His parents divorced when he was young and Edmund Kemper spent much of his youth bouncing between parents and grandparents. As a youth the seeds of his unbalanced mental condition took the form of cruelty to animals. By age 15 it escalated to murder: Kemper shot and killed his grandparents. He was placed in a state hospital where his keen intelligence secured him a position working with the psychologist in the institution. His work there would later help him convince review boards that he was adapting well to the outside world even as he was committing the murders that would earn him the name "the co-ed killer."