ABC 6 Action News Philadelphia reported yesterday that the murderer of Dave Schultz - an Olympic Gold Medalist in Freestyle Wrestling and brother to one time UFC competitor Mark Schultz - passed away while in prison.
SOMERSET, Pa. - December 9, 2010 -- John du Pont, the chemical fortune heir who killed an Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler at his palatial estate near Philadelphia, died Thursday after being found unresponsive in his prison cell. He was 72.Du Pont was found just before 7 a.m. at the Laurel Highlands state prison near Somerset, state prisons spokeswoman Susan McNaughton said. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Somerset Community Hospital.
He was serving a 13- to 30-year prison sentence after being found guilty but mentally ill in David Schultz's death.
"He had had some illnesses so we are considering it natural," said McNaughton, noting that the county coroner would ultimately make the determination on the cause of death. Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller said later Thursday he was still gathering information on the death and had no immediate comment.
Du Pont was the great-great-grandson of E.I. du Pont, the French-born industrialist who founded the chemical company, and one of hundreds of heirs to the family fortune.In January 1996, he shot and killed Schultz, a 1984 gold medal winner who came to live and train at the state-of-the-art Foxcatcher National Training Center that du Pont had built on his 800-acre property in Newtown Square. After the shooting, du Pont barricaded himself inside his home for two days, but was taken into custody when he left his mansion to fix a boiler police had shut off.
"In many ways, John Du Pont died for me the day that he took my son's life," Schultz's father, Philip, told The Associated Press from his home in Palo Alto, Calif. "So the fact that he's officially gone, is almost a moot point. I did forgive the man for what he did. I never forgave the act."
The Wrestling community was devastated by the loss of Dave Schultz in 1996 and some deemed him a revolutionary in the sport while others remembered him as a dedicated father and husband who positively touched everyone he met.
A message board thread has been set up to remember Schultz via USA Wrestling by and for those who knew him or wish to know more about him.