Millikin U. Stands Behind Professor Who Committed 1967 Killings

The small university in Decatur, Ill., said that James St. James, a 61-year-old psychology professor who has worked at Millikin for three decades, would continue to teach at the university, Reuters reported. Mr. St. James, known in 1967 as James Wolcott and 15 years old, was found not guilty by reason of insanity of the shooting deaths of his mother, father, and sister. After six years in a mental institution, he changed his name, pursued an education, and received graduate degrees. Mr. St. James could not be reached for comment. His past was revealed this week by reporters for the Georgetown Advocate, a newspaper in the Texas town where the killings took place. Local officials in Decatur criticized the university for not knowing of Mr. St. James’s history.

The school said it “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.”

In its statement, the university said that St. James had over 27 years “taught a variety of courses at Millikin, served in various leadership roles and built a successful academic career, receiving academic awards including the 1997 Teaching Excellence and Leadership Award.”

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