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Crime & Courts

Officials: Man in Cherry Valley murder-suicide previously taught at NIU

P.S. Ruckman
P.S. Ruckman

CHERRY VALLEY – A renowned political expert found shot dead in his home, along with his two sons, previously had taught at Northern Illinois University.

P.S. Ruckman, 58, was found dead just after 7 a.m. Saturday by Winnebago County Sheriff's deputies in his house in the 4600 block of Chandan Woods Drive, according to a sheriff's office news release.

Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz confirmed Sunday that it was Ruckman, and confirmed the two bodies found in separate bedrooms with gunshot wounds, were those of were Ruckman's sons, Christopher Ruckman, 14, and John Ruckman, 12.

The sheriff's office is investigating the incident as a double murder-suicide, according to the release.

P.S. Ruckman had been a political science professor at Rock Valley College since 1998, but he was an assistant professor in public law from 1991 to 1998 at NIU, according to his LinkedIn page, which says he was the department's nominee for the university's Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching award three of the six years he taught there.

According to NIU spokeswoman Lisa Miner, Ruckman taught two online courses for NIU, first in the spring of 2015 before he took on a course in the American presidency in spring of 2017. She said in both of those instances, P.S. Ruckman was a temporary adjunct instructor.

According to P.S. Ruckman's LinkedIn page, he was "a nationally and internationally recognized expert on federal executive clemency ... serves as Editor of the 'Pardon Power Blog' ... and he is consulted by ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and FOX News, as well as The Associated Press (AP), United Press International (UPI), Bloomberg News, The Hill, The Daily Kos, Reason and Huffington Post."

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