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Luchessa disappeared with her friend, Mary Anne Pesce, from Berkeley, California on May 7, 1972. The two young women, both students at Fresno State University, were hitchhiking when they were picked up by serial killer Edmund Emil "Ed" Kemper III. Photos of Pesce and Kemper are posted below this case summary. Kemper drove Luchessa and Pesce to a secluded wooded area near Alameda, California, where he stabbed and strangled both of them to death. He later dismembered their corpses in his apartment and dumped them near Loma Prieta Mountain. They were his third and fourth victims; his grandparents were his first. Kemper would ultimately murder three more female college students, a fifteen-year-old girl, his mother and his mother's friend before turning himself in to police. He was convicted of eight counts of murder and sentenced to eight consecutive terms of life in prison, and remains incarcerated.
Pesce's skull was found in a wooded area on Loma Prieta Mountain in August 1972, but no trace of Luchessa has been located.
Left: Mary Pesce;
Right: Ed Kemper, approximate date 1973
Santa Cruz Sheriff's Department