Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
Unruly Heirs
John du Pont
John du Pont
In the Fall of 1995, the police were called to the 800 acre Pennsylvania estate of John du Pont, then 57, an heir to the du Pont chemical fortune. Du Pont told them that he thought he was attacked in his sleep by 1984 Olympic gold medalist David Schultz, who was living on his estate. He said there was a conspiracy to ruin his name and if it wasn't stopped, the Russian Army was sure to invade Newton township. During the conversation, Du Pont referred to himself as the "Holy Child." On January 26, 1996, du Pont drove over to David Schultz' home shooting and killing him in his driveway while Schultz' horrified wife looked on. After the murder, du Pont went back to his mansion and held off an army of police for three days. In court du Pont's lawyers pleaded an insanity defense. They said his mental condition had gone downhill ever since is mother died in 1988. Afterwards, he took to wandering his vast estate armed with handguns and acting erratically. He believed he was the Dalai Lama and spoke of himself in exalted and exaggerated terms. There were also rumors of cocaine use. The insanity defense was eventually rejected and after seven days of deliberations, du Pont was found guilty of 3rd degree murder. He was sentenced to 13 to 30 years in prison. He died in prison December 9, 2010 at the age of 72.
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