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Posted August 29, 2005
From one of His Students
I am a Dartmouth Class of 2001 and had Half as a professor on two occasions. Both he and his wife we caring, decent people who would go out of their way to help anyone in need. Though I am sickened by what happened and the morbid facination people have when things of this nature happen 'at an elite institution,' I must say that this book is accurate. I also feel that the writers have done an excellent job of delving into the causes of such horror.
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Posted September 28, 2003
Brutal Murders and Its Aftermath
The Zantop's, Half and Susanne, were a much loved couple from Dartmouth Collge, a small community in New Hampshire, who were brutally murdered. This book tells their story and that of the two young men who committed this crime. I have ambivalent feelings about this book- it is very well written and the authors have given much detail about the lives of all involved, but this murder took place in my community, and the wounds are still raw. Dick Lehr and Mitchell Zuckoff, are Boston Globe columnists and followed this case day by day. They interviewed many of the people involved in the lives of the Zantops, Robert Tulloch and Jum Parker. They have been able to give an account of the shock and grief both communities felt in the aftermath. Half and Susanne Zantop came to Dartmouth College from Germany. They wanted to open the world to their two young daughters. In the midst of living their lives, they touched many in the Dartmouth and Hanover community. Half was considered one of the best educators in his Geology department and at Dartmouth. Susanne was a much loved professor of the German department. Both were in their mid fifties and looking at early retirement. They were a very active couple and had lived their lives to the fullest. They had two daughters who were just starting their adult lives. Robert Tulloch was an eighteen year old from a small community Chelsea, Vermont. His life is shared in bits and pieces, and we are able to see that something is terribly wrong in this young man but a murderer? James Parker is his younger friend. They have a bond and have the feeling of 'us against the world'. They were adventurers and wanted to go to Austrailia and live the life they deserved. In their fantasies they would glean the monies needed by killing their victims and accumulating the money needed to flee. The book tells the story of their attempts to rob and plunder, and the mistakes they made. No one in their community really knew these young men or could have foretold the paths they were establishing. One cool grey day in January of 2001, Robert and James headed towards Hanover, NH, a town of well-to-do people. A town that neither boy liked or visited often. On a previous day they had searched the town for likely victims. The first home they visited was empty, they moved to the next home and Half Zantop answered. The young men posed as Vershire School studnets interested in the environement and asked Half to participate in a survey. As a professor of Geology, Half was involved in keeping the enviornment clean and invited the young men into his home. At some point during the survey, Half remarked that the young men were not well prepared. This infuriated Robert and he lunged at Half and slit his throat- Susanne hearing the commotion ran into the room and Robert yelled to James to kill her. James hesitated a moment and then slit Susanne's throat. The boys had bought knives over the internet to use for this crime. When they were sure the Zantops were dead, they took Half's wallet and left. A friend of the Zantops came to their home in early evening to have dinenr with them- found the front door unlocked and walked in. She came to the study and found the grisly scene- she left hurriedly and drove to the neighbors where she screamed for help. The neighbors called 911 and went with her to the Zantops home. The ensuing half of the book describes the investigation and the people involved ,and how the many clues left at the scene helped the local police and State Police to find these young men. They were questioned at their homes. In the dead of night the boys left and fled to Indiana where they were picked up. The flight and the local authorities and their stories are told in detail. the boys were brought back to New Hampshire and charged with murder. After delibertion, James Parker became a State's witness ande gave up his best friend, Robert to save his life. He was charged with being an accomplice to murder and g
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