Plead the Belly

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019 - (April Fools Episode!) PTB discusses Ed Kemper, Shyloh learning a new word and why we don't cover men

019 - (April Fools Episode!) PTB discusses Ed Kemper, Shyloh learning a new word and why we don't cover men


Ed Kemper was born December 18, 1948 in California. He was a large baby, weighing 13 pounds at birth.

He had a terrible childhood. His parents divorced when he was 9 and he moved to Montana with his mom and two sisters. His mom was cruel, mocking him and telling him that no one would ever love him. His dad once said that “suicide missions in wartime and the later atomic bomb testings were nothing compared to living with Clarnell.”

She wouldn’t coddle him for fear that he would grow up to be gay. He also claimed that his older sister tortured him, once pushing him in front of an oncoming training and another time trying to drown him in a swimming pool.

As a child he was disturbed, decapitating his sister’s doll. At age ten he buried his cat alive. Once it was dead he dug it up, decapitated is and displayed the head on a spike. He also stalked his second grade teacher outside her house, carrying his father’s bayonet. At thirteen he killed the replacement cat with a machete, slicing off the top of its skull while holding its legs. His mom also locked him in the basement for fear that he would try to rape or kill his sister.

At age fifteen he tries to reconnect with his dad but was rejected. His dad had remarried and his step mom didn’t like him. Kemper then went to live with his grandparents in California. During his first summer there he shot his grandma in the head then repeatedly stabbed her for fear she wasn’t dead. When asked why he said that it was because, “‘I just wondered how it would feel to shoot Grandma.” When his grandpa came home Kemper killed him too so he wouldn’t see what he had done to his grandma. Kemper then called the police and his mother and waited for them to come pick him up.

He was admitted to a State hospital and was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. He liked to listen to other inmates describe serial rapes. He also helped to write the assessments of FBI diagnoses and made friends with the therapists. During this time he was also given an IQ test and found to incredibly intelligent.

He was paroled after just five years and his juvenile record was expunged. He was released into his mother’s care in 1969.

Kemper went to a community college and wanted to be a police officer but he was too large to become one. He maintained friendships with police officers and got a job at the California department of Transportation.  He and his mom fought often. Kemper tried to move in with a friend but his mom continued to call him and would show up unannounced at his place. He ended up moving back in with his mother.

Between May 1972 and April 1973 was Kemper’s murder spree. He would pick up female hitchhikers, take them to remote areas  and then shoot, stab, smother or strangle them. Once they were dead he would take the body back to his house where he would decapitate them and perform irrumation (The act of forcing male genitals into a mouth, as opposed to the mouth actively stimulating the male genitals). He would then have intercourse with their corpses and dismember them.

He would often go ‘hunting’ after fighting with his mom. Psychiatrists and Kemper both say that the things he did to these girls were surrogates for the real target, his mother.

Kemper’s first two victims were  Mary Anne Pesce and Anita Mary Luchesser, 18 year old hitchhikers who were trying to get to Stanford University. When he was driving home with the bodies he was pulled over by a cop, who did not detect the bodies.  He later disposed of them in plastic bags on a mountain.

His next victim was Aiko Koo, a 15-year-old Korean dance student. He pulled a gun on Koo before locking himself out of his car. However, Koo let him back inside because he had gained her trust.

Next he killed Cindy Schall, an 18 year old college student. He lived with his mother at the time and kept her body in a closet until his mom left for work.  He disposed of most of the body parts by throwing them over a cliff, but held on to the head for a couple days. He buried it in his mother’s garden looking up at her window because, “ [she] always wanted people to look up to her.”

His next victims were Rosalind Thorpe and Allison Liu. At this point, there were alerts that a serial killer was targeting hitch-hikers, so students were advised to not get into vehicles unless they had a University sticker on them. Since his mother worked at UCSC he was able to get one of these stickers.

His spree ended with Clarnell Strandberg and Sally Hallett, his mother and her friend. On April 20th, 1973 he bludgeoned his mother with a claw hammer after she had gone to bead and cut her throat. He then used her dead as a dart board and cut out her tongue and larynx, trying to feed them down the garbage disposal.  The disposal could not break down the tough vocal cords and ejected the tissue back into the sink. "That seemed appropriate," Kemper later said, "as much as she'd bitched and screamed and yelled at me over so many years."

After this, he took a break and went to get a drink. He then invited his mother’s best friend, Sally Hallett to the house for dinner and a movie. When she arrived, he strangled her to death, decapitated her, and spent the night with her body. Kemper put her body in a closet and left a note for the police.

He then drove to Pueblo, Colorado. When he didn’t hear any news of the murders on the radio he called the police and confessed to the crimes. The police did not take him seriously. Later, he called and spoke to an officer he knew and confessed again. He then waited for the police to arrive and then confessed to all the murders. When asked why he turned himself in he said, "The original purpose was gone ... It wasn't serving any physical or real or emotional purpose. It was just a pure waste of time ... Emotionally, I couldn't handle it much longer. Toward the end there, I started feeling the folly of the whole damn thing, and at the point of near exhaustion, near collapse, I just said to hell with it and called it all off."

While awaiting trial he tried to commit suicide twice but survived both attempts.

His trial began on October 23, 1973. He tried to plead guilty by reason of insanity but psychiatrists found him legally sane. One even gave him ‘truth serum’ to test him. While drugged he said he ate strips of his victim’s flesh in casserole, but later recanted that detail.

He was convicted and went to prison, where he became a model prisoner. He was very forthcoming about his crimes and the reasons for them, eventually helping the FBI to create profiles for serial killers.


020 - PTB discusses Linda Hazzard, whether Shyloh is a bigamist and how you need to eat

020 - PTB discusses Linda Hazzard, whether Shyloh is a bigamist and how you need to eat

018 - PTB discusses Jodi Ann Arias, the cold weather and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

018 - PTB discusses Jodi Ann Arias, the cold weather and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend