Cold Blooded Killers, p.2R. J. Parker
So on December 7, Bryan ended the possibility of a trial by admitting to killing his mother. A week later, David also admitted his guilt and told the judge that he had taken part in the killing of his father and brother. Both were sentenced to life in prison. Nelson “Benny” Birdwell was only convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Dennis Freeman and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
- 2 - Edmund Kemper
AKA The Co-ed Killer
Edmund “Big Ed” Kemper III stands 6' 9” and weighs in at over 300 pounds and was an active serial killer in the early 1970's in California. At the age of 15 years old, he murdered his grandparents. He would later go on to kill six female hitchhikers as well as his mother and her friend.
At an early age, Kemper exhibited sociopathic behavior including playing with his sister's dolls, stabbing cats, and weird sexual rituals. His mother was an alcoholic and would verbally abuse him. She would also make him sleep in the basement in fear that he would rape his little sister. Unlike his mother, Edmund had a close relationship with his father so when they divorced he was devastated and blamed his mother.
In 1963, Edmund, 15, ran away from home and searched for his father in Van Nuys only to find out that his father had remarried and had another son. His father sent him back to his mother who in turn sent him to live with his grandparents, Edmund and Maude Kemper, in Montana. Considering the rejections from his parents it is not surprising that he never had a good relationship with them.
On August 27, 1964, Edmund and his grandmother got into an argument and he fatally shot her in the head. Then he stabbed her repeatedly. He waited until his grandfather returned from the grocery store and also killed him with a gun. Edmund called his mother and she encouraged him to call the police and turn himself in, which he did.
He was committed to a state hospital where he stayed for almost five years before being released to his mother's care. He later convinced psychologists that he was mentally recovered and thus had his juvenile records sealed. In 1972, Kemper started his serial killings.
Kemper was driving in Berkeley on May 7, 1972 when he picked up hitchhikers Mary Ann Pesce and Anita Luchessa, students from Fresno State. He drove to a secluded wooded area near Alameda where he smothered Pesce and then stabbed both her and Anita to death. He carried their corpses to his apartment in the trunk of his car. In the apartment, he dismembered both bodies, took pictures of the body parts and even had oral sex with Mary Ann's decapitated head. He then disposed of the body parts in a ravine.
September 14, 1972, Aiko Koo, 15, was waiting for a bus when she decided to hitchhike instead. Kemper drove up, pointed a gun at her to get in the car and then proceeded to strangle her. This time he took her body back to his mother’s house where he raped and dissected her body.
After dismembering Aiko, he buried the head in his mother's flower garden as a joke. He later said that his mother 'always wanted people looking up to her'. The remaining body parts were buried in his mother's backyard.
Kemper was driving around Cabrillo College Campus on the night of January 7, 1973 when he picked up Cindy Schall, 19, and drove her to a wooded area where he killed her with a .22 caliber handgun. Again, he brought the body home in his trunk to his mother's house where he had sex with the body before dissecting it in the bathtub. He removed the bullet from the girls head and buried the decapitated head in the garden. The remaining body parts were discarded in a ravine.
On February 5, 1973, Edmund went hunting for victims after having a heated discussion with his mother. He encountered Rosalind Thorpe, 24, and Allison Liu, 23, at the UC Santa Cruz Campus. After getting in his car, Kemper shot and killed both girls with his .22 handgun. After wrapping the bodies in a blanket, he drove to his mother’s house again where he dismembered them while his mother was in the backyard tending to her garden. He had sex with their bodies and discarded them off a cliff.
On April 20, 1973 (Good Friday), Kemper killed his mother with a hammer while she slept. He then cut off her head which he first used for oral sex before using it as a dart board. He put her vocal chords in the garbage disposal because he said 'she bitched and screamed at me for years'. He then invited his mother's friend Sally Hallett, 59, to come over to the house. Upon her arrival he strangled her to death and left the crime scene as it was, without cleaning anything up.
Kemper left California and while driving through Colorado he heard about the murder of his mother and her friend on the radio. He called the police and confessed then he waited for a patrol car to come and arrest him.
He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, however, in November 1973 he was convicted of eight counts of murder.
- 3 - Stephen Arnold Ford
Steve, 38, and his wife Kathleen, 37 had two children, Stephen 17 and Jennifer 15. They were a normal, average family. They lived on a quiet street in Airdrie, Alberta, Canada.
Despite normal everyday family issues, their only big concern was Stephen. When he was 9 years old, he was assaulted by a babysitter and was quite traumatized. He received several years of treatment and counseling but to no avail. At age 10, he tried to commit suicide by slashing his wrists.
Stephen became a rebellious teen. He would stay out late at night, sometimes using alcohol or drugs. He turned to petty crime, then to breaking and entering and finally armed robbery. He was out of control at 16. The tension mounted in the house, and the neighbours reported constant nightly screaming and fighting. Kathleen became depressed and began suffering from nightmares and migraines. Her doctor prescribed Valium to help calm her anxiety as well as anti-depressants. Steve was also stressed to the point he had developed heart problems and palpitations.
At age17, Stephen attempted suicide again when he swallowed 62 of his mother's anti-depressants pills. A friend found Stephen and his suicide note and called an ambulance. He was revived but the doctors doubted his chances of a full recovery and thought he might remain in a coma or die. But, a week later he did recover fully and underwent extensive psychiatric treatment. Prior to being released from hospital, Steve and Kathleen sought additional advice from counselors and they attempted to instigate rules in the house. They sold their home and moved to Calgary hoping to start a new life, a new beginning for the family of four. But it seemed that his parents were afraid to enforce the rules in fear that he would retaliate or try to commit suicide again. Tough-love also didn't seem to work. Stephen quit school, started committing criminal acts again, and was diagnosed with an anti-social disorder.
On August 1, 1989, Stephen’s sister, Jennifer was babysitting overnight for her cousin. Her dad was to pick her up at 9:30am the next morning.
This same evening Stephen and a few friends watched “Bat 21” a violent Vietnam war movie on TV, while his parents slept upstairs. Stephen was drunk and in the mood to party. According to Stephen, their dog urinated on his foot and at that point, he lost control and became violent. He went out to the shed, picked up an axe and proceeded to his parent’s bedroom where he hacked his father to death with twenty-two blows. His mother woke in a panic, screaming. He silenced her as well by chopping her with the axe twenty times.
Stephen then stole his parents cash, credit cards and vehicle and headed to Swift Current, Saskatchewan, where he stopped at a mall and using his father’s Visa card, went on a shopping spree. Arriving in Moose Jaw he took a small room at the Park Lodge Motel and called the RCMP in Airdie to report his crime. He confessed to killing his parents. He told the officer, “I don't want to be hurt. I just want to be treated good.”
Prior to this, Jennifer was at her cousins waiting for her father to pick her up. Calling the house and receiving no answer, she knew something was terribly wrong. She called a cab and went home, only to find both her parents lying on their bed with blood everywhere. Had she not been babysitting, she too may have been a murder victim.
Stephen was found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder and was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for twenty years. On
- 4 - Michael Alborgeden
Michael's parents, Craig and Peggy Alborgeden began dating in Junior High School but Craig was an abusive boyfriend. Peggy wore heavy makeup to conceal the bruises and would avoid taking physical education so that she wouldn't have to shower with her classmates and then have to explain the marks. She had hoped that Craig would change and stop abusing her. But that never happened and the abuse only escalated. Typical of any abuser, he would warn her that if she told anyone he would kill her. He'd apologize and make vague promises not to hit her again, but it never lasted.
By the time Peggy entered Senior High, she was pregnant with Michael. She believed that by giving Craig a child, he would change and he did for a short time. During her ninth month of pregnancy Craig punched her in the stomach which caused her water to break. This complicated the delivery, however, both baby and mother survived. When Peggy turned twenty-one she decided she had enough of Craig's beatings. She called her mother to tell her she was coming home. However, Craig overheard the conversation. Just after she hung up the telephone, he punched her in the face twice and made Peggy call her mother back to tell her she had changed her mind and would be staying with Craig.
When he finally allowed her to see a doctor three days later, she was immediately hospitalized. He had broken her jaw so bad that it had to be wired shut for two months. This was her first trip to the hospital but certainly wouldn't be her last.
During the next twelve years she would be treated for concussions, broken bones, and cuts. Michael first learned to conceal the truth about Craig’s abusive behavior from his mother. Michael did not escape his father's violence either. He also was abused. However, Craig never hit Michael in front of his wife. He was afraid she would take action and report him to the police or child services.
Peggy and Craig's marriage finally ended in divorce. Initially Michael lived with his mother. But just four months after his parents divorce, Michael was arrested and put on probation for breaking into a neighbour's house. His mother then decided it would be best for Michael to leave the area and go live with his father, Craig.
He and his father had some good times, and Craig spoiled his son with cars, dirt bikes, fishing and hunting trips. Michael also worked part-time at the service station with his father. All of these great times didn't last long. Soon Craig had changed again and started abusing Michael. Craig called his special punishments GP's, short for ‘general purpose’. These were the punishments Michael would receive every day regardless of his father's mood.
Michael described a GP as a hit for no reason. His father would walk by him and just hit him with a closed fist on the chest, arms or legs. The other hits were inflicted when Craig was angry. Michael also learned to accept death threats as part of his life.
From the age of 10, Michael no longer cried when his father abused him. Craig wanted his son to "take the punishment like a man." If he did cry after a beating, he would be hit again. Michael learned to block out his feelings and deny the pain. The idea of discussing his abuse with anyone was simply out of the question. Not only was he very embarrassed about the situation, but his father constantly reminded him it would be bad for his health to complain to anyone. In short, his father said that he would kill him if he told anyone, including his mother.
A friend, Kenny Stuggans, witnessed Craig abuse Michael countless times. One time he tried to stick up for Michael but Craig punched Kenny in the stomach and said, "Keep your fuckin' mouth shut or you're not going to walk away." Kenny never attempted to interfere again.
At age14, Michael had a girlfriend named Jennifer. Soon she began to understand Michael's relationship with his father. One day after school, she and another friend were watching television with Michael. Craig came in and became furious with Michael because he had left some laundry unfolded on the sofa. To avoid further embarrassment for Michael, she and the friend left the room. Several minutes later, Craig called them back in. He said, "I'm done thumping on him now." Michael had red marks all over his face and neck. This was not the last time Jennifer saw marks on Michael's body. She tried to get Michael out of the house as much as possible. She recalled one evening when she called Craig asking permission for Michael to go for a walk. Each time she called, Craig remarked that Michael could go if she would bring along a dog leash. Jennifer ignored the comment thinking it was just another way for Craig to belittle his son. However, on this particular evening, Craig sounded different. Knowing he was serious, she found a yellow rope in the garage and took it along with her.
She believed this was just another silly little game they would have to play to get Michael out of the house. When Jennifer arrived at the Alborgeden's, Michael and his father were in the living room. Craig told Jennifer to tie the rope like a lasso and she agreed. He put the rope around Michael's neck and made him leave the house on all fours, like a dog. Jennifer was horrified but held the other end of the rope.
Michael's friends came to a point where they could no longer tolerate Craig's abusive behavior toward Michael. After much persuasion, they convinced Michael to discuss the situation with the school vice-principal, Mr. Hastings. They accompanied him into the office for the meeting. As soon as they had taken their seats, Mr. Hastings asked Michael if he was being abused by anyone. When Michael didn't respond, he turned to Jennifer and asked her if she thought Michael was being abused. She replied, "Yes, Michael is being abused." Hastings turned to Michael and said to him, "I don't like you, and if you're not going to say anything, you can just leave." Michael finally broke down and told the truth. Michael and his friends detected the vice-principal's skepticism and Hastings ended the meeting by saying, "I hope you don't think you could just bullshit me around for nothing." This was not the meeting that Michael and his friends anticipated because Mr. Hastings had reacted as if Michael had done something wrong to warrant the abuse.
Michael now knew that escaping his father's abuse was almost virtually impossible. He had nowhere to turn, and not including his friends, no one believed he was being abused.
Several weeks later, Mr. Hastings requested a meeting with Michael and his father. Michael prayed that finally he would get help, that someone would take action against his father. Once again the meeting was not what Michael expected or hoped it to be. Hastings sat on the opposite side of the room with Michael's probation officer, Ms. Haller, from an earlier charge of break and entering. Michael sat beside his father. Hastings asked Michael, "are you being abused in the home?" Michael looked at his father and lowered his head. He quietly replied, "no."
Michael wrote a poem to his father a year before he killed him.
FATHER AND A SON
A father and me is closer than
the wind blowing against a tree
closer than the fish and the sea.
For with no father there would be no me.
And I hope my Father can see that my
love is stronger than if we were
three. Father I am telling you
this because I want you to love me.
So just remember Father these words
are coming from me, "I love you so
much I just hope you can see."
After Craig read the poem, he tearfully confided to a friend that he didn't know how to love his son. He wished he could show affection instead of hitting him. He concluded, "But that's the way my dad brought me up. Never in my whole life did my father ever
tell me, "I love you."
Once the divorce papers were finalized, Michael became depressed and angry at his mother for leaving him with his father. He hated her. He hated his father and he hated his life in general.
On that fateful Friday evening, Michael didn't get home until one-thirty in the morning. He had gone skating with some friends and was supposed to be home shortly after eleven. He was late, and h
Craig then told Michael he had two choices, "you kill me, or I kill you." As Michael continued to walk to his room, he heard the cocking of a rifle. When he turned back, he found himself looking down the barrel of a gun. Craig threatened Michael again and although he didn't believe his dad was serious, he took the weapon from him. Craig began taunting him. "I hate you. You're not my son! I never intended to have you. I hate your mother. If you don't kill me, I'm going to kill you, then kill her, and then kill myself!"
Without even thinking, Michael shot his father. He couldn't remember how many times he pulled the trigger. He recalled later, "After I pulled the first time I kind of like blanked out ... I just kept pulling it until it stopped firing anymore."
In April, 1985, Michael Alborgeden filed a missing person's report on his father, Craig Alborgeden and told the authorities that he hadn't heard from or seen his father in four days. A few days after the report had been filed, a fisherman found Craig Alborgeden's body under a marina dock. The body had been shot multiple times. It was determined that Craig died about four to five days earlier. Within hours, Michael Alborgeden was arrested for the murder of his father.
Michael received the maximum prison time allowable, four years for involuntary manslaughter. He would also serve another two years for using a gun in the commission of the crime. Due to the fact that he was only sixteen at the time, he would serve his sentence in a facility for youthful offenders.
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