STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (July 26) - Last month, Penn State University officials
learned something about professor Paul Krueger that wasn't on his resume -
he is on parole for a triple murder committed in Texas nearly 40 years ago.
The university knew nothing about Krueger's conviction until late last
month, when the Pennsylvania Bureau of Probation and Parole contacted the
university, spokesman Bill Mahon said Friday.
"We're in shock to find out some of the details, and we're still looking
into it," Mahon said. "We've never had a situation like this before."
Mahon said the university doesn't require prospective faculty members to
report their criminal backgrounds.
But it may soon be a moot point. A spokesman for National University in
California confirmed that Krueger had accepted a teaching job there, and
Texas parole officials said they already were working on that move.
"We are, as a matter of fact, to meet with him at our headquarters here
today to do some of that paperwork," said Kathy Shallcross, deputy director
of Texas' parole division said Friday.
Hoyt Smith, spokesman for National University, the La Jolla-based college
where Krueger will be associate professor of business, said officials were
shocked to learn of the conviction from a reporter Friday, but that it
wouldn't necessarily affect his employment.
"He had excellent credentials. He came highly recommended from Penn State,"
Krueger, who has been at Penn State for four years, has no telephone listing
in the State College area. He did not immediately respond to an e-mail from
The Associated Press.
In 1965, when he was 18, Krueger and a 16-year-old friend, left San
Clemente, Calif. The two passed through Texas and rented a motor boat hoping
to travel to Venezuela, where they intended to become "soldiers of fortune,"
according to a 1979 story in the Austin American-Statesman.
Along the Intracoastal Waterway near Corpus Christi, they encountered a
fishing boat with a crew of three, John Fox, 38; Noel Little, 50; and Van
Carson, 40. As night fell on April 12, 1965, all five went to shore and put
in for the night.
For reasons Krueger never made public, he shot the three fishermen that
night, unloading 40 bullets into their bodies. Sam Jones, then the district
attorney for Nueces County, later referred to the shooting as "the most
heinous crime in the history of the Gulf Coast."
Krueger pleaded guilty in 1966 to three counts of murder and was sentenced
to three life terms, to be served concurrently.
Corrections officials described Krueger as a model inmate. He earned his
diploma and an associate's degree, volunteered with alcohol and drug
rehabilitation programs and reported for the prison newspaper.
Two parole commissioners, in 1977, called Krueger, "probably the most
exceptional inmate" in the entire state. "There is nothing further he can do
to rehabilitate himself," they said. Two years later, he was paroled to West
Covina, Calif., where he enrolled in graduate school.
Krueger's academic credentials are unquestioned - he graduated summa cum
laude from Sam Houston State University, going on to earn a master's degree
from California State University-Los Angeles, a Ph.D. in sociology from
South Dakota State University and an Ed.D. from the University of Southern
He was a visiting professor at Idaho State University and held a
tenure-track position at Augustana College in South Dakota before coming to
Penn State, where Krueger was director of the Institute for Research in
Training and Development, teaching mostly graduate courses and studying
employee training programs.
Some of his previous employers expressed surprise when learning of Krueger's
"I'm sitting here thunderstruck. I'm virtually speechless," said Anne
Oppegard, chairwoman of the business department at Augustana. "I'm
practically stuttering I'm so dumbfounded."