Ed Kemper was a notorious serial killer who murdered and hacked to pieces his own mother, after which he went on a killing spree, massacring and dismembering at least seven other women, allegedly having sex with their corpses and keeping their body parts as souvenirs.
Kemper, otherwise known as “The Co-Ed Butcher,” is currently serving a life sentence for the slayings of eight different women, crimes committed from May 1972 to April 1973. In just under a year, Kemper brutally murdered and dismembered his own mother, her closest friend, a 15-year-old high school student, and five different college women.
He’d also been convicted of killing his grandparents in 1964 at the age of 15.
“I just wanted to see what it felt like to kill grandma,” he told the police after calling them himself. Sadly, it wouldn’t be the last time he killed, and the horrendous nature of his crimes only got worse with each new innocent life he took.
As far as punishment for murdering his own grandparents at the tender age of 15, Kemper only served one year at the California Youth Authority and a state mental hospital, despite the fact that he murdered the pair in cold blood just for kicks.
He was discharged to the care of his mother, who, tragically, would become his next victim before too long. He bludgeoned her to death with a hammer, allegedly while she slept, cut off her head, and later used her head as a dart board.
Soon after murdering his mother in 1972, his killing spree started after he picked up Anita Mary Luchessa and Mary Ann Pesce, both 18 years old, on the side of the road. The two Fresno State students were hitchhiking and accepted a ride from Kemper.
He then drove to a wooded area and killed them both before returning home to photograph, dismember and violate their corpses by “engaging sexually” with their severed heads. This became his preferred system of killing throughout the remainder of his horrible blood rampage.
His next five victims would all meet the same or similar fates. Aiko Koo (15), Cindy Schall (18), Allison Liu (20), and Rosalind Heather Thorpe (23). He lured and killed each of them, dismembered their bodies, and had sex with their corpses, sometimes before, sometimes after cutting them to pieces.
His final killing was of Sally Hallet, the 59-year-old best friend of his mother. He invited her over to the house allegedly to see his mom, who he said wasn’t feeling well but asked for Sally’s company. When Hallet arrived, he murdered and decapitated her.
Sally Hallet’s death would be the final installment in Kemper’s harrowing trail of killings that shocked the world. Police discovered the bodies of Hallet and his mother with a note left nearby that read, “Appx. 5:15 a.m. Saturday. No need for her to suffer anymore at the hands of this horrible ‘murderous Butcher.’
It was quick — asleep — the way I wanted it. Not sloppy and incomplete, gents. Just a ‘lack of time.’ I got things to do!!!” It was a mocking gesture that crowned his murder spree with cold, remorseless insensitivity.
The note led the police right to Kemper. He confessed to killing his mother and the eight other women. Kemper was indicted on eight counts of first-degree murder on May 7, 1973. He was assigned a public defender.
Due to Kemper’s explicit and detailed confession, his counsel’s only option was to plead not guilty by reason of insanity to the charges. Kemper twice tried to commit suicide in custody.
Psychiatrists declared him sane. It only took the jury five hours to return a verdict finding him guilty of all counts.
Kemper’s murders were dripping with sexual depravity. He kept their body parts, often engaging in “sexual acts” with their heads until they were too decomposed to do so.
In a chilling 1984 interview from behind bars (posted on YouTube), he was asked what sort of feelings arose within him when he met an attractive woman. He responded, “One side of me says, ‘I’d like to talk to her, date her.’
The other side says, ‘I wonder how her head would look on a stick.'”