.. ing the police to his location. II. Biohistorical Information Edmund Kempers 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 parents 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 Edmunds 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 childrens 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 hadnt 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 duty cops. There he was well liked, and even referred as “Big Ed.” Edmund took various jobs as a laborer, and finally secured one with the Division of Highways, which enabled him to move out of his mothers 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, Edmunds moment finally came. Bibliography www.angelfire.com, www.crimelibrary.com.