UPDATE: Father and Two Children Dead in Murder Suicide Identified

The house is owned by Rock Valley political science professor PS Ruckman, Jr.

CHERRY VALLEY - UPDATE 3/4/18: The Winnebago County Coroner identifies the two children and adult male found dead Saturday morning in Cherry Valley.

They are Christopher Ruckman,14 and John Ruckman, 12.  Investigators believe their father Peter Ruckman, 58, shot both before taking his own life.

The death is under investigation by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department. An autopsy is still pending.

Ruckman had been a well known Political Science Professor at Rock Valley College since 1988.

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

Rock Valley College will be providing grief counseling services to its employees and students.



Three people are dead after Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputies say a murder-suicide occurred in unincorporated Winnebago County in Cherry Valley, at a home owned by Rock Valley College professor and author Peter S. Ruckman, Jr. and Heidi E. Ruckman.

Deputies responded to a home on Chandon Woods Drive a little after 7 Saturday morning for a welfare check. There they say two children were found in separate rooms dead from gunshot wounds. They also found the body of the father in a separate room. Police say he also died from a gunshot wound.

Ruckman, also known as P.S. Ruckman, was a political science professor at Rock Valley College and an instructor at Northern Illinois University. He is also the editor of the website pardonpower.com, and the author of the books Pardon Me, Mr. President: Adventures in Crime, Politics and Mercy, and Guilty No More.

The incident is believed to be a murder-suicide, officers say there is no risk to the public at this time. The coroner says autopsies are scheduled for Monday.

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