Crime History, Jan. 27, 2001, Ivy League professors killed by wanderlust teens

Half and Suzanne Zantop had their throats slashed in what became known as the Dartmouth Murders.

Half and Suzanne Zantop had their throats slashed in what became known as the Dartmouth Murders.

On this day, Jan. 27, in 2001, two Ivy League professors  in New Hampshire were stabbed to death by a pair of high school classmates seeking adventure.

Seventeen-year-old Robert Tulloch and 16-year-old James Parker, both of Chelsea, Vt., thought of themselves as explorers, and plotted for seven months to get money to travel to Australia.

Robert Tulloch

Robert Tulloch

They drove 40 miles Hanover, N.H., and chose the home of Dartmouth College professors Half Zantop, 62, and Susanne, 55, because the teens figured the residents in the college town had money. They knocked on the door, posing as students conducting a survey, and asked for help.

Suzanne Zantop made lunch while the pair talked with Half Zantop. When Half Zantop turned to find a phone number, Tulloch stabbed him with a military assault knife with a seven-inch blade, weapon of choice for the U.S. Navy Seals. When Suzanne came to her husband’s assistance, Parker slit her throat.

James Parker

James Parker

The couple were found by a dinner guest that night. There was blood everywhere, on book shelves, the floor, and on the victims. It was overkill.

The Dartmouth Murders shook the academic community, and reverberated around the nation.

Investigators traced sheaths of two military knives left at the crime scene to James. The knives had been purchased online.

A nationwide manhunt was started, and the teens were captured in Indiana.

James was sentenced to 25 years, and Robert received a life sentence.

— Scott McCabe

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