American Notes Crime

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There was little wonder why Theodore Streleski, 49, spent more than seven years in a California prison. What was troublesome was that he was a free man last week, still unrepentant over the brutal murder he had committed. Even more grotesque was his refusal to deny that he would kill again. Said he: "As I stand here now, I have no intention of killing again. On the other hand, I cannot predict the future."

Streleski had languished at Stanford University for 19 years trying to complete his dissertation for his doctorate in mathematics. Finally, one day in August 1978, his frustration boiled over. He grabbed a sledgehammer, confronted Math Professor Karel deLeeuw and viciously bludgeoned him to death. Convicted of second-degree murder, Streleski refused parole three times because it would have required him to stay away from Stanford and undergo psychiatric treatment. Under California law he could be held no longer and had to be released unconditionally. "I am happy to get out," he said. "Stanford treats students criminally. If I express remorse, I would not only be a murderer but a dirty lying dog."