Theodore Streleski

Theodore Landon "Ted" Streleski (b. 1936) is an American former graduate student in mathematics at Stanford University who murdered his former faculty advisor, Professor Karel de Leeuw, with a ball-peen hammer on August 18, 1978. Shortly after the murder, Streleski turned himself in to the authorities, claiming he felt the murder was justifiable homicide because de Leeuw had withheld departmental awards from him, demeaned Streleski in front of his peers, and refused his requests for financial support.[1] Streleski was in his 19th year pursuing his doctorate in the mathematics department,[2][3] alternating with low-paying jobs to support himself.[1]

During his trial Streleski told the court he felt the murder was "logically and morally correct" and "a political statement" about the department's treatment of its graduate students, and he forced his court-appointed lawyer to enter a plea of "not guilty" rather than "not guilty by reason of insanity" as the lawyer had urged.[1] Streleski was convicted of second degree murder with a sentence of eight years.[2] He ended serving seven years in prison.

Streleski was eligible for parole on three occasions, but turned it down as the conditions of his parole required him to get psychiatric treatment.[4] Upon his release in 1985, he said, "I have no intention of killing again. On the other hand, I cannot predict the future."[3]

In 1993 Streleski was turned down for a fare box repair position with the San Francisco Municipal Railway after his crime came to light.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Schmidt, Jeff. Disciplined Minds. Rowman and Littlefield, 2000. Pages 259–260.
  2. ^ a b "Unremorseful, Professor's Slayer Completes Jail Term". Chicago Tribune. 9 September 1985. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b "American Notes Crime - Unrepentant about Murder". Time. dated 23 Sep 1985. Archived from the original on March 7, 2008.
  4. ^ "American Notes Crime". Time. Time Inc. 24 June 2001. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  5. ^ Staff report (May 4, 1993). Murderer turned down for railway job. San Jose Mercury News

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