I’ve read several books about Ed Kemper, and this is one of the best. Published in 1974, this book focuses on the Kemper and Herbert Mullin cases, who were both active serial killers at the same time in Santa Cruz, California, in the early 1970s. It centers on the people directly involved, who the victims were, who the killers were, how they chose their victims, and what those unlucky people went through before their death. The author discusses why the killers did what they did, who went looking for the victims when they disappeared, and informs us about the background of their lives. Few books have treated the victims as anything but a list of names, except for Clarnell Strandberg.
This book features in one of its chapters the author’s theory that Kemper might have been a latent homosexual. According to West, the fact that Kemper removed the heads and the hands of his victims proves that he wasn’t interested in them as women, and that he entertained sexual fantasies towards men. We have to remember that this book was written in 1974, and that psychology and our understanding of the serial killers’ minds wasn’t what it is now.
Also, Kemper himself said in interviews that he is not sexually attracted to men and that he mutilated his female victims in order to make dolls out of them to satisfy his sexual urges. Moreover, as he was humiliated and belittled by his mother all his life, it was a way for him to control the women he was attracted to.
Very well written, unfortunately, this book is out of print. You might find a used copy to buy on eBay or true crime memorabilia websites for a few hundred US dollars. The author of the book is Don West, a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner.
This book is part of my true crime memorabilia collection.