James St. James: Professor Brutally Murders Family, Keeps Job

James St. James, the professor who brutally murdered his family 46 years ago, will keep his job at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.

James, 61, is the acting chair of the behavioral sciences department, but when he was 15 years old, he allegedly killed his parents and sister in the community of Georgetown, Texas.

Ann Marie Gardner of the Georgetown Advocate was able to connect the dots between James and the 15-year-old James Gordon Wolcott, who legally changed his name in 1976 and (successfully) pursued a number of academic credits that have the tenured professor’s employers advocating in his defense.

On the night of August 4, 1967, Wolcott took a.22 long-barrel rifle, shot his father twice in the chest, then went to his sister’s room and shot her twice — once in the chest and once in the face — before heading to his parents’ bedroom, where his mother had become awakened by the gunshots.

Once there, he finished her off with two in the head and one in the chest. Wolcott later admitted that he’d been planning the murders for a week, and that he huffed glue prior to the crimes “to give him a boost.”

Defense attorneys ultimately got Wolcott a “not guilty by reason of insanity” judgment. He spent six years at Rusk State Hospital in Nacogdoches, Texas, and was released in 1974.

Gardner tracked him down, publishing her journey on the Advocate July 25. The rest, you really should read for yourself. Definitely see a book in this lady’s future.

Anyhow, as to the present, Statesman.com reports that Milliken officials are on board with keeping James St. James where he is.

“Millikin University has only recently been made aware of Dr. St. James’ past,” the university said in a statement. “Given the traumatic experiences of his childhood, Dr. St. James’ efforts to rebuild his life and obtain a successful professional career have been remarkable. The University expects Dr. St. James to teach at Millikin this fall.”

More on the case here:

We’ve all known for a while that professors can exhibit some of the kookiest behavior around, ranging from misguided to outright delusional, but this case is something truly unique.

How can a man keep a secret like this and go so long with (apparently) never having relapsed into what Rusk officials called “paranoid schizophrenic” delusions?

Here’s a picture of the professor today from Millikin via Huffington Post:

Do you think Millikin officials are right in not firing the former James Wolcott, or should James St. James be given his walking papers?

[Image via ShutterStock]

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