Rotten Tomatoes gave the first season of "Mindhunter" (Netflix) five stars. The series, set to portray the Atlanta Child Murders in its second season, is based on the non-fiction book "Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit" by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. Featured in several episodes of season one was serial killer Edmund Emil Kemper.

'Murder Capital of the World'

Kemper was one of several serial killers stalking the Santa Cruz Mountains in the early 1970s. Their carnage earned Santa Cruz, formerly known for surfing and its beachside boardwalk of vintage rides, the moniker “Murder Capital of the World.” Following Kemper’s arrest, conviction, and incarceration at a California state prison near Vacaville, I interviewed Ed after he petitioned the state to receive a lobotomy, an operation in which part of the brain is removed, scrambled if you will, as a way of treating mental illness.

The state rejected the request. The genius IQ, 6-foot 9-inch Kemper remains behind bars to this day.

'The devil in my life was Mom'

He and I spent an hour together, just the two of us, in a small interview room at the prison. I wasn’t really afraid, despite his lack of shackles, because, after covering his trial I concluded that his mother had always been his primary target. He confirmed it during our interview. “The devil in my life was Mom,” he explained matter-of-factly.

Judged sane and released

Kemper killed his grandparents when he was 15. He was arrested and incarcerated until he was 21 when he was deemed sane and released. He promptly proceeded to brutally kill six hitch-hiking coeds, his mother, and her best friend.

At a parole hearing after his release, his interviewer wrote: “I see no psychiatric reason to consider him to be a danger to himself or any other member of society.” Kemper had the head of one of his coed victims in the trunk of his battered yellow Ford at the time of the interview.

Atlanta Child Murders

Included with today’s story is a copy of a letter Kemper wrote me inviting me to visit him.

I offer it as proof of his intelligence. Tomorrow I’ll upload all or part of our interview, depending on the maximum size allowed for this site. Season 2 of "Mindhunter" features the search for the killer in the Atlanta Child Murders. The killings occurred from the middle of 1979 until May 1981. At least 28 children and adults were killed. Atlanta native Wayne Williams, 23 at the time of the last murder, was arrested and convicted of two of the adult murders and sentenced to two consecutive life terms.