Ed Kemper | Serial Killer, Necrophile, Model Prisoner

They Call Him Big Ed

Recently portrayed in the first Mindhunter series on Netflix by Cameron Britton, Ed Kemper is a big guy, standing at 6ft 9inchs. Born in 1948, in Burbank California, he was the middle child and only boy. With higher than average intelligence and displaying antisocial behaviour in his early years, he would kill family pets and act out sexual rituals with his sister’s dolls.

His Family

Kemper lived with his mother, father, and two sisters. And was particularly close to his father. When his parents divorced in ’57 he was devastated. Remaining with his mother and sisters. He had a tumultuous relationship with his sisters, recalling that one pushed him in the deep end of the pool and another time almost into a moving train. His mother is believed to have had a borderline personality disorder and often locked young Edmund in the basement to prevent him from harming his sisters. She was also an alcoholic and verbally abused Ed.

In ’63 he ran away to be with his father. but discovered that he had a new family. And though he stayed for a while he was eventually sent back to his mother, who refused to let him live with her again. She sent him to live with his grandparents on their 17-acre California ranch.

True Crime Post: Ed Kemper

Edmund Kemper | Co-Ed Killer

Ed Kemper killed his Grandparents, grandmother first as she was working on a children’s book and then his grandfather as he came up the drive with the shopping, in ’64. On the advice of his mother, who he called afterwards, he phoned the police and confessed. And at age 15 committed to the state hospital where tests revealed an I.Q. of 136 (later during retesting an I.Q. of 145 was recorded) and in ’69 was released into his mother’s care. Once he’d proven to his psychologists that he was well his records were expunged and he was able to find work. Eventually coming to work for the Department of Transportation.

  • In May 1972 Kemper picked up two 18-year-old female hitchhikers, Mary Ann Pesce and Anita Luchessa, he stabbed them both fatally and then put them in the trunk and drove them back to his apartment. Where he took pornographic pictures, dismembered them, orally raped both decapitated heads, put the pieces in plastic bags and disposed of them in near Loma Prieta Mountain.
  • Kemper next picked up Aiko Koo in September of 1972, a fifteen-year-old hitchhiking home after dance class. He held her at gunpoint, strangled her to death and raped her corpse.
  • 19-year-old Cindy Schall became his next victim in January 1973. He drove her to woodland, shot her, and took her body back to his mother’s house in the trunk of his car. He then removed the bullet and decapitated her head in his room before burying the head in his mother’s garden and disposing of the rest of the dismembered remains in a ravine.
  • Kemper fatally shot 24-year-old Rosalind Thorpe and 23-year-old Alice Liu in February of ’73 after they got into his car. He wrapped them in blankets and put them in the backseat. Sexually abusing their corpses before dismembering and disposing of the parts the following morning in Eden Canyon. They were found a week later.

And then he waited for his mother. On Good Friday, 1973, Clarnell Strandberg returned home from a party, disturbing Ed from his sleep. Ed then went into her room and beat her to death with a clawed hammer. Decapitated and orally abused her head then used it as a dartboard, shoved her vocal cords in the garbage disposal.

He then called his mother’s best friend, Sally Hallet, and invited her over. When she arrived he strangled her to death before leaving the house, getting in his car and driving through California, Nevada, Utah and into Colorado.

Ed Kemper | Confession

When he reached Colorado and hadn’t heard anything on the radio about his most recent victims he found a pay phone and called the police.

They didn’t believe him and told him to call back later.

And he did. Asking to speak to an officer he knew and confessing to the two murders. Then he waited in his car for officers to arrive and arrest him. He would later confess his other crimes to detectives.

Edmund Kemper was given 7 consecutive life sentences and has been in California Medical Facility ever since. He has given interviews to reporters and law enforcement officials, testifying to his state of mind during the killings. He does not want to be released.

The original purpose was gone 

Edmund Kemper when asked why he confessed

A model prisoner, Kemper narrates books for the blind and assists the facilities psychiatrists with scheduling inmate appointments. He is now in his 70’s.


By K.T. McQueen

Book 2 in the Noctisbellum Inc. series