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Crime News Kemper on Kemper: Inside The Mind of a Serial Killer

‘Co-Ed Killer’ Ed Kemper Buried A Human Head In Front Of Mom’s House, And No One Noticed

"I was getting less detectable," serial killer Ed Kemper said.

By Aly Vander Hayden
The Ed Kemper Case, Explained

On January 7, 1973, serial killer Ed Kemper picked up 18-year-old hitchhiker and college student Cindy Schall in Aptos, California. After driving her to a secluded area, Kemper forced her into the trunk of his car and shot her once in the head, killing her instantly.

Kemper then brought Schall’s body back to his mother’s house, where he was temporarily living, and dismembered her remains before having sex with them.

He later buried Schall’s severed head faceup in the garden that his mother’s bedroom overlooked because, he would say, "she had always wanted people to look up to her."

In “Kemper on Kemper: Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer,” former Santa Cruz Sentinel editor Tom Honig said he was in shock that Kemper’s mother or neighbors didn’t pick up on Kemper’s behavior.

"Why his mother didn't know that there'd been digging going on in the backyard, I don't know," said Honig.

In a 1984 interview, Kemper explained, “It was getting easier to do. I was getting better at it. I was getting less detectable. I started flaunting that invisibility — severing a human head at night in front of my mother’s residence with her at home, my neighbors at home upstairs, their picture window open, the curtains open. 11 o’clock at night, the lights are on, all they have to do is walk by, look out and I’ve had it. … To be walking up the stairs with a camera bag that belonged to a young woman that had her severed head in it. … Walking up to my apartment past a happy, young couple coming down the stairs who nodded and smiled at me as they went by. … And they’re going out on a date, where I’d love to be going, and I’m aware of both of these realities, and the distance between those two was so dramatic, so amazing, so violent[.]”

Days later, Kemper threw the remainder of Schall’s remains off a clifff, and over the following week, her body parts were found scattered along the coast and were “pieced together like a macabre jigsaw puzzle.” Kemper would go on to murder two more students, his mother and his mother's friend before turning himself over to Santa Cruz police on April 24, 1973.

To hear more about the "Co-Ed Killer," watch "Kemper on Kemper: Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer" on Oxygen.