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Murder of Olympic athlete Dave Schultz by millionaire John du Pont investigated on ID

Mugshot of John du Pont
John du Pont was convicted of murdering gold medal-winning athlete Dave Schultz. Pic credit: Delaware County Sheriff’s Office

Investigation Discovery is examining the strange murder case of wrestler Dave Schultz, who was gunned down by eccentric millionaire John du Pont, seemingly for no apparent reason.

Du Pont was a millionaire philanthropist and chemical company heir who owed the extensive Foxcatcher Farm near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Du Pont was a keen wrestling and athletic enthusiast, which led him to sponsor the USA Olympic Wrestling team and establish an amateur training facility at his estate.

Dave Schutz had been a gold medal-winning wrestler at the 1984 Olympics and was hoping to compete again in Atlanta in 1996. He was training at du Pont’s complex when he was tragically murdered.

On January 26, 1996, du Pont killed Schutz by firing two shots into his chest from a .38-caliber pistol. The murder occurred on a driveway in front of his estate and was witnessed by Schutz’s wife, Nancy, and du Pont’s head of security.

Police laid siege to the John du Pont mansion after Dave Schultz’s murder

The millionaire killer then retreated inside his mansion, which triggered a two-day siege with local law enforcement. Knowing that du Pont was a firearm aficionado and likely had an arsenal of weapons, the police didn’t storm the building.

The cops were eventually able to coax du Pont outside after they switched off his electricity and heating. When he emerged, he was promptly arrested for murder.

Friends and family of du Pont later described how the millionaire’s behavior had become increasingly erratic in the previous years. He had become paranoid and had begun to believe an international conspiracy was out to kill him.

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Du Pont claimed he was innocent through insanity. However, in 1997, a jury found him guilty but mentally ill. This means that although he suffered from mental issues, he was in control of his mental faculties when he pulled the trigger on Schultz.

Du Pont was sentenced to serve between 13 and 30 years behind bars. He died in prison in December 2010.

These tragic events were portrayed in the 2014 movie Foxcatcher, which starred Steve Carell and Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo and received five Oscar nominations.

More from Investigation Discovery

Follow the links to read about more intriguing crimes and murders profiled on ID.

Scott Pettigrew’s behavior made his landlady Anita Cowen’s life a misery, but then, one day, he murdered her by beating her and pushing her into a swimming pool.

Dawn Donaldson and Crissy Campbell were teenage best friends who were murdered in the small Californian town of Grass Valley. The police arrested Sam Strange for the murders, but he claimed he only disposed of the bodies and wasn’t the real killer.

Murder At The DuPont Mansion airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

Jerry specializes in writing about true crime, the Royal family, The...read more

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