Saturday, November 20, 2004
University of Arizona psychology professor Robert Bechtel recently revealed to his colleagues and students that 50 years ago he shot and killed a fellow student at Swarthmore. He had been bullied by a group of students over time, and finally decided to kill one of them. Professor Bechtel was hospitalized, tried and found not guilty by reason of insanity. Never asked about his criminal record when he was hired decades ago, he went public, he said, to highlight the dangers of bullying.
Professor Bechtel is not the only faculty member recently revealed to be a killer; in 2003, a Penn State education professor, Paul Krueger, was found to be on parole for a 1965 triple murder. Meanwhile, Kansas State English professor Thomas Murray is facing murder charges in connection with the death of his wife; Villanova history professor Mine Ener, in jail on charges of killing her young daughter, committed suicide in August.
In October, a Macon State professor was fired based on prior convictions for resisting arrest and possession of a firearm; it seems unfair as he disclosed them when he was applying for the job. [Jack Chin]