Meet Edmund Kemper:
Naturally there were signs this was coming: antisocial behavior, mutilated cats and bizarre “sexual rituals” with his sisters dolls. It’s said his mother would often lock him in the basement because she was concerned he would rape his younger sister. If a violent alcoholic with a borderline personality disorder could figure out what was on the horizon, why couldn’t anyone else?
Anyway, this charming little fella spends 5 years at the Atascadero State Hospital before they turn him loose on Santa Cruz in the early 70s. Being built like a brick house at close to 7 feet tall with a high IQ and no social skills or marketable talents, he did what came naturally: abducted female college students; stabbed, shot or smothered them; then had sex with their decapitated heads. Lots of them.
How does this have anything to do with The Underbelly you ask? Fear not, there’s a bar involved.
Apparently, he made friends there with the local law enforcement and they were more than happy to discuss details of the investigations after a few martinis. In this way, he was able to stay one step ahead. None suspected that the big gallute had anything to do with the murders.
Eventually, he feels the need bludgeon his mother and her neighbor with a hammer and run to Colorado where he turns himself in. He’s currently serving life without parole in Vacaville, CA.
Alyssa and I were in Santa Cruz this weekend for the Eddie Money show and decided to swing by and check the place out on Saturday morning around 10am before hitting the 19th Hole for breakfast.
Lastly, there’s this tucked away in the corner:
The Jury Room is definitely worth a look if you ever find yourself in Santa Cruz.