Documenting the Co-Ed Killer case

Category: Loneliness (Page 1 of 2)

“She’s very much the reason I surrendered.”

“I didn’t go hog-wild and totally limp. What I’m saying is, I found myself doing things in an attempt to make things fit together inside. I was doing sexual probings and things, I mean, in a sense of striking out, or reaching out and grabbing, and pulling to me. But appalled at the sense that it wasn’t working, that isn’t the way it’s supposed to be, that isn’t the way I want it. You see what I’m saying? And yet I get, during that time, I become engaged to someone who is young, and is beautiful, and very much the same advantages, and very much the same upbringing, and Disneyland values. And, uh, she’s very much the reason I surrendered.”

ed kemper about getting engaged during his crime spree

“I was trying to hurt society where it hurt the worst”

“It was all coeds and it would only be if they were a possible candidate for death, which would mean they were young, reasonably good-looking, not necessarily well-to-do, but say a better class of people than the scroungy, messy, dirty, smelly hippie-type girls I wasn’t at all interested in. I suppose they would have been more convenient, but that wasn’t my purpose.”

“My little social statement was I was trying to hurt society where it hurt the worst and that was by taking its valuable members or future members of the working society, that was the upper class or the upper middle class…”

“I was striking out at what was hurting me the worst, which was the area, I guess deep down, I wanted to fit into the most and I had never fit into and that was the group, the in-group.”

edmund kemper about picking up coeds as his urges to kill came not only from a strong sexual instinct but also a desire to strike back at society, according to his taped statements, played for jurors in his mass murder trial.

Source: “Kemper wanted to hurt society by taking its ‘valuable members'”, Register-Pajaronian, by Marj von B, October 26, 1973

Mindhunter: Holt McCallany reached out to Ed Kemper

Perhaps it won’t surprise you to learn that Holt McCallany, the brawny, silver-haired actor who plays special agent Bill Tench [based on FBI Agent Robert Ressler] in David Fincher’s Mindhunter, is mildly obsessed with serial killers. To prepare for the true-crime Netflix series’s second season, McCallany tried to reach out to the real Ed Kemper, a six-foot-nine killer who murdered 10 people—including his mother and grandparents. (He’s played in the show by Cameron Britton.) But Kemper never responded. So McCallany went to the California Medical Facility, where Kemper is housed. “When I got there, what I discovered is that Kemper has kind of given up on life,” the actor said. “He’s confined to a wheelchair. Do you know what I mean? He doesn’t really take visitors. He doesn’t bathe himself anymore. It’s very sad.”

Source: Vanity Fair, Mindhunter Season 2: Holt McCallany Really Tried to Talk to Son of Sam, August 16, 2019

Ed Kemper’s Christmas in 1963

On Thanksgiving Day (the fourth Thursday in November) 1963, as Ed was not yet fifteen, he borrowed his mother’s car, without her permission, drove it to Butte, Montana. From there, he got on a bus and returned to Los Angeles and Dad. The father should understand, he felt, that it was his duty to support his natural son rather than his stepson. To Edmund’s joy, his father agreed to let him live with him. There followed a brief happy period which, in itself, was such a novelty that it scarcely surprised him when it came to a sudden ending.

During the Christmas holidays, Kemper Sr. took his son to visit his parents, who owned an isolated farm at North Fork, a small town in the foothills of the magnificent Sierra Mountain range. But the pastoral beauties of the place were lost on the teenage boy. For him, the farm came to seem like a prison or an old folks’ home and he felt bitterly betrayed when his father announced to him for the second time in less than three months that he was not going to return to Los Angeles at the end of the Christmas holidays.

Clarnell had spoken to her ex-husband on the phone to tell him about the Siamese cat episode (Kemper had killed the family cat and hid it in his closet). She warned him:

This Guy (Ed Kemper’s family nickname) is a really funny bird. And you’re taking a risk by leaving him with your parents. You may be surprised to wake up one morning to learn that they have been killed.

Eight months later, in August 1964, Ed Kemper would shoot both his grandparents to death.

When we examine Ed Kemper’s existence, it is interesting to note how crucial the holiday periods were: Thanksgiving & Christmas 1963, and Easter 1973. For someone like him, who felt rejected by his loved ones and by society, these moments of celebration could be extremely difficult and stressful times.

Sources: L’Ogre de Santa Cruz (Stéphane Bourgoin, 1998) / The Coed Killer (Margaret Cheney, 1976) / 1973 Ed Kemper mugshot

Last man alive on Earth

“By the time I was eight, I had accumulated a lot of frustration, a lot of hate, for which I didn’t find an outlet. I didn’t know how to develop outlets. A school book awakened in me fantasies about being the last man alive on Earth. I still remember the text that was intended for a sociology homework on the loneliness of teenagers. That we could not know the excitement of the adventure, emotions or feelings, without sharing them with others. This text was a bit like a seed that gave birth to fantasies in my mind. I find myself alone with all these things, these cars, these planes and no one to bother me or tell me what not to do, but these fantasies end up running empty and seem hollow… Little by little, I integrated inanimate people: they could not affect or hurt me. As I started puberty, these fantasies had continued to grow when I was approached by a girlfriend, not physically or sexually, but emotionally. We are the same age but she is ahead of me, she is aggressive, she is very beautiful. But I was not ready for this type of relationship. She really wanted a physical relationship, kisses, flirting. It terrified me because I didn’t know how to react or control the emotions that germinated in me.” – Ed Kemper about some of his childhood fantasies

“I became interested with everything related to morbidity. I was fascinated by lots of things that revolved around death, destruction and Evil.”

“I always felt like a social outcast, I never managed to find my place. I couldn’t stay put, the need to move was constant. From ages five to seven, while we lived in Los Angeles, I had problems in public schools. I changed schools several times. I was a difficult child at that time, but at least I was ‘normal’, because I wasn’t internalizing my problems. [he laughs] I didn’t kidnap classmates or break windows. I was insolent, I was disobedient and I didn’t do much work. The teachers often called my parents. But you know what, that was definitely better than my attitude in the following years, where I was troubled, very calm and where I hardly spoke. People who really knew me were very few. I remained locked in the basement with my dark thoughts. I became interested with everything related to morbidity. I was fascinated by lots of things that revolved around death, destruction and Evil, with a capital E. But that had nothing to do with Satan or any devil worshipping. In fact, I feared these things.”

– Ed Kemper about his childhood fantasies

Source : L’Ogre de Santa Cruz (Stéphane Bourgoin, 1998)

“My size has also caused me a lot of problems, what I would call artificial paranoia…

…When I walk into a room, everyone immediately looks at me because I’m the tallest person they’ve ever seen. The conversations stop and all eyes turn on me. And the irony of the thing is that the shortest kid is infuriated because he has always dreamed of being the center of attention. I absolutely do not want to be the center of this attention, I want to blend into the crowd. For large individuals I see that there are two categories, the passive ones, because of everything that befalls them, and those who are aggressive. Those who are short need to surpass themselves and they’re angry at those who naturally attract attention because of their size. At school, I was constantly harassed by smaller kids.” – Ed Kemper (who stands at 6’9″)

Source : L’Ogre de Santa Cruz (Stéphane Bourgoin, 1998)

 

“All that would be mine.”

“I imagine myself committing mass murders, where I gather a large number of pre-selected women in one place, killing them before passionately making love to them. Taking their life, possessing everything that belongs to them. All that would be mine. Absolutely everything.”

-Ed Kemper

Source : L’Ogre de Santa Cruz (Stéphane Bourgoin, 1998) / Photo ©Joey Tranchina

When asked why he killed women, Edmund Kemper cited his own insecurities.

“My frustration. My inability to communicate socially, sexually. I wasn’t impotent, but emotionally I was impotent. I was scared to death of failing in male/female relationships. I knew absolutely nothing about that whole area, even of just sitting down and talking with a young lady.”

Source: documentary No Apparent Motive (1984)

“I had been living with people older than I was for so long that I was an old fogey.”

Ed Kemper blamed the court for counteracting the plan of Atascadero doctors to release him in stages geared to get him accustomed to the world outside again. He said they planned to send him to a “halfway house” environment where he would still have counselling, have a chance to get acquainted with girls at social functions and become aware of persons in his own age group.

“When I got out on the street (in 1969) it was like being on a strange planet. People my age were not talking the same language. I had been living with people older than I was for so long that I was an old fogey.”

Source: Front Page Detective Magazine, March 1974, by Marj von Beroldingen

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