TX - Beloved college prof revealed as killer of family in 1967

Discussion in 'Past Trial Discussion Threads' started by wfgodot, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Several aspects of the story are interesting. Here's the Daily Mail's tabloid take (which includes - warning - gory crime scene pics).

    Beloved psychology professor outed as killer who murdered his family as a teen and was locked up for just 6 years after being found INSANE

    • On August 4, 1967, 15-year-old James Wolcott shot dead his parents and 17-year-old sister with .22-caliber rifle
    • Wolcott admitted to the crimes, saying that he hated his mother because he chewed food loudly and his sister because she had a bad accent
    • Doctors diagnosed Wolcott with paranoid schizophrenia made worse by his addiction to airplane glue
    • Six years later, Wolcott was released from mental hospital after being declared sane
    • Changed his name to James St James in 1976 and went on to earn Master's degree and PhD

    Chicago Sun Times, an in-state source in terms of his employment:

    Millikin professor had dark secret: He killed his family 46 years ago

    And the original story, in the Georgetown (TX) Advocate:

    What Happened to Jim Wolcott? Lingering Questions Span Four Decades

    Also at: http://wilcoonline.com/clients/wilcoonline/Wolcott.pdf
     
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  3. CatFancier

    CatFancier Former Member

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    Wow! Either he has the world's best medicine and is cured or it wasn't insanity.
     
  4. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    I've heard various stories - few of them good - about the place he was sent, Rusk State Hospital, in the '60s.

    This one sounds a success though.
     
  5. angela

    angela New Member

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    I don't know about this. I'm not sure he was insane when he committed the murders. The story just makes him sound like an angry teenager. I am usually all for second chances but I would never be comfortable with my child sitting in his class.
     
  6. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    He sounds like a relatively normal '60s teen, albeit a very intelligent one with ready access to Austin, that center of hipness. Any existing condition would have been exacerbated by the glue-sniffing - which magnifies the effect of normal phenomena (the mother's chewing, the sister's accent). Excuse the use of the cliche, but a perfect storm seems to have formed: the typical generation-gap conflict with his father, an avalanche of anti-Establishment stimuli, the drug use, all leading into a descent into temporary madness. But insanity? Well, hard to say. Whatever the case, he seems to have made good use of his life.

    ETA: anyone interested in the story is recommended to read the full account in the Georgetown Advocate - .pdf format works well.
     
  7. meanmaryjean

    meanmaryjean Verified RN (Pediatrics Specialty)

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    The fact that he inherited the parent's estate is particularly galling. And how about changing his name? I'm assuming he lied on job applications.
     
  8. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

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    Wow, he was lucky to be declared insane and not do much longer time. I was looking up things related to another crime in Ala. yesterday and saw a mention of a 16 year old who confessed to a shooting, turned himself in, and got LWOP.
     
  9. HMSHood

    HMSHood Admiral-Class Battlecruiser

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    Sickening. :stormingmad:
     
  10. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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  11. Sonya610

    Sonya610 Former Member

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    From my limited experience with sociopaths it seems the world of academia has more than their share (most of whom do not get convicted of crimes).

    Interesting that he committed that mass murder with a .22 rifle...just this morning a gun dealer in NC was telling me that the .22 rifle is far more deadly than most folks think. I sort of disregarded his comments but then you post this article.
     
  12. Liebchenmutti

    Liebchenmutti Verified Juanette!

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    In one of the articles it noted that St James enjoys telling his students that God doesn't exist.

    What a vile, cold, empty, useless man. He's a sociopathic, cynical family annihilator. I have no sympathy for him & I hope he is drummed out of that university.

    Plus--he was 15 at the time of the murders. I doubt he has a soul.
     
  13. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    No matter what the excuse, some things just can't be forgiven - not by me anyway.
     
  14. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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  15. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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    This story enrages me. He should not have been found not guilty by reason of insanity in 1968! Also, he should not be allowed to keep his teaching position for many reasons including that he was dishonest when he changed his name/didn't divulge his past, not to mention he will be ineffective as a teacher now that everyone knows.
     
  16. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Which article was this? Can't find it. May have missed it.

    In the .pdf Georgetown Advocate article it does say this:
     
  17. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Whole thing makes me a bit edgy too, but, just to play the devil's advocate, I will say that a jury, in Texas (and an all-male one at that), found him to have been insane.

    Thereafter, he was sent to Rusk, where he spent six years, held till he was over 21, and released after having been found sane. He has been teaching at Millikin since 1986 - 27 years.

    He fulfilled the terms of his sentence.

    (The fly in this ointment is that he probably did not disclose past events when applying for the job; that alone could get him booted. But after 27 years of apparently effective teaching? Good arguments exist on either side.)
     
  18. Tugela

    Tugela New Member

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    Um...it is a gun, guns kill, that is their sole purpose.
     
  19. Tugela

    Tugela New Member

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    My guess is that is somewhere on the autism spectrum. People like that have poor social skills, which makes life particularly difficult for them in their teens because they can't cope with social pressures and have feelings of powerless rage as a result. Usually they keep that inside them however, but when it explodes it does so in spectacular fashion (such as in Sandybrook). When they get older they slowly acquire enough skills to cope, so those problems generally lessen with age. Once he got past his teens and early adulthood, he would not be likely to behave like that again.
     
  20. Tugela

    Tugela New Member

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    I don't know about that, he may be a very effective teacher because he can talk about psych issues from first hand experience.
     
  21. rosesfromangels

    rosesfromangels Wire in the blood

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    Reminds me of the miscreant who gunned down all the people in the theater there to see the Batman movie. They both might have been in need of meds and insane. It doesnt reduce the impact of the crime.
    There are some intellectual parallels to Alcala as well.
    I would closely examine crime in his area. Someone like this cant stoo with one incident if they go off their meds. He should have never gotten out, and certainly had court mandated psychiatric monitoring.
    Those students were at risk.
    I wont be shocked if other violent crimes are linked to him
    There is a thin thin line between genius and insanity.
     

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