Rock Valley Professor Discovered After Attempted Murder-Suicide

P.S. Ruckman

P.S. Ruckman

Sofi Zeman, Features Editor

     The Rockford area currently rests in astonishment at the occurrence that took place on Saturday, March 3.  Early that morning, Rock Valley College Professor Peter Ruckman, 58, was discovered dead in his Cherry Valley home, along with his two children – both of which, attended Rockford Christian schools. The coroner of Winnebago County deemed this a murder-suicide, under the assumption that Ruckman shot his two sons and then proceeded to kill himself afterwards. In the midst of this local tragedy, the impact that this has had on the community has become undeniably significant.

     Ruckman was a professor of political science at Rock Valley that was renowned for his work. Throughout his career, he made various television appearances and had multiple works displayed in some of the top print publications across the nation. It is for these reasons that Ruckman came as a highly recommended teacher at the community college in which he spent his past twenty years. Current full time Rock Valley students, along with various members of the Running Start program interacted with the professor on a daily basis in the classroom.

     “I had a class with this man for an entire semester. I saw him regularly throughout the week for a few months – even got help from him after class a few times. To think that someone I knew and respected could do something like this was very eye opening and unsettling,” said Sean Hesano (‘19).

     The college itself released the following statement:

     “The Rock Valley College community is devastated by the news of the tragic deaths of Peter Ruckman, and his two children,” stated Dr. Doug Jensen, President of Rock Valley College. “Our deepest sympathies go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of Professor Ruckman and his children at this difficult time.”

     While conflicting speculations have risen over the motive behind the crime, the true purpose behind it is yet to be confirmed.