Was Ed Kemper Born to Kill?

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Manage episode 296318954 series 2642049
By Amy Townsend, Chris Nathan & Studio71, Amy Townsend, and Chris Nathan. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This week, Chris and Amy explore the troubled upbringing and brutal crimes of notorious serial killer Edmund "Ed" Kemper AKA the Coed Killer. Ed Kemper stands at an intimidating 6'9" and purportedly has a genius-level IQ of 145. He has claimed 10 victims, including his paternal grandparents and his own mother. Amy breaks down Ed's series of murders and rapes throughout California, targeting mainly vulnerable college women, and used his keen intellect and friendly demeanor to disarm his victims enough to put themselves in dangerous situations.

Amy also examines how Ed's abusive childhood may have contributed to his killings. At the age of only 15, Ed claimed his first victims, his grandmother and grandfather. Ed claims his grandmother was also abusive and belittling, and killed her in a fit of rage. He then killed his grandfather to spare him seeing his wife dead. After being sent to a psychiatric ward and being labeled a paranoid schizophrenic, Ed became a model prisoner and even convinced the psychiatrist that he was a reformed young man. Unfortunately, this would allow Ed to kill 8 more innocent victims, culminating in the murder and desecration of his mother, before turning himself in to the police in 1973.

So the age-old question remains, was Ed predisposed to be a killer due to his genetics or is the way he was raised to blame?

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81 episodes