Edmund Kemper: Co-Ed Killer

Topics: Family, Edmund Kemper Pages: 4 (1322 words) Published: December 6, 2001
The TV program "MUGSHOTS" uses the testimony of authorities that worked the case along with interviews with Kemper himself as to what was happening throughout the case from both sides of the story. The product of a broken and abusive home, Edmund Kemper grew up timid and resentful, with a perception of his own inadequacy. Before the age of ten, Kemper graduated to living targets, burying the family cat alive and subsequently cutting off its head, returning with the gruesome trophy to his room, where it was placed on proud display despite his tender age, he brooded over fantasies of love and sex, with violence playing an inevitable role. One afternoon, discussing Edmund's childish crush upon a grade-school teacher, Kemper's sister asked him why he did not simply kiss the woman. Kemper answered, deadpan, "If I kiss her, I would have to kill her first." A second family cat fell victim to his urges; this one hacked with a machete, pieces of the carcass hidden in his closet until his mother accidentally discovered them. Kemper's mother first packed him off to live with her estranged husband, and then - after running away - the boy was delivered to his paternal grandparents, residing on a remote California ranch. There, in August 1963, fourteen-year-old Kemper shot his grandmother with a .22-caliber rifle, afterward stabbing her body repeatedly with a kitchen knife. When his grandfather came home, Kemper shot the old man as well, leaving him dead in the yard. Interrogated by authorities, Kemper could only say "I just wondered how it would feel to shoot Grandma." Motiveless violence displayed in his actions got Kemper committed to the state's maximum-security hospital in Atascadero. In 1969,...
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