Home Stories Decades Later: Man Convicted in Dartmouth Professors’ Murder Faces Parole

Decades Later: Man Convicted in Dartmouth Professors’ Murder Faces Parole

CONCORD, N.H. — James Parker, convicted in the gruesome 2001 stabbing deaths of Dartmouth College professors Half and Susanne Zantop, is up for parole after serving over two decades behind bars. Parker was just 16 when he and his accomplice enacted a fatal plot against the couple in their Hanover, New Hampshire home, as part of a grander scheme to fund a runaway plan to Australia.

Now nearing 40, Parker is set for his initial parole hearing this Thursday, following a plea of guilty to second-degree murder which resulted in a 25-year-to-life sentence. His early years in prison were marked by a public expression of remorse during a 2002 hearing, where he tearfully apologized, claiming deep regret for his actions.

Over the years, Parker has actively engaged in rehabilitation, achieving both bachelor’s and master’s degrees and contributing to prison community life through art, education, and sports. His efforts in self-improvement were recognized in a 2018 legal motion which highlighted his role in creating educational materials for fellow inmates. Despite these advancements, his 2018 bid for sentence reduction, prompted by achieving two-thirds of his term, was withdrawn after objections from the Zantops’ daughters.

The crime, conceived by Parker and then-17-year-old Robert Tulloch, was driven by a naive and brutal fantasy of starting anew overseas, necessitating $10,000 they planned to acquire through robbery and murder. Their method involved posing as environmental surveyors to gain entry into homes, a plan that culminated tragically with the Zantops.

After their arrest, Parker cooperated with the authorities, providing crucial testimony against Tulloch, who is serving a life sentence without parole and is also scheduled for a resentencing hearing following Supreme Court rulings against mandatory life sentences for juveniles.

The loss of Half and Susanne Zantop, respected Dartmouth professors known for their generosity and academic contributions, left a deep void in their community. Dartmouth honors their memory through a memorial garden and an annual lecture series.

As Parker faces the parole board, the impact of his teenage actions continues to resonate, underscored by the ongoing grief and reflection from the Zantops’ family and the broader community.

About The Author

Written by
Kathy Berry

Kathy Berry is professional surveillance camera experts, understand more than 1,000 surveillance cameras, and have a wealth of surveillance camera related knowledge

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