Award-winning University Psychology Professor Killed Entire Family As A Teenager

May 30, 2013
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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

A beloved 61-year-old psychology professor has been outed as a killer who murdered his family as a teenager and was committed to a mental hospital for only six years after being found insane.

The bespectacled, mustachioed chairman of Millikin University’s department of behavior sciences in Illinois has been identified by a reporter from the Texas newspaper The Georgetown Advocate as James Wolcott, who murdered his parents and older sister in cold blood when he was 15 years old.

Following the gristly murders, Wolcott had been found not guilty by reason of insanity. After spending six years in a psychiatric institution, he disappeared
Wolcott later legally changed his name and went on to earn several degrees in psychology and start a new life in academia.

St James' outing as a man who committed triple homicide 46 years ago shocked the community of Millikin University - a Presbyterian school in Decatur with 2,380 students - but his colleagues and students have since come out in support of the professor.

Despite calls for his resignation, the university released a statement saying that St James will stay on at the school and will teach classes in the fall semester.

‘Millikin University has only recently been made aware of Dr. St. James’ past. 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 statement to the American-Statesman read.

St James declined to comment on the story, deferring to the university’s statement.

Speaking of St James’ new life as a respected professor, Douglas M. Benold, who declared him insane during the trial in 1968, told the Chicago Sun-Times: ‘I think that’s wonderful, if it’s for real. Knowing his background, I’m glad he’s there instead of in Georgetown.’
Decatur City Council member Jerry J. Dawson, a former Macon County sheriff, said that St. James should have told the school about his past before joining the faculty.

‘I look at this from a law enforcement perspective, and I just have a problem with somebody who didn't disclose this information,’ Dawson said. ‘If I were a parent and my kids were going to Millikin, that's something I would want to know.’

As The Georgetown Advocate's investigation has revealed, in the 1960s, James Wolcott, a brilliant student and accomplished musician, lived in Georgetown, Texas – a small suburb of Austin - with his father, Dr Gordon Wolcott, a biology professor at Southwester University, his mother, Elizabeth, and his older sister, Libby.

On the night of August 4, 1967, the 15-year-old got high on airplane glue, grabbed a .22-caliber rifle, walked into the living room where his father was reading and shot him in the chest.

Wolcott then walked into the room of his 17-year-old sister and shot her in the chest and face.

The bloody rampage, which Wolcott had apparently planned a week prior, concluded with the teenager shooting his mother and leaving her for dead.

With his entire family shot, Wolcott stashed the rifle and ran outside, crying and asking passersby for help because someone had just killed his family.

James appeared distraught and hysterical when police arrived, but when he was interview by a ranger, he confessed to the murders, describing each killing in detail.

By way of a motive, the 15-year-old told investigators that he ‘hated’ his family.

Wolcott was arrested and booked into the Williamson County Jail. His murder trial got under way in October 1967. The defendant, now 16 years old, was found to be competent to stand trial as an adult.

Wolcott's defense was that he had known for a while that he was suffering from mental illness, which was made worse by his addiction to airplane glue. Doctors later diagnosed his condition as paranoid schizophrenia.

Depositions presented during the trial showed that James believed that his family were trying to drive him mad, or destroy him.

During his psychological evaluation, the teen stated that his mother chewed her food too loudly and that his sister had a really bad accent. In his talks with a classmate, James also mentioned that his father would complain about his long hair and would not let him go to a peace rally or wear anti-Vietnam buttons.

At the end of the six-month trial, an all-male jury acquitted Wolcott by reason of insanity. He was admitted on February 2, 1968, into Rusk State Hospital, where he were to remain until he became sane again.
The son of James' defense lawyer told the paper said that according to his father, one of Wolcott's psychiatrists at the hospital felt sorry for him and invited him to live in his own home.

In 1974, Wolcott was released from the institution after being cleared by the hospital administrator. Six years after the murders, it took a jury 10 minutes to declare James sane.

Now a free man, Wolcott inherited his slain parents' estate and received a monthly stipend from his father's pension fund. Two years later, James Wolcott legally changed his name to James St James and vanished.

With an IQ of at least 134, James St James went on to earn a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and eventually a PhD in 1988.

Dr St James joined the faculty of Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. In 1997, the tenured psychology professor received a teaching award and later was offered the position of chairman at the department of behavior sciences.

Those who know the well-respected educator still sporting a hippie ponytail on campus say that his students consider St James 'cool,' and his classes get excellent reviews on social media sites.
Speaking to the TV station ABC7, Tosha Duzan said that St James was her first professor at Millikin, and that she learned a lot from him.

‘I have this mental image of this man that I've learned from. That hundreds and hundreds of kids have learned from,’ said Duzan, adding, however, that now she also has other images in her mind – the bloody crime scene photos from St James' home in Georgetown, Texas.

Millikin student Jentry Grader told Chicago Sun-Times she still respects St. James and hopes revelations about his dark past will not ruin his life.

‘I feel comfortable with him,’ Grader said. ‘And I do not see him as a threat to anyone.’

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Seems like he's been reformed.
 

Ego

The Only Thing Bigger Than My Head
Feb 15, 2005
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#2
Yup. He served the sentence that was deemed necessary, and went on about his life.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
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#3
During his psychological evaluation, the teen stated that his mother chewed her food too loudly and that his sister had a really bad accent. In his talks with a classmate, James also mentioned that his father would complain about his long hair and would not let him go to a peace rally or wear anti-Vietnam buttons.
Hippie!

Those who know the well-respected educator still sporting a hippie ponytail on campus
Nailed it.

Dad won't let him attend a peace rally which makes him mad and he murders his family.
 

Hudson

Supreme Champion!!!!!
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#4
I remember being told about this murder by my dad when he gave me the "drugs are bad speech".
 

Lord Zero

Viciously Silly
Aug 25, 2008
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#7
Wolcott later legally changed his name and went on to earn several degrees in psychology and start a new life in academia.
I don't care who he used to be. I'm just glad that Professor Crane was able to work through his issues.
 

Neckbeard

I'm Team Piggy!
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Oct 26, 2011
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#17
I got it from my former FBI dad while my mom was working on her 3rd Grandad Old Fashioned in the kitchen.
Only her third? Lightweight.

Mmmmm. Old Fashioneds.
 

Saikotic

Scraping a dull blade across your tender eyeball
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#18
It's not every day that you gain a new hero simply by skimming an article.