Monday, August 05, 2013

Award Winning Psychology Professor's Hidden Past

When a curious small town reporter in Georgetown, Texas Googled a local crime 46 years ago, it turned out the murder of his own family, father, mother and 17-year-old sister, was a beloved professor in a renowned mid-west college.

Professor James St James has been teaching at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois since 1976.

Dr. James St James, whose original name being James Wolcott, walked away from the murder using a claim of insanity. After being released from a mental institution, he changed his name.

On the night of August 4, 1967, James Wolcott, then 15 year old, shot his father Dr. Gordon Wolcott while he was reading in the living room. He then walked into the the room of his sister Libby, and shot her in the face and chest. His mother Elizabeth was shot in her chest, and left dead on her bed. James Wolcott would then ran out and cried help, claiming some intruder killed his entire family.

The crime was planned ahead one week ago, but didn't sustain a following police investigation, when James Wolcott confessed to what had happened. There had been many reasons he hated his family, James told police. His mother chew her food loud. His sister had a bad accent. His father would not let him to wear anti-war buttons. However, James was acquitted because he claimed that at the time he was high on airplane glue.

With an IQ of at least 134, James saw little trouble to beat the academic system with a Master's degree from University of Texas and a PhD from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. St James landed a teaching job at the liberal arts college in Illinois in 1997. Dr. St James would be tenured and became the chair at the department of behavioral sciences.

Students consider him 'fantastic', 'awesome' and 'cool', and the University stands behind him after the revelation of his dark past.

Psychological study has gone through a long way since 1967. Newer research had pointed association between behavior and certain genes.

Retrospectively thinking, James Wolcott's insanity claim was insincere but genuine. With few exception, the last bound of an individual to his sanity would be his ties to his family members.

The authentic question is: can he ever retrieve his sanity, given what he had lost?

On the side of the reality, students are easy to be attracted to 'cool', but most parents would not.

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