Peter S. Ruckman, an authority on pardons, was found dead Saturday in an apparent murder-suicide near Rockford, Il., the Chicago Tribune reports. Ruckman, 58, and his sons Christopher, 14, and John, 12, were all found at home, said Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz and the Winnebago County sheriff’s office. All three appeared to have been shot to death, Hintz said. Each person was found deceased in his own bedroom. Authorities were called to the home for a welfare check by the boys’ mother; the couple divorced last summer.
Ruckman had been a professor of political science at Rock Valley College and an instructor at Northern Illinois University. He taught classes such as American Government, Introduction to the Legal System and Political Philosophy. He had been on the Rock Valley College faculty since 1998. Ruckman was an expert in clemency and pardons, and he was the editor of the “Pardon Power blog” and author of the forthcoming “Pardon Me, Mr. President: Adventures in Crime, Politics and Mercy.” He often served as an expert on clemency in articles published in various newspapers.