Did the Netflix series ‘Mindhunter’ really find Edmund Kemper’s IQ to be the highest or is it just a myth?
Netflix’s crime series ‘Mindhunter’ is inspired by real-life criminal profilers who interviewed serial killers in the late 1970s, such as Edmund Kemper, as part of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, in a bid to delve into their psyches to solve other investigations. The series has some big credentials and, luckily, characters, and a good story to back it up. In fact, ‘Mindhunter’ has managed to find the perfect faces to portray real-life killers. While the names of the special agents involved are changed, the convicted murderers they interviewed are pulled straight from history. Keep reading to find out how Kemper helped the FBI and what conclusions did the agents reach?
- Netflix ‘Mindhunter’: How did Edmund Kemper help FBI agents understand serial killers?
- Was Kemper rehabilitated when he helped the FBI?
- Which serial killer has the highest IQ recorded?
‘Mindhunter’: Edmund Kemper had the highest recorded IQ – truth or myth?
Netflix ‘Mindhunter’: How did Edmund Kemper help FBI agents understand serial killers?
As detailed in the Netflix series ‘Mindhunter’, Edmund Kemper was a murderer and necrophiliac who ended up helping the FBI in ways they couldn’t have imagined. His story is a disturbing one. After years of mistreatment as a child, he ended up murdering and decapitating his mother. Later, he engaged in sexual activity with his mother’s severed head. Edmund has also murdered his paternal grandparents, his mother’s best friend, and more.
Upon being interviewed, Kemper acknowledged that he wanted to kill anybody he came into contact with, especially his mother. The FBI profiler John E. Douglas learned that the compulsion Edmund Kemper felt to murder his mother was developed due to his intense hatred for her. John deduced that Edmund wanted to prove his worth by getting rid of the woman who had emasculated him his entire life.
As shown in the series, Kemper cut out his mother’s larynx and placed it in the garbage disposal to block it. He wanted to just shut the mouth that had screamed at him over the years. Other serial killers were also investigated and the FBI agents identified some common characteristics among serial killers, that we normally would not have known about. For example, they tortured animals as children. But the real question is, were the killers rehabilitated after confessions?
Was Kemper rehabilitated when he helped the FBI?
Serial killers have this tendency to relive the experience because it gives them hope. In Netflix’s ‘Mindhunter’, you can watch Edmund Kemper helping the police. But was he rehabilitated? No! He knew he was wrong and given the chance, he would commit the crimes all over again.
What were the IQs of some of the serial killers featured on Netflix’s ‘Mindhunter’?
In several cases, the offenders who score high on psychopathy, distinguished by feelings of low impulse, narcissism, and grandiosity, feel powerful and important while talking to the police. And so was the case with Edmund Kemper. Talking to the police just helped him pass his time in jail.
Which serial killer has the highest IQ recorded?
The IQ test is a barometer that offers a pretty reliable way of testing and summarizing how intelligent/clever someone is. That said, there can be plenty of exceptions to this because, in truth, serial killers appear scattered across a range of IQs. Here are a few examples as stated on Crime+Investigation UK:
Nathan Leopold: 210, Ted Kaczynski: 167, Charlene Gallego: 160, Andrew Cunanan: 147, Edmund Kemper: 145, Richard Chase: 95, Ottis Toole: 75, and more.
According to a study, serial killers who have above average IQs commit crimes that are planned and are thought through meticulously, whereas serial killers with low IQ are disorganized and commit crimes that are impulsive, sloppy, and messy.
If there’s something that we can learn after watching Netflix’s ‘Mindhunter’, it is the findings of serial killers such as Edmund Kemper, that no matter how consistent they seem, they aren’t predictive.
We cannot say that someone is likely to be a serial killer just because they share a few common characteristics with the people who are. Even Douglas has gained the insight that apprehended serial killers must not be seen as monsters but an untapped reservoir of knowledge. After all, who could better decipher the crimes than the criminals? What do you think?