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Thread: Esteemed college professor, 61, revealed to be teen killer who murdered his family in 1967

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    Senior Member *crickets*'s Avatar
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    Esteemed college professor, 61, revealed to be teen killer who murdered his family in 1967



    A popular psychology professor at an Illinois college was unveiled as a teenage killer who murdered his family 46 years ago and began an award-winning career after serving just six years for an insanity bid.

    The pony-tailed professor, Dr. James St. James, the head of Millikin University's psychology department, was outed by a Texas reporter with the Georgetown Advocate, a newspaper based in the town where St. James fatally shot his parents and 17-year-old sister on Aug. 4, 1967. The then-15-year-old, under his born name James Wolcott, spent six years in a mental institute after being found not guilty of the murders by reason of insanity.

    After he was released, at 21, he changed his name and began an academic career in psychology.

    "I'm just shocked, absolutely shocked," Lana Hinshaw Klan, a videographer who took one of St. James' classes while enrolled at the small liberal college, told CBS 2 News. "He really is a good guy. I have really fond memories, and I feel sorry for him, because now his life is all turned upside down."

    And even the Decator, lll., school of about 2,400 students appears to support the 61-year-old professor. "Millikin University has only recently been made aware of Dr. St. James' past," the school 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."

    St. James has been able to hide the gruesome details since the horrific triple murder rocked the sleepy Austin suburb more than four decades ago, when his parents and sister were found murdered in their home. The teenaged James Wolcott used a .22-caliber rifle to fatally shoot his father, Gordon Wolcott, a prominent professor and head of the biology department at Southwestern U, in the living room at about 10 p.m. The armed teen then went into his 17-year-old sister Libby's bedroom, where he killed her with bullets to her chest and head. His mother, Elizabeth, burst out of her bedroom because of the gunblast, but the gun-toting teen quickly shot her twice in the head.

    Cops eventually cuffed the the teenaged boy, who admitted that he planned to kill his family during his murder trial. The young James Wolcott claimed that he knew he was suffering from mental illness, which was enhanced by his weeks of huffing airplane glue.

    He told investigators that he "hated" his family and believed that they were trying to destroy him. He blamed his mother for chewing her food too loudly and his sister's bad accent as part of a plan to drive him mad. He confessed to a classmate that he was angry at his father for not allowing him to grow his hair or march in a peace rally. He said his father wouldn't let him wear anti-Vietnam war buttons.

    Doctors later diagnosed his condition as paranoid schizophrenia. After a six-month trial an all-male jury took just 10 minutes to find the teen not guilty by reason of insanity. He was shipped to Rusk State Hospital, where he served six years. He changed his name after his release, the Georgetown Advocate reported.

    With his new identity, James St. James, who has an IQ of at least 134, began a career in academia and started teaching for Millikin University after he scooped up a PhD in 1988, the paper reported. St. James, who won a leadership award in 1997, has declined several requests for comments by multiple news agencies.

    Decator's mayor said the convicted killer should step down from his post at the school where he has worked for more than 30 years. "I'd hope the character of this gentleman has been such ... that he in fact will do the right thing; which, for the sake of the university, would be to resign," Mayor Mike McElroy told the Chicago Sun-Times.

    But one student, Jerry Grader, told the Chicago Sun-Times that she hopes the professor can continue to teach. "I feel comfortable with him," Grader said. "And I do not see him as a threat to anyone."

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...#ixzz2axdhB34W
    Last edited by *crickets*; 08-05-2013 at 09:36 PM.

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    Hmm,not sure exactly how I feel about this one. If he genuienly was ill and has changed his ways (which it sounds like) I feel sorry for him. To have his past kick him in the ass like that.

    Yes, people need to pay for what they do. But he was "dealt with" the way that seemed appropiate. He was young and apparently mentally ill. sad.

    But if I'm wrong and he's an asshole still hurting people, with the excuse of mental illness - fuck him. I somehow dont think that's the case tho.

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    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    No I don't believe this paranoid schizophrenic bullshit. You can't be "cured" of the condition, you will be on meds for the rest of your life. The condition gets worse with time, not better. I think he's really smart, he knew how to malinger the symptoms of the disease to get out of serving jail time. His reasons for killing his father are redic. He's probably a sociopath and has no conscience.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

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    You may not be cured from it. but like you said yourself, you CAN learn to manage it. That means it can be stabalized, therefore can stop violent behaviour. He could have been psychotic (which he would have been if diagnosed "insane") and meds can stop the psychosis. People are medicated for psychosis everyday. You would never know most people that are prone to psychosis could behave do differently while medicated. He wasn't being treated when he was 15 and comitted the crime.

    Not sayingyou're wrong, cause you very well could be right. Assholes do fake mental illness, it happens.J ust throwing it out thete that people can be, and are, medicated for so called insanity everyday. And they can live a normal life, as a normal mostly good human being.

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    Sorry,.you didn't say it could be managed. I made that up lol

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    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    Im sure the disease can be managed with meds. If what the article said was true, his reasoning for killing his father was petty and didn't "match up" with the diagnosis. He didn't say his father was out to get him, just that he wouldn't let him do what he wanted. People who kill people for not letting them do what they want are in a separate category of mental illness.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Chelsea, if you are a ghost and reading mds, I command you to walk into the light.

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    Senior Member *crickets*'s Avatar
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    I wonder about this 'diagnosis' as well...paranoid schizophrenics hear voices telling them to do things and may have visual hallucinations as well (from what little I know.) He supposedly thought his family was 'trying to destroy him', no mention of hallucinations. Plus he admitted he planned the murders. I'm really surprised he got away with NG by reason of insanity in TEXAS mind you...must have had a helluva good lawyer.

    I'd like to know if he's on any psych meds now.

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *crickets* View Post
    I wonder about this 'diagnosis' as well...paranoid schizophrenics hear voices telling them to do things and may have visual hallucinations as well (from what little I know.) He supposedly thought his family was 'trying to destroy him', no mention of hallucinations. Plus he admitted he planned the murders. I'm really surprised he got away with NG by reason of insanity in TEXAS mind you...must have had a helluva good lawyer.

    I'd like to know if he's on any psych meds now.
    Things were different back in the day. The criminal justice system actually believed in mental illness and rehabilitation... They also, actually believed that juveniles shouldn't be judged as harshly as adults.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

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    senior cunt emmieslost's Avatar
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    this is really fascinating. i kind of hope he comes forward and writes about all of this so we can have some more insight.

    i do believe kids are much more prone to be impulsive and do crazy shit without ever considering the fact that there are consequences. especially teen boys. it must be difficult for those who have decided to publicly support him to reconcile.

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    fun hater Shins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puzzld View Post
    Things were different back in the day. The criminal justice system actually believed in mental illness and rehabilitation... They also, actually believed that juveniles shouldn't be judged as harshly as adults.
    Well, in all fairness the criminal justice system in our country bases itself to not have a "lock him up and throw away the key" mentality, and to believe in rehabilitation.

    If in reality he's led a normal and successful life for 46 years, it would be considered a success story for the CJ system.

    A fair one? Maybe not. But we can't afford to lock up everyone forever, either. My concern would be that this "outing" will spark that demon in him again, because his life will again never be the same.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Listen, if no one cares when a crazy noodle walks in and executes children with a gun, no one cares about anything.

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shins View Post
    Well, in all fairness the criminal justice system in our country bases itself to not have a "lock him up and throw away the key" mentality, and to believe in rehabilitation.

    If in reality he's led a normal and successful life for 46 years, it would be considered a success story for the CJ system.

    A fair one? Maybe not. But we can't afford to lock up everyone forever, either. My concern would be that this "outing" will spark that demon in him again, because his life will again never be the same.
    Way more lockem up than rehab going on now. Even worse, we lock em up, do no rehab, then let em go because of overcrowding without regard to their likely hood of a successful integration into society.

    I'm very sad for this guy. Yes, he did horrible things, but to all accounts he's led a good life for years. And, now that's all gone.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

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    fun hater Shins's Avatar
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    I certainly agree.

    I just find it ironic that we do have one of those "success cases" that on paper our CJ strives for. ...yet we'll still throw this guy to the wolves which will lead to nothing but him possibly reverting back to his old ways, since he obviously can't carry a professional career any longer.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Listen, if no one cares when a crazy noodle walks in and executes children with a gun, no one cares about anything.

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    Member Keann Scissorhands Powley's Avatar
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    I work at a group home for schizophrenic and developmentally disabled people. I have 6 men in my house and they all suffer from schizophrenia and most are paranoid schizophrenics with one being catatonic. I agree with the statement that they get worse as they age, as it might be different because they also are DD but as they age their cognitive abilities shorten and their delusions get worse. One of my guys grandpas suffered from the same illness and shot his whole family and the remaining left all committed suicide. I think under certain circumstances you can be rehabilited for MI but I do not think if you go to the lengths to kill your family that you can be rehabilitated enough to work at a university and not have any after effects. That'd just my opinion as to the people that I work with and the things I see. Even with medication they still have delusions and need to be watched carefully.

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    I don't think he ever had schizophrenia, he'd been huffing glue, he would've had a drug-induced psychosis - no more drugs = no more psychosis.They just knew nothing about glue-sniffing & less about drug-induced psychosis back then. Opiates/heroin are about the only thing that won't cause it & supposedly innocent marijuana is at the top of the list of causes in Australia.This is the third time in a week there's been a thread debating whether someone with major drug-use has schizophrenia? Isn't drug-induced psychosis much heard of in the media?

    Also, if he was a sociopath/reprehensible bastard, we'd be hearing reports about what a jerk he is to people - he'd fake it for most, but the mask would've dropped sometimes & we'd be hearing all about it - we're not & that says a lot. Personally I can't think of too many people more qualified to teach psychology & I suspect the reporter probably has more sociopathic tendencies than this guy.


    Long-term glue sniffing: report of six cases.

    Shu LR, et al. Show all

    Int J Psychiatry Med. 2003;33(2):163-8.

    Veterans General Hospital-Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

    Abstract OBJECTIVE: Glue is cheap and readily available, and is frequently misused, especially by adolescents. Long-term effects of regular use, in terms of the psychiatric symptoms and cognitive function, have rarely been reported, however .

    METHOD: We retrospectively reviewed the psychiatric symptoms and the results of cognitive tests for six long-term glue sniffers admitted to a psychiatric ward.

    RESULTS: Our results suggest that long-term abuse of these adhesive products is often associated with violent behavior and/or self-mutilation. Functional deterioration, characterized by impairment of intelligence, was noted for most of the patients, with some developing psychosis.

    CONCLUSIONS: Chronic glue sniffing may cause functional deterioration, and even psychosis. The associated violent behaviors in long-term glue sniffers also warrant caution
    .

    & because it's never good to base your argument on a single, unsupported source -

    http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/290344-overview
    Inhalant-Related Psychiatric Disorders


    Inhalant-related psychiatric disorders are a heterogenous group of illnesses caused by the abuse of solvents, glues, paint, fuels, or other volatile substances. [1]

    Although huffing, as it is commonly referred to, has existed since ancient times, it has regained popularity in recent years. The resurgence of this newfound phenomenon is believed to be due to a number of variables (eg, low cost, availability, peer influence, rapid mood-elevating quality), which have made this potentially fatal activity popular among many young people today. A relationship may exist between inhalant use and an increased risk of frequent drinking, binge-type drinking, smoking, and the use of other drugs, making inhalant-related disorders a new public health problem deserving of more attention.


    Diagnosis of inhalant-related psychiatric disorders is based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) [6] or International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision
    Although studies have shown that inhalant abuse has been difficult to diagnose, treatment efforts for inhalant- related psychiatric disorders may be promising. Treatment consists of psychotherapy (eg, 12-step programs similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, cognitive behavior therapy, rational-emotive therapy) and pharmacotherapy. Early intervention may play a key role because engagement in this activity may lead to the use of other drugs.



    Criteria for substance-induced psychotic disorder, adapted from the DSM-IV-TR

    Prominent hallucinations or delusion Evidence from history, physical examination, or laboratory findings of either of the following: Symptoms of prominent hallucinations or delusion developing during or within 1 month of substance intoxication or withdrawal Medication use etiologically related to the disturbance

    Disturbance not better accounted for by a psychotic disorder that is not substance induced Disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of a delirium

    It's 2013, if so many adults don't realise drugs &/or glue can cause psychosis & violence in a normally sane & gentle person now, what hope did a sheltered teenage boy have in the 1960's when the only drug information around was either "marijuana is safer than pills, cheaper than grog" or "hippies are going to hell??







    ETA & I'm with Emmie, I hope he sees this as an opportunity, not a setback & writes about it. He's a great example for bright kids who find themselves on the streets, in the justice system etc, etc

    ETAETA of course the "great guy" reports could be propaganda from a college trying to minimse bad press, if it turns out he is a rerehensible bastard, I take it all back, but I have a feeling there was more to the circumstances inside that perfect 1960's nuclear family than a teenage boy could express.
    Last edited by blighted star; 08-04-2013 at 03:05 PM. Reason: I lost my cursor!! It's gone all screwy!!

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    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    While I agree with you blighted star that he is probably not schizophrenic, and had drug-induced psychosis when he murdered his family, I also disagree with your statement that if he was indeed a Sociopath he would mess up and be found out. I suggest you read a book called "The Sociopath Next Door". You would be surprised how many Sociopaths live amongst us, working a normal job and living a normal life without detection.

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    I knew a couple of guys in the '60s who were sniffing a lot of glue. They wound up in an institution in a vegetative state, permanently. Glue-sniffing kills brain cells.

    http://www.sacsheriff.com/crime_prev...e_abuse_08.cfm

    Inhalant abuse can kill. And if it doesn't kill you, it can leave you with severe brain damage or severe respiratory problems. There's no fooling around ? even a first-time user can end up dead after "sniffing" or "huffing" inhalants.
    Treatment for schizophrenia back then may have included shock treatments and/or Thorazine. I don't think there was enough published information for him to be able to fake mental illness.

    Maybe after 30 years, he'll be able to retire.

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    I can't copy this article du to technical difficulties but this is an article containing comments from surviving relatives -

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/2...id-for-it.html

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    While I agree with you blighted star that he is probably not schizophrenic, and had drug-induced psychosis when he murdered his family, I also disagree with your statement that if he was indeed a Sociopath he would mess up and be found out. I suggest you read a book called "The Sociopath Next Door". You would be surprised how many Sociopaths live amongst us, working a normal job and living a normal life without detection.

    Oh no, I completely agree with you re how many live amongst us - look at BTK for instance What I meant was there'd be at least a handful of people reporting moments of unpleasantness & nastiness - relatively minor stuff. If he was sociopathic there's no way there weren't any incidents, minor or otherwise in 46 years. 46 years without anything but decency, would indicate you probably are a decent person. Of course, we might not have the full picture yet - but if we do I'm going to vote monumentally fucked up teen, but decent adult. It's rare but it happens.
    Last edited by blighted star; 08-04-2013 at 03:19 PM.

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    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oh right View Post
    I knew a couple of guys in the '60s who were sniffing a lot of glue. They wound up in an institution in a vegetative state, permanently. Glue-sniffing kills brain cells.

    http://www.sacsheriff.com/crime_prev...e_abuse_08.cfm



    Treatment for schizophrenia back then may have included shock treatments and/or Thorazine. I don't think there was enough published information for him to be able to fake mental illness.

    Maybe after 30 years, he'll be able to retire.
    This piece of the puzzle baffles me as well. If he was huffing glue in his teenager years, when his brain is still forming there would have been significant brain damage done. His IQ and social functioning is pretty high for a huffer.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

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    Southern Undertaker Key West Digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    This piece of the puzzle baffles me as well. If he was huffing glue in his teenager years, when his brain is still forming there would have been significant brain damage done. His IQ and social functioning is pretty high for a huffer.
    And that would depend whose IQ you are using for a benchmark. James St. James has an IQ of at least 134. Einsteins was only 189 and Marilyn vos Savant (wife of Dr. Jarvik co-inventor of the artificial heart), had an IQ of 205 - which I think is the highest recorded.
    Last edited by Key West Digger; 08-04-2013 at 05:17 PM.

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    Senior Member *crickets*'s Avatar
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    From James Wolcott to Professor St. James


    James Wolcott in 1967

    Updated: August 4, 2013 5:49PM

    GEORGETOWN, Texas He was a straight-A student with a professor for a dad and an IQ in the top 1 percent. He spent his summer as a camp counselor with his church, helping poor black kids learn to love the Texas outdoors. He was a devoted peacenik, who loved beat poetry and protested against the Vietnam War.

    But at the age of 15, he grabbed a bolt-action rifle and gunned down his family in a premeditated attack.

    What happened to Jim Wolcott? It's a question residents of this Austin suburb have been asking themselves for 46 years.

    The Georgetown Advocate's revelation that Wolcott quietly changed his name to James St. James and has been working as a professor of psychology at Millikin University in Decatur since 1986 came as almost as much as a shock to his former friends and neighbors in Texas as it did in downstate Illinois, where Professor St. James's colleagues and students have worked alongside him for 27 years unaware that he is a self-confessed killer.

    Now the Sun-Times has reviewed court documents arising out of the August 5, 1967, murders of Wolcott's father, mother and sister, his 1974 release from a state hospital, and interviewed witnesses from the small town he grew up in.

    They shed light on how his brilliant young mind unraveled, leading to the slayings and his eventual acquittal on grounds of insanity.

    Read more: http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/2...-st-james.html
    Last edited by *crickets*; 08-05-2013 at 09:39 PM.

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Key West Digger View Post
    And that would depend on you consider whose IQ you are using for a benchmark. James St. James has an IQ of at least 134. Einsteins was only 189 and Marilyn vos Savant (wife of Dr. Jarvik co-inventor of the artificial heart), had an IQ of 205 - which I think is the highest recorded.

    Yeah, it just means he may have had a much higher I.Q before he started inhaling chemicals or he stopped before he inflicted long-term damage on himself (& agreed, it's a shame he didn't stop before he inflicted it on others ). His Dad was a professor too, so it's likely high intelligence was a family trait. There's also the fact that despite the stories we hear, brain damage doesn't necessarily occur in all cases either - it's possible to huff, snort or smoke yourself into a psychosis but suffer no long-term damage if you stop the substance abuse soon enough.

    & yes it's also possible to suffer brain damage or death the first time you try it, but this doesn't occur in every case either.


    If I was at that Uni I'd be happy to support him as long as he really has conducted himself well - 46 years is too long to hide an unpleasant personality. If he did orchestrate the whole thing, the only "sane" motive would be inheritance. Anyone who murders their entire family just to get their hands on their inheritance early has greed & control issues (to name but a few). There's just no way it wouldn't show through in a behaviour here, or a comment there - & maybe it has? If so, I'm sure we'll be reading about it soon & at that point I'll withdraw my support. So far though the only ones with anything bad to say were (understandably) relatives who haven't spoken with him for over 46 years.


    ETA I will say though, that under the circumstances I agree with the relative who was interviewed - going from family annihalator " James Wolcott" to " James St James" does make you wonder ...
    Last edited by blighted star; 08-04-2013 at 05:16 PM.

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    This was a comment under crickets linked article, I disagree with the diagnosis (not that my opinion's worth much) but the rest of her comment sums up one side of the argument -
    He was a mentally-ill 15 year old, 6 doctors diagnosed him as paranoid schizaphrenic and his actions fit that diagnosis if you bother to look it up. He was also the first 15- year old in the state of Texas to be tried as an adult, white, black, or purple.. He got treatment, is probably still on meds, has never married or had a family likely so as to never put anyone one else at possible risk, and helped train thousands of students in the field of psychology who may be able to prevent future tragedies from occurring.. It doesn't undo what he did, but it is a story of making the best use of his life and making what amends he can.
    (you may need to sign up to access the full article & comments).

    http://www.suntimes.com/m/21693847-7...-st-james.html

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    Senior Member *crickets*'s Avatar
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    Some of the comments are pretty hilarious...liberal vs conservative, and dragging race and Trayvon into the discussion (a black kid would never have gotten away with murdering his family...) Sheesh!

    Also, the article talks about the young James Wolcott growing his hair and opposing the war back in the 60's...it looks like Prof. St. James is still an old hippie. There's a pic of him from the back talking to the reporter who broke the story, and his hair is in a long braid.

    eta: ponytail, not braid.

    Last edited by *crickets*; 08-06-2013 at 06:12 PM.

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    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    I remember watching a show about the same kind of incident. A man killed his parents at 14-16 and was released at 18. He moved away from where he grew up and married(he told his wife his parents died in an accident I think). He then formed an obsession over his niece and ended up killing her, his wife and himself. History often repeats itself.

    ETA: his name was Carl Brandt
    Last edited by Angiebla; 08-04-2013 at 06:04 PM.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Chelsea, if you are a ghost and reading mds, I command you to walk into the light.

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