Edmund Kemper: In His Own Words

With the release of Netflix new series entitled Mindhunter there has been a resurgence of interest in one particular serial killer who is depicted throughout, his name is Edmund Kemper or ‎The CoEd Killer. This film manages to combine two interviews together with a sprinkle of dramatisation to give us great insight into Ed’s mind and the motives which lay behind his crimes.

If you have seen Mindhunter you will be familiar with a lot of what is said in these interviews as they heavily influenced the dialog scripted for his character. The first interview was recorded in 1984 and the second is from 1991.

We quickly learn of the root cause for Kemper’s hatred towards women, his mother. At the age of 9 Kemper witnessed his parents go through a rough divorce. Now stuck living with his two sisters and mother, Clarnell, he is the victim to much psychological abuse much of which comes directly from his mother who constantly belittled Kemper on account of his size and mocks his ‘weirdo’ personality.

His mother increasingly enforced the ‘fact’ that no woman will ever love him, teaching him to hate himself, but as a result it was everyone else Kemper started to hate, especially women.

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  1. Thank God this one has achieved room temperature.

  2. I was at CMF from 1998 into the 2000s. I am 6’5″ 250 lbs and don’t feel small next to most people. But I was in line in the dining hall next to this dude and it seemed like he was the statue of liberty or something as talk as he is. He was always quiet and lived down in cellblock I 1. As far as I know he never got into any trouble for any reason. And yes he seemed to like being there which is understandable considering the atmosphere.

    • That was the very thoughts and feelings I had about him when I stood next to him for the first time. I’ll bet that even the most hard core inmate has some fear and/or respect for him during their first incounter with Ed, as I did during my first incounter with him. And, you are right about how he is a quiet, soft spoken kind of guy, Rick, although since I had seen him back in the 70s and he certainly has had plenty of time to acclimate to his prison environment, he is probably not nearly as quiet as he’d been back then. Hell, he has got to know and associate with nearly everybody in the whole prison system by now. LOL

  3. loved this series, i really hope for more. More Edmund!!Tho is found them a bit stupid turning each other in and not using kemper more.

  4. I was in Vacaville Prison in 1973 and was the clerk for the wing that I was assigned to. My job, as a clerk, was to be sure that each prisoner coming in, be placed where those prisoners were assigned and Edmund was one of those that I placed in his assigned cell. His assigned cell was, what we termed as ‘behind the cage’, which men are placed if they are deemed a danger to himself or others, or maybe that they are just too flakie to be among the main line prisoners. I didn’t know much about the guy at that moment; I was just doing my job and minding my own business and, frankly, didn’t care about what he was there for! I just wanted to do my time and get on out. However, a few days later, since Ed and I were fairly new to that prison and, so, as does he with all prisoners, the warden first, ordered me, and then a little later, Ed, to his office for a visit. The warden would use those visits, (or, interviews), for the sole purpose of getting to know each prisoner on a more personal basis. I’m supposing that this was a way for the warden to judge for himself, the demeanor of each prisoner and that they are doing the right things in containing those prisoners. Like I said, I knew nothing of Ed up to this point and had no reason to feel uneasy around him. However, and this is why I’m even mentioning any of this, while standing in line and being the very next to go into the warden’s office, the prison guards brought Ed up, shackled up tight, and placed him ahead of the line, right next to me. For the first and only time in my life, just standing next to this guy, for no apparent reason, fear came over me when I looked up at him and was forced to stand near him. It was a trip. My very first thought was that this guy sure does remind me of ‘Baby Huey’, the cartoon character from back in the day, and I wondered what he could even, possibly, be in prison for. I found out later, that he had done all of these things that he is discussing in this documentary, which is what brought all of these memories to replay in my mind. They say that he’s a model prisoner now a days; that’s cool! Just thought I’d share this with you, for no real good reason. LOL

    • Thanks Chuck, that was fascinating. He’s a very intelligent man is Ed, apparently, with an I.Q of 145. He is very engaging and god forbid, almost likeable listening to him. I think he helped the F.B.I. to realise a lot of what makes serial killers tick and even the term serial killer was formed as the excellent recent t.v show Mind hunter showed. It makes you think what he could have been if his circumstances had been different.