Documenting the Co-Ed Killer case

Ed Kemper’s ceramic art work

Imperfect criminal justice systems execute the innocent along with the guilty — Kemper’s case does not fit that rubric. However, Kemper’s execution would have done nothing to change the unpardonable acts of his past, while it would have precluded every decent, useful and beautiful that he has done in prison. Considering the lives of his victims, Kemper’s execution could not fairly have been called an injustice, but considering the life he has led in prison, it would have been a mistake. However, it is Kemper’s remarkable art work that, ultimately, confirmed my faith in the futility of the death penalty.

Because of powerful forces beyond his control, Edmund Kemper is too high-risk to be on the street, but in 41 years of incarceration, he has been a model prison-citizen, an effective functionary and a very interesting artist, whose ceramic designs have amazed me and astonished my friends for almost 35 years. The cup Kemp mailed to me, almost 35 years ago, continues to delight me every day.

NOTE: Above is my photograph of an amazingly intricately-glazed, slip cast cup. It was made on the dock near my home in the South of France. Below it is my photograph of Ed Kemper making that cup, in his house in California State Correctional Facility — Vacaville.

Photographer Joey Tranchina who visited ed kemper at the cmf in vacaville in the fall of 1979

Source: Excerpt from My Life Tumbled – Photographer Joey Tranchina’s Blog on Tumblr – July 12, 2014

2 Comments

  1. Ivan Bullard

    I have two pieces signed by him I would love to know more

    • Edmund Kemper Stories

      What pieces do you have?

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