May 2, 1979 – Ed Kemper failed Tuesday in his half-hearted first attempt to win parole, admitting to a three-member panel of the board he doesn’t “see my release as feasible – as morally or legally feasible.”
Without emotion, panel chairman Ruth Rushen Tuesday detailed the eights murders, Kemper’s decapitation of his victims and his disposal of their bodies in various counties, but Kemper demanded the official record be changed to reflect the accurate “facts” and proceeded to recount each of the slayings again.
At the time he made statements to authorities in 1973, he said he was “suicidal” and “in my unwise immature judgment, I thought I was trying to build a psychiatric case against me. I needed help. I wanted help. And I made statements unsubstantiated by fact that are now being introduced as fact.”
“I was suicidal in my feelings at the time. I was trying to seal my fate.”
Officials, he went on Tuesday, were so anxious to convict him of the slayings “they left loopholes that I could use for an appeal, but I do not intend to take advantage of them.”
His actions “distressed me greatly” at the time, but “things still happen out there on the streets,” he added.
Kemper, who received an award two weeks ago for contributing 2 900 hours during the past two years tape recording books for the blind has sought court permission three times for psycho-surgery. He denied Tuesday the request was an attempt to gain his release or that he still felt an urge to kill.
“I felt I had one foot in a coffin and one on a banana peel” and his circumstances in the medical facility might result in violence, he suggested, “I didn’t like being controlled by my dislikes.”
Kemper, who also told the panel he has become a Christian while at Vacaville and has “learned to live with myself and God,” admitted the State of California has “more than enough reason to keep me locked up for the rest of my life. I have to say eight people are dead and I murdered them.”
After a half-hour deliberation, Rushen reconvened the hearing and said, “Mr. Kemper, you are not suitable for parole.”
She cited the “extreme violence and depravity” of his crimes and called Kemper “an unreasonable risk to society at this time.” His crimes, she went on, were premeditated and planned in meticulous detail, including bizarre conduct in “abusing, defiling and mutilating the victims’ bodies, which shows a total disregard for the worth of another human being.”
During a break in Edmund Kemper’s parole hearing at Vacaville Tuesday, Richard F. Verbrugge, inspector with the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office, said Kemper was questioned by Sonoma County authorities as a suspect in the murder of several hitchhiking girls here that began in 1972.
Verbrugge said he worked closely with sheriff’s homicide Detective Sgt. Butch Carlsted on the Sonoma County cases, but that Kemper was ruled out as a suspect.
“He was like a little boy, telling us everything and taking us everywhere,” the inspector said. Kemper was also given truth serum by officials during his initial examination. However, Verbrugge said Kemper did admit he picked up young girl hitchhikers in Sonoma County during his cruise through Bay Area counties seeking young girls that met “his criteria” for victims, but none of them apparently had the characteristics he sought.
The Press Democrat, May 2, 1979, by James E. Reid