Documenting the Co-Ed Killer case

Category: Sentencing

Ed Kemper mugshot – November 1973

This mugshot of Kemper is often thought to have been taken in 1964 when he was arrested for the murder of his grandparents. But if you look closely at the board in front of Kemper, the date is November 9, 1973. That is the day he was sentenced to eight life prison terms for the murder of six coeds, his mother and her best friend.

Ed Kemper’s sentencing

Santa Cruz Superior Court Judge Harry Brauer sentenced convicted mass murderer Edmund Emil Kemper III to life imprisonment. He said the sentences on 8 counts of first-degree murder would run concurrently, a move that made the parole of 6-foot-9 Kemper a possibility.

Kemper had confessed the killing of six coeds, his own mother and her friend. He turned himself in to stop further killing and told officers he was sure if he were ever freed he would become a killer again. “I know you were not bragging, but you were speaking in anguish and remorse,” Judge Brauer said.

The tension in the courtroom came to a climax following Kemper’s sentencing when the judge commented: “May God have mercy on your soul, Mr. Kemper, but you understand I have to protect the rest of the people from people like you.”

Following the hearing, Kemper, restrained by foot shackles, made his way over to the prosecution counsel table and shook hands with District Attorney Chang. “Mr. Chang, I want to thank you for your restraint during this trial,” said Kemper.

Kemper also expressed his gratitude to the judge for allowing him to remain in court unshackled during the entire trial and for being fair. “I want to thank you for your help,” Kemper told the judge.

After court, Kemper appeared genuinely relieved that the whole thing was over and while walking from the courthouse, he nodded greetings to several officials he became acquainted with during his imprisonment and his trial.