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Sunday, September 16, 2018

James Wolcott aka James St. James: Mass Killer to Professor

     In 1967 when he was fifteen, James Gordon Wolcott lived in the central Texas town of Georgetown, the home of Southwestern University. His father, Dr. Gordon Wolcott, headed up the university's Biology Department. His mother Elizabeth, an outgoing woman, was active in the religious community. James and his 17-year-old sister Libby attended Georgetown High School.

     At ten on the night of August 4, 1967, James and Libby returned home after attending a rock concert with friends in nearby Austin. Just after midnight, James sniffed model airplane glue to give himself a "boost." Armed with a .22 rifle, he walked into the living room and shot his father to death by plugging him twice in the chest. In Libby's room, James killed his sister by shooting her in the chest and in the face. The teenager found his mother in her bedroom where he shot her twice in the head and once in the chest.

     With his father and sister dead, and his mother in her room dying, James hid the rifle in the attic crawlspace above his bedroom closet. After he disposed of the weapon, James ran out of the house and flagged down a car occupied by three college students. After telling these students that someone had killed his family, they returned with him to the house. Inside the dwelling, the students found Mrs. Wolcott hanging onto her life in her bedroom. One of the young men called for an ambulance and the police. (This was pre-911.)

     On the front porch of the Wolcott house, James kept yelling, "How could this happen!" He, of course, knew exactly how it happened. When it occurred to the college kids that the killer could still be in the dwelling, they fled the scene.

     Later that morning, Elizabeth Wolcott died at the hospital. A minister who happened to be a Wolcott neighbor took James to his parsonage. A few hours later, when a Texas Ranger asked James if he had killed his family, the youngster said, "Yes, sir." At that point James had the presence of mind to describe in detail what he had done. At the killing site, he showed police officers where he hid the rifle.

     When asked the obvious question of why, James said he hated his family. He later told psychiatrists that his mother chewed her food so loudly he had to leave the room. His sister had an annoying Texas accent, and his father made him cut his hippie hair and wouldn't allow him to wear anti Vietnam war buttons or attend peace rallies.

     Several psychiatrist interviewed James at the Williamson County Jail. From the young mass killer they learned that he had been sniffing glue for several months. James also told the shrinks that he had contemplated suicide. He said that his parents and sister had tried to drive him insane. He killed them before they had a chance to murder him.

     Although James and members of his family did not have histories of mental illness, the psychiatrists concluded that the boy suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. (There may have been doctors who disagreed with this conclusion.) One thing was certain, with an I Q of 134, the kid was no dummy. Notwithstanding the diagnosis of schizophrenia, the psychiatrists declared the defendant mentally competent to stand trial as an adult.

     As could be expected, the murder defendant's attorney, Will Kelly McClain, set up a defense based on legal insanity. In October 1967, following a short trial, the all-male jury found James Wolcott not guilty by reason of insanity. The jurors believed that James had been so mentally impaired he had no idea that killing his family was wrong. (Since the Wolcott verdict, only a handful of Texas murder defendants have been declared not guilty by reason of insanity. This rarely happens because there is no such thing as a mental illness so severe that it completely destroys a killer's appreciation of what he is doing. In the history of Texas jurisprudence, the James Wolcott case is an anomaly.)

     In February 1968, the trial judge sent James Wolcott to the Rusk State Hospital in Nacodoches, Texas. He was to be incarcerated there until he regained his sanity. That sentence placed his fate in the hands of psychiatrists.

     In 1974, seven years after the mass killing in the Texas college town, Rusk State Hospital psychiatrists declared the 21-year-old killer sane. The young man had made a remarkable recovery for someone who had been so mentally ill that he didn't realize that shooting his family to death was wrong.

     As the only surviving child of his deceased parents, James Wolcott inherited their estate, and started receiving a monthly stipend from his father's university pension fund.

     Upon his departure from Rusk State Hospital, James took up residence in Austin, Texas where he enrolled at Stephen F. Austin University. Just two years later, he had a Bachelor's Degree in psychology.

     At some point in the late 1970s, James Wolcott changed his name to James David St. James. In 1980, Mr. St. James, having acquired his Master's Degree, began his doctoral work in psychology at the University of Illinois. In 1988, Dr. St. James began teaching psychology at Millikin University, a Presbyterian liberal arts institution in Decatur, Illinois. No one at the school knew that the psychology professor had shot three members of his family to death twenty years earlier. Had he included this relevant background information on his job application, it is doubtful the university would have hired him. Having been declared criminally insane, even in the field of academic psychology, is not a job-hunting selling point.

     In July 2013, a Texas journalist named Ann Marie Gardner published an article that revealed Dr. St. James' homicidal past. When the story broke, the academic, who did not have a family of his own, headed the Behavioral Sciences Department at Millikin University. While the secretive professor's colleagues and students were probably shocked, no one at the school voiced disapproval. In fact, at least in academic circles, Dr. St. James emerged from his exposure as a hero, a poster-boy for the power and glory of the behavioral sciences. (Had he been working for a plumbing company, he would have been fired.) If the professor's colleagues and students were stunned by the creepy irony of Dr. St. James' story, no one has said so. (University campuses, ground zero of extreme political correctness, are not places where students and professors can speak freely.)

     There are probably members of the Wolcott family who are still psychologically scarred by James Wolcott's killing spree. There was no indication, however, that what took place that night in 1967 had any lingering affect on the killer himself. And there was no evidence that Dr. St. James is still schizophrenic. This was interesting because the disease is incurable. (All of the homicidal schizophrenics I have written about--including the subject of a book--struggled with the malady their entire lives. One of these men who couldn't take living with the illness eventually killed himself.)

     One possible explanation for James Wolcott's rapid and apparent total recovery from this devastating disease is that he wasn't insane in the first place. Following his arrest, James told his interrogators that he had been thinking about killing his family for a week. Moreover, if he wasn't aware that what he had done was wrong, why did he hide the gun? Is it possible we was a brilliant sociopath who pulled one over on the psychiatrists, the criminal justice system, and academia?
       

46 comments:

  1. Chilling to find out, as my entire family have settled in Decatur, IL since WW II.

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  2. did you guys know that ebay sells snowblowers

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  3. "University campuses are not places where people can speak freely" ... Interesting remark. Or what? The KGB will get us?

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    1. I know. Ignorant statement.

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    2. no you are dragged into Rich dunhans office and read the riot act for not speaking properly. I know I went to this shit hole fucking school and St. James was my professor. And had I known this I wouls have been picketing and prosting the campus.. not surprised they kept a fucking murderer. This school is ok with american hating assholes on the football field.. Theres a reason they play next to the graveyard. This school is dead. Sad. No you are NOT to speak your mind at this school. trust me. I suffered for not being a liberal cunt.

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  4. Its really not that chilling. James is honestly one of my favorite people in the world. He was my favorite professor, research adviser and mentor. If I had children, I would trust him to babysit my kids. I dont know what happened or if he's still schizophrenic or not. But he's one of my closest friends and mentors and I support him completely.

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    1. Would you have wanted him to babysit you when you were a little tyke?

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    2. Schizophrenic, no. Psychopath, yes. This guy should still be in prison. God knows what he's been up to in secret since then. It gives me chills that college students like the one above trust this creature.

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    3. Anonymous: thanks for your unprofessional, uneducated stance of this matter. No, please move on to something that you're actually qualified at.

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    4. It really is that chilling. had I known that i sure the hell wouldnt have smoked pot at his house during a blizzard on nye...locked in . NO This man has NO BUSINESS TEACHING> he needs to be far far far far away from teaching and from children. This is disgusting. If i lied on my resume I would be fired, but i mean lie..he was a killer!!!!!! what the hell. See this is why Millikin has turned into a school for retarded children and complete and utter feckless morons. I am embarrassed you went to Millikin. I clearly whent when it was still a decent school. i mean it was definitley going nazi thats for sure. I saw nazis popping up everywher.

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  5. To Anonymous - YIKES!

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  6. It is possible to have an "episode" of schizophrenia.

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  7. What a biased pos "article."

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    1. what was biased the fact that he snuffed out his entire family? The fact he lied on his resume? The fact that he is still teachimg?? or the fact that you cannot cure pyschosis.?? This is my professor. I think we should have been told this shit before we were put in an environment with a killer.

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  8. The way the author inserts their own opinions and bias into this story make reading it not even worthwhile.

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    1. Aw, nuts, Unk! This HIS BLOG. His own space. It is NOT a legal document. He is entitled to express his opinion.

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    2. oh you mean a sane opinion about a mass killer not being allowed to teach at a university is biased>> Im sure you degenerate left wing nazis think he is just fine. Hes liberal after all. If he wore a maga hat hed not be anywhere near that university. Its not an opinino that you cannot cure schizophrenia. IT is not an opinion that he snuffed out his entire family, it is not an opinon that he lied on his resume, it is not an opinion that a convicted mass murderer is still employed even after it was discovered he lied on his resume and that he was a murderer you left wing degenerate monsters are such a disgrace to America. I graduated from Millikin , St. James was my professor and its creepy as F to find out your pych professor is murderer.

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  9. Did he travel from Austin to Nacogdoches to attend SFA? Weird to hear that he attend my university!

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  10. Stephen F Austin is in Nacogdoches not Austin

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  11. This is actually very disturbing...hes clearly highly intelligent and that makes it more unsettling. I'd say not schizophrenic and never was. Sniffing glue played into it I'm sure. Also I feel if he was sniffing glue he probably used other stuff. It was the 60s after all. I hope that this was a drug induced tragedy. Treatment worked for this brilliant man and his past stays/stayed his past.

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    1. umm no when you murder your entire family in cold blood it should NEVER be swept up under the rug. He should be shamed until he kills himself out of compassion to humanity. Youre the type of POS that thinks illegals should just come on over, and if they kill someone oh well its americas fault for being better.. You think murder should be swept under the rug like meh mmy bad i killed someone but i was on drugs so..my bad.. what a dumbass

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  12. Back in the 1960s, schizophrenia was a kind of catchall term for any serious emotional/behavioral problem. Many people were diagnosed as schizophrenic back then who would not have been diagnosed that way today.

    Perhaps he has been stabilized on medication since he was released from the hospital. Perhaps he was suffering from some other mental condition, like bipolar disorder or depression. Perhaps it was drug-induced.

    I believe that people can change, even after doing horrible things. He was a minor at the time of the murders and has lead an exemplary life since.

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    1. yeah and OJ should take my sister out on a date..you are a fucking dumbass. You dont get a pss for murder, uless you killed someone trying to kill you NO this man deserves to be humiliated for LIFE>>> Roger Stone was sentenced to more time for pissing of CNN than this asshole did for killing his entire family...jessus christ

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  13. Ted Bundy worked for a suicide prevention hotline. This guy should have gotten the death penalty. Scary he's free. Interesting note, as t least to me, he is 2 days younger than me.

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    1. very scary.. and imagine being in my shoes and finding out its your professor.. and yep hes still teaching.

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  14. Absolutely sickening that this pos is walking around free after murdering his family. Worse still is the people defending him. Oh well I can only hope he "snaps" again at that garbage university.

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    1. Ummm, the only garbage is your comment. Hoping he snaps again at a people filled university? What is wrong with you? Todays version of St. James is more sane and less violent than you, it would seem.

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    2. This person has made a success. The number of people he has helped is unknown. He's done much more to help society than you ever will.

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    3. I am sure his murdered family members will have to disagree, as well as the living family members. He is a waste of space, and deserves to be in a padded cell the rest of his natural life. I say that as a SZA. I have really lost touch with reality before, and that one in my entire life full of psychosis, I have never murdered someone for chewing. Vile human.

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    4. yep I agree. that school used to be decent, but at this point the kids there are full blown nazis and i hope he does snap and take them all out starting with administrartion.. for keeping a killer on he payroll, and for allowing this school to turn inot a satanic club and not a christian univsirty, People there are all degenerates now. Used to be good kids with good grades that loved God.

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    5. anyone defending this ilk of humanity is clearly a garbage human incapable of rational logical thought If you think a murderer should be allowed to teach children..after it was found out not only did he LIE on his resume,,,but oh whoops hes a MURDERER..??? what kind of crime would you say....well thats ok..it was just the drugs..i mean..really dude??? I guess I shouldnt assume your a man..after you all you sound like a really stupid bitch

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    6. Anonymous I am SURE his family disagrees, and they suffer daily from the executions this scum committed. I am suffering PTSD from knowing that i trusted and spent 2 days snowed in in his house in college during nye when I was a student. What kind of institution hires MURDERERS???????? and KEEPS THEM???? they literally said meh....murder shmurder..wt the actual FK...and to matt berry no this man has not made success, he was in hiding for 40 years...hows that success??? you mean hes a successful sociaopath??? Yes he is a succussful pychopath, and if by helping society you think that includes matricide, patricide and executing your sister. ...then i sure hope your sister helps society by killing you off? liberals are idiots..and you maam are an idiot, You are clearly in need of your balls to drop and you to grow a dick becuase you are no man...little matt

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  15. He probably had an episode of psychosis, which could be an outcome of drugs. I think what he did haunted him, could be why he chose to study psychology.

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    1. should have killed himself. hes a degenerate and the hell hole university should have fired him..welcome to unions,

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  16. Wow. I don't even know what to think about this.

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  17. I knew him quite well while he was in Rusk state hospital in Rusk not Nacogdoches. I never believed he was mentally ill, but he was very bright and took several college courses while in the hospital, then finished at SFA while living near Alto, Texas

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  18. "University campuses, ground zero of extreme political correctness, are not places where students and professors can speak freely." Grossly false. Universities are not ground zero's for extreme political correctness, this is merely ignorant rhetoric, which is further supported by your assertion that professors and students can't speak freely.

    I'm sorry, but just how do you know there is no evidence that there is no "evidence" that this individual still doesn't have schizophrenia? With that said, his diagnosis of schizophrenia was made in the 60's, a time where diagnosing was still in its infancy; our concepts and knowledge of diagnoses are grossly different now, compared to then.

    I always enjoy uneducated personal beliefs that are reported as truth.

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    1. I agree I am enjoying your uneducated personal belief that you are reporting as truth,

      I was a student at Millikin and no you could not speak freely. ESPECIALLY if it was deemed offensive by some less than some 0.1% of the population. THere were no professors on Milliki that werent full fledged left wing cult leaders to the democrat relition. I can tell you for a FACT st. james doesnt have schizophrenia. Which means he needs to get his fat ass back into a fking cage and honestly should be put to death. Texas dropped the ball on this POS and Milliknn will never get another penny from me for this. THere were several of us alumni that have pledned to not spend one penny or send our kids..sad as many of us or generations of millikin grads..but if a schools code of ethics allows keeping murderes in teaching..its clearly not for us.. so keep up with your uneducated personal beliefs. I will spread the truth about this nut job.

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  19. This is literally disgusting and proof and the sickness that exiss in liberal propaganda machines called colleges. This man lied on his resume and was also found out to be a murderer...It seems like Illiinois has a problem with hiring and retaining MURDERERS on their payrolls from Bill Ayres to this guy. Theres actually some nut job on here name matt berry saying oh well it was just murder..hes changed. Its like there is no crime that its unforgiveable. well no if you make fun of a gay person or a freak show man in a skirt you will be publically shunned and cut off from society..murder your entire family??get a raise, tenure and a key to a city..as long as your liberal. THis is my school he was my professor and I am disgusted.

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  20. Deplorable Buffy lives up to her screen name. Obviously you don't know the man. It blows my mind you are a Trump loving deplorable with such a problem with St. James. You have not one grain of integrity to be speaking on others, stick with your own deplorable life.

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  21. I truly admire him, he literally pulled a fast one over society's eyes and no one questioned it. You guys honestly believe he had some schizophrenia episode and was magically cured just a FEW years later? Yeah, sure, maybe he should lead the research into curing schizophrenia for the rest of them, oh wait he was making shit up. Glue sniffing induced rage? Yeah right, man knows exactly what he's doing that's why he took up psychology. He can literally manipulate anyone into believe his lies, only a few will see past his blatant horse shit. "He reformed", yeah, I would too if I was watched like a hawk after murdering 3 people in cold blood, it's called being a sociopath. Most of them are retarded, only a rare few ones like this guy can use his brain and get away with it.

    So in the end he literally got away with mass murdering his family and received a slap on his wrist for it. Wish I could kill 3 innocent people and get away with it, might have to sniff some Elmer's glue first.

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