One of America’s most twisted serial killers murdered his own mum before having sex with the corpse’s head and ripping out her throat.
Edmund Kemper killed his grandparents with a shotgun when he was just 15 after an argument with his nan.
He shot granddad Edmund in the front garden straight after to avoid him finding his dead wife – and telling teen Ed off.
Authorities were stunned a child could commit such an act, so he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and swiftly moved to a psychiatric hospital.
Ed made a huge effort to impress doctors at the facility, even teaching fellow inmates how to complete the hospital’s tests.
That surprised medical professionals, who hadn’t ever seen a diagnosed sociopath be such a “good worker”, one said.
His IQ of 136 also helped him appeal to the intelligence of doctors.
At 21 Kemper was released and moved back in with his abusive mum, even attending community college.
Ed’s mum Clarnell Stage was an alcoholic who often mocked and belittled her son.
Worse yet, she couldn’t care less that he’d killed two family cats as a child.
Nor that his big sister tried to push him in front of a train, and one one occasion almost drowned him in a swimming pool.
By the time he left the psych ward Kemper was no longer the vulnerable child he once was, measuring an immense 6ft 9 (2.06m).
He wanted to become a cop, but was rejected from the academy for being too tall.
Yet Kemper’s reform act was just that, and he soon started picking up young women hitchhikers with plastic knives in handcuffs in the glove box.
It wasn’t till his mid-20s that Kemper acted on these impulses.
Previously he had let women go, driving some 150 around harmlessly.
But those who get in Ed Kemper’s car between May 1972 and April 1973 weren’t so lucky.
Over this 11-month period he killed 6 female student passengers before chopping of their heads, raping them and then dismembering the bodies entirely.
Five of his innocent young victims were college students and another was a high schooler, earning him the nickname of the “Co-Ed Killer”.
Psychiatrists said these twisted killings were just a surrogate for his “ultimate victim” – his mum.
After severe arguments with his mum he would go out to find victims, bringing them to his mother’s house while she was out and conducting his sickening business.
One night after she came back late from a party, Ed finally took out his buried revenge on her.
He slit his 52-year-old mum’s throat before bludgeoning her face in.
Ed even threw darts at her beheaded corpse and yelled at it for hours.
It was the ultimate conclusion of his terrifying rage.
Then he pulled out her larynx and tongue and threw them down the garbage disposal chute.
Ed’s mum’s throat was too strong for the system to break down.
Kemper then went to bar to drink alone, inviting her 59-year-old friend over to watch a movie.
When Sally Hallett arrived Ed strangled her to death, seemingly to build a cover story that they had gone on holiday together.
Then Kemper fled the property.
But not before leaving a sick note for cops.
It read: “Appx. 5:15 A.M. Saturday. No need for her to suffer any more at the hands of this horrible “murderous Butcher”. It was quick—asleep—the way I wanted it. Not sloppy and incomplete, gents. Just a “lack of time”. I got things to do!!!”
Kemper got bored on the road and was disappointed he wasn’t the subject of a police manhunt.
He always wanted the attention of authority – whether that was his absent dad or cruel mum or the police force that shunned him.
Yet when he still didn’t get it after all these heinous crimes, he finally handed himself in.
Police didn’t believe him when he gave a confession over the phone, so Ed called back later and finally he was taken in.
Ed then commented of the later phase of his crimes: “The original purpose was gone … It wasn’t serving any physical or real or emotional purpose.
“Emotionally, I couldn’t handle it much longer. Toward the end there, I started feeling the folly of the whole damn thing, and at the point of near exhaustion, near collapse, I just said to hell with it and called it all off.”
It was then that Ed was charged for the murders, which he readily confessed to.
Kemper’s lawyers advised him to plead not guilty by insanity. Ed tried to kill himself twice in custody during this time.
But the court found him to be legally sane – if shockingly disturbed.
They came to this wild conclusion despite his courtroom confession that he was a cannibal and had been psychotic as a child.
Because he was able to answer their questions correctly and understood what was going on, that was enough to rule him sane.
Finally after 5h of deliberation the jury ruled him guilty on all counts.
Ed asked for “death by torture”, though this wasn’t an option in California.
At California Medical Facility – where he remains – Ed shared a block with Charles Manson and notorious West Coast murderer Herbert Mullin, who he formed a rivalry with.
The man who started his adult life as a “model prisoner” and psychiatric patient was now locked up for good – and once again considered a model prisoner.
He avoided the death penalty on a legal technicality and has been incarcerated for almost 50 years.
Kemper was immortalised on Netflix true crime drama Mindhunter, where he was memorably played by Cameron Britton – who won an Emmy for his troubles.
Back in the real world, Ed has been rejected parole many times despite his good behaviour, with one prosecutor saying in 2007: “We don’t care how much of a model prisoner he is because of the enormity of his crimes.”
Kemper was most recently rejected from release in 2017.
He is eligible to apply for parole again in 2024.
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