Mug shot of Edmund Kemper
|Born||Edmund Emil Kemper III
December 18, 1948
Burbank, California, U.S.
|Other names||The Co-ed Butcher
The Co-ed Killer
|Height||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)|
|Criminal penalty||Life imprisonment|
Span of killings
|August 27, 1964–
April 20, 1973
|April 24, 1973|
|Imprisoned at||California Medical Facility|
Edmund Emil Kemper III (born December 18, 1948), also known as the Co-ed Butcher or the Co-ed Killer, is an American serial killer, necrophile and suspected cannibal who committed the abduction and murder of several women in the early 1970s, as well as the murders of both of his paternal grandparents and his mother.
Born in California, Kemper had a turbulent childhood. He moved to Montana with his abusive mother at a young age before returning to California where he murdered his paternal grandparents when he was 15. He was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic prior to his conviction of murder and sentencing to the Atascadero State Hospital as a criminally insane juvenile.
Released at the age of 21 after convincing Atascadero psychiatrists he was rehabilitated, Kemper was regarded as innocent and non-threatening by his victims. He solely targeted young female hitchhikers during his killing spree, luring them into his vehicle and driving them to quiet areas where he would murder them before taking their corpses back to his home to be violated and desecrated, with Kemper often keeping the severed heads of his victims for several days before disposal. He then murdered his mother and one of her friends before turning himself in to the authorities. He was found sane and guilty at his trial in 1973, and requested the death penalty for his crimes, however, capital punishment was temporarily suspended in California and he instead received eight life sentences. Since then, Kemper has been incarcerated in the California Medical Facility.
Kemper is known for his large stature and high intelligence, standing 6-foot-9-inches (2.06 m) tall, weighing over 250 lbs (114 kg) and having a reported IQ of 145, features that left his victims with little chance to overcome him.
- 1 Early life
- 2 First murders
- 3 Release and time between murders
- 4 Later murders
- 5 Trial
- 6 Imprisonment
- 7 In popular culture
- 8 Trivia
- 9 References
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 External links
Edmund Emil Kemper III was born in Burbank, California on December 18, 1948 to a family of German ancestry. He was the middle child and only son born to Clarnell Elizabeth Kemper (née Stage, 1921–1973) and Edmund Emil Kemper II (1919–1985). Edmund Emil Kemper II was a World War II veteran who, after the war, tested nuclear weapons in the Pacific Proving Grounds before returning to California where he then worked as an electrician. Clarnell Kemper complained about Edmund's "menial" electrician job regularly, and Edmund later stated that "suicide missions in wartime and the later atomic bomb testings were nothing compared to living with [Clarnell]" and that she affected him "as a grown man more than three hundred and ninety-six days and nights of fighting on the front did."
Weighing 13 lbs (5.9 kg) as a newborn, Kemper was already a head taller than his peers by the age of 4. He was also intelligent but exhibited antisocial and psychopathic behavior such as cruelty to animals: at the age of 10, he buried a pet cat alive; once it died, he dug it up, decapitated it and mounted its head on a spike. Kemper later stated that he derived pleasure from successfully lying to his family about killing the cat. At the age of 13, he killed another family cat when he perceived it to be favoring his younger sister, Allyn, more than him, and kept pieces of it in his closet until his mother found them. He also had a dark fantasy life: he performed rituals with his younger sister's dolls that culminated in him removing their heads and hands, and, on one occasion, when his elder sister, Susan, teased him and asked why he didn't try to kiss his teacher, he replied: "If I kiss her, I'd have to kill her first." He also recalled that as a little boy, he would sneak out of his house and, armed with his father's bayonet, go to his second-grade teacher's house to watch her through the windows. Kemper stated in later interviews that as a child some of his favorite games to play were "Gas Chamber" and "Electric Chair", in which he asked his younger sister to tie him up, flip an imaginary switch and then he would tumble over and writhe on the floor, pretending to be dying of gas inhalation or electric shock. He also had near-death experiences as a child, once when his elder sister tried to push him in front of a train, and another when she pushed him into the deep end of a swimming pool, where he almost drowned.
Kemper had a close relationship with his father and was devastated when his parents separated in 1957 and he had to be raised by his mother in Helena, Montana. He had a severely dysfunctional relationship with his mother Clarnell, a neurotic, domineering alcoholic who would make a habit of belittling, humiliating and verbally abusing him. Clarnell often made her son sleep in a locked basement because she feared that he would harm his sisters, and regularly mocked him for his large size—he stood at 6-foot-4-inches (1.93 m) by the age of 15—as well as deriding him as "a real weirdo". She refused to coddle him for fear that she would "turn him gay," and told the young Kemper that he reminded her of his father and that no woman would ever love him. Kemper later described her as a "sick angry woman," and it is postulated that she suffered from borderline personality disorder.
At the age of 14, Kemper ran away from home in an attempt to reconcile with his father in Van Nuys, Los Angeles. Once there, he learned that his father was remarried and had a stepson. Kemper stayed with his father for a short while until the elder Kemper sent him to live with his paternal grandparents, Edmund and Maude Kemper, who lived on a ranch in the mountains of North Fork, California. Kemper hated living in North Fork; he referred to his grandfather as "senile" and projected his hatred of his mother onto his grandmother, stating that she "was constantly emasculating me and my grandfather."
On August 27, 1964, Kemper's grandmother, Maude Matilda Hughey Kemper, was sitting at the kitchen table working on her latest children's book when she and Kemper had an argument. Enraged by the argument, Kemper stormed off and grabbed the .22 caliber rifle which his grandfather had given him for hunting. He then returned to the kitchen and, when Maude told him not to shoot any birds, fatally shot her in the head before firing twice more into her back – with some accounts claiming that Maude Kemper also suffered multiple posthumous stab wounds with a kitchen knife. He then dragged her body out of the kitchen and into her bedroom. When Kemper's grandfather, Edmund Emil Kemper, came home from grocery shopping, Kemper went outside and fatally shot him in the driveway. He was unsure of what to do next and so phoned his mother, who urged him to contact the local police. Kemper then called the police and waited for them to come to the ranch and take him into custody.
When questioned by authorities, he said that he "just wanted to see what it felt like to kill Grandma," and that he killed his grandfather so that he wouldn't have to find out that his wife was dead. Psychiatrist Donald Lunde, who interviewed Kemper at length during adulthood, wrote that with these murders, "In his way, [Kemper] had avenged the rejection of both his father and his mother." Kemper's crimes were deemed incomprehensible for a fifteen-year-old to commit, and court psychiatrists diagnosed him as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia before sending him to the criminally insane unit of the Atascadero State Hospital.
At the Atascadero State Hospital, California Youth Authority psychiatrists and social workers strongly disagreed with the court psychiatrists' diagnosis. Their reports stated that Kemper showed "no flight of ideas, no interference with thought, no expression of delusions or hallucinations, and no evidence of bizarre thinking," and that he had retained his mental acuity from early childhood, testing at an IQ of 136. He was re-diagnosed and stated as having just a "personality trait disturbance, passive-aggressive type." Later on in his time at Atascadero, Kemper tested higher at an IQ of 145.
Kemper endeared himself to his psychiatrists by being a model prisoner and was even trained by the staff to administer psychiatric tests to other prisoners, with one of his psychiatrists later commenting: "He was a very good worker and this is not typical of a sociopath. He really took pride in his work." Kemper also became a member of the Jaycees while in Atascadero and stated that he developed "some new tests and some new scales on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory," specifically an "Overt Hostility Scale," during his work with Atascadero psychiatrists. Kemper later admitted that being able to understand how these tests functioned allowed him to manipulate his psychiatrists, and said that he learned a lot from the sex offenders to whom he administrated tests; for example, they told him it was best to kill a woman after raping her to avoid leaving witnesses.
Release and time between murders
On December 18, 1969, his 21st birthday, Kemper was released on parole from Atascadero. Against the recommendations of psychiatrists at the hospital, he was released into the care of his mother—who had remarried and taken the surname Strandberg—at 609 A, Ord Street, Aptos, California, a short drive from where she worked as an administrative assistant at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Kemper later demonstrated further to his psychiatrists that he was rehabilitated, and on November 29, 1972, his juvenile records were permanently expunged, with the last report from his probation psychiatrists reading:
If I were to see this patient without having any history available or getting any history from him, I would think that we're dealing with a very well adjusted young man who had initiative, intelligence and who was free of any psychiatric illnesses ... It is my opinion that he has made a very excellent response to the years of treatment and rehabilitation and I would see no psychiatric reason to consider him to be of any danger to himself or to any member of society ... [and] since it may allow him more freedom as an adult to develop his potential, I would consider it reasonable to have a permanent expunction of his juvenile records.
While staying with his mother, Kemper attended community college as per his parole requirements and had hoped he would become a state trooper, but was rejected because of his size—at the time of his release from Atascadero, Kemper stood 6-foot-9-inches (2.06 m) tall—which led to his nickname "Big Ed". Kemper maintained relationships with Santa Cruz police officers despite his rejection to join the force and became a self-described "friendly nuisance" at a bar called the Jury Room, which was a popular hangout for local law enforcement officers. He also worked a series of menial jobs before securing employment with the State of California Highway Department (now known as Caltrans). During this time, his relationship with his mother remained toxic and hostile, with mother and son having frequent arguments which their neighbors often overheard. Kemper later described the arguments he had with his mother around this time, stating:
My mother and I started right in on horrendous battles, just horrible battles, violent and vicious. I've never been in such a vicious verbal battle with anyone. It would go to fists with a man, but this was my mother and I couldn't stand the thought of my mother and I doing these things. She insisted on it, and just over stupid things. I remember one roof-raiser was over whether I should have my teeth cleaned.
When he had saved enough money, he moved out to live with a friend in Alameda. Here he still complained of being unable to get away from his mother, with her regularly phoning him and paying him surprise visits, and he often had limited funds which frequently caused him having to return to her apartment in Aptos.
The same year he began working for the Highway Department, Kemper began dating a 16-year-old Turlock High School student to whom he would later become engaged. During this year, he was also hit by a car while out on his motorcycle which he had recently purchased. His arm was badly injured, and he received a $15,000 settlement in the civil suit he filed against the car's driver. While driving around in the Yellow 1969 Ford Galaxie he bought with his settlement money he noticed a large number of young women hitchhiking, and began storing tools—including plastic bags, knives, blankets, and handcuffs—he thought he might need to fulfill his re-burgeoning murderous desires. He then began picking up girls and peacefully letting them go—according to Kemper, he picked up around 150 hitchhikers, any of whom would have been suitable—before he felt homicidal sexual urges, which he called his "little zapples", and began acting on them.
Between May 1972 and April 1973, Kemper embarked on a murder spree that started with two college students and ended with the murders of his mother and her best friend. Kemper would pick up female students who were hitchhiking and take them to isolated areas where he would shoot, stab, smother or strangle them. He would then take their lifeless bodies back to his home where he would perform irrumatio on their severed heads, have sex with their corpses and then dissect and dismember them. During this 11-month spree, he killed five college co-eds, one high school student, his mother and his mother's best friend. Kemper has stated in interviews that he would often go hunting for victims after his mother's outbursts towards him, and that she wouldn't introduce him to women attending the university she worked at. He recalled: "She would say, 'You're just like your father. You don't deserve to get to know them'." Psychiatrists, and Kemper himself, have espoused the belief that the young women were surrogates for his ultimate target, his mother, and that the humiliating acts he committed with his mother's corpse support this hypothesis.
Mary Ann Pesce and Anita Luchessa
On May 7, 1972, Kemper was driving in Berkeley when he picked up two 18-year-old hitchhiking Fresno State students, Mary Ann Pesce and Anita Mary Luchessa, on the pretext of taking them to Stanford University. After driving for an hour, he managed to reach a secluded wooded area, near Alameda, he was familiar with from his work at the highway department without alerting his passengers that he had changed directions from where they wanted to go. Here he intended to rape them, but having learned from serial rapists in Atascadero that you should not leave witnesses, he instead handcuffed Pesce and locked Luchessa in the trunk, before stabbing and strangling Pesce to death and killing Luchessa in a similar manner. Kemper later confessed that while handcuffing Pesce he "brushed the back of [his] hand against one of her breasts and it embarrassed [him]" before adding that "[he] even said 'whoops, I'm sorry' or something like that" after grazing her breast, despite murdering her merely minutes later.
Kemper then put both of the women's bodies in the trunk of his Ford Galaxie and returned to his apartment, being stopped on the way by a police officer for a broken taillight but managing not to be detected for his more serious offence. His roommate was not at home so he took the bodies into his apartment, there he took pornographic photographs of, and had sex with, the naked corpses before dismembering them. He then put the body parts into plastic bags, which he later abandoned near Loma Prieta Mountain. Before disposing of Pesce's and Luchessa's severed heads in a ravine, Kemper engaged in irrumatio with both of them. In August, Mary Ann Pesce's skull was found up on Loma Prieta Mountain. An extensive search failed to turn up the rest of her remains or a trace of her companion.
On the evening of September 14, 1972, Kemper picked up 15-year-old Korean dance student Aiko Koo, who had decided to hitchhike to a dance class after missing her bus. He again drove to a remote area, brandishing a gun on Koo before accidentally locking himself out of his car, however Koo let him back inside—Kemper had previously gained the 15-year-old's trust while holding her at gunpoint—where he proceeded to choke her unconscious, rape her and then finish killing her. He then packed her body into the trunk of his car, had a few drinks at a nearby bar—then exiting the bar and opening his trunk, "admiring [his] catch like a fisherman"—and returned to his apartment. Back at his apartment, he had sex with the corpse before dismemberment and disposal of her remains in a similar manner as the previous two victims. Aiko's mother, Skaidrite Rubene Koo, called the police to report the disappearance of her daughter and put up hundreds of flyers asking for information as to her daughter's whereabouts, but did not receive one word in response regarding her missing daughter's location or status.
On January 7, 1973, Kemper, who had now moved back in with his mother, was driving around the Cabrillo College campus when he picked up 18-year-old student Cynthia Ann 'Cindy' Schall. He drove to a sequestered wooded area and fatally shot her with a .22 caliber pistol. He then placed her body in the trunk of his car and drove to his mother's house, where he kept her body hidden in a closet in his room overnight. When his mother left for work the next morning, he had sex with, and removed the bullet from, Schall's corpse before dismembering and decapitating it in his mother's bathtub. He kept the severed head for several days, regularly engaging in irrumatio with it, before burying it in his mother's garden facing upward toward her bedroom – later remarking that his mother "always wanted people to look up to her." He then discarded the rest of her remains by throwing them off a cliff. Over the course of the following few weeks, all but her head and right hand were discovered and 'pieced together like a macabre jigsaw puzzle', with police and a pathologist determining she had been hacked to death, then cut into pieces with a power saw.
Rosalind Thorpe and Allison Liu
On February 5, 1973, after a heated argument with his mother, Kemper left his house in search of possible victims. With heightened suspicion of a serial killer preying on hitchhikers in the Santa Cruz area, students were advised to only get into cars with University stickers on them. Kemper had such a sticker as his mother worked at UCSC. He encountered 23-year-old Rosalind Heather Thorpe and 20-year-old Alice Helen 'Allison' Liu on the UCSC campus. According to Kemper, Thorpe entered his car first, which reassured Liu to also enter. Kemper then fatally shot Thorpe and Liu with his .22 caliber pistol, wrapped their bodies in blankets, and was waved through the security gates owing to the fact that he had a university sticker.
He again brought his victims back to his mother's house, this time beheading them in his car and carrying a headless corpse into his mother's house to have sex with. He then dismembered the bodies, removed the bullets to prevent identification and, the next morning, discarded their remains. Remains were found at Eden Canyon a week after the murders, and more were found near Highway 1 in March. When questioned in a later interview as to why he removed his victim's head before having sex with the body, he explained: "The head trip fantasies were a bit like a trophy. You know, the head is where everything is at, the brain, eyes, mouth. That's the person. I remember being told as a kid, you cut off the head and the body dies. The body is nothing after the head is cut off ... well, that's not quite true, there's a lot left in the girl's body without the head."
Clarnell Strandberg and Sally Hallett
On April 20, 1973, while waiting for his mother, 52-year-old Clarnell Elizabeth Strandberg, to come home from a party, Kemper fell asleep and was then awakened by her arrival. While his mother was sitting in bed reading a book she noticed Kemper enter her room and said, "I suppose you're going to want to sit up all night and talk now." Kemper replied, "No, good night!", before waiting for her to fall asleep and returning to bludgeon her with a claw hammer and slit her throat with a knife. He then decapitated her and engaged in irrumatio with her severed head before using it as a dart board; stating that he "put [her head] on a shelf and screamed at it for an hour ... threw darts at it," and ultimately, "smashed her face in." He also cut out her tongue and larynx and put them in the garbage disposal. However, the garbage disposal could not break down the tough vocal cords and ejected the tissue back into the sink. "That seemed appropriate," Kemper later said, "as much as she'd bitched and screamed and yelled at me over so many years." He then had sex with his mother's corpse, hid it in a closet and went out to drink. Upon his return, he invited his mother's best friend, 59-year-old Sara Taylor 'Sally' Hallett, over to the house for dinner and a movie. When Hallett arrived, he strangled her to death, decapitated her and spent the night with her exanimate body. Kemper then stuffed her corpse in a closet, obscured any outward signs of a disturbance and left a note to the police reading:
Appx. 5:15 A.M. Saturday. No need for her to suffer any more 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!!!
Kemper then left the scene in Sally Hallett's car, driving eastward, leaving California and through Nevada and Utah. He arrived in Pueblo, Colorado, and after not hearing any news on the radio about the murders of his mother and Sally Hallett, found a phone booth and called the police. He confessed to the murders of his mother and Hallett, but the police didn't take his call seriously and told him to call back at a later time. Several hours later, Kemper called again asking to speak to an officer he personally knew. Kemper then confessed to that officer of killing his mother and Hallett, and waited in his car for the police to arrive, arrest him and take him into custody, where he then also confessed to the murders of the six students. When asked after his arrest what motivated him to turn himself in, Kemper said: "The original purpose was gone ... It wasn't serving any physical or real or emotional purpose. It was just a pure waste of time ... Emotionally, I couldn't handle it much longer. Toward the end there, I started feeling the folly of the whole damn thing, and at the point of near exhaustion, near collapse, I just said to hell with it and called it all off."
Kemper was indicted on eight counts of first-degree murder on May 7, 1973. He was assigned the Chief Public Defender of Santa Cruz County, attorney Jim Jackson—who had defended John Linley Frazier and also been assigned to the Herbert Mullin case—but 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, surviving both times and his trial went ahead on October 23, 1973.
Three court appointed psychiatrists found Kemper to be legally sane. One of the psychiatrists, Dr. Joel Fort, investigated Kemper's juvenile records and the diagnosis that he was once psychotic. He also interviewed Kemper, including under truth serum, and relayed to the court that Kemper had engaged in cannibalism, alleging that Kemper sliced flesh from the legs of his victims then cooked and consumed these strips of flesh in a casserole. Nevertheless, Fort determined that Kemper was fully cognizant in each case, and stated that Kemper enjoyed the prospect of the infamy associated with being labeled a serial killer.
California used the M'Naghten standard for sanity which held that for a defendant to "establish a defense on the ground of insanity, it must be clearly proved that, at the time of the committing of the act, the party accused was laboring under such a defect of reason, from disease of mind, and not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing; or if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing what was wrong." Kemper appeared to have known that the nature of his acts were wrong, and had also shown signs of malice aforethought. On November 1, Kemper took the stand. He testified that he killed the co-eds because he wanted them "for myself, like possessions," and attempted to convince the jury that he was insane based on the reasoning that his actions could only have been committed by someone with an aberrant mind.
On November 8, 1973, the six-man, six-woman jury convened for five hours before declaring Kemper sane and guilty on all counts. He asked for the death penalty, requesting to Judge Harry F. Brauer: "death by torture". However, with a moratorium placed on capital punishment by the Supreme Court at that time, Kemper instead received seven years to life for each count, with these terms to be served concurrently, and was sentenced to the California Medical Facility for incarceration and medical observation.
In the California Medical Facility, Kemper was incarcerated in the same prison block as other notorious criminals such as Herbert Mullin and Charles Manson. Kemper showed particular disdain for Mullin, who committed his murders at the same time in Santa Cruz as Kemper. He described Mullin as "just a cold-blooded killer ... killing everybody he saw for no good reason". However, Kemper himself commented on the hypocrisy of his "self-righteous talking like that [about Mullin], considering what [he had] done". Despite this concession, Kemper still manipulated and physically intimidated the diminutive 5-foot-7-inch Mullin – who he nicknamed "Herbie", a name Mullin despised. Kemper stated that "[Mullin] had a habit of singing and bothering people when somebody tried to watch TV, so I threw water on him to shut him up. Then, when he was a good boy, I'd give him peanuts. Herbie liked peanuts. That was effective, because pretty soon he asked permission to sing. That's called behavior modification treatment."
Kemper remains among the general prison population and is considered a model prisoner, being in charge of scheduling other inmates' appointments with psychiatrists as well as being a skilled craftsman of ceramic cups. He is also a prolific reader of books on tape for the blind; a 1987 Los Angeles Times article stated that at the time he was the coordinator of the prison's program and had personally spent over 5,000 hours narrating books with several hundred completed recordings to his name.
While imprisoned, Kemper has participated in a number of interviews, including a segment in the 1982 documentary The Killing of America, as well as an appearance in the 1984 documentary Murder: No Apparent Motive. His interviews are notable for their contribution to understanding the mind of serial killers, with FBI profiler John E. Douglas describing Kemper as "among the brightest prison inmates" he ever interviewed and capable of "rare insight for a violent criminal." Kemper is also forthcoming about the nature of his crimes and has said that he participated in the interviews to save others like himself from killing; stating at the end of his Murder: No Apparent Motive interview: "There's somebody out there that is watching this and hasn't done that – hasn't killed people, and wants to, and rages inside and struggles with that feeling, or is so sure they have it under control. They need to talk to somebody about it. Trust somebody enough to sit down and talk about something that isn't a crime. Thinking that way isn't a crime. Doing it isn't just a crime, it's a horrible thing, it doesn't know when to quit and it can't be stopped easily once it starts."
Nonetheless, Kemper has continued to display manipulative and potentially threatening behavior. On one occasion, when Douglas' colleague Robert Ressler was in a cell alone with Kemper, the then 300 lb (136 kg) Kemper noticed the apprehension in Ressler after Ressler had pressed a hidden button repeatedly to call a guard to open the cell yet not received a response and told him "Relax. They're changing the shift," but remarked: "If I went apeshit in here, you'd be in a lot of trouble, wouldn't you? I could screw your head off and place it on the table to greet the guard." Ressler verbally sparred with Kemper until the guard arrived, ultimately leaving unharmed with Kemper displaying no physical aggression. Kemper also stated afterwards that he was joking, but Ressler never entered a cell alone again with Kemper and it became FBI policy to interview serial killers in pairs.
Kemper was eligible for parole in 2007, and again in 2012. On both occasions, he told the parole board he was not fit to return to society and was denied parole. As of February 2016, Kemper is quoted by his attorney Scott Curney as feeling that 'no one's ever going to let him out and he's just happy going about his life in prison', with Kemper stipulating that he is uninterested in attending his next parole hearing in 2017.
In popular culture
Film and literature
- Patrick Bateman in American Psycho mistakenly attributes a quote by Kemper to Ed Gein, saying "You know what Ed Gein said about women? ... He said 'When I see a pretty girl walking down the street, I think two things. One part of me wants to take her out, talk to her, be real nice and sweet and treat her right ... [and the other part of me wonders] what her head would look like on a stick'."
- Kemper was one of five serial killers (Jerry Brudos, Ed Gein, Ted Bundy, Gary M. Heidnik and Kemper) who served as an inspiration for the character of Buffalo Bill in Thomas Harris' novel The Silence of the Lambs and its subsequent film adaptation. Like Kemper, Bill begins his criminal life by fatally shooting his grandparents as a teenager.
- A direct-to-video horror film loosely based on Kemper's murders, titled Kemper: The CoEd Killer, was released in 2008.
- American author Dean Koontz cited Kemper as an inspiration for character Edgler Vess in his 1996 novel Intensity.
- French author Marc Dugain published a novel, Avenue des géants (Avenue of the Giants), about Kemper in 2012.
- American thrash metal band Macabre wrote a track about Kemper, titled "Edmund Kemper Had a Horrible Temper", for their Sinister Slaughter album.
- Armenian-American nu metal band System of a Down mention Kemper in their unreleased track "Fortress".
- Australian punk rock band The Celibate Rifles wrote a track about Kemper, titled "Temper Temper Mr. Kemper", for their Turgid Miasma of Existence album.
- Australian industrial metal band The Berzerker wrote a track about Kemper, titled "Forever", for their eponymous album. It has samples taken from The Killing of America.
- Belgian electro-industrial act Suicide Commando also used the same documentary samples on his track "Severed Head", which appears on his album Implements of Hell.
- German synthpop duo Seabound have a track on their eponymous album which examines the psyche of Kemper, titled "Murder".
- Japanese doom metal band Church of Misery wrote the track "Killfornia (Ed Kemper)", for their album Master of Brutality.
- At the time of Kemper's murders, two other killers, John Linley Frazier and Herbert Mullin, were also perpetrating their own crimes in the area, resulting in Santa Cruz receiving the ignominious nickname as the "Murder Capital of the World" in the press.
- Seager, Stephen (2014). Behind the Gates of Gomorrah: A Year with the Criminally Insane. Gallery Books. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-4767-7449-7.
- McComb, Virginia Mary; Kemper, Willis M. (1999). Genealogy of the Kemper Family in the United States. G.K. Hazlett & Company, Printers. p. 126.
- Ramsland, Katherine. "Time Bomb". Crime Library. Archived from the original on February 15, 2015.
- "Ancestry of Edmund Emil Kemper III". William Addams Reitwiesner Genealogical Services.
- "Edmund Emil Kemper: WWII Enlistment Record". MooseRoots.
- Brottman, Mikita (2002). Car Crash Culture. pp. 106–107. ISBN 0-312-24038-4.
- Cheney 1976, p. 8
- Pitt, Ingrid (2003). Murder, Torture & Depravity. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-7134-8676-6.
- "Edmund Kemper". Crime & Investigation Network.
- Gavin, Helen (2013). Criminological and Forensic Psychology. p. 120.
- Ramsland, Katherine. "Creating a Killer". Crime Library. Archived from the original on February 10, 2015.
- Ascoine, Frank; Lockwood, Randall (1998). Cruelty to Animals and Interpersonal Violence: Readings in Research and Application. Purdue University Press. p. 239. ISBN 978-1-55753-106-3.
- Martingale 1995, p. 104
- Vronsky 2004, p. 259
- Lawson 2002, p. 141
- Sias, James (2016). The Meaning of Evil. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-137-56822-9.
- Lawson 2002, pp. 129–131, 136
- Vronsky 2004, p. 258
- Larson, Amy. "Santa Cruz Serial Killer Spotlighted In TV Documentary". KSBW.
- Lawson 2002, pp. 129–131, 136, 139, 141, 144 , 278
- A&E Television Networks. "Edmund Kemper Biography". Biography (TV series).
- von Beroldingen, Marj (March 1974). ""I Was the Hunter and They Were the Victims": Interview with Edmund Kemper". Front Page Detective Magazine.
- Cheney 1976, p. 17
- Frasier, David K. (2007). Murder Cases of the Twentieth Century: Biographies of 280 Convicted or Accused Killers. ISBN 0-7864-3031-1.
- Lunde, Donald T. (1976). Murder and Madness. ISBN 0-913374-33-4.
- Ramsland, Katherine. "Incomprehensible". Crime Library. Archived from the original on February 15, 2015.
- Vronsky 2004, p. 260
- Sue Russell (2002). Lethal Intent. Pinnacle. p. 511. ISBN 978-0-7860-1518-4.
- Cheney 1976, p. 32
- Ramsland, Katherine. "The Beginning". Crime Library. Archived from the original on February 15, 2015.
- Ramsland, Katherine. "Psychiatric Follow-up". Crime Library. Archived from the original on February 10, 2015.
- Vronsky 2004, p. 263
- "Ed Kemper Interview, 1984. 12m9s".
- Cheney 1976, pp. 37–38
- Vronsky 2004, p. 261
- Staff writer(s) (May 5, 1973). "Page 12". Greeley Daily Tribune. Greeley, Colorado.
- Clarke, Phil. Extreme Evil: Taking Crime to the Next Level. ISBN 978-0-7088-6695-5.
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