This week’s installment introduces us to the other lead female character – Dr. Wendy Carr. Who informs us of why our protagonist’s new venture is such an incredibly exciting idea. And explains and debunks some of the myths or thoughts usually attached to the idea of psychopaths, that are in fact incorrect. Watching this series is like reading a small book on psychology, endlessly fascinating information is being doled out. Wendy opens the conversation – When you sent me your notes from the Kemper meetings, I was in a real rut with my new book. It’s about white-collar criminals, men not so different to your Edmund Kemper. Holden asks her how she thinks that the men she’s studying are similar to Ed Kemper and she responds:
Wendy – Well, first of all, they’re all psychopaths. I study captains of industry: IBM, MGM, Ford, you name it. And sure these men all have wives, kids, dogs, goldfish, but not because they stopped being psychopaths, but because they just had different leanings.
You know why it took me nearly a decade to publish my book? Because narcissists don’t go to the doctor. Psychopaths are convinced that there’s nothing wrong with them. So these men are virtually impossible to study. Yet you have found a way to study them in near perfect laboratory conditions. That’s what makes this so exciting and potentially so far-reaching.
The desires of Holden and Tench to continue this project is constantly crippled by the shackles that have been put on their ability to pursue it. With Unit Chief Shephard having given them weekends and an office in the basement. The pair try to logistically figure out the possibilities of who they could interview and construct a plan. Monte Rissel, for one is only an hour away from their office – meaning they wouldn’t need road school to visit him. After a phone call that pivots the direction to a new path – the case that they had lent an ear on in when visiting a police department in Sacremento for Road School. They hear that there’s been another one. The victim being the same age as the previous one, only this time she’s dead. After relaying this information to Holden – another of the tongue-in-cheek dark-comedic moments occurs: [They’re few and far between but they really are appreciated when they arrive on our screens] =
Road School and the ability to assist in cases as the episodes continue – this as a construct is being utilized by the creators of the series as a growth medium for the protagonists. This is their teething stage, their adolescence, figuring out their purpose and refining their knowledge and practice in their project. It also becomes a mirror of their success in growing the academic study part of their work, whilst slowly lessening the amount of Road school trips that are being made. As their knowledge and confidence in their new project grows, so too does their ability to accurately analyze the minds behind the murders, showcasing the benefit from their work being done in law enforcement and early detection rather that simply analytical ability after the fact.
Being able to distance themselves from the standard procedural terms and ideas in regards to the violent crimes committed on women – transferring from the ‘lust murders’ ideologies into the mindset of a violent psychopath = [ all pieces of knowledge gleamed from their talks with Edmund Kemper.
After the resounding success of Tench and Holden successfully cracking the case and managing to get a full confession – leads our narrative to jump up a level. Vindicated indeed Holden. Their next meeting with Kemper, they bring an official recorder, to properly record and, later, transcribe Kemper’s words. These further interviews lends them more and more insight into the level of intensity and meticulous detail, with which Kemper regarded his killings. The high level of symbolism that he integrated into his crimes. Tench asks him if it was true that he put part of his mother into the garbage disposal, he responds telling them that he did, her vocal cords.
This level of thought being out into his crimes is one of the many things that differentiated the likes of Edmund Kemper from the thrill kills or lust murders. The preparation put into these goes far beyond a momentary desire for destruction or death. Furthermore – this idea combined with the dark chuckles that emanate throughout the series is perfectly embodied in the next discussion that the three men partake in, which wraps up this weeks analysis – Whilst discussing Kemper’s temperament/mindset before he had killed his mother. When he had been building up to this, he had been murdering and assaulting the co-ed girls that were in his mother’s care. After one particularly cruel conversation with his mother he takes action – by starting to bury the heads of the women he’d killed in the backyard. Right underneath his mother’s bedroom window. Their faces looking right up at her window while she was at home.