herbert mullin


Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) is a penitentiary for men, located in Ione, Amador County California. The facility opened in 1987 and was designed to house about 1,700 inmates, but currently houses over 3,500, placing it at over 180% capacity. MCSP has been one of the most chronically overpopulated penitentiaries in the state since at least the early 2000’s. All cell blocks house overflow inmates who sleep in bunk beds in areas that were designed for common use, such as day rooms and gymnasiums. In 2005, MCSP became the only state prison in California that exclusively houses sensitive needs (protective custody) inmates. Protective custody inmates (also referred to as PC) are segregated from mainline (general population) for their own safety, because they are at risk of being targeted for violence. These inmates are usually sex offenders or ex gang members (drop outs) who “snitched” (or “debriefed” in DOC terms) former police officers or corrections officers, inmates with youthful or feminine appearances, or inmates who have drug or gambling debts that they can’t or won’t pay. They may also include inmates who are considered “high profile” because of their crime.
A study that was published in 2007 found that male sex offenders make up 15% of California’s prison population, but accounted for nearly 30% of offenders who were murdered while in custody. This combined with an overwhelming amount of assaults led to a designated protective custody prison.

Some of California’s most high-profile murderers are currently held at MCSP, including:

Patrick Kearney - Known as one of several “Freeway Killers”, Kearney is considered one of the most prolific serial killers in American history, with a suspected 43 victims throughout the 1970’s. Kearney targeted young men that he cruised at gay bars or picked up while hitchhiking. His victims tended to be larger than him in stature, (Kearney was 5’5 and described as “slight”) so his method was to travel to a secluded area with his victim under the guise of privacy for a sexual encounter, and would then shoot them in the head, and sexually assault the body.

Andrew Luster - The great grandson and heir of Max Factor, founder of the Max Factor cosmetics line, Luster drugged three separate women with GHB and sexually assaulted them on video camera. One of his victims went to the police, who found the tapes and charged him. Luster posted $1million bail, but failed to appear in court and was sentenced to 124 years in prison in absentia. Six months later, Luster was captured by none other than Duane “The Dog” Chapman in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Herbert Mullin - Mullin killed 13 people in the 1970’s, and claimed that he heard voices that told him he had to commit human sacrifice to save California from earthquakes. His first murder occurred in 1972, when Mullin killed a hitchhiker that he claimed was Jonah from the Bible, who told him to “kill me so that others will be saved.” When he was finally caught, he told police that the reason there had not been any recent earthquakes was due to his acts. Despite the obvious evidence pointing towards mental illness, Mullin was charged with first and second-degree murder. He pled guilty and was sentenced to life, and will be eligible for parole in 2021, at the age of 74.

“Tex” Watson - Of the Manson family, Watson was convicted of seven counts of first degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder, for his part in the Tate and LaBianca murders. Watson has been denied parole 15 times since 1976.


John Frazier - Known as “The Killer Prophet”, Frazier was sentenced to death in 1970 for murdering five people while in a delusional state. Frazier believed that he heard the voice of God instructing him to commit the murders. When he arrived in court on the first day of his trial, Frazier had completely shaved one half of his head. Frazier hung himself to death in his cell at MCSP in 2009.

Serial killers Ed Kemper and Herbert Mullin were caught just months apart and this resulted in them sharing an adjoining prison cell at the same prison. Despite this, the pair were the polar opposites of each other. Co-ed Killer Kemper, was around 6′9 tall and Mullin was over a foot shorter, at just 5′7. Kemper was also a genius, with the IQ of 140 and Mullin was considered to be a bit of a “village idiot”, barely passing his IQ test.

The stark contrast between these two killers resulted in Kemper taking the dominant stance in the relationship, and he even ended up conduct ing experiments on him. According to Kemper, Mullin had a rather annoying habit of singing at all times whilst incarcerated and this got on everyone’s nerves: 

“He had a habit of singing and bothering people when somebody tried to watch TV. So I threw water on him to shut him up. Then, when he was a good boy, I’d give him some peanuts. Herbie liked peanuts. That was effective, because pretty soon he asked permission to sing. That’s called behavior modification treatment. [winks]”

Herbert Mullin was a serial killer active in California during the October 1972 to February 1973. During that time Mullin killed 13 people after voices told him that earthquakes could only be stopped through human sacrifice. Mullin is distinctive as a serial killer because he did not have a specific victim type. A profiler for the FBI later determined that Mullin suffered from paranoid schizophrenia that likely manifested in his later teens and was accelerated by Mullins’ use of LSD and amphetamines.

After his arrest, Herbert Mullin refused to cooperate with investigators over the thirteen murders he was suspected of and simply shouted ‘Silence!’ every time he was asked a question. He also refused any visitors, including his own family. When forensic and ballistic tests concluded that a gun in Mullin’s possession was used to murder four young boys who were camping in the wilderness, Mullin’s mother wrote him a heart felt letter. 

19th February 
Herb Darling:
It is all over now, darling, all your suffering and agony of the past years. Now, please help us try and help you once more. You’re safe now. No one can hurt you and you can’t hurt anyone else. Now you must be very, very strong and try to cooperate with everyone who is trying so desperately to resolve this terrible tragedy. It’s the only way. Then we will all be able to go on living each day, knowing only our Good Lord, Jesus, will know what is in our hearts and minds, and will be our ultimate judge.
We must be very truthful in all respects so the process of a just society can go forward. All the men that have been associated with your case have been very kind and gentle with your dad and I, and we have tried to cooperate with them in every way.
I pray every moment of the day for your strength to do the right thing and know the Good Lord and His Darling Blessed Mother will help us all through this ordeal.
Dad and your many, many friends join me in sending our love and constant prayers.
Lovingly  -  Mother.

Mullin replied:

Dear Dad and Mom,
As you know I appeared in Santa Cruz Superior Court today. My attorney waived formal reading of the indictment. We asked for an extension until the Grand Jury’s investigation is typed and we have a copy of it. My next day in court will be March 27th, 1973. I will enter a plea at that time.
I appreciate your willingness to attend the trial proceedings, but the reporters and spectators are so cruel, and I wouldn’t get to visit you before the trial or after. I hope you agree with me that the attorneys can inform you about what’s going on without having to subject you to cameras and questions.
I hope the trial won’t take too long. I don’t like our name being used under such circumstances.
Thank you.
Good bye.
Herbert William.

Herbert Mullin was a serial killer active in the 1970s in the Santa Cruz, California area. Mullin would generally pick up hitchhikers, kill them, and dismember them. Edmund Kemper was also a serial killer notorious for killing his grandparents, mother, and a series of other victims around the same time with whatever method he could think of. Kemper operated in the same region as Mullin as well. Since this was the case, it was no surprise that when Mullin was caught on February 13, 1973 and Kemper turned himself in on April 20 the same year, the two ended up in adjoining cells. The two were significantly different both mentally and physically, and Kemper used that to his advantage. While Kemper had a genius IQ in the 140s, Mullin was a disorganized and delusional person. Along with that, Kemper stood at a staggering 6′9 while Mullin was only 5′7. Kemper used his height to intimidate and experiment on Mullin, who he nicknamed ‘Herbie’ (much to Mullin’s dismay). 

“Well, Mullin had a habit of singing and bothering people when somebody tried to watch TV. So I threw water on him to shut him up. Then, when he was a good boy, I’d give him some peanuts. Herbie liked peanuts. That was effective, because pretty soon he asked permission to sing. That’s called behavior modification treatment” -Kemper on his experience with Mullin

Mullin, on the other hand, accused Kemper of stealing the sites where he dumped his victims’ bodies.

By October of 1972, the voices inside Herbert Mullin’s head were telling him that he had to kill. He believed that he was personally chosen by Albert Einstein to murder people in an attempt to prevent an earthquake. He described this mission as “singing the die song.” He later explained to a psychiatrist:

You see, the thing is, people get together, say, in the White House. People like to sing the die song, you know, people like to sing the die song. If I am president of my class when I graduate from high school, I can tell two, possibly three young male homo sapiens to die. I can sing that song to them and they’ll have to kill themselves or be killed - an automobile accident, a knifing, a gunshot wound. You ask me why this is? And I say, well they have to do that in order to protect the ground from an earthquake, because all of the other people in the community had been dying all year long, and my class, we have to chip in so to speak to the darkness, we have to die also. And people would rather sing the die song that murder.”

On 13 October, 1972, the voice in his head shouted “Why won’t you give me anything? Go kill someone! Move!” - Mullin responded by bludgeoning a 55-year-old drifter to death alongside the Santa Cruz mountains. Two weeks later, he picked up a 24-year-old hitchhiker and stabbed her to death with a hunting knife. He then dragged her body into the bushes and disembowelled her. The next week, he entered a confessional at St. Mary’s Church in Los Gatos and stabbed the priest inside to death. During his murderous rampage, Mullin attempted to enlist in the Marines. The recruiting officer said he was very impressed and described Mullin as “highly intelligent and motivated young man who most likely will be a credit to the corps.” The following week Mullin killed five more people, including two brothers that were 4-years-old and 9-years-old, in a secluded area of the Santa Cruz mountains. He then came across four teenage boys camping in the woods and shot them all. His final victim was a 72-year-old who was shot while working in his garden. He committed this murder in broad daylight and was quickly apprehended.

Psychopath vs. Psychotic


Technically, psychopaths aren’t legally insane. They know the difference between right and wrong. They are rational, often highly intelligent people. Some are capable of great charm. Indeed, the scariest thing about them is that they seem so normal. The most striking feature of the psychopathic personality is his utter lack of empathy. He is incapable of love, caring, and feeling sorry for anyone but himself. Other people are simply objects to be exploited and manipulated for his own profit and pleasure. At their worst, they have monstrous dreams of torture, rape, and murder that they pursue without the slightest compunction. Such extreme criminal psychopaths are devious, cold-blooded predators who hide their evil hearts behind bland, plausible facades. Because they feel no guilt or remorse, psychopaths are able to maintain an uncanny cool in situations that would cause a normal person to break into a cold sweat. For example, when one ofJeffrey Dahmer’s handcuffed and bleeding victims managed to escape and run out into the street, Dahmer calmly talked the police into returning the young man to his custody. He then led him back to his hellish lair and slaughtered him.


Psychosis is defined as a severe mental disorder characterized by some degree of personality disintegration. Psychotics live in a nightmarish world of their own. They suffer from hallucinations and delusions-hear voices, see visions, are possessed by bizarre beliefs. They have lost touch with reality. Unlike psychopaths-who appear to be normal, rational people even while leading grotesque secret lives-psychotics match the common conception of insanity. The main forms of psychosis are schizophrenia and paranoia. For the most part, serial killers aren’t psychotic. There have been some notable exceptions, however-like the paranoid schizophrenic Herbert Mullin.


Collage of news articles made by John Linley Frazier

Along with big Ed Kemper and Herbert Mullin, Frazier was the third cog in the legendary Triumvirate of Evil of Santa Cruz in the early seventies. As a young man Johnny Boy dropped out of society because he didn’t want to participate in the killing of the planet.

On October 19, 1970, this acid-dropping environmentalist set out to settle a score with an eye doctor who hated hippies. After entering the home of the doctor, he found the wife and shot her with her own gun. He then proceeded to bound and kill everyone as they arrived. By the time he was done, he had killed the doctor, his wife, his secretary and his two children. Frazier wrote a rambling letter on the doctors typewriter about how World War III had started and that anyone who misuses the environment would be executed. He then tossed the bodies into the swimming pool and torched the place.

His hippie friends thought he had gone a bit to far and turned him in to the police. During his trial Johnny showed up with half of his head, half of his beard and one eyebrow shaved. He got the death sentence before his hair could grow back in.


For anyone who remembers this brilliant post by happyphantom, I’d like to present to you a second Serial Killer playlist for the upcoming season. Based on a similar idea as the original, Summer in Santa Cruz is a compilation of songs that aims to capture the essence of two of the area’s most notorious serial killers. Mind you, this list was compiled completely subjectively, and like most of the things I post, is an open work in progress. If you feel you want to add something, please do!

As it stands, each “Side” has 16 songs - I had originally listed 32 songs for each side, but decided not to lay the whole thing on you guys in this post. We can just call this Volume I for now, but I made the YouTube playlist for each dude with the original number and order of songs if you’re curious.

A lot of the songs chosen for Kemper reflect his much more conservative, sexually frustrated and brooding sentiments. He was a day-dreamer and often talked about how much he longed for a normal relationship with a woman, despite having been engaged for a time during the murders. You’ll notice his set of songs is much more conservative than our hippie friend, Herbert Mullin, who has a very psychedelic, Eastern-influenced mix. Mr. Mullin is a huge fan of sitar music, which he says he was first introduced to through The Beatles.

Anyway, I hope you guys see why some of the songs were chosen, and most of all, I hope you have fun with it. If nothing else - shit… it’s just a fucking good list of songs from the 50s, 60’s and 70’s. So, you win either way.

Enjoy! :D

Side K:

As a playlist on YouTube - the full 32-song playlist.

Come Go With Me - The Del Vikings
Don’t Worry Baby - The Beach Boys
An Old Fashioned Love Song - Three Dog Night
Goin’ Out of My Head - Little Anthony and the Imperials
Simple Man - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Mama Told Me Not To Come - Three Dog Night
Evil Woman - Electric Light Orchestra
Hair Of The Dog - Nazareth
On the Road Again - Canned Heat
Get Ready - Rare Earth
Hold On, I’m Coming - Sam & Dave
Goodbye Stranger - Supertramp
Don’t Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
Long Distance Runaround - Yes
Midnight Rider - The Allman Brothers Band
I Fought The Law - Bobby Fuller Four

Side M:

As a playlist on YouTube - the full 32-song playlist.

Within You Without You - The Beatles
Are You Experienced? - Jimi Hendrix 
If You’re Going to San Francisco - Scott McKenzie
Get Together - Youngbloods
Love You To - The Beatles
Teach Your Children - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Venus in Furs - The Velvet Underground
Learning To Fly - Pink Floyd
White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
Us And Them - Pink Floyd
Tomorrow Never Knows - The Beatles
Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix
For What it’s Worth - Buffalo Springfield
Crazy On You - Heart
Green Is The Colour - Pink Floyd
The End - The Doors


Second page of a 2-page letter with a drawing from Herbert Mullin.

Note reads:

After you have read my habeas corpus petition, I hope you will write down your thoughts and decide whether or not the courts have been “judging” my contentions “honestly,” “fairly,” and/or “justly.” Let me know what you think. Peace & Friendship, Herb Mullin

Post Script: I hope you are enjoying this new year. I hope that you all are experiencing “prosperity” and that the new presidency that will begin on 1/20/2009 will make you even more prosperous and affluent. 1/12/2009 Monday.