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Wharton felony trifecta in play
November 27, 2007 7:13 AM   Subscribe

Penn econ professor pleads guilty to killing wife. With last year's child porn and now murder, it looks like the Wharton professor felony hat trick is two-thirds complete. (It's there if we expand it to the whole University.)
posted by supercres (27 comments total)

 
Clearly, killing his wife was the rational action.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:19 AM on November 27, 2007


This post is not to say that I don't love my alma mater and current employer; it's just sort of a disturbing trend since we expect danger to come from outside the university...

Of course, it is a great advertisement for the Engineering school--- felon-free since 1850!
posted by supercres at 7:37 AM on November 27, 2007


they will have to let him go. He has tenure.
posted by Postroad at 7:40 AM on November 27, 2007 [4 favorites]


Penn is only just barely in the Ivy League.
posted by Mister_A at 7:52 AM on November 27, 2007


Well, clearly your alma mater is staffed with felons.

Makes me ashamed to be part Quaker, I tell you. At least we can still take pride in oatmeal.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:58 AM on November 27, 2007


Maybe it's just the way the story is reported, but the murdering econ prof doesn't exactly seem crippled with remorse?

(Though, possibly that's just my trivial interpretation, based on too many lawyers coaching their clients to make crowd-pleasing statements).
posted by Jody Tresidder at 7:59 AM on November 27, 2007


Penn is only just barely in the Ivy League.

Pbbt!

Anyway, as a testament to how slowly academic departments work as a rule, his faculty page is still up.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:14 AM on November 27, 2007


Oh, and he's not part of Wharton, but part of the school I work for. Not that I intend to defend any of these guys.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:18 AM on November 27, 2007


Penn is only just barely in the Ivy League.

Uhh... unprompted? And baseless, for that matter.
posted by supercres at 8:21 AM on November 27, 2007


Makes me ashamed to be part Quaker, I tell you

Is that like a little bit pregnant?
posted by sagwalla at 8:31 AM on November 27, 2007


Postroad writes "they will have to let him go. He has tenure."

No, no, tenure means that no matter what, they can't let you go.
posted by Bugbread at 8:39 AM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Penn is only just barely in the Ivy League.

hell ya.
posted by Stynxno at 8:42 AM on November 27, 2007


My grandfather on my dad's side came from Pennsylvania, and that side of the family was 100% Quaker stock before settling in San Diego in 1908. One thing led to another, and voila... no more Quakers in my family.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:50 AM on November 27, 2007


Good thing, too. I don't know how welcome Quakers would be in a tectonically active area like California.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:02 AM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Penn is only just barely in the Ivy League.

Is it more common for professors to kill their wives if they are not Ivy League? The American education system is a mystery to me.
posted by bhnyc at 9:19 AM on November 27, 2007


The part that is strange to me is that the argument about which he lost it is about a simple and straight forward fact. Will the daughter be home in time for school? Yes/No

How does one lose it over a simple question of fact?

Plus I think he took the term "chin up bar" the wrong way.

It looks like he will get to put the prisoner's dilemma into practice.
posted by srboisvert at 10:04 AM on November 27, 2007


Don't forget the Wharton undergrad charged with murdering her ex's new girlfriend.

I just hope we don't find out that Lee Stetson was doing something crazy. I think that situation is going to turn out to be a pay for play scandal.

Good times.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 10:31 AM on November 27, 2007


Tenure policies usually contain a routine clause that permits dismissal in cases of felony conviction and academic dishonesty, among other things. This situation has nothing to do with the matter of tenure. There are sociopaths in every walk of life.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:37 AM on November 27, 2007


Oh, so in reality the guy can't keep his post after whacking his wife? What good is tenure then? I am going to abandon the academic track altogether.
posted by Mister_A at 10:57 AM on November 27, 2007


fourcheesemac writes "Tenure policies usually contain a routine clause that permits dismissal in cases of felony conviction and academic dishonesty, among other things. This situation has nothing to do with the matter of tenure. There are sociopaths in every walk of life."

It was a joke. Tenure means "they can't let you go" = Therefore, the police will have to keep him in jail, because "they can't let him go". Playing around with the words "they" and "let you go".
posted by Bugbread at 11:09 AM on November 27, 2007


I think it's something to do with high-concept business schools... yeah, that's it... [rubs palms and snickers /]
posted by lodurr at 11:43 AM on November 27, 2007


How does one lose it over a simple question of fact?

I don't know a whole lot about voluntary manslaughter, but I would imagine that he lost it over years and years of built up conflict, etc. This was just the straw that broke the dam of his seething mixed metaphors and all that.
posted by LooseFilter at 12:03 PM on November 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


And to me, the creepiest comment from the article was part of his apology to his daughter:

"I know she liked her mother," he said. "And now she doesn't have a mother."

Yes, I'm sure she liked her mother. He seems not to have much idea how his daughter would feel about this, but knows he has to try and sound sympathetic and remorseful. He doesn't appear to take responsibility, either: "And now she doesn't have a mother." Rather than "And I took away her mother." Also, "...she doesn't have a mother" rather than "her mother....Sociopath?
posted by LooseFilter at 12:07 PM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Loosefilter,
Your off-the-cuff "sociopath" comment struck me as pretty smart.

(Though why the hell I then googled further, I don't know. It's almost inevitably depressing, horrible and banal to peer further).

Anyway, fwiw, this vaguely related background (from the NY Sun) about his inept attempt to cover his tracks surfaced:

"A native of Israel, Robb is an expert in game theory, a complex melding of psychology, human behavior and economics - all aimed at determining what one's adversary will do next. With that background, police said, Robb may have thought he could outsmart them. "
posted by Jody Tresidder at 12:51 PM on November 27, 2007


LooseFilter writes "Also, '...she doesn't have a mother' rather than 'her mother....Sociopath?"

I agree on the sociopath possibility, but the "a mother / her mother" thing is a non-starter, I think. "doesn't have a mother/father" is a set phrase. "doesn't have her mother/father" is not a set phrase, and even weirdly sounds like it means "but has somebody else's mother/father".
posted by Bugbread at 1:28 PM on November 27, 2007


Jody Tresidder: his inept attempt to cover his tracks...

An interesting extra dimension to this story. The hubris of the intellectually gifted never fails to deliver.

but the "a mother / her mother" thing is a non-starter, I think.

Good point, I'm sure I'm reading too much into one out-of-context quote, but still....ugh.
posted by LooseFilter at 2:16 PM on November 27, 2007


miss lynnster : Makes me ashamed to be part Quaker,

Don't be. They are the best of the parrots.
posted by quin at 4:30 PM on November 27, 2007


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