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10 Smart Killers Who Went To Ivy League Schools

Criminals aren't always known for being intelligent, but there are some cold, calculated killers who have extremely high IQs. While it seems like someone who is smart would know better to commit a crime, many violent killers were not only smart but extremely well educated. Street smarts are important to a life of crime, but killers who went to Ivy League schools bring a different type of edge to murder. 

Some of these highly educated criminals used their smarts (and their connections) to get off easy - some even got away altogether. But one thing is for certain: their alma maters probably aren't too pleased that these killers attended their fine university. 

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  • The Roadside Strangler Was A Cornell Graduate

    Michael Bruce Ross grew up on a farm in Connecticut with a dysfunctional family. His mother was institutionalized later in life and admitted to abusing her children, especially Ross - who also may have been sexually abused by his uncle. Ross was extremely intelligent and went on to study Agricultural Economics at Cornell University. After a failed relationship, Ross began having violent sexual fantasies and was regularly stalking women. In his senior year of college, Ross committed his first rape and shortly after attempted suicide due to his shame.

    He vowed never to hurt anyone again but went on to kill eight women, many, if not all, were also raped.  He was executed for his crimes in Connecticut in 2005.

  • Yale Alum William Bradford Bishop Jr. Killed His Family And Was Never Seen Again

    Photo: Formbot / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    William Bradford Bishop Jr. was born in Pasadena, CA, in 1936. He received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University before going on to receive his masters from Middlebury College. Bishop worked in counterintelligence for the US Army before serving in the US Foreign Service overseas.

    In March 1976, Bishop murdered his mother, wife, and three sons.

    He then drove the bodies to Columbia, NC, where he buried the bodies and lit them on fire. After that, Bishop disappeared and his still missing to this day. He is listed as one of the most wanted fugitives on the FBI’s website with a $100,000 reward being offered for any information leading to his arrest.

  • Columbia-Educated Lawyer Jason Bohn Tortured And Killed His Girlfriend

    Jason Bohn attended Columbia University, and after graduating practiced law in New York. But in 2012, he found himself on the other side of the legal system. Bohn brutally attacked his girlfriend Danielle Thomas, beating her then strangling her to death. During the assault, a message was accidentally left on a friend of Thomas's voicemail. In the voicemail, Thomas was heard pleading for her life while Bohn threatens to kill her.

    The dispute allegedly started because Bohn noticed a call placed by Thomas to an unknown number with a Massachusetts area code. The couple’s neighbors called the cops after hearing the disturbance and when the authorities arrived they found Thomas’s dead body on ice in the bathtub. In 2014, Bohn was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

  • Accomplished Columbia Wrestler Killed A Woman, Then Himself

    Photo: JSquish / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    Thomas G. Nelford was a wrestler from Oxnard, CA, who went to Columbia University to be a varsity wrestler. He eventually dropped out in 1998, but continued to hangout on campus at fraternities and sororities. There he met Kathleen A. Roskot, who was a stand-out player on the women’s lacrosse team. In the months leading up to the killing, Nelford was said to have been unstable and was only holding down jobs for short periods.

    On the night of Roskot’s death, she was seen with Nelford in the lobby of her dorm around 12:30 am just an hour before other residents noted a commotion coming from her room. After failing to show up for lacrosse practice, her coach became concerned and sent for her. A security guard and resident adviser entered Roskot’s dorm at 2:10 pm to find her completely naked with her throat cut. The police then began searching for Nelford, however at 3:05 pm Nelford had lept into a subway train and was killed instantly.