper picked up two 18-year-old roommates from Fresno State College, Mary Ann Pesce and Anita Luchessa. Driving them to a secluded cul-de-sac, he stabbed both girls to death, then took their bodies' home and hid them in his room. Delighted with his "trophies," Kemper took Polaroid snapshots, dissected the corpses, and sexually assaulted various organs before finally tiring of the game. Bundling the remains into plastic bags, he buried the truncated bodies in the Santa Cruz Mountains, tossing the heads into a roadside ravine. Four months later, on September 16, Kemper offered a ride to 15-year-old Aiko Koo. Suffocating her with his large hands, Kemper raped her corpse on the spot and then carried it home for dissection. Another four months passed before the "Co-ed Killer" struck again, on January 9, 1973. Picking up student Cindy Schall, Kemper forced her into the trunk of his car at gunpoint, and then shot her to death. Driving back to his mother's house, he carried the corpse to his room, and there had sex with it in his bed. Afterward, Kemper chopped up her body and threw the pieces into the ocean. By this time, various remains of Kemper's victims had been found and officers were on the case. Apparently, none of them had the least suspicion that their friend, Ed Kemper, was the man they sought, and some felt comfortable enough in Kemper's company to brief him on the progress of their homicide investigation. Smiling, often springing for the next round, Kemper was all ears. On February 5, 1973, Kemper picked up Rosalind Thorpe, 23 and another hitchhiker, Alice Liu. Both young women were shot to death in the car. Driving home, Kemper ate dinner and waited for his mother to retire before stepping outside and decapitating both corpses as they lay in the trunk. Unsatisfied, he carried Liu's body inside and sexually assaulted it on the floor. Returning to the car, he chopped her hands off as a casual afterthought. Still not sated, Kemper telephoned a friend of his mother's, Sally Hallett, and invited her over to go to a movie with him



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