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A serial killer, Edmund Kemper killed six young, college-age women in the Santa Cruz, California, area and several members of his family.
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Shortly after picking them up, he shot the two young women. Kemper drove past campus security at the gates with two mortally wounded women in his car.
After the murders, Kemper decapitated his two victims and further dismembered the bodies, removed the bullets from their heads, and disposed of their parts in different locations. In March, some of Thorpe’s and Liu’s remains were discovered by hikers near Highway 1 in San Mateo County.
Kemper’s last two killings took place in April of 1973. On Good Friday, he went to his mother’s home, where the two had an unpleasant exchange. Kemper attacked his mother after she went to sleep, first striking her in the head with a hammer and then cutting her throat with a knife. After removing her larynx, he put it into the garbage disposal in the kitchen. Kemper then hid her body and went out to a bar frequented by his police officer friends.
In another odd twist, he invited over a friend of his mother’s, Sara “Sally” Hallett. (One source says he invited her to dinner and a movie while another says that he wanted her help with a surprise party for his mother.) Kemper killed Hallett shortly after she arrived at the house, and hid her body in a closet. He fled the area the next day.
After driving for several days, Kemper reached Pueblo, Colorado, where he made a call to the Santa Cruz police to confess his crimes. At first, the police could not believe that the guy they knew as “Big Ed” was a killer. But he soon led them to all the evidence they would need to prove that he was the infamous "Coed Killer."
Charged with eight counts of first-degree murder, Kemper went on trial for his crimes in October of 1973. He was found guilty of all of the charges in early November. When asked by the judge what he thought his punishment should be, Kemper said that he should be tortured to death. He instead received eight concurrent life sentences.
At present, Kemper is serving his time at California Medical Facility in Vacaville. He was up for parole in 2007, but the state parole board denied his request. The next time that Kemper will be eligible for parole is in 2012.
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