Infamous John DuPont Dies in Prison...

Welcome Lower Merion residents!

We're glad you stopped by. Go ahead and register for a free account to get the benefits of being a member, including:
  • Access to all of our posts and comments
  • Your own profile including an avatar, buddy lists, and other social networking features
  • The ability to send private messages to other users on this site
  • The ability to chat and interact with other citizens and voters in and around Lower Merion.
Creating an account is easy. Register now!

(Don't live in Lower Merion? That's okay. We won't hold it aginst you.)
Tags:
carla's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: 2008-01-03 :36
Posts:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic One of the more infamous Main Line Murderers has died in prison - John Du Pont. Can't say I am sorry to hear that. It's more like the end to a sad, sordid tale as he was definitely a case of the gene pool needs more chlorine. He was also of course famous for building Villanova a fieldhouse - which of course was renamed after his murder conviction...and an old People Magazine article indicates he was a graduate of The Haverford School? Wonder what will happen to his estate? Newtown Township, right? The only thing I can find is: http://sos-pa.com/ 

 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Main Line Suburban Life > News John du Pont dies in prison Published: Thursday, December 09, 2010

SOMERSET, Pa. — John E. du Pont, the eccentric Delaware County millionaire who was convicted of killing Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler at his palatial Newtown Square estate, has died in prison. State prisons spokeswoman Susan McNaughton says John du Pont, heir to the chemical company fortune, was found unresponsive in his cell Thursday morning at the state prison at Laurel Highlands in Somerset County. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Somerset Community Hospital. Du Pont was 72. Du Pont fancied himself a patron to wrestlers and built a world-class training facility at his estate in Newtown Square. In 1996 he shot and killed wrestler David Schultz and then barricaded himself in his home for two days. Du Pont was found guilty but mentally ill and was sentenced to 13 to 30 years in jail. His longtime lawyer, Taras M Wochok, said du Pont had been gravely ill in recent weeks. Wochok talked about du Pont shortly after word was received of his death....Wochok said du Pont was denied parole twice and had another hearing scheduled for March....

 

From the archives:

John du Pont Found Guilty, Mentally Ill By Debbie Goldberg Special to the Washington Post Wednesday, February 26, 1997; Page A01

Multimillionaire John E. du Pont was convicted today of murdering an Olympic wrestler, but jurors ruled that he was mentally ill, sparing du Pont a possible life sentence. After seven days of deliberation, the jury found du Pont guilty of third-degree murder, or murder without premeditated intent. The compromise verdict means du Pont may receive psychiatric treatment but would serve his entire sentence -- as much as 40 years -- in a prison or mental hospital. The jury of six men and six women rejected defense claims that du Pont was legally insane when he shot David Schultz, a 1984 Olympic gold medalist, on Jan. 26, 1996, outside the wrestler's home on du Pont's estate, Foxcatcher Farm...

News.From the Jan. 1996 Daily Times Files: Who is John E. DuPont? Published: Thursday, December 09, 2010 By ROSE QUINN and ADRIENNE MAND Of the Times Staff

Pauline Gostigian was taking messages for widow Nancy Schultz at her Marple Newtown home for most of the day yesterday. Equally polite and somber, Gostigian declined to comment on the unfolding drama at nearby Foxcatcher Farm, where police say John E. du Pont, an heir to the du Pont family chemical fortune, shot and killed Olympic gold medalist Dave Schultz Friday afternoon and remained holed up more than 24 hours later. Her friendship with Mrs. Schultz speaks to the closeness of the sports community surrounding du Pont. Gostigian's son, Mike, gained local fame in the early '90s as a pentathlete, under the tutelage of du Pont -- whose personal desire for athletic excellence drove him to establish a state-of-the-art, national training facility on his 800-acre estate in Newtown Township known as Foxcatcher. In a 1991, Mike Gostigian told Daily Times Sports Writer Rob Parent that he credited du Pont with sparking an interest in the modern pentathlon, which combines events in equestrian riding, epee fencing, target shooting, cross country and swimming.....Friends, relatives and acquaintances alike agree that du Pont, 57, grew increasingly eccentric after his mother, Jean Liseter Austin du Pont, died in 1988, leaving him alone in the Route 252 and Goshen Road mansion modeled after Montpelier, Jame Madison's home in Virginia. According to Martha du Pont of Greenville, Del., wife of John du Pont's brother, Henry, John du Pont cut off ties with relatives and recently started calling himself the ``Dalai Lama of the United States.'' ...During the '70s, his interest turned toward marksmanship. He became an honorary member of the Newtown Police Department, having built an elaborate indoor shooting range for training. He also donated bullet proof vests and radios to the force. Du Pont also financed the $15 million du Pont Pavilion at Villanova University, started a wrestling program at the school, financed student scholarships, paid the coaching staff and named himself head coach. Villanova dropped the program after two years, when coaches grew uncomfortable with his lavish style of flying players on a Lear jet, allowing some to stay on the estate and financing the overall program. In 1988, a former Villanova assistant wrestling coach filed a lawsuit saying he was fired because he refused to become du Pont's lover. Andre Metzger coached at Villanova from September 1987 to May 1988. Du Pont's attorney, Taras Wochok, called the allegations ``outrageous.'' Du Pont married Gale Wenk in 1983. They divorced in 1984....Du Pont would talk of his meetings with Henry Kissinger, Truman Capote and Anwar Sadat.....there were always rumors of alcohol and drug abuse, and du Pont would pick his arms and legs sore. And lately, he heard stories of him constantly waving guns around. One person told him that he shot at the walls because he thought ``people were inside them.''....Former Foxcatcher wrestler Glenn Goodman was on the estate one day when du Pont's mother was rushed to the hospital. Du Pont had been drinking and was very upset, he said. ``I think he had a close relationship with his mom,'' said Goodman, a Clearwater, Fla., resident who volunteers as a high school wrestling coach. Goodman lived on the estate in 1987 and trained there from 1987 to 1992. ``I think we all knew he was whacko, crazy,'' he said of du Pont. ``But nobody thought something like this would ever happen ... But looking back, he was ready to snap.'' Often du Pont would freak for no reason, Goodman recalled

X-WIFE'S TALE OF HELL By MICHAEL DALY Daily News Columnist Sunday, January 28th 1996, 1:95AM

As the standoff continued, John du Pont's ex-wife could not help but think the bloodshed could have been prevented if police had intervened in her own time of terror. More than a decade had passed since Gale Wenk du Pont called the local police to report that her husband had become a crazed abuser who should not be allowed anywhere near a firearm. She now recalled the response with a single word. "Nothing," she said. Wenk's voice tightened on these two syllables as if she again felt the fright. Some might have thought that she had walked into a fairy tale when she went from working as an occupational therapist to marrying an heir to the du Pont fortune. She instead found herself wed to a man who tried to push her from a moving car. He on another occasion threatened her with a knife. At one point, he accused her of being a Russian spy. He was pointing a pistol at her when he said spies should be shot. She was aware that her husband had given the Newtown Square, Pa., cops bulletproof vests and had encouraged them to use his estate's private J. Edgar Hoover Pistol Training Center. She also knew that he had served as a volunteer cop, sometimes reporting for duty with his Gazelle helicopter. Still, there was nobody else to call but the police. The response was what she might have expected, and yet she was still unnerved. She had reached out to those charged with protecting her, and the answer had been silence. "People in that department were aware [of the abuse], and nothing was done," she says. After a year, she finally fled the marriage. John du Pont remained on his estate with his guns

Newsweek: An Eccentric Heir's Wrestle With Death

If the category is rich loons, John Eleuthere du Pont, 57, qualifies as world class: very rich and very, very loony. The great-great-grandson of Eleuthere Irene du Pont, who founded the giant chemical company that bears the family name, John du Pont inherited a fortune estimated in 1985 at about $46 million. Friends describe him as eccentric, but the word hardly does him justice. A well-known patron of U.S. amateur wrestling, du Pont is a gun fanatic who proudly owned an armored personnel carrier and a helicopter tricked out in military-style camouflage paint. According to local legend, he once drove two brand-new Lincoln Continentals into a pond--one after the other. Then there was the Dalai Lama thing. According to his sister-in-law Mrs. Henry du Pont of Greenville, Dela., in recent months du Pont demanded that family members address him as the Dalai Lama of the United States. "He wouldn't speak to us if we wouldn't call him that," Mrs. du Pont said.

PEOPLE:February 12, 1996Vol. 45No. 6A Man Possessed By Bill Hewitt John Du Pont's Long, Strange Slide Ended with the Violent Death of a Friend

LATELY HE HAD STARTED TELLING PEOPLE HE WAS THE Dalai Lama. If anyone refused to address him as such, he simply refused to talk to them. That was bizarre, but then John E. du Pont, 57, a multimillionaire scion of the fabled industrial family, had always been odd. For fun he drove an armored personnel carrier around his 800-acre estate, Foxcatcher. He complained about bugs under his skin and about ghosts in the walls of the house. By and large, friends and family shook their heads, fretted about his ravings—and waited for the inevitable breakdown. "John is mentally ill and has been mentally ill for some time," says sister-in-law Martha du Pont, who is married to John's older brother Henry. "But this year he really went over the edge." .....During the two-day standoff that ensued, some 75 police and SWAT team members surrounded the sprawling Greek-revival mansion that du Pont called home. Finally, on Sunday afternoon, du Pont emerged, unarmed, to check on the house's heating unit, which the police had turned off, and was taken without a shot being fired....Du Pont's early life was a curious mixture of stifling privilege and emotional isolation. Raised on the family estate in Newtown Square, John was the fourth child of Jean Austin du Pont and William du Pont Jr., the great-grandson of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, who founded the gunpowder mill that eventually grew into what is now the world's largest chemical company. (The 1,000-plus members of the family have long since given up any direct control of the corporation.) When John was 2 years old, his parents divorced. His father subsequently remarried and after that had little to do with his first family. Growing up at the family mansion, a replica of President James Madison's home, Montpelier, in Virginia, John formed a deep devotion to his mother that lasted until her death in 1988. "They saw each other every day," says Martha du Pont. "She was interested in everything he did, and he shared everything with her." But it was far from a happy existence. John was not close to his three siblings, all of whom were considerably older. And as he later acknowledged, the distance of his father left a painful, lasting mark. "I spent a lifetime looking for a father," he told the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1986. A mediocre student at the nearby Haverford School....

3.75
Average: 3.8 (4 votes)
Your rating: None

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
outtathere's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 2009-12-31 :04
Posts:

Yep. As I posted on MLMN:

The saga of Johnny duPont was a sad one. Here was a man who had it all and threw it all away. A slave to his own vices and addictions - young wrestlers and cocaine - neither of which, it seems, he could ever get enough. And ultimately it drove him insane and turned him into a murderer.

We did some work on his estate roughly a year before the proverbial shite hit the fan out there. And let me tell you, it was weird.

Before going out there, we were given a map of the various driveways on the property of which there were many.
We were shown which driveways to use and which not and under no circumstances to deviate from the authorized routing. (obviously if we had gone astray, we would have come across the army tank he had on the property)

A co-worker had been doing work in the main house where duPont lived. He told me that each morning Johnny would come downstairs and have him go around and tap on the wainscotting to check for hollow sounds. He believed there were people tunneling and living inside the walls. Bill called them 'the little people'.

We were working on the horse stables. One morning I'm up on one of the roofs and noticed something very odd taking place down below. duPont had half a dozen men roaming the property dressed in golf shirts, khakis, and equipped with sidearms. I noticed pairs of them with tape measures going around taking measurements. When I asked one of them what was up, he responded that Mr. duPont has us go around and measure the bushes to see if any have moved overnight. (Hey. All in a day's work)

There were quite a few attractive young women who groomed and exercised his horses. 'Man', I thought. 'This guy really has it made'. Unh. Unh. Johnny wasn't the slightest bit interested in the gals. Never saw hide nor hair of him.

No, he had at least four outbuildings on the property stocked with livein wrestlers.

Yes, things were very weird at Foxcatcher Farm.

4.666665
Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
Your rating: None

"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.":Gil Scott-Heron 1970 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGaRtqrlGy8

politeia's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 2008-07-30 :00
Posts:

The man was insane, and because of his wealth and the donations he made to various organizations, a lot of people (including law enforcement) looked the other way.

If DuPont were just an average Joe, this might have been caught earlier before harm was done. It boggles my mind that even with his wealth and clout that so many looked the other way for so long while this delusional behavior went on.

If his lawyer is telling the truth, it seems DuPont became more lucid over time (and probably by receiving treatment) in jail, and felt sorrow for this actions.

If only he had been involuntarily committed as he should have been well before the murder, this could have been prevented and DuPont might have been able to overcome his demons. DuPont most certainly met the legal criteria for involuntary commitment numerous times and it amazes me nobody made sure he was committed.

The lesson to learn is not to look the other way in regards to this type of behavior. The vast majority of mentally ill people are not violent. The bigger concern is suicide. You don't enable the behavior and let it continue and deteriorate. You bring in all the resources you can.

In not doing so, there was the terrible tragedy that befell a great wrestler who by all accounts was a wonderful human being.

=================

Brotherhood of Thieves ~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

4.666665
Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
Your rating: None

 

 

outtathere's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 2009-12-31 :04
Posts:

All true.

He was able to buy himself virtual immunity from any restraint on his behavior whatsoever thus enabling him to run totally out of control.

And he had virtually unlimited funds to indulge his vices. Whether or not he had a screw loose to begin with is something we'll never know. But he was, when finally observed by professionals, diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic. And that is precisely the psychosis that is chemically duplicated by extreme methamphetimine abuse. Cocaine, which apparently was his drug of choice has very similar effects. He essentially fried his brain with the stuff. His regaining lucidity was no doubt due to his going without such chemicals in his system.

Far as involuntary commitment goes, after 72 hours there has to be a hearing and he could no doubt have brought in sufficient legal firepower to get himself released, if not outright, then to a private facility of his people's choosing whereby they could have applied pressure and influence to get him released after a short while.

The only way I can see for him to have been succussfully confined and treated, would have been for someone in his own family, of equal wealth and clout, to take an interest in his wellbeing and take on a project which would have been difficult even for them. Apparently all of them were too wrapped up in their own lives to be bothered or else they just didn't have much confidence they could prevail in the situation no matter what they tried.

4.666665
Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
Your rating: None

"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.":Gil Scott-Heron 1970 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGaRtqrlGy8

politeia's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 2008-07-30 :00
Posts:

It would have been worth a try. Once he was involuntarily committed, that might have woken up enough people not to enable him but to get him the help he needed, but I don't doubt the scenario you described could well have played out if he fought being committed.

As for the drug use and drinking, who knows. Many mentally ill people use drugs and alcohol to self medicate, but it only ends up making things worse in the long run.

=================

Brotherhood of Thieves ~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

4.666665
Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
Your rating: None

 

 

Wynnewoodie's picture
Offline
Last seen: 50 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: 2009-05-11 :03
Posts:

Forgotten in all this is the man John DuPont killed, Dave Schultz, the finest wrestler of his generation, and one of the greatest of all-time.

4.75
Average: 4.8 (4 votes)
Your rating: None
bobguzzardi's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2006-01-13 :07
Posts:

Thanks Wynnewoodie for the remembering the innocent David Schultz whom John DuPont he killed in cold blood. It appears that David Schultz was a person of some accomplishment. I presume David Schultz had a family and he was taken from them, all his hopes, dreams, acts taken from all of us. The bell tolls for all of us. Very sad.

4.5
Average: 4.5 (2 votes)
Your rating: None

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.