The Case Study of Edmund Kemper, The Co-Ed Killer

Purdue University Global


Do you think the treatment Kemper received as a child was partially responsible for his crimes?

I think that the treatment that he was given as a child could have a detrimental effect on an already troubled mind. Kemper was showing signs as a young child of being a psychopath, two of the main behaviors that were noticeable were the killing and torturing of animals and the ‘game’ that he played with his sisters, where he played dying in the death chamber. The mother, who was an alcoholic, clearly had enough wherewithal to notice that something was wrong with her child but proceeded to instead exacerbate the situation by placing him in a basement away from social interaction.

Do you think Kemper should have been released in 1969?

No, I do not. His previous behaviors as a child, his reluctance to leave and his clear expression of outright hatred for his mother should have prevented his release. However, as he was a minor when he committed his murders, despite his clear showing of psychopathic behaviors, the state deemed it appropriate to release him as an adult and to expunge his record, thus not allowing for law enforcement to be aware of the possibility of recurring behaviors.

If Kemper was given appropriate treatment for his first crimes, do you think he would have been able to live a crime free life after his release?

I think, should he have been given proper treatment and kept away from his mother, who clearly brought out the worst in him due to her previous treatment of him and his distaste for her, then he might have been able to live crime free. It is proven that many psychopaths can live a life away from crime, so it is possible, however in Kemper’s case, his being released to his mother just escalated his murderous intents.