Ed Kemper tried twice, in 1976 and 1977, to ask a court to allow him to undergo psychosurgery in prison to curb his violent tendencies.

He was denied both times, as state prison officials found the procedure too risky. They also considered that Kemper presented no specific mental disorder warranting medical treatment in the form of psychosurgery.

Kemper had been writing to Dr. Hunter Brown of Santa Monica, who had persuaded him the operation could cure his violent tendencies. Brown had reportedly performed nearly 300 psychosurgery operations. Brown had offered Kemper to operate him free of charge. Also, an unnamed person had donated $4,600 to cover costs of guards and hospitalization at Santa Monica Hospital for Kemper.

In 2019, psychosurgery is still considered dangerous and unproven. It was probably best that the operation never went through for Ed. He is highly intelligent and has contributed in an important way to the study of serial killers with his testimony. Maybe that would not have been possible if he had been operated. I guess Ed was desperately trying to find a way to appease his tormented mind, but the denials forced him to take the long and difficult road of having to learn to live with himself and what he has done.

A few articles from the 1970s where Dr. Hunter Brown is cited: