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Professor-Student Romance Ends in Murder-Suicide


"... walking the line between genius and insanity."

An assistant professor in the School of Psychology and Communication at the University of Idaho allegedly murdered his ex-girlfriend with a .45 caliber handgun and then killed himself. The professor's ex-girlfriend was also one of his former students.

That's according to a Fox News report, which suggests violence played a key role in the relationship between 31-year-old Ernesto A. Bustamante and his student, Katy Benoit, even before the fatal shootings. A police affidavit filed Tuesday offers some new information about the couple, including multiple descriptions from roommates and friends of violent encounters between Benoit and Bustamante.

Fox News reports:

Rowdy J. Hope, who calls himself a close friend of Bustamante, "confirmed that Bustamante had multiple handguns and multiple personality disorders to include one Bustamante calls a `psychopathic killer' and another Bustamante calls `the beast."' Moscow Police Sgt. Bruce Fager said in the affidavit filed Tuesday.

Benoit's roommates told police they had been concerned for her well-being because Bustamante had weapons and multiple personalities.

Bustamante and Benoit's relationship reportedly ended in March. After the breakup, Benoit said that Bustamante had pointed a handgun at her on multiple occasions and at one point put a gun in her mouth, according to the police statement.

University officials said Bustamante resigned from his position last Friday and offered no explanation for his departure. Administrators have remained tight-lipped about their former professor and have already removed his faculty bio. He had been working as an assistant professor since August 2007.

Police found Bustamante's body in a Moscow, Idaho hotel room early Tuesday morning. They found Benoit's body on her front porch just one day earlier. They said her body had been shot multiple times while her roommates were inside the house. Benoit, 22, had just started her first year of graduate school and was studying psychology.

A report from the local news station, KREM2, shows some students questioned Bustamante's grip on sanity even months before this incident.

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