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TODAY   |  August 06, 2013

Illinois professor revealed to be hiding dark secret

James St. James, a popular psychology professor at Millikin University in Illinois, has reportedly been concealing a dark past, as a newspaper reveals he was once known as James Wollcott, a 15-year-old who killed his mother, father and sister. NBC’s Kevin Tibbles reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> half hour, though, with snning revelation about a college professor and the decade's old muer f h family shaking a small town in illinois. kevin has that story. goodorni to yo

>> ma, this is a sry of murder and secrets and new identitiesnd this morningn decatur, illinoist's a out in the open.

>> reporter: miikin univeity is a century old private school that tries to come toermsith the revelation that one of it's owhasoncealed a trouble and deadlypast a texasewspaper has now vealed that popular psycholog professor mes st .ames was ce known asames wolcotf georgetoexas and he use a 22 calib rle to murde his mother, father, and 17-yeaold sister in 1967 .

>> it s so stning. such a horrible thing that there wasn't anything -- whats tre to y.

>> lmost0ears a newspapers first cover the horrs found inside the wolcott home. jas inor at the time ofhe llings wasoundo be insane by jury and spent six years in a mental institution before released, reportedly changing his names. as james st . jame went on to earn a ph.d. aas caught there nce 1988 winning numerous awar. he was great teacher. i wouldn't want to see him . he's passionate about his work.

>> ia stateme reas to nbc news the school sd millikin university has oy recently bee me aware of dr. st. james ' past. s efforts to rebuil his lif and obtaia successful professional careerave bn markle.

>> legally the's no requirement for him to offer up that type of iormation and why would you if you're trying get a b. despite the univsity's suprt e mayor of decur is calling fort. james to stepdo. the sheriff lhedut in a stement saying iyouill your family, you deserve never to wal free in our society. nbc ne attempted to reach professor sames at his decar address but no one answered theoornd despite the revelaons, st. james who played guitar at this decat bar istill admire

>> we didn't kwhis pers. we knoames st. james . a od person and a good m and a posite force in ts community.

>> millikin university standing behind the professor say tha it fully expects him to be teaching here this ll. guys, back to yo

>> that's a hard one.

>> thank you so much.

>> yeah, 15 years old. found to be insane. went to a hospal.

>> served his time

>> exactly. came out, according to the law, you're a lawyer he desves t start fresh from that point.

>> if t university hasn't fod that he miead them or ed when he was hired, he now s decade of a gd record of a connecon with students, it's a diicult one but you wonder i someone like that always lives their life wondering if this secretouldver be found out.

>> it's a hard thing to le wi for all of those years.

>> absolutely.