The Co-Ed Killer (a.k.a. Edmund Kemper) is back in the headlines with Netflix’s Mindhunter. Between 1964 and 1973, Kemper murdered ten people, partook in necrophilia, and also claimed to be a cannibal (which he later retracted). What he’s less known for is his charity work.
According to a 1987 Los Angeles Times article, while serving his sentence in California Medical Facility State Prison at Vacaville, Kemper ran a program to record books on tape for people who are blind. He personally recorded over 5,000 hours of reading and hundreds of recordings are in his name.
If you haven’t seen Mindhunter, it’s about the early days of the FBI studying serial killers’ behavior. Kemper (played by Cameron Britton) is one of the serial killers who helps the FBI figure out murder patterns. At least partly, Kemper seems to want to prevent more murderers like him. He’s also the guy who murdered ten people, including his paternal grandparents at fifteen-years-old.
Image Via Biography
Regarding narrating books for the blind, though, Kemper told the Los Angeles Times:
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
Mindhunter is actually pretty decent. It’s a little aimless sometimes, with the main characters pursuing the abstract goal of understanding the criminal mind. They aren’t solving a case, but a few different cases at different times. Since it’s based on actual events, though, it makes sense the series doesn’t really feel like a regular work of fiction. It twists and turns, often frustratingly, but occasionally it’s wonderfully unsettling to hear people like Kemper describe why they did their horrible deeds.
Feature Image Via Netflix