This Week in Villanova History

DuPont jailed for murder after siege

By Jim Dono and Jonathan Klick

University benefactor John Eleuthere duPont, for whom the duPont Pavilion was named, was arrested Sunday Jan. 28 at 3 pm after spending the previous 48 hours hold up in his Newtown Square mansion. DuPont retreated to the house after allegedly shooting Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler Dave Schultz. Schultz was found dead in the driveway of a home on duPont’s sprawling 800-acre Foxcatcher estate.

During the stand-off, more than 40 SWAT team officers surrounded the area, but took no action to provoke duPont whom they considered to be a crack shot who was thought to be heavily armed. In fact, duPont at one time had a state-of-the-art firing range installed on his grounds and allowed the local police department to use the facilities for training. DuPont, the great-great-grandson of chemical magnate E.I. duPont, was, at one time, a full-time, unpaid uniformed police officer for the Newtown Square police department. “John duPont is a marksman, and he has an arsenal,” said Police Sergeant Brian McNeill.

Police shut off the heat to duPont’s home in hopes of freezing him out into the open during the frigid January evening. The millionaire emerged from his mansion Sunday afternoon to fix a boiler located just outside the dwelling, and police proceeded to apprehend him. He was taken directly to the Newtown Township Police Headquarters and then was transported to a private cell in the Delaware County Prison. He was placed in isolation after prisoners at the facility greeted his arrival with chants of “duPont, duPont.” His original preliminary trial was scheduled for yesterday, but it was then moved to mid-February.

Schultz had lived at Foxcatcher for several years and was training to compete at Atlanta’s summer Olympic Games. The wrester was shot twice in the chest and once in the arm with a .38-caliber revolver, said police. While searching duPont’s home, officials recovered a handgun they believed was the murder weapon.

DuPont had allegedly become violent in recent months. One former resident of Foxcatcher claimed that duPont had been abusing alcohol and cocaine recently and had been known to patrol his grounds while armed. Also, Vicki Welch, the wife of a Newtown Township police officer, who lived on the Foxcatcher grounds until 1984, said that the family decided to move after duPont drove up her driveway in an Army tank.

“He started getting extremely violent,” said Dan Chaid, a former member of the now defunct Villanova University wrestling teams’ coaching staff. Chaid added that, last October, duPont aimed a machine gun at his chest and ordered Chaid out of the Foxcatcher house in which he lived. Chaid said he notified Newtown Square police about the incident, but they ignored duPont’s behavior, claiming he was harmless.

At the Foxcatcher Estate, Victor Krievins, a man who presented himself to The Villanovan as a former business manager of duPont’s, said that his former employter was “eccentric,” but added that he was a very peaceful man not prone to violent outbursts.