Documenting the Co-Ed Killer case

Category: 1991 Interview (Page 2 of 3)

Overcoming Death

Ed Kemper in 1973

“Toward the end, I became sicker, bloodthirsty, and yet these streams of blood annoyed me. It’s not something I want to see, but what I long for is to witness death, and to savour the triumph that I associate with it, my own triumph over the death of others. It’s like a drug, which I want more and more. I want to triumph over my victim. Overcome Death. (During this diatribe, Kemper is very excited and his eyes shine, he relives intensely those moments when he was triumphant.) They are dead and I’m alive, it’s a personal victory.”

ed kemper about murdering his victims, 1991 interview

Kemper’s friendship with police

Drawing from David Jouvent for his upcoming graphic novel about Ed Kemper

“My relations with the police were much exaggerated at the time of my crimes. I knew two or three agents. The bar I went to wasn’t in front of the police station, it was more than sixteen hundred feet away, in front of the courthouse. The Jury Room, Joe Mandela’s Jury Room. ‘Come in and give us your verdict’, that’s the slogan under the sign. The establishment is rather quiet and a number of police officers frequent it. At the time I was committing my crimes, I used the friendship bonds that I’d woven with these policemen to learn more about the progress of the investigation.

Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, I had read it when I was younger. “(Kemper smiles.) With this criminal who feels the pressure building up inside: Are they following me? And he ends up cracking and confessing. This is a novel. I want to avoid all of that. I had no problem getting information out of these officers. Why? Because of the very structure of the police hierarchy, whose elite is represented by the criminal brigade. They see themselves as the cream of the crop and they like to brag about their exploits in front of other cops. So, there is a certain jealousy and friction between the different services.

As for me, I was doing a little dragging around these simple cops. I didn’t care about being their friend. I had already been in prison. I didn’t like the police. But they were talking to each other about what they’d heard about the case. I was on the periphery. They snubbed me, as they were snubbed by the ‘supercops’ of the Criminal. But I wasn’t bothered by their presence, I didn’t act weirdly in front of them and that’s something they must have felt.

Usually, any citizen who speaks to a police officer in uniform is clumsy, as if he’s guilty of something, even if he’s clean. And I think cops are sensitive to that kind of thing; as soon as they put on a uniform, they know right away that they’re no longer like the others. Relationships are skewed. It’s something that must hurt them somehow. But if I don’t act that way, if I don’t treat them like an insect under the microscope, then I’ve slipped a foot in the crack of the door. Little by little, you learn to pay for beers and get to know each other: ‘How’s it going, Big Ed’, ‘Great, and you, Andy, etc. And a year later, I phone them to tell them, ‘I’m the Co-Ed Killer. I want to surrender. ‘

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

Ed Kemper’s weapons

Ed Kemper in court during his trial

On his release from Atascadero, Ed Kemper began collecting weapons; first knives, one of which he particularly liked, and that he nicknamed the “General”, to the point of regularly sharpening its blade; then firearms, which were much more difficult to obtain because of his previous crimes. He borrowed some firearms from his co-workers, before buying one from his boss who wanted to go on a trip with his mistress. Most of the time, Kemper kept these weapons in the trunk of his car or in a specially arranged hideout under his seat.

Source: L’Ogre de Santa Cruz (Stéphane Bourgoin) / Bay City TV Archive

Kemper’s High IQ

Photo: Joey Tranchina

“Ironically, I have a high IQ. I didn’t know that until I was locked up the first time for murder. I always thought I was little missin’ up here, a little short, because I was always called stupid, called slow.”

ed kemper (from his 1991 interview with Stéphane Bourgoin)

At Atascadero, California Youth Authority psychiatrists recorded that Kemper had an IQ of 136 when he first was imprisoned there in 1964 following the murder of his grandparents. Later on in his time at Atascadero, Kemper tested higher at an IQ of 145.

In an interview published in the Fall of 2017 in the Daily Mail UK, after the release of the Mindhunter series on Netflix, Ed Kemper’s half-brother, David Weber, had this to say about Kemper’s IQ: ”Susan [Kemper’s older sister] told me once that Guy’s IQ [Guy is Ed Kemper’s nickname in his family] is far higher than the reported 146, more like 180 plus. He faked his IQ tests so it would always come out showing he had an IQ in the upper 140s. He’s a demented super-genius of a sociopath. He is incapable of caring regardless of what he says or shows. He makes OJ Simpson look like a rank amateur at best.”

During his 2017 parole hearing, Kemper seems to take pride in the fact that he has a high IQ and that it somehow makes him better than other people, as in this excerpt where Presiding Commissioner Fritz and Kemper discuss this topic:

Presiding Commissioner (PC) Fritz: Do you think you’re better than other people?

Kemper: Well, some people, I am. I don’t know how…

PC Fritz: You do think you’re better than other people?

Kemper: No, there are some people that – I have a high IQ, they don’t.

PC Fritz: So?

Kemper: Uh, well, I’m saying.

PC Fritz: I mean, so what. Lot – Tons of people in this room have high IQs. That doesn’t make us better than anybody, right?

Kemper: Not in…

PC Fritz: Does it make you feel good about yourself to say oh I have a high IQ so I’m better than other people?

Kemper: No.

PC Fritz: Okay so then what do you mean by you are better than other people besides having a high IQ?

Kemper: Some people, some of my acquaintances, uh, speak in, uh, a fashion that, uh, tells me they’re happy with much simpler accomplishments moment to moment, day to day, and I might put a lot more energy into that; a lot more effort into that than to so simply speak up to something. In that sense.

PC Fritz: Okay, all right. So you can’t empathize or be happy with the accomplishments they have cause you think they’re simple accomplishments versus your accomplishments.

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

Ed Kemper’s fascination with beheading women

“When I was young, I was about 8 or 9 years old, I went to this little come-on, it was like a record store or something. And they had this crowd of kids there and there was a magic show. And this guy… You’ve probably seen it, the fake guillotine, hand-pressed and they put the potato there. And someone puts their neck in the brace and they slam this thing down and the potato down below chops in two, but the person’s head doesn’t fall off, right? And everybody gets very fascinated by that: Oh my god!”

“I’m out standing in this crowd watching this show and he wanted a volunteer out of the audience. And some quite beautiful little 16-year-old girl gets up there, and this big laugh, and they’re all giddy and stuff. And I started getting caught up in this. I said: Wow! Right at that moment, I departed reality because, logically, I should have been able to ascertain that that could not happen. You’re not gonna get away with chopping somebody’s head off in the middle of Helena, Montana. But the concept of it was so raw and it was titillating. I says: Wow, gee, gotta watch this. And he had her girlfriend come over and put her hands there to catch her head, so it wouldn’t fall in the basket, you know. And he was making jokes about this. I got caught up in this interplay between normal concerns-you don’t want to get a bump on her head-well hey, if you’re chopping her head off, it doesn’t matter, right? And this is catching in my mind somehow and I’m saying: Wow, and naturally, everybody let out a shriek and they’re all excited: Oh wow! And as he chops and the potato falls, and her head doesn’t go any place and he unlocks the brace and she gets out laughing, and he gives her some little prize for coming up and participating in the experiment. That’s the first time I’d ever seen a show like that. You know, you see things like that on TV, it’s one thing, but to be there and watch things like that, you get more caught up in it. And I went from there. That became another piece. That’s… the only event in my life that I can align that fascination with was the fact that she was a very alluring young lady.”

– Edmund Kemper discussing his fascination with the beheading of women and how it might have entered in his secret fantasy world.

 

 

“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)

 

“As soon as I take out my gun, I have to go all the way, there’s no going back.”

“As I explained to you, I don’t kill all the girls who get in my car. It’s a bit like playing Russian roulette, except that I’m not the one who risks death. I’m flirting with danger, I’m quite aware of it. I know that at any moment I can strike, and it’s something that excites me. As soon as I take out my gun, I have to go all the way, there’s no going back. I tell them that they’re mine, that I own them and that I will do what I want. If I take out my gun and let them go, I know very well that they will complain to the police and that time will be running out. I have a double murder on my record, and now I kidnap and threaten young women. What’s going to happen? They will not hesitate for one second to send me to jail for a million years. I regret that they didn’t do it.” – Ed Kemper about kidnapping co-eds

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

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