Essay, Research Paper: Edmund Kemper

Legal Issues

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On May 7, 1972 Edmund Kemper began his series of murders. His first two victims
were both students at Fresno State College. They were hitchhiking to Stanford
University, but they made the tragic mistake of excepting a ride from Kemper.
After driving them around for while, he pulled into a remote deserted area. He
forced Anita Luchese into the trunk of the car, and turned his attention to his
first victim Mary Ann Pesce. He put in the back seat face down, and placed a
plastic bag over her head. He then attempted to try to strangle her with a piece
of cloth. But, his efforts were not successful at first, because even though she
was handcuffed, she was able to bite a hole in the bag and to make Kemper even
angrier the cloth broke. By this time Kemper became extremely frustrated with
his efforts. He then proceeded to pull a knife and repeatedly stabbed Mary Ann,
and eventually slashed her throat. Anitaís death was much quicker, after
Kemper removed her from the trunk he stabbed her with a different and larger
knife. She fought and screamed for little bit, but finally wore down, and she to
died a senseless death. Afterward, Kemper drove around for a while with the
bodies still in his car, while trying to decide what to do with the bodies. He
eventually brought Anitaís body into his apartment, where he undressed her and
dissected her body. He then beheaded both womenís bodies. Kemper disposed of
Mary Annís body in the plastic bag he tried to suffocate her with, and buried
her body. Kemper later lead the police to the location of her body. He kept
their heads for a while before dumping them into a ravine. Anitaís remains
were never found. Kemper drew no suspicion from these two murders, so he
continued to prowl. On September 14, 1972, he picked up Aiko Koo, a
fifteen-year-old dancer of Korean descent. She was on her way to dance class
when she became tired of waiting for the bus and decide to hitchhike. Like his
first two victims Aiko made the fatal mistake of hitching a ride with Edmund
Kemper. Aiko figured Kemperís plan out and began to panic. Kemper was able to
convince her that he was going to shoot himself, and if she did not try to
signal the police she would not be harmed. He then drove the two of them into
the mountains and turned the car off of the main road. He tried to suffocate her
by taping her mouth shut and sticking his fingers in her nostrils. But this did
not kill her, it only rendered her unconscious and she awoke moments later.
Kemper then began to suffocate her again, and this time he did not stop until
she ceased to breathe completely. He then pulled her out of the car and raped
her limp body. He proceeded to strangle her with her own scarf, and when he was
positive she was dead he placed her body in the trunk and drove away from the
scene. From there, he left for his motherís house, but not before stopping at
a local bar for a couple of beers. Periodically he would open the trunk and
admire his great conquest. Later that night he took Aikoís body into his
apartment and placed it on his bed. He then dissected her body as he had done to
Mary Ann and Anita, and disposed of her head and hands in a different location
than the rest of her body. Very few parts of her remains were ever found, and
her disappearance was not thought to be associated with that of Mary Ann and
Anita. Four months had gone by. Victims of other murderers had turned up, but
still Kemper drew no suspicion. Even though Kemper was legally aloud to buy a
gun do to a prior crime, he had no problem purchasing a .22 caliber handgun. But
he feared that the police would find out about the gun, and that lead him to
step up his killing activities beginning that very day. He picked up a woman
named Cindy and drove her into the hills near Watsonville, where he placed her
into the trunk and shot her with his brand new gun. Edmund brought the body to
his motherís apartment in Aptos where had recently moved back in. He waited
for his mother Clarnell to leave for work the next morning, and then he had sex
with her lifeless body. He then dissected her body and removes the bullet from
her skull. He buried her head in his motherís back yard and disposed of the
rest of her body by throwing it over a cliff. This time the body was retrieved
within 24 hours, but Kemper did not worry about being caught. On month later he
was ready to kill again. On the night of February 5, 1973, Edmund and his mother
had a monumental argument. He stormed out of the apartment, fired up and ready
to kill again. Again, he picked up a hitchhiker by the name of Rosalind. He then
picked up a girl named Alice. She had no worries about getting into the car
because of the presence Rosalind. After riding around for a while, Kemper did
not even bother to stop the car to kill his victims. He drew Rosalindís
attention to the pretty view, and when she turned her head, he placed one bullet
in the back of her head. He then immediately pointed the gun to the back seat
and fired a few shots at Alice. She did not die right away, but he shot her at
point blank as soon as they got out of town. He quickly stopped the car and put
the bodies into the trunk. After stopping for gas he went on to his motherís
apartment, which he left again quickly claiming to need cigarettes. Once he
pulled the car onto the street, he opened the trunk and beheaded the bodies. The
next day he took Aliceís body into his room and had sex with her body. He also
brought in Rosalindís head so that he could remove the bullet from her skull.
He drove away to dispose of most of the body parts, and on to Pacifica to get
rid of their heads and hands. The last of Kemperís murders was on Easter
weekend, a month after he killed Rosalind and Alice. Edmund finally decided it
was time to get rid of his mother who had caused him so much mental anguish. At
5:15 AM he went and grabbed a hammer from the kitchen and hit his mother in the
head and then slashed her throat while she was sleeping. He then proceeded to
behead his motherís body and removed her larynx in the process. He hid her
body in the closet and left the apartment. That afternoon he decided that if
another body was found with his motherís, that he not draw any suspicion. He
got in touch with his motherís friend Sara Hallet and invited her over for
dinner that evening. When Sara arrived Kemper strangled her, first manually and
the n with the scarf he got from Aiko. From there he put Saraís body on his
bed and sometime that night he had sex with her. On Easter Sunday morning he
took Saraís car and headed toward Pueblo, Colorado where he was eventually
captured after leading the police to his location. II. Biohistorical Information
Edmund Kemperís childhood parallels that of many serial killers. His parents,
Clarnell and E. E. Kemper Jr. had a stormy marriage, and they were separated by
the time Kemper was nine. They divorced four years later, and Kemper longed for
a father through a succession of stepfathers. In their new home in Helena,
Montana his dominant mother and sisters belittled him, as they grew older Kemper
was banished to the basement, because they felt that sharing a room with his
sisters was inappropriate. Not that his parents did not try, both of them were
much more engaged in his upbringing and wellbeing than many parents were. But
Edmund was difficult. He was afraid of being hurt by others in school and was
unable to attain friendships with his peers. The pain of his parentís divorce
was tough for Edmund to deal with. He entertained fantasies of sex and violence
at a young age. He tortured animals and beheaded them like he would later do to
his victims. At his request his mother sent to Los Angeles to live with his
father and stepmother. In 1963 Edmund was sent to live with his grandparents in
North Fork, California. Although not happy living with grandparents, Kemper
showed improvement in his behavior at school. His teachers said that he was
quiet and meek. He made average grades and drew no attention to himself, aside
from his size. He would shoot rabbits, gophers, and birds (although he was
warned not to) but it evidently contained his aggression. During the summer he
went back to stay with his mother, but within two weeks he was sent back to his
grandparents. Upon his return, his grandmother had stated that Kemper had
regressed. His violent fantasies had returned. This time his fantasies starred
his grandmother whom he found a nag. He would imagine her in the outhouse and
shot it full of holes. He took it even farther to aim the gun at his
grandmother, and imagined her what it would be like to kill her. His grandmother
would take the .45 caliber pistol that belonged to his grandfather, when she
left the house, because she feared that it would fall into Edmundís hands.
Edmund took this lack of trust as an insult, and a fire began to grow inside
him. On August 27, 1964, Edmund sat at the kitchen table with his grandmother
going over a childrenís book she was writing. She noticed that Edmund had an
odd and frightening look on his face that she had seen on many occasions before.
After being told to stop looking at her like that he grabbed his gun and said he
was going to shoot gophers. His grandmother warned him not to shoot the birds.
As he left he watched her through the screen door. He then took aim and fired
once, then he fired twice more and hit her in the back with both shots. He
wrapped her head in a towel and dragged her into the bedroom. Shortly after, his
grandfather returned home, and Kemper shot him in the back of the head. Edmund
was upset because of what he had done and also because he knew he would be
caught. Confused, he called his mother and she advised him to call the sheriff.
He quickly confessed to both murders, saying that he often thought of killing
his grandmother, but his grandfather was a mercy killing. Because he thought
that his grandfather would have had a heart attack if he had seen his dead wife.
Edmund was held in a juvenile hall while the authorities decided what to do with
him. A psychiatrist diagnosed him as paranoid and psychotic, and he was
committed to the Atascadero State Hospital. He entered the facility on December
6, 1964. He was not yet sixteen years old. At Atascadero State Hospital Edmund
took an extensive battery of test and began to gain insight, if not in the
nature of his own crimes, but what others thought of them. He began to work hard
to learn the language treatment and appearing recovered. He worked in the
psychology lab and helped administer tests. He took pride in doing a good job,
which his doctors interpreted as a very good sign. He got to know the others
that were at the hospital, including serial rapists who shared stories about
their crimes with him. From this his violent sexual fantasies became intricate
and intense. And took note what the incarcerated rapists had done wrong.
Although he hadnít yet made any concrete plan, he knew each fact, and each
story would be useful to him later. He them claimed religious conversion, and
took to looking up any biblical reference he heard. When Edmund was released in
1969 the changes in the outside world shocked him. He began to attend a
community college near the hospital, while he was still under the supervision of
the Youth Authority. Edmund longed to become a law enforcement officer, but
those hopes were quickly dashed. These hopes were dashed because he was too
tall. To at least feel like a cop he went out and purchased a motorcycle. Edmund
was doing very well in school. And because of that he was paroled for another
eighteen months. His doctors strongly advised him not to return to his mother
who had relocated to Santa Cruz. Against their advice the Youth Authority sent
him right back to her. His mother now held a responsible position at the
University of California at Santa Cruz. The time without Edmund gave her several
years of peace. But upon the arrival of her son, the arguments began again. To
avoid the arguments with his mother, Edmund would frequent the Jury Room, which
was a bar for off Ė duty cops. There he was well Ė liked, and even referred
as ďBig Ed.Ē Edmund took various jobs as a laborer, and finally secured one
with the Division of Highways, which enabled him to move out of his motherís
home. Still, his mother continued to berate and belittle him. He wrecked his
motorcycle, and then purchased a car that resembled an unmarked police car. He
put in a radio transmitter and microphone, and also a large whip antenna. He
then began to pick up hitchhikers. Small, pretty hitchhikers. He delivered them
safely to their destinations, and privately, he indulged in his violent
fantasies, imagining what he would do to his captive hitchhikers when he finally
got all the details taken care of. He began to outfit his car for his future
plans. He took off the antenna, and he rigged the passenger doors so they could
not be opened from the inside. Plastic bags, knives, blankets, and guns were
placed in the trunk. Edmund picked up girl after girl, treating each as an
experiment, waiting for his moment. It took a while, more than a year of picking
up girls and letting them go, but on May 7, 1972, Edmundís moment finally
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