Documenting the Co-Ed Killer case

Author: Edmund Kemper Stories (Page 1 of 27)

Ed Kemper Denied Parole

Edmund Kemper was denied parole yesterday on July 9, 2024 for another seven years. Kemper was not present for the hearing. His next parole suitability hearing is scheduled tentatively in July 2031. Kemper will be 82 years old by then. More details soon.

Source of drawing: unknown

Ed Kemper – Most recent news

2024 will be an important year in the Ed Kemper case as a parole suitability hearing is tentatively scheduled for July 9. We don’t know yet if Kemper will be attending. 

In other news, according to an unverified source on Reddit who works at the California Medical Facility (CMF) and who has direct contact with Kemper, Kemper has been having health issues in the last year, severe enough for him to be taken out of prison on a code 3 emergency transport to an outside hospital. It happened in July 2023 and February 2024. When Kemper does go out to hospital, he’s always back after a few days and it’s always because of complications from his diabetes. Other than that, he is apparently doing fine. He doesn’t get around much but he spends many hours on his tablet to pass time. He is still part of the general population of the prison. 

Kemper isn’t bed ridden and as frail as people think. He is in a medical unit at the CMF for his severe diabetes, and has never been in the hospice. Kemper regularly uses a wheelchair but he can still walk. It is just more difficult due to neuropathy and other issues. The stroke he suffered in late 2015 early 2016 didn’t leave him paralyzed or cognitively disabled. 

According to the same source, Kemper spent over a year telling his life story and crimes to a journalist over phone calls and in person visits, for a new book and possible documentary (maybe the “This is Ed Kemper” project?). Kemper still likes to discuss his crimes but the staff at CMF doesn’t really engage him in those conversations. The source goes on to say that Kemper has no remorse or shame about what he did. After being imprisoned over 50 years, Kemper told the source’s coworker that there is nothing better than having intercourse with the neck of a decapitated girl because the trachea and vocal cords pull you in and that he recommends he try it one day. Kemper is very personable and can start and carry on a conversation with anybody, and everybody that interacts with him seems to feel totally safe around him and people often say that he’s harmless, which is obviously not true.

Kemper has been a model prisoner for most of his incarceration but did receive a disciplinary RVR a few years ago for grabbing a nurse’ butt. Kemper showed no remorse for this and his defense was “I couldn’t help myself and what are they going to do to me, I’m already in prison.” The incident happened as the nurse was changing Kemper’s diaper. His actions were perhaps sexually motivated in a context where most self-aware people would feel embarrassed. This might show that Kemper still has no self-control over his impulses. He’s never done this before so why now? Perhaps he is getting older and the gesture wasn’t meant to be harmful, but maybe the real Kemper just made a brief appearance as his health further declines and he no longer wants to control his urges and is no longer satisfied by the memories. Especially after spending the prior year reliving all of his crimes and the graphic details of what he did to his victims for a biography. 

Source: photo from “’Mind of a Monster: Ed Kemper “The Co-Ed Killer”, a podcast from Investigation Discovery / Reddit

51 years ago today, on January 8, 1973

51 years ago today, on January 8, 1973:

Edmund Kemper murdered his sixth victim, Cynthia Ann “Cindy” Schall. She was is fourth co-ed victim. In the early evening of January 8, 1973, Cindy was walking down Mission Avenue in Santa Cruz, hitchhiking to go to class at Cabrillo College. Kemper picked her up and drove her to the hills near Watsonville, where he forced her into the trunk of his car and shot her in the head with his newly acquired gun. She died instantly. 

Miss Schall was born on August 4, 1954 in San Mateo County in California. She was 18 when she died. She rests at the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Colma, San Mateo County in California. She was the daughter of William Schall and Suzanne Ottinger Schall.

It is one of her friends, a young woman named Pamela, that reported Cindy missing to the police when she didn’t return home that night. She also alerted Cindy’s family in Marin County.

Source: “The Coed Killer” by Margaret Cheney / Photo from the book “Murder Capital of the World” by Emerson Murray, 2021, provided by Cindy Schall’s brother Forrest Schall

Kemper victims’ manner of death

After Ed Kemper was imprisoned for life in 1973, some crime magazines published articles revisiting Kemper’s case in the late 1970s and early 1980s. These articles portrayed Kemper as a serial killer who used a power saw or a buzz saw to murder his victims, which is far from the truth. But a bit of research revealed that there is a link to the use of saws in Cindy Schall’s murder case: after finding the different parts of her body in different locations in and around Santa Cruz, police and a pathologist determined she had been sawed into pieces with a power saw.

Ed Kemper mainly used firearms, knives and strangulation as his murder weapons. 

He shot to death both his paternal grandparents, Maude Matilda (Hughey) Kemper and Edmund Emil Kemper Sr. on their ranch on August 27, 1964 with a rifle given to him by his grandfather. Kemper also stabbed his grandmother post-mortem. 

Mary Ann Pesce and Anita Luchessa were both murdered by Kemper on May 7, 1972. Pesce was stabbed with a knife and strangled to death in the backseat of Kemper’s car. Luchessa was killed in the trunk of the car in a similar manner. 

Aiko Koo was choked to death by Kemper on the evening of September 14, 1972 right next to his car on a secluded road. He also raped her while she was unconscious. 

Cindy Schall was fatally shot in the head by Kemper with a .22 caliber pistol in the trunk of his car on January 7, 1973. 

On February 5, 1973, Kemper first fatally shot Rosalind Thorpe in the head and then Alice Liu with his pistol in his car while driving on the UCSC campus. Kemper shot Liu several times, including twice in the head.

In the early hours on April 20, 1973, Kemper snuck into his mother Clarnell Strandberg’s bedroom to bludgeon her with a claw hammer and slit her throat with a penknife. 

On the evening of April 20, 1973, Kemper murdered his mother’s best friend, Sally Hallett, by strangling her to death with his arm in his mother’s apartment. 

Source: article “I’ll Show You Where I Buried The Pieces of Their Bodies”, Inside Detective, by Hugh Stephens, August 1973

“I’m allergic to being in prison”

In Ed Kemper’s 1980 parole hearing, we learn that he suffers from an allergy to metals: “I have a medical order for a medical bed, for the extra length. I have an allergy to metals that’s been determined since last May to be an allergy to free nickel, which is a catalyst which, I understand, is used in a lot of alloys — almost all of the alloys in prison. In other, words, I’m allergic to being in prison, to slip it down to a very simple statement – handcuffs included.”

Source: Ed Kemper’s April 30,1980 parole hearing / Photo from the book Murder Capital of the World by Emerson Murray, 2021

“I said something regarding him not being a cop, stop acting like one”

These images were recently sent to us by a fellow researcher who has been in contact with the man appearing with Ed Kemper in the photos. Kemper and this man (who wishes to remain anonymous) were friends and co-workers at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville. Taken in the 1980s, these pictures show a ceremony where Kemper is presenting an award and a certificate to his friend. 

The man shared some of his memories about Ed Kemper: 

“I do have memories about Ed. We worked side by side… well, together for years. He was the…I forgot the title, but he was like the boss. There was one guy under him, all the readers, and me. I worked in the back recording. See, Ed was kind of obsessed with getting as many hours in there as possible, effectively lowering your hourly pay. We were VOV, Volunteers of Vacaville, Blind Project, but Ed and the other guy and myself were paid, like, 30 bucks a month or something. So, his thing was if you worked a thousand hours that month you weren’t making much per hour. Anyway, I really enjoyed what I was doing there so I didn’t mind being there all the time.

“And there was no ‘free-staff’, no cops, nobody, maybe a few readers in insolated booths, and I had a good sound system, huge speakers, and copies of every cassette I could find, and Ed and I would crank our tunes and work, joke, whatever. We had breakrooms with couches and I would wrestle with his giant ass. He had me on a couch, folded in half, because as much as he joked about his weight and size, I don’t think he realized it. I was gasping, you know, Ed you’re gonna break me in half, before he got off me, and he was kinda bummed that he could have really hurt me. Which was always the reason we couldn’t live together. He asked me to move in, offering me the preferred lower bunk, and all I could think about was 340 pounds of Ed above me so I declined. You know, all in all, I liked the guy. He was extremely friendly, just so incredibly articulate, respectful, I never once saw the psycho side of him. We even spoke about his past…a lot, and he was so matter of fact about it, never emotional or upset.

“I’m just glad to be able to provide something that maybe wasn’t there before. It’s strange because I knew him as well as anybody, probably better than most, but I never saw him as anything but big ol’ Ed.

“And I know what you’re referring to regarding him no longer wanting to do interviews. This was when I was there, late 80’s. He was in like 60 Minutes with…oh boy, memory is failing me… Bundy or somebody, and when we watched it on TV, it wasn’t the same interview. They had taken all his replays out of context and made him look like an idiot. I remember him being very upset about it, saying that was it, no more.

“As for his music, I just remember that we had about the same tastes. Ohohih… he really liked Harry Chapin (Cats in the Cradle) because I had it on cassette and reel to reel and he was going to wear it out.

(Asked a question regarding Kemper’s ceramic mug hobby)

“You know, I remember him making them because he had a lot of followers and it seemed like he wanted to make one for every letter and/or package they sent. He got a lot of mail and was in the visiting room all the time and it seemed kind of excessive that he wanted to make and send one to each and every one of them. Sorry, I wasn’t involved in the hobby program at CMF and what I do remember is vague. I was aware of it but that’s about it.

“One thing that I found odd about him. As you know, Ed’s a big boy, 6’9” and 340 lbs when I knew him. You would think that a man that big in prison might have an attitude or be violent and dangerous. Not even in the least. I never saw anything like that. In fact, late one night I was in the back cleaning and erasing cassettes to be reused, I’m sitting on a tall stool when he walked in. Now in prison you never want to be accused of being an informant or working with the uniform staff, or acting as/wanting to be a cop. Well Ed’s whole life, at that point, was dedicated to the Project. He loved the program, he loved his job, he felt that he was a big part of it, which he was.

“But he also wore blue. So, he comes in talking about so and so wasting time at work, stealing tapes, office supplies, things like that. I said something regarding him not being a cop, stop acting like one. He said something that apparently hit a nerve and not thinking, I reacted. With me sitting on that tall stool, we were close to the same height, with him right behind me, I spun around and backhanded him. I immediately started shaking, thinking this giant can rip my head off. Ed pouted a little bit, got all dejected, and walked the other way. I really thought he was going to cry. I guess he’s only psychotic with college age females and older people like his grandparents, mother, etc. Not once did I ever see this. I would probably think about that. 

“Haha! I just remembered something… I had a pet mouse. In my cell, he ran around free on top of the lockers. I had a wheel and a house and a maze of shoestrings hanging all over with socks hanging on them. He would cruise all over the shoe string highway, and the socks were a place to hide. Which is neither here nor there but I thought it was pretty cool. Well, we got Ed a mouse, too. At work we had them in like a glass fish aquarium filled with sawdust and wood chips, so we didn’t see much of them. So, we go to check on them or take them out or something, and we can’t find Ed’s mouse. We dug thru the wood and found his tail and hind legs. Turns out my mouse was a cannibal. I know, digging pretty deep for that one. That’s why I’m a plumber.”

Source: thanks to Diana S. for the photos and stories!

“I am going to be neuter for the rest of my life”

In this excerpt from his May 1979 parole hearing, Ed Kemper discusses managing violence as well as his sexuality in prison.

INMATE KEMPER: “I don’t want to start a precedent at being a second-time released multiple murderer. I have absolutely no plans of ever hurting anybody again in my life. 

To do that is to circumvent and call a failure and a lie everything positive I’ve done the last six years.

I told staff when I came here [at Vacaville], I will not hurt anybody again. I don’t want to hurt anybody again.

They told me I was unrealistic; they told me that was impossible because of my size. That would be one problem with inmates here. Another problem would be my crime. And between the two of them combined, it was impossible for me to stay out of violent encounters either as a victim or as an aggressor.

I have not hit anybody since I’ve been here. I may have been struck since I’ve come here, but there has not been a fight, and I’ve not been locked down because of being struck.

I don’t see that as a defeat of the projections of the CDC staff; I see that as them looking at things very stereotypedly.

If I had no control over my life whatsoever, or what some things I do have a chance of ghanging, then I could agree with them. But if I did agree with them back then, then I’d still be pushing a broom down in the hole — feeling lucky.

I’ve done some tremendously nice things since then for other people. I don’t live luxuriously in here. My cell is rather — I have it equipped for doing the things that I enjoy doing, but it is rather austere. There’s nothing ornate about it; there’s nothing really comfortable about it. And I don’t lounge around in the yard. I do not have a homosexual queen in this place — which isn’t a condemnation of people around here doing that. There is no sexual provision for me for the rest of my life as best I can tell.

The only alternate to that would be a family visiting-type thing — the trailer visits here — and the only eligibility I have for that would be for my sisters. And I don’t really see them as volunteering for that kind of behavior — you know, getting into the trailers and spending a night or two. And I can’t condemn them for that. So, I have to resolve the fact that I am going to be neuter for the rest of my life.”

Sources: May 1st, 1979 Ed Kemper parole hearing / Photo @Joey Tranchina

“I was upset because I was going to be transferred”

Photo by Joey Tranchina

It was rumoured that Ed Kemper had spent some time at Folsom State Prison at the beginning of his incarceration, in 1973-1974. In this excerpt from his May 1979 parole hearing (the first one he accepted to attend since he had been imprisoned), Kemper sheds light on why he didn’t get to go to Folsom Prison and how it was decided by doctors that he would stay at the California Medical Facility (CMF) in Vacaville, where he has been living since November 1973.

INMATE KEMPER: When I came into CDC on November 9th, 1973, I was classified Category A, “emergency psychotic” and a high violence potential, maximum custody, without having seen anybody. There was no psychiatric evaluation at all.

I was taken immediately from Receiving after being processed. I was taken to psychiatric isolation in S Wing on the third floor. I stayed there for five weeks. During that time, I had a tremendous difficulty in dealing with the depressions I was feeling from being taken from a very high-profile situation in jail — the court, the press, the flashbulbs, the lawyers — to a total isolation where I didn’t talk to anybody unless I was being fed or medicated – and then very briefly. I had trouble accepting and getting along with that. I felt very suicidal at that time – because it was very hard on me. And I saw — I didn’t know what prison was like; I didn’t know that I didn’t have that going for the rest of my life. I didn’t want to live. And at that time, I was also on suicidal watch.

After – well, excuse me, not during the first the five-week period. 

I left the — after the five-week period, the staff determined that I could be returned and ordered to the Reception Center for processing. I stayed there two weeks behind the screen in T Wing; it’s a secure housing. After two weeks of processing, it was determined by — on paper, — that I would either be placed in California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo or this mainline setting [CMF].

Dr. Alvin Groupe, capital G-r-u- — G-r-o-u-p-e, the Chief Psychiatrist for In-patient Services, which included Seguin Unit and S Wing, determined that he would take me back into the CMF Program under the Seguin Unit program, working toward the mainline.

When I returned to the Seguin Unit, I was put in a secure housing cell, six days later taken to screening, and I was recommended to be taken to Folsom — to the Adjustment Center in Folsom Prison, with an alternate of San Quentin Adjustment Center.

I had talked to no one, psychiatrically, counselling or otherwise during that six-day wait. I have a feeling that it would have been the same day if I had got there a day earlier.

I was returned to S-3, which is isolation. The day after that I was taken down to W Wing, “the hole”, the jail house to await transfer. During that wait, I attempted suicide.

It had been dismissed by several psychiatric staff as a show. I didn’t know what I was showing for, because I hadn’t been through the system before. I don’t know that they didn’t want me to go ahead and kill myself anyway — to save money. 

I spent almost all of my canteen ducats buying a very small piece of metal —

PRESIDING MEMBER RUSHEN: Okay. You tried to commit suicide. Then what happened?

INMATE KEMPER: I tried to commit suicide with drugs and cut. I was returned to isolation, not the hospital. I was comatose for three days.

When I woke up, I was taken to the floor lieutenant’s desk, Lieutenant Steele’s court, the lieutenant’s court to stand a hearing on a CDC 115 for self-mutilation. And it’s the only rules violation report that’s ever been filed on me –

PRESIDING MEMBER RUSHEN: Recovered then. Now, is there anything else?

INMATE KEMPER: We passed over it; we didn’t really cover it.

The man found me guilty. I was kept there for five more weeks. At the end of that time, it was determined that the CFR, Sacramento did not want me leaving the California Medical Facility, and I was told by Dr. Groupe that I was going to go down to W-1 and live there. I was going to be there for a long, long time. And I was upset because I was going to be transferred [to Folsom].

I went to W-1. I sat down there for two months. The program administrator, Mr. Vineyard, who is now a representative on your Board – – he came down to me and we made a therapy contract, unofficially. He didn’t like me living down there where I lived in a cell for 23 hours a day, and exercised in a cage for one hour a day — as being my housing and treatment. And I promised him that I would not act up in a violent way; I would not get anybody up there in any trouble for taking a chance with me, because at that time nobody was willing to take a chance with me — at all. And I don’t blame them; there was no real grounds to do that — according to what was observable in the records in my past history.

Sources: May 1st, 1979 Ed Kemper parole hearing / Photo @Joey Tranchina

New picture of Ed Kemper as a child

This photo of Ed Kemper when he was a young boy appears in the First Blood documentary series from 2022. The second photo shows Kemper’s unblurred face. This is the first photo we have found of Kemper at a very young age.

A&E’s First Blood examines some of America’s most notorious serial killers through the prism of their first known kills to reveal what drove them to the moment when violent fantasy and curiosity became a devastating reality.

Source: First Blood documentary series (2022, episode 5)

“Blood was an actual pain in the ass.” 

The blood got in my way. It wasn’t something I desired to see. Blood was an actual pain in the ass. 

Ed kemper about his victims’ bleeding

The picture shows Kemper in April 1973 revisiting the places where he buried his victims to help police uncover remains.

Source: I, Monster – Serial Killers in their own chilling words, collected by Tom Philbin, Prometheus Books, 2011

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