Your Favorite Audiobook Could Be Voiced By the Co-Ed Killer from the 1970s Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office Via Wikipedia
Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office Via Wikipedia

Edmund Kemper is a convicted serial killer from Burbank, California. Known as a clinical psychopath and necrophile, he was dubbed “The Co-Ed Killer” focusing primarily on young women who were college students. If you have heard of him, it may be from a Mindhunter (currently on Netflix) character based on the serial killer.

The Beginning of a Serial Killer

With a background of familial child abuse, Edmund turned started torturing and killing animals early on. At fifteen years old he shot his grandmother in the head to see what it felt like. Then he shot his grandfather because he thought he’d be mad at him for killing his grandma. Psychotic? Most definitely. Which is why post murdering his paternal grandparents Ed Kemper spent time in and out of mental facilities such as Atascadero State hospital for the criminally insane. After five years of treatment, his juvenile criminal record was expunged.

But by the age of 24, he murdered ten women, including his mother. Between 1972 and 1973 the California native started picking up young women to kill. His victims Mary Ann Pesce, Anita Luchessa, Aiko Koo, were young female hitchhikers. Cindy Schall, Allison Liu, and Rosalind Thorpe were college students that he murdered in a rural area. The serial killer hid the bodies in his trunk and then took their bodies to his mother’s house where he would dismember their body parts and have sex with their heads. He confessed to burying one of the girls in his mother’s garden because she “always wanted people to look up to her.” Another was put down into the garbage disposal.


In between kills he starting hanging out at Jury Room, a bar where law enforcement officers congregated. He befriended police officers, they called him “Big Ed” or “Big Eddie”. On Good Friday 1973, Edmund killed his mother, Clarnell Strandberg. She’d returned from a party late and killed her in her sleep with a claw hammer. Unfazed, Kemper went out for a drink and invited his mom’s best friend “Sally” Hallett over for dinner who he strangled as well. Thus ended his murder spree.


Kemper called local law enforcement and told them what he did. He fled to Colorado even though the police officers that knew him were skeptical of the confession. In May 1973, he was indicted on eight first degree murders and he is currently serving 8 concurrent life sentences. He was incarcerated at the California Medical Facility alongside the likes of Herbert Mullin and Charles Manson.


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In his free time during imprisonment, he has taken on a new hobby: reading audiobooks. Yes, believe it or not, Edmund Kemper had recorded hundreds of books for the Blind Project. The campaign was set started by the California Medical Facility State Prison to help people who are blind enjoy books.

Some of the most famous audiobooks he has voiced include Flowers in the AtticThe Glass Key, Merlin’s Mirror, Petals on the Wind, The Rosary Murders, Sphinx and Star Wars. He spent over 5,000 hours recording books in between 1977-1987. Patrons of the project have given Kemper accolades for his work. Has the Co-ed Killer has seemingly become more refined?

On his recognition for the audiobooks, Kemper stated, “I can’t begin to tell you what this has meant to me, to be able to do something constructive for someone else, to be appreciated by so many people, the good feeling it gives me after what I have done.”  Which is creepy in itself that he was even allowed to voice an audiobook. I mean, the last thing I want is for a serial killer to read me to sleep. Yeah, I’ll pass on this one.


This article was originally published on September 25, 2019.

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