‘Co-ed Killer' ‘Happy’ Behind Bars: ‘Society Is Not Ready In Any Shape Or Form For Me’

“He's a demented super-genius of a sociopath,” convicted serial killer Edmund Kemper’s half-brother says.

January 12, 2022
(L-R) 24-year-old U.S suspect Edmund Emil Kemper III is is seen here on April. 25, 1973; U.S Edmund Emil Kemper III, 24, is taken to court in Pueblo, CO, April. 25, 1973.

Serial killer Edmund Emil Kemper III

Photo by: AP Images

AP Images

Serial killer Edmund Emil Kemper III

By: Aaron Rasmussen

Edmund Emil Kemper has spent nearly the last half-century behind bars for committing the grisly murders of at least 10 people, including his mother and grandparents.

“I think that he has never told anyone the truth about things he has done,” Kemper’s half-brother, who uses the alias David Weber, said in a 2017 interview with the Daily Mail, noting he suspects the 73-year-old serial killer “is holding back a good 20 to 30 percent of the truth about himself, his past, and how he thinks.”

Known to family as “Guy” and to friends as “Big Ed,” the hulking 6’9” Kemper first committed murder at age 15 when he fatally shot his paternal grandparents, Maude and Edmund, in August 1964 after he was sent to live with them in North Fork, California.

Kemper, often regarded as an evil genius because of his high IQ, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and remanded to the custody of San Luis Obispo County’s maximum-security Atascadero State Hospital. In 1969, at age 21, he was released and allowed to live with his mother, Clarnell Strandberg, in Aptos, California, because he had managed to convince psychiatrists he was no longer a threat to himself or society.

In the early 1970s, Kemper went on an 11-month killing spree, slaying six female students who were hitchhiking, as well as his mother and her best friend.

In May 1972, he murdered Fresno State University students Mary Ann Pesce and Anita Luchessa. Four months later, in September, he killed Aiko Koo, 15, followed by 18-year-old Cindy Schall in January 1973. The following month, he kidnapped and took the lives of Rosalind Thorpe, 23, and Alison Liu, 20. According to investigators, Kemper had sex with his dead victims, who he dismembered and beheaded.

Kemper’s last known homicides occurred in April 1973. The serial killer bludgeoned his 52-year-old mother, Strandberg, to death and then slit her throat, cut out her tongue and larynx and decapitated her. According to Kemper, he threw darts at her head, which he had placed on a shelf.

Kemper then lured Strandberg’s 59-year-old best friend, Sally Hallett, to the house and strangled her. The serial killer reportedly murdered Hallett to support the cover story he planned to tell: She and his mother had gone away on a vacation together.

After the double homicide, Kemper fled to Colorado, where he turned himself in and confessed to killing the students, his mother and her friend.

“Emotionally, I couldn't handle it much longer,” Kemper said. “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, who once aspired to be a cop, was convicted in November 1973 of eight counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to up to life in a maximum-security prison.

Former FBI profiler John Douglas, 76, interviewed Kemper in 1973. “He told us about fantasies of killing, killing his mother — all his crimes began with fantasy,” Douglas recently explained to the Daily Mail. “Most people don’t carry through with their fantasies, but Kemper began his murders with fantasy, and then carried them out. He told us that the murders helped him feel empowered and in control.”

The serial killer is currently incarcerated in California Medical Facility in Vacaville, and he’s been denied parole multiple times through the years — a decision he appears to respect. “Society is not ready in any shape or form for me. I can't fault them for that,” Kemper said at a 1988 hearing.

In 2016, Kemper’s lawyer, Scott Currey, claimed the convicted killer is content behind bars. “His feeling is that, and this is his belief, no one's ever going to let him out and he's just happy, he's just as happy going about his life in prison,” he said.

Weber noted in his interview with the Daily Mail that his half-brother “manipulates everyone.”

Kemper, he said in part, is “smart enough to know that he should never be released because he cannot stop himself from continuing where he left off. When he was sentenced during his final statement, it's why he threatened to kill the judge and jury if he was ever let out.”

“He could look you straight in the eye telling you how sorry he is for everything he did while at the same time plotting your demise and you'd never even have a clue.”

“Personally, I hope he chokes,” Weber continued. “If he came around to my family, I'd shoot him on sight.”

He concluded: “He's a demented super-genius of a sociopath.”

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