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Serial killer Ed Kemper’s hatred for his mother is legendary.
He claimed that being belittled and mocked by his alcoholic mum Clarnell Strandberg was his impetus for killing eight women during a frenzied 11-month murder spree in California between May 1972 and April 1973.
But if that wasn’t proof enough of his loathing for her, he killed her too, chopping off her head and raping it before using it as a dartboard.
As ‘punishment’ for her nagging, he tore out her tongue and larynx and put them in the waste disposal. The gristly organs were spat back out in the sink.
He later mused: “That seemed appropriate as much as she’d bitched and screamed and yelled at me over so many years.”
Standing 6ft 9ins, no one really knew the kind of monster Kemper was, with many seeing him as a gentle giant.
That was until he led police on a chase, goading them from phone boxes to come to arrest him.
But his family are now acutely aware of what ‘Big Ed’ is capable of, and his half-brother believes that if he is ever released he will hunt down and kill every one of his living relatives.
And he might have good reason to be concerned.
When he was 15-years-old, Kemper claimed his first victim, shooting his grandmother dead.
He had run away from his mum to live with his dad who had moved away and remarried. But the enormous, moody teen put his dad's new family on edge so he was shipped off to live with his paternal grandparents.
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While there, Kemper continued his secret pastimes of killing animals and beheading them – something he had mastered by butchering pets and destroying his younger sister's dolls.
But one day an innocuous comment from his grandma during a typical minor squabble made his temper bubble up to a whole new danger zone.
He gabbed a shotgun and blasted her in back of the head. As he was standing over her body, his grandad pulled up in the drive.
Kemper, who claimed 10 victims in total and was nicknamed the 'Co-Ed Killer', said that he was so worried about the old man witnessing such horror, he decided that it would be kindest to shoot him, too.
Later, he chillingly said he "just wanted to see what it felt like to kill grandma" .
This act of unspeakable horror has forever haunted the Kemper family, and his half-brother – who now goes by the name David Weber – says they fear his release from jail in case he hunts them down.
Although Kemper, now 72, was given eight life sentences when he was jailed in 1973, he has an incredibly high IQ of 145 and some fear he could use his intelligence to manipulate a parole board into setting him free.
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In a rare interview, he told the Daily Mail that Kemper – whose family nickname is ‘Guy’ – still scares his relatives, although some believe that he isn’t inherently bad, just unwell.
David said: “He has this control over the family, and there's still anger over what he did. So many people live in fear that he could be allowed freedom, you just can't trust what a President may decide.
“I don't want to live in fear, not be able to work or walk around, but other relatives are afraid to go to a restaurant or park, because of what happened, it's still there.
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“There are several members of the extended family that have claimed they'd hunt Guy down and kill him if he ever got out. Mostly for killing my grandparents but also for hurting so many people while destroying our whole family unit. This is while feeling zero remorse for what he did.”
Despite the severity of his crimes, Kemper lives among the normal prison population at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, and has worked with the FBI to help understand the mindset of serial killers.
He was portrayed in the Netflix series Mindhunter.
- Serial Killers
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