Many valuables found at Zantops'

by Jeremy Skog | 7/27/01 5:00am

A week after the Associated Press reported that burglary may have been the motivation for the murders of Dartmouth professors Half and Susanne Zantop, recent documents from the Zantops' estate -- indicating that many household valuables were left untouched -- now shed doubt on the theory.

Half and Susanne Zantop were found stabbed to death Jan. 27 in their Etna home. Two Chelsea, Vt., teenagers -- Robert Tulloch, 18, and James Parker, 17 -- are charged with the murders.

Investigators, however, have had difficulty establishing a possible motive for the crime.

An anonymous law enforcement source said that a burglary taken too far "is the most rational explanation I've heard," according to an Associated Press article last week.

Documents from the executors of the Zantops' estate, however, show that silver, artwork, electronics and jewelry were still left intact at the couple's house after the murders.

A 21-inch bronze statue by Rodin, valued at $15,000, as well as a 1676 painting worth $18,000 and several other works of lesser value belonged to the Zantops.

A silver tea set, $1,200 worth of flatware, stereo and computer equipment valued at $850 and a $600 pair of diamond earrings were also found at the estate after the crime.

The documents also claim that the Zantops did not have any cash on hand at the time. Roxanna Verona -- the dinner guest who discovered the murder on Jan. 27th -- denied seeing any cash around the house that night.

The documents obtained from the Grafton County Probate Court list the total value of the Zantops' estate at $535,000, including their three-bedroom house in Etna, appraised at $377,000. The house was recently placed on the market for $475,000.

The estate also includes $33,500 in financial accounts, along with several vehicles and boats.

All the possessions were removed from the house in the early spring when the house was cleaned.

None of the Zantops' possessions were found in the homes of Tulloch or Parker -- the pair currently charged with the crime -- according to court documents.

However, police did find two knives, with the Zantops' blood still on them, under a pile of magazines in Tulloch's bedroom. Fingerprints inside and footprints outside the murder scene also tie the teenagers to the crime.

According to the Associated Press source neither boy had any connection to the professors. The source was quoted as saying "if one exists, we don't know about it."