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Me & My Other Interests: Serial Killers I'd Have a Cuppa With (Part 3)

It's finally here gang - the third and final instalment in my Serial Killers I'd Have a Cuppa With mini-series. If you missed Part 1 and 2 you can find them here and here retrospectively. Back at the start of 2O18, I posted what became the first part of this little trilogy as, as I explained in that first post, serial killers and the broader topic of true crime in general is always something that I've been interested in and like to read about and watch documentaries/films about. Quickly this mini series snowballed a bit as I realised there's quite a few individuals in particular who have interested me over the years for a wide varying amount of reasons. I'm going to call today's post the last in this little 3-parter though as otherwise I will talk everyone's ears off for the foreseeable future about this topic and Northern Blood will become a true crime blog and I'm not sure that's an entirely good move (I mean, I had to really talk myself out of such a move). So let's dive in:

Herbert William Mullin - Herbie Mullin
Born on April 18th, 1947, Herbert (Herbie) William Mullin had a good upbringing and was known for being a sensitive but intelligent boy, interested in varsity football, and voted "most likely to succeed" by his peers. He was a popular young man who had several friends, a good relationship with his strict but not abusive father and mother, and had a steady girlfriend - until his best friend was involved in a car accident and Mullin seemed to deteriorate at an alarming rate. Dean Richardson died in a car accident and it left Mullin feeling lost. He created several shrines to his lost best friend and started to believe his death was part of some wider "cosmic" plan and thus changed his college studies from Engineering to Philosophy, started studying Eastern Religions in his spare time, and became very focused on the idea of reincarnation.

In 1969, Mullin allowed his family to commit him to hospital after breaking up with his girlfriend the previous year and becoming more reliant on drugs. He spent only a short amount of time in the Mendocino State Hospital but spent the next few years drifting from small part-time jobs and various other mental institutions as his behaviour and mental state continued to spiral down and was beginning to upset and scare his family members. Mullin was not only regularly taking acid, but he also had a fascination with reinventing himself in some sort of attempt to "heal" himself. These reinventions ranged from a yoga guru, to an amateur boxer, to a priest, and to enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps (which he passed both the physical and psychiatric exams and was only rejected last minute due to his extensive list of previous arrests and bizarre behaviour). Mullin was diagnosed with schizophrenia and began to hear voices during schizophrenic delusions that told him to kill and resulted in him being evicted from one of his apartments as he frequently shouted and screamed at imaginary people and neighbours complained about the noise. In October 1972, he finally snapped and attacked a homeless man with a baseball bat after pulling over in his car and pretending there was something wrong with it to attract the man over to him. In less than two weeks after killing Lawrence White, Mullin struck again after picking up young hitchhiker, Mary Guilfoyle, but his second killing was more peculiar than his first as he stabbed Mary in the car, dragged her body to the nearby woods and dissected her body, hanging her intestines amongst the tree branches as he was "inspecting them for pollution".

Just 4 days after murdering Mary Guilfoyle, Mullin walked into St. Mary's Catholic Church and went into confession with Father Henry Tomei. Mullin claimed that the Father offered himself as sacrifice and thus he stabbed him to death in the booth. Mullin them attempted to stop taking drugs which heightened his delusions and convinced him that his old high school peer and marijuana supplier, Jim Gianera, was to blame for his current bad state of life as the drugs he had supplied had "twisted" his mind. He turned up at Gianera's former home and asked the current tenants if they knew Gianera's new address. The Authorities were unsure what order the murders occurred, but Mullin killed the current tenants - Kathy Francis and her two sons - and Gianera and his wife that day. Less than two weeks later again, Mullin shot and killed 4 young teenage boys in their tent when they were camping and then he shot his last victim - Fred Perez - on Perez's driveway and so a neighbour called the police and he was finally arrested and charged.

The interesting thing about Mullin was his mental state. As soon as he arrived at the police station and was being interviewed, he would only respond to every question and interaction by shouting "silence!". He claimed that his family and the wider world were actually in kahoots to make his life miserable so in his next life, they might have more enjoyable lives than him. He also claimed that he needed to kill people not only because of the voices he heard ordering him to (which included his father's voice), but also because it would prevent earthquakes in California. He believed he could suppress and stop natural disasters occurring by taking the "minority over the majority" approach to death by taking it into his own hands and murdering innocent people. Mullin's also claimed that the 4 unfortunate camping teenagers actually telepathically told him they were happy for him to kill them and that all humans are telepathic, it's just not socially accepted. Mullin's tried to claim insanity during his sentencing but the jury didn't accept it and he was charged for 8 accounts of second-degree murder and 2 counts of first-degree out of the 13 individuals he killed, leaving him with a life prison sentence for his 4-month killing spree.

Edmund Kemper - The Co'Ed Killer
Around the same time as Mullin's killings and in the same areas around Santa Cruz, Edmund Kemper was also killing. Kemper is a notorious serial killer in history and this is due to not only his grotesque murders, but also his home life, his relationship with his mother, and his openness about his murders in prison interviews years later. With an extremely high IQ of 145 but a troubled childhood, Kemper fits nicely into the typical "serial killer mould" and these two reasons are why I would like to speak with him.

Kemper's parent's divorced and he grew up in a household with his alcoholic mother and two sisters. Kemper's dad was a WWII veteran and often made comments that living with his ex-wife was worse than anything he experienced in the war and Kemper no doubt would agree with these statements considering his mother often berated him over dinner whilst praising his sisters and eventually resorted to locking Kemper in the basement every evening as she was "scared" of him. Kemper is a towering 6ft 9 man so it is understandable how his form might be intimidating but, after watching many documentaries of Kemper discussing his treatment from his mother, he still believes strongly that his mistreatment was completely unwarranted and he never did anything to cause it. Kemper seemingly glosses over the fact that he did things such as play disturbing games with his sisters such as "Electric Chair" or "Gas Chamber" and was also responsible for the death of the family cat. It is not easy to distinguish whether or not Kemper's odd behaviour and "tell-tale signs" as a teen were the result of his mother's attitude towards him or already there and merely fuelled by his mother's lack of love. When he was a teen, Kemper went to live with his paternal grandparents and this was when Kemper first killed. After a heated argument, he shot his grandmother with his grandfather's rifle then proceeded to shoot his grandfather on his return to the house to save his grandfather the stress of seeing his dead wife. When authorities arrested Kemper, he openly admitted to it and coined one of his most famous quotes as he explained that he "just wanted to see what it felt like to kill grandma".

After being in prison for 5 years and being released on his 21st birthday, Kemper when back into the custody of his mother but quickly moved out of the home to live with a friend. His desire to kill was still burning away inside of him though and in May 1972, he finally struck again. Kemper completed what he called a "trial run" in which he picked up around 150 hitchhikers and considered how he could kill them and calculated how he would dispose of bodies. A tactician, Kemper planned and executed the murder of six young women who were hitchhiking and would have sex with their corpses before dismembering them. In an interview with Kemper, he shared that he dismembered the bodies because "the hands and heads were the most identifiable parts of a person" which illustrated just how much Kemper had planned his murder spree. He killed over the span of a year and in April 1973 he decided on his penultimate murder victim: his mother. Kemper bludgeoned his mother with a claw hammer, decapitated her, raped her severed head, and then used it as a dart board. He then called his mother's best friend and asked her to come over to the house. He then murdered her and stole her car to get away. Kemper eventually handed himself in when he didn't hear anything about the murders on the news and later stated to the police that "the original purpose [of the murders] had gone so he called it all off".

I find Kemper particularly interesting because of his level of intelligence and his very blunt, to the point attitude about his murders. He has always openly discussed his murders on TV documentaries and in many interviews and at times can show remorse, but whenever he speaks about his mother, there's an inner rage comes pouring out but also a great deal of pent-up upset too and seeing the two juxtapositions in such a cold and callous individual is unnerving but psychologically intriguing.

Jeffrey Dahmer - The Milwaukee Cannibal
Much like Ted Bundy, I feel this mini series wouldn't be complete without mentioning another notorious man, Jeffrey Dahmer. Jeffrey Dahmer was responsible for the murder of 15 young men between 1978 to July 22nd 1991 when he was finally caught. Dahmer is a well-known serial killer for a variety of reasons and has been depicted in many films, TV shows, books, and comic books about his life. His modus operandi included rape, molestation, dismemberment, cannibalism, and necrophilia.

Unlike many serial killers, Dahmer grew up in a relatively happy young man with a good family life. His parents were happy for many years, he did well in school and he was just all-round a "normal" child. Dahmer always had an interest in nature and animals and as he got older, this interest developed into understanding how animals worked on the inside (which as I've mentioned in previous posts, can often be a 'sign' in early stages of these sort of criminals). As he grew older, Dahmer became more and more introverted and secluded. Classmates recall that Dahmer was not particularly popular but was not hated in school either, but would often be heavily drinking throughout his school days - even drinking in class - and spent a lot of time examining animal carcasses instead of socialising. He had a tendency to act like the class clown and acted odd to get laughs from his peers. Over the years he became more and more withdrawn and appeared emotionless the majority of the time.

As an adult, Dahmer attempted several roles such as joining the army and working in a hospital but each time he was discharged due to his alcoholism. He was arrested for indecent exposure in 1982 and 1986, he drugged and sexually assaulted a 13 year old boy, and frequented gay bars in which he would drug and rape unconscious men. Dahmer was sentenced to 5 years probation for his crimes against the 13 year old boy but once released, he moved back into an apartment in Milwaukee. Growing up, Dahmer had wrestled with gay sexual fantasies and suppressed them. Over the years however, they began to mix with sadistic murderous thoughts and thus Dahmer's behaviour accelerated. Dahmer was fascinated with this idea of creating "zombies" out of his victims and this involved a few different techniques including drilling into the skulls of his victims and injecting hydrochloric acid or boiling water into their brains. This made his victims submissive to him and he could use them for his sexual fantasies. One such victim actually managed to escape when left unattended and asked people passing by for help. When the police investigated, Dahmer could turn on the charisma and charm so well and was so articulate that the police left thinking the young man was actually Dahmer's intoxicated boyfriend who had just had far too much to drink. They didn't even run any background checks on him to discover that Dahmer was a registered sex offender as this would have possibly alerted them to a more thorough check.

On July 22nd 1991, intended victim Tracy Edwards managed to escape Dahmer's clutches and led two police officers to his apartment. Upon entering the apartment, the police discovered gruesome crime scene evidence such as a variety of photos of his dissection process of his previous victims, four skulls chilling in the fridge, human torsos in a barrel amongst many other body parts and organs within the apartment. Dahmer was charged with 957 years and sent to the Colombia Correctional Facility in Wisconsin. On November 28th 1994, Dahmer was beaten to death by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver. Dahmer died during his travel to the hospital. I believe Dahmer became so notorious because of his modus operandi (which you can read in much more detail here and here) as it was so unusual to want to create these submissive almost slave-like victims before murdering them. Dahmer is also interesting because he has been quoted and interviewed many times after being arrested as claiming that prison is the best place for him and that someone like him did not deserve to be out in "the real world". Therefore it would be interesting to speak with him to see if he actually meant that or if he was just being his charismatic self and saying what he thought people wanted to hear from such a cold-hearted calculated killer.

I hope you all have enjoyed this little mini series as it's given me the opportunity to share an interest of mine that I don't really have a place for here on NB. If you'd like to see more True Crime-related posts, be sure to let me know!

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