June 13, 1997 – Vacaville – No one thinks Edmund Kemper, an Aptos serial killer who haunted Santa Cruz in the early 1970s, should be paroled – including Kemper.
Kemper, 49, refused to attend his parole hearing Thursday but he directed his appointed attorney to read a short statement. “The severity of my commitment offenses, I believe, preclude my release at this time,” read Marcia Hurst.
A three-member panel from the state Board of Prison Terms agreed with Kemper, saying he remains a threat to society.
“Mr. Kemper terrorized Northern California,” said Commissioner Carol Bentley at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville. “He poses an unreasonable risk to the public.”
Since 1988, this is the third consecutive time Kemper, who has diabetes, has declined to appear before a parole board [he had also declined in March 1991 and June 1994], and he has repeatedly stated that he does not believe he should be freed. In fact in the late 1970s, he twice tried unsuccessfully to get state doctors to perform psychosurgery on him – similar to a lobotomy – claiming surgery may be the only way to squelch his urge to kill.
Assistant District Attorney Bob Lee represented Santa Cruz County at the hearing and recalled Kemper’s “absolutely shocking, violent, depraved acts.”
“I was a 12-year-old boy at the time and I remember instead of having a monster in our dreams we had him in real life,” Lee told the parole board.
Kemper, who attempted suicide four times before and during his trial, testified that he killed his mother because he didn’t want her to think he was the serial killer being reported in all the news accounts.
According to the parole board, Kemper has been a model prisoner at Vacaville. He works in the library and has had no disciplinary action taken against him in the last 23 years. However, no one wrote a letter to the parole board or came forward Thursday to say he should be released. His next parole hearing is in 2002.
Source: “Mass murderer denied parole for third time”, Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 13, 1997, by Robert Gammon, Sentinel Staff Writer