Neighbors said the young man [Ed Kemper], who had been collecting workmen’s compensation since an injury last year on a highway construction job, went to his mother’s Aptos apartment last Saturday carrying an Easter lily.
The lily was still blooming on a table when sheriff’s deputies entered the apartment Tuesday and found the nude bodies of the two women [Clarnell Strandberg and Sally Hallett] stuffed into a closet. Mrs. Strandberg had been decapitated and one hand chopped off.
Neighbors said Kemper quarrelled frequently with his mother [Strandberg] about whether she loved him. “You’re embarrassing me in front of my friends,” they quoted him as saying after she upbraided him for “laying around and drinking beer.”
From: Why: The Serial Killer In America by Margaret Cheney (1992, update of The Co-Ed Killer, 1976)
“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
“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 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)