Edmund Emil Kemper III, a young giant who has confessed killing eight women, arrived home in Santa Cruz yesterday and immediately started taking investigators on a tour of grave sites.
Mass slayer Kemper led deputies with pinpoint accuracy to four remote sites where parts of bodies were recovered soon after he returned yesterday in custody from arrest at Pueblo, Colorado. Without the slightest hesitation, the hulking 280-pound, 6-foot-9 Kemper led officers along, off Summit Road, to a shallow grave, to the Lorna Prieta Mountain area, on Rodeo Gulch Road near Mountain View Road, and just above Boulder Creek. All four sites are within a 10-mile radius of Santa Cruz.
Officers said Kemper knew exactly where he was going yesterday. They didn’t have to look even an inch to one side of where Kemper directed them to dig. Kemper reportedly told deputies he knows the names of only five of the six victims. Since six have been found, there was speculation that one of those recovered might be Aiko Koo.
Driven from Pueblo, Colorado, where he was arrested Tuesday while confessing in a telephone booth to California authorities, he found 20 law enforcement officers waiting at the county line.
At the sight of all those police and their cars, a deputy said Kemper “just came unglued.”
“This is no circus to me, man,” Kemper said. “Get me the hell out of here.”
Kemper was transferred to a station wagon with four officers and proceeded to sites where bodies or parts of bodies could be found. Several of the victims had been carefully cut in parts or decapitated.
The first remains to be uncovered were believed those of Mary Anne Pesce, 18, Fresno, California, student, who disappeared last May. Her skull was discovered in a wooded area last August and Kemper indicated a point several miles away along the same mountain ridge where the torso lay in a shallow grave.
Anita Luchessa, 18, also of Fresno, was hitchhiking with Miss Pesce and the pair disappeared together. Kemper led the investigators to a ravine where he said he dumped her body. A pelvic bone was found, and a spokesman said animals might have carried off the rest of the body.
Kemper then showed the law enforcement officers a wooded area where he said he left parts of the body of Aiko Koo, 15, Berkeley, California. She disappeared September 15 on her way to a ballet lesson.
A handless arm was found, as well as a green plastic bag that had been ripped open. Kemper said he also left parts of Miss Koo’s body in another wooded area where investigators found pelvic bones and a rib cage.
Three months after Miss Pesce and Miss Luchessa disappeared, Kemper was found “normal” in an examination by two psychiatrists that led to a court order sealing his juvenile records.
Kemper spent five years in the Atascadero State Mental Hospital following his murders in 1964 of his grandparents at the age of 15. He was declared sane by the hospital, turned over to the California Youth Authority and eventually released.
From information given in the Tuesday phone call, Santa Cruz police found the nude and decapitated body of his mother, Mrs. Clarnell Strandberg, 52, in her apartment, and the body of a visitor, Sara Taylor Hallett, 59. Apparently, they were killed April 21.
Sources: The Press Democrat Sun, April 29, 1973 / San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, April 29, 1973