George Zinkhan, UGA Professor Sought in Shooting of Three Adults

Professor George Zinkhan This is what I read in the news today, minus the George Zinkhan part. But the interesting thing — as soon as I read it I wondered if it had anything to do with Professor George Zinkhan. Some back story.

In spring 2001 I took a Honors class about eCommerce. The class met weekly. What struck me as odd about Zinkhan were the following:

  • He was very laid back in a “I’m burned out from my life and work” kinda way. I figured he was just tired from being in academia or having recently written a textbook on eCommerce.
  • He wore flip-flops and shorts to class. It was strange to see a professor, especially a business professor, wear such laid-back clothes in class. Hey, I wear flip-flops and shorts to work, so I understand the appeal, but this was the first and only time I’d seen a professor do it.
  • He had a long pinky fingernail. All his other fingernails were nicely trimmed, but his pinky fingernail was long. This would lead my classmates to joke that he used it to snort cocaine — as seen in any 80’s movie as the coke nail
  • He always came to class and acted like he was under the influence of some drug. Disorganized, confused, scatter-brained. He was by no means violent or tempered.

So when I read the headline, I thought of Zinkhan not because he was a mean, malicious person, but because he was probably involved with drugs, rather heavily, and this just sounded like a “drug-trade-gone-wrong” kinda situation (i.e. behind a building near campus, involved non-students).

I don’t mean to disrespect the deaths of the three adults but if I were investigating this case I would look to see if any of them had a drug history.

update: since posting this blog, I have been kindly (and not so kindly) informed the shooting took place at a community theatre as part of an annual noon picnic. The victims were his wife (they have two kids) and two other community adults. This sounds less like a drug trade gone wrong situation, but the information may help investigators so I’m not deleting the post (despite being told to pleasure myself repeatedly & questioning my mental capacity).

update 2: I’m told that Zinkhan may have fled to his Amsterdam home. Seriously!? I’m telling you drugs may be part of the dispute

update 3: I gave an interview for 11Alive that went on the 11pm news. I hope I made it clear that he didn’t come off as dangerous, just…”peculiar”.

update4: Check out the reviews of Zinkhan’s teaching style at RateMyProfessor.com. One reviewer used the term “quirky” — mine is “peculiar”. His personality stood out enough that when I heard a UGA Professor was involved in a shooting (didn’t know he did the shooting at the time) I immediately thought about Zinkhan. When I discovered it was Zinkhan, I was compelled to post this blog and tweet about it, hoping the material may help capture him.

update 5: 24 hours after the shooting, investigators are saying they have few leads on the Zinkhan shooting case. If you were a student or knew Zinkhan, let me know and I can connect you to some reporters who want to understand what type of person Zinkhan was.

update 6: The AJC has posted a timeline of the events. Zinhan was reportedly arguing with an “unidentified man”, not his wife. He left, came back with two guns, and shot the three people repeatedly. He dropped his kids of at his neighbors, and hasn’t been seen since. Zinkhan is not using credit cards or cell phone at this time and has abandoned his home and kids. These actions don’t sound pre-meditated — they sound like the actions of an impulsive man.

update 7: AJC reports Zinkhan gave a copy of one of his books, a co-written work called “Consumers,” to one of the victims he shot — Ben Teagues — as a gift over dinner at a Lenox Square restaurant.

Update 8: Zinkhan has appeared on America’s Most Wanted, and is also being considered for the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. Police ask that the public call 706-613-3888 with any information about suspect George Zinkhan.

Update 9: Zinhan’s profile: extremely intelligent and fiercely private individual who is well-resourced, well-traveled and obviously capable of murder. Neighbors paint the picture of the controlling type of an individual who is extremely private and aloof.

Update 10: Why my drug speculation may matter — In 2008 and the beginning of 2009, concealed carry licensees have committed more than 60 documented offenses. Most of them involve assaulting citizens while license holders are under the influence of drugs or alcohol or in a state of rage. They included assaults at sporting events, school campuses and grocery stores.

Update 11: No leads on Zinkhan except they found his car abandoned with his passport in it. Current theory by police is that this was somewhat pre-meditated due to his ability to live off no credit cards or phone. Some others close to Zinkhan think the same thing.

Update 12: Zinkan’s body was found, apparently suicide hours or days after the shooting. Also, motive appears to be his response to awareness of his wife’s affair with Thomas Tanner as he had recorded a conversation between him and his wife about the affair. Not clear yethow Ben Teague was involved.

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77 thoughts on “George Zinkhan, UGA Professor Sought in Shooting of Three Adults

  1. I don’t mean to disrespect the deaths of the three adults but if I were investigating this case I would look to see if any of them had a drug history.

    Just by writing this YOU ARE disrespecting them The victims were beloved members of our local theater. Just shut up about stuff you don’t know about.

    This happened at a PICNIC. An annual picnic held by the theater every year. They were also getting ready for this evenings performance.

  2. Yeah, they were non students because one was his wife, one was a senior member of the community and one was a 40 year old actor who also worked at UGA.

    Fucking moron.

  3. Telling someone to shut up that may provide a lead into the situation in capturing a suspect is well, stupid.

    Good luck on finding the culprit. You seem to be open to others trying to help with any possible information they can.

  4. This doesn’t disrespect the dead at all; it attempts to cast light on a triple homicide which took their lives. While the “coke-nail” was probably only a relic of days gone by, the prof’s shambolic approach to the classroom may indeed indicate a character past caring—about his appearance, about his prosepects in life, and about those with whom he came into contact.

  5. AJC reports the deaths are 47-year-old Marie Bruce ( his wife of two children), Ben Teague, 63 (the senior member of the community you mentioned), and Tom Tanner, 40 (actor who worked at UGA you mentioned).

    But yeah, it’s probably better I never mentioned this. Let’s just assume it was blind rage that caused Mr. Zinkhan to shoot and kill (so says Beth Kozinsky, membership director of the Athens Community Theatre) the three adults.

    Besides, we all know only kids do drugs.

  6. Beth Kozinsky never said anything about blind rage. No one is publicly talking about motivation.

    I knew the victims and I can assure you there is no drug connection.

  7. Sorry for the confusion — I was saying Beth stated Mr. Zinkhan shot and killed the three adults, not that it was done in blind rage. My sentence wasn’t clear on that.

    • I’m someone who thinks this shit is bad enough without some douche on the internet (and now the 11 o’clock news) pretending to know for sure that this is a “drug deal gone wrong” just because he took a class with this professor who wore shorts and had a long fingernail.

      Zinkhan may have been on drugs, I don’t know. i don’t know the guy or any of the victims, but my wife does. We need to let this settle so we can find this son of a bitch with out amateur Nancy Graces like the author of this post thinking they have something to offer. This kind of sensationalism is a hollow attempt to make this tragedy about YOU and not about the victims, the killer or their families.

      I would also like to repeat that you are welcome to go fuck yourself. All of you.

      • Robert, would you like me to connect you to the news or the investigators at Athens-Clarke Police? As your wife knew the guy or some of the victims (I wasn’t clear from the sentence), perhaps she could shed some/any light on the motives behind the killings?

        I’m not sure how letting this settle will help Zinkhan (or SOB, as you call him).

        My drug connection opinion did not appear on the newscast. I have also since clarified my “drug deal gone wrong” initial reaction in my periodic updates.

  8. Just a thought — how long was the pinky fingernail? Some guitarists grow out their right pinky nail so they can pick with that finger while holding a flat pick with the other fingers.

    However, when you add everything up, it does sound like he might have had some drug problems.

    As for people telling you to go eff yourself — they need to relax. EVERY bit of information is important in a case like this. If somebody has some background info that might shed light on the solving the crime, it’s their duty to mention it, as you’re doing.

    • Jim, very possible on the pinky fingernail length. That was my original thought because I had several musician friends. But the length of this was beyond what I was used to seeing.

      I have absolutely no evidence that drugs were involved (which I have made clear), but a guy shots three people multiple times with two guns in front of others in the middle of the day at a picnic? I’m sure the investigators want to understand some motive, and the drug connection is one to check out.

  9. “Wife of two children”? What the hell does that even mean? Mother of two children, perhaps? Apparently, you learned a lot in that class of yours. Good job.

  10. I don’t know why people are so annoyed at the suggestion that ZInkham had a drug problem, or mental problems that would lead one to to mistake his behavior for that of a drug-user or “stoner” ( a description used casually by at least one former student).

    He just shot three people to death in broad daylight after a mere argument in public. Any insight into his actions is valuable to me.
    So thanks for bothering to post your own observations and memories and “first thoughts” after hearing of the crime.

  11. It’s a very strange reaction, as if ZInkhan could not be a drug user killing because of an argument over drugs, even if his victims had no connection to illegal drug use except for their aquaintance with Zinkhan. Apparently it does not occur that the argument that preceded the shooting couldn’t have been along the lines of “go home and sober up, loset” or “get your druggie * out of here, you aren’t welcome”, or even some other argument fostered by Zinkhan unnaturally aggressive reaction related to loss of inhibition or paranoia from drug use.

  12. He did drugs, but that would seem to be a symptom of bigger problems with impulse control. Former colleagues can shed light, but probably not on the record.

  13. In this article, a neighbor notes a quirk: “Dana Adams, who lives across the street from Zinkhan, said she didn’t know the family well, but described the professor as “kind of a strange character” who would sometimes walk off in the middle of a conversation.”

    The article also is the first I’ve read to note that the argument (with an unidentified male) preceding the shootings was with one of the victims.

  14. So, because they were in (heater, they can’t be tied to drugs? Or because the were at a picnic same thing?I agree with the author of this blog all you other clowns are just trying to jump on the “ohhh pity me I’m from athens and tho I never even seen a real live play I must be pitied” band wagon

    So some dude went nuts it happens all the time andbig deal! Atleast he didn’t kill students like a bunch of you are posting on other blogs”

    • The news has said that there’s been no cell phone or ATM or credit card use. I’m thinking they’ll find him in a couple weeks dead from suicide. He probably already killed himself somewhere in the N. Georgia mountains. Just speculating.

  15. This may be completely meaningless, and I imagine the authorities have been watching his Facebook page. But there’s an interesting comment from a couple weeks ago on his page from a woman in The Netherlands:

    “Mirella Kleijnen
    Hi George,
    how cool that you are also on facebook now!! See you soon in real life too 🙂
    Mirella
    April 4 at 3:29am”

    Of course, it’s doubtful he could truly get to Amsterdam, considering the airports are certainly all on high alert.

  16. You only prove your ignorance by assuming that because he owns a home in Amsterdam (which is known for weed, a drug that does not usually cause people to shoot their wives and friends)this has anything to do with drugs.

    Next, I think that the more obvious motive to Dr. Zinkhan’s actions were due to personal problems in his marriage. Possibly if you had read into this a little more since giving the police a tip that would have been clear a lot sooner.

    It’s bad enough that everyone involved is even having to go through this, but to see some bumfuck nobody on the 11 o’clock news giving the idea that these people could have been murdered because of drugs is just ridiculous.

    Kindly, I say, you really should have shut the fuck up a long time ago.

  17. Since you updating your previous inaccurate information about this incident, will you be kind enough to correct the sentences below that are atrocious in their structures? If you are indeed an Honors student from UGA, you should be able to construct grammatically correct sentences.

    “writing a recently textbooks on eCommerce.”
    “but his pinky’s was long”
    “(behind a building near campus, non-students)”
    “wife of two children”
    “questioning my mental capacity by”

    As far as your argument about drug use, it is entirely speculative. I have attended UGA myself and found the most well-dressed professors just as likely to do drugs as the ones who wore shorts. Zinkhan wasn’t the only one wearing shorts on campus. And even if he wore shorts, appeared disorganized, hand long pinky nails, neither of those behaviors can be direct evidence of drug use. Your only argument about his possible drug use is that your classmates joked about it based on a movie and the way Zinkhan presented himself. All of which is just speculation without any evidence. You have no tangible information to suggest there were drugs involved or there were arguments about drugs.

    Finally, just because he owned a house in Amsterdam and your friends joked about him being a drug user do not automatically make it so. You keep insisting that the police should look into the drug situation as well when there is nothing to suggest that there was a drug situation. Amsterdam is known for it’s prostitutes as well. By your logic, we could assume that he kept some prostitutes in his home in Amsterdam and that caused the arguments. But neither arguments would be true because we would both be making comments about something that we have no access to and to evidence to offer as substantive proof.

    This case is personal for a lot of people. Many of them are respecting the people who have passed away and their friends and family who are in mourning. If you have something helpful to catch Zinkhan, of course the police will appreciate it. However, please be mindful of the wild goose chase you can send the police out on if you offer speculative arguments on his possible drug use.

    I am glad that you have corrected your previous versions and offered updates with more accurate version. If you were wrong before, then surely, there is a possibility that you are wrong about your drug connection argument.

    • I should correct my own typos too :). There was no option of preview which was the space where I usually proofread my posts. 🙂

      Since you are* updating (first sentence)

      no* evidence as opposed to, “to evidence” in the last sentence in the third paragraph.

      Peace.

    • I have no idea how this idiot got into college, much less honors classes. If this is the future of America, I’m going to start hooking the hose up to the exhaust pipe.

    • dkwiw: Thank you for taking the time to point out the grammatical and structural errors in my post. They have been corrected. As you have experienced in your own critical comment, such errors can slip by unnoticed easily.

      I have made it clear that my argument is speculative and without evidence. My interest, however, is more in helping find Zinkhan and less in providing evidence for a court of law. I’m sure the police and reporters are intelligent enough to weed through speculation and facts. If my speculation helps, great — we caught a triple homicidal killer! If it doesn’t, nothing was wasted except your time.

  18. Zinkhan abruptly dumped his first family in Houston,a wife (lawyer) and several teen children, when he took the position in Athens.

  19. You may be right, Redhead.

    Zinkhan abruptly dumped his first family in Houston, (attorney wife and several teen age children), when he took the Georgia position. They had all been going to move with him.

  20. Well Zinkhan has had the advantage of both worlds. What’s significant about Zinkan is his demeanor and appearance which a person would associate with “stoner” qualities, whether he actually abused illegal drugs or not is less interesting than the fact Zinkhan’s name would be the first to pop to mind in Redhead’s mind in response on the early reports. Because Zinkhan was memorable enough as someone to be a candidate for professor gone wild.

    He had some odd duck characteristics enough to pop to mind. He was different than the other professors. Odd. Long pinkie is suggestive of someone who adopts the FASHION of a drug user. Showing up to class in violation of the sumptuary laws of his colleagues, in shorts and flip flops. All the odd poetry. Walking away in the middles of conversations, a history of walking away from his “life” (first family), Students who report a laid back temper that could snap into nasty, and an overall floating cloud aspect to his personality; disorganized, sloppy, absent minded….

    So I think he was mentally ill, or personality disordered in the schizoid spectrum… perhaps self-medicated with drugs.

    Is the “See you soon in real life” post from a woman in Amsterdam significant?
    Well no one says she wasn’t on her way to the states, but this man does travel to Amsterdam and he also has a habit of dropping his family like a hot potato.

    Overal impression? Add in a little something like violently murdering 3 people in a public place in front of other people, and the word “unstable” springs to mind. He has always been like that, and now everybody knows for reals how “odd” he really was.

    I suspect drugs, but more as a self-medication tool.
    To the one who said marijuana could have nothing to do with anything: Heavy use is demotivating but it has an association with paranoid behavior and serious mental illness like schizophrenia.

    I think it quite plausible that Zinkhan has a drug problem. People insisting that it is “insulting” to speculate on the matter probably have their ideas of insulting in improper order. Being shot to death is perhaps a greater insult; your mileage may vary, but such speculation is hardly going to impede any investigation and might even yield information or tips when discussed publicly.

    • “Showing up to class in violation of the sumptuary laws of his colleagues, in shorts and flip flops. All the odd poetry.”

      Well, this psychiatrist evaluation is interesting but let me add a real life example of a different university dressing code. Have any of you visited any university in Pittsburgh during the summer? I spent two summers in Carnegie Mellon University and saw professors in shorts and some used flip-flops and sneakers during the summer. This is their dressing code. CMU and PITT (U of Pittsburgh) are in the same area and it is very common to see professors with shorts. I particularly loved this ‘new to me dressing code’. It is also very common to go to a bar (anytime of the week, not only Thursdays) and eat dinner after work (~ 8-9 PM) and have some beer. In some bars you can see a mix of faculty and students having beer together. Sometimes you can even confuse a young faculty professor with a student. Zinkhan was associate professor at PITT (1987-1988) and even though he spent a short time there it is possible that he got some influences from there, don’t you think?

      About the ‘laid’ back personality, well I don’t know. I consider somebody is a laid back when they don’t do or don’t care about anything. His professional CV and testimonials from colleagues that knew him say the opposite. I never took a class with Zinkhan but know other professors that are not ‘open’ with the students in class and when you get to know them better you change your opinion about them. What would be interesting is to compare ratings or comments from undergraduate and graduate students which took class or met Zinkhan. You might find they have different opinions.

      The hypothesis about the use of medications sounds plausible but in another perspective, maybe he’s manic-deppressive with the wrong medication or did not take his medications regularly or was undiagnosed, who knows. Manic-deppressive people share some characteristics with Zinkhan’s personality. Very introverted, have mood swings (can be very happy and excited and suddenly switch into a deppressive, ‘laid’ back-like state), live something similar to a double life (for example, can be very nice with friends, colleagues, etc. but being totally the opposite at home, very good actors), they’re egoists, manic, meaning these people have a routine, like to do things in a particular way (they cannot break their routine because they can get very very upset since they feel they’re loosing control of the situation and their lives), they are ‘dreamers’ meaning they imagine things a certain way but when they realize some things don’t work the way they want then they get deppressive or upset again, have a lot of suicidal thoughts when in deppressive state, it is very usual to make small things a big deal and, of course, have a lot of discrepancies specially with closest relatives (curiously, they don’t show this side of their personality to everybody, as I said, good actors). Most of the people with this condition cannot keep a job or a family (they’re very unstable) and their social circle is very small if none. Zinkhan represents a special case because professionally he was succesful (maybe his job was his ‘mania’, his way of escaping reality, keeping his mind occupied and also used poetry as a way of letting out his emotions, looking for relief; we must admit he’s a brilliant man – remember the movie The Aviator in which Leonardo DiCaprio played the obsessive-compulsive, brilliant, millionaire Howard Hughes?). However, it is very clear that Zinkhan failed personally, as we see the results today of this tragedy and his background with his first wife and kids.

      I cannot say if Zinkhan acted impulsively or planned to murder his wife exactly one week before his trip to Amsterdam. What I stated above doesn’t justify him. However, we don’t know his real motive for killing yet and this will be recounted as a horrible but also interesting case reflecting the mysteries of the human criminal mind and the incompetence of our ‘system’ in collecting the criminal evidence and notifying the public on time and accurately about criminals on the loose. Why they haven’t shown a ‘new version’ of Zinkhan’s face, for example? Do you think he still has his goatee?

      • Professors are comparatively well-adjusted individuals among the ranks of professionals, so it is especially unusual to see one go so far off the reservation. Psychological speculation notwithstanding, he obviously blew a gasket and killed three unarmed people (two of whom I personally know to have been good men), including the mother of his children, while these same kids waited in the car. He needs to be hunted down and captured before we speculate much further on things about which we know little.

    • I don’t think Zinkhan is arrogant enough to try and take that flight, or leave the country at this point. The ticket was probably from a planned visit for, not a “I’m going to shoot my wife and flee the country” visit.

      As for pre-meditated theories — he definitely had several minutes to collect himself when he had the argument, left it, picked up the 2 handguns and kids, and then return to shoot them. If it was a crime of passion, it was a passion that lasted several minutes & with some thought put into it.

  21. No, he’s not going to take the May 2 flight to Amsterdam, which was pre-planned, but he could easily have switched to an earlier flight.

  22. It has been nearly 20 years since I saw Zinkhan but when I saw the headline about a professor in Georgia, I had these same instant thought as Redhead.

    The abstraction and the disorganization could have been the symptoms of a double life for a long time. Perhaps he was the network and not the user. He had two handguns in the jeep with his children. Perhaps he was always armed. Perhaps he always had them in a backpack not far from hand. Had it been a crime of passion, could he have so easily got away? He had the time to drive home, drop off his children and still vanish. That does not suggest an addict on a mind bender.

  23. Your post from the outset noted that you were speculating on what happened “Zinkian may have been on drugs, I don’t know” or do I have to teach fourth grade grammar on how to read inference in a sentence? So I don’t understand why some idiots here get all upset about what you think happened – key word: think! Maybe they don’t know how to read into an article? They see one word they don’t like and don’t bother about the context in which it appears and off they go! Like lunatics! Or are the thought police upon us? Anyway, thank you for your insight into this. I’m sure the police are looking at all possible angles with this case, yours and many others out there. We all have an opinion and yours is appreciated. You never know what can be useful.

    • Unfortunately you seem to apply fourth-grade sensibility and logic in defending this post. No one is arguing with his right to express an opinion, but many of us find it inappropriate and senseless to the negative effects it may have on the family and public perception. I do agree that early on any information may be valuable to the police, but the time for that has long since passed.

  24. Your comments are hurtful to the families involved, and in no way helpful to the police at this time. Your drug deal theory is ill-conceived and betrays your lack of intellectual maturity, sensitivity, and social sophistication. I am assuming your intentions are good, but at this point it would seem both kind and prudent to shut this thing down. The victims were all highly regarded in the community and university, and do not deserve the stain of your broad and uninformed brushstrokes. I am the last to suggest canonizing someone simply because they have been killed, but you go to quite the other extreme. Shut it down.

    • Your complain is ridiculous and makes no sense. It is hurtful to no one’s reputation but ZInkhan’s to speculate about what his problems are or might have been.

    • Are you seriously arguing that Zinkhan’s family don’t want him dragged through the mud? The guy who just murdered three people? I think the family of Zinkhan has heard the worst.

      • I think the point you are missing is your speculation expressed earlier about a “possible drug deal gone wrong” being the murder motive is very upsetting to the many friends and family mourning the victims. I have no idea if Zinkhan used drugs, but I can assure you the murder of these people at a family-oriented reunion picnic was not connected to any sort of drug involvement by the victims.The three people murdered were much-loved and well thought of members of the community.Surely you can see that idle speculation regarding their involvement in a drug deal upsets the many people grieving their deaths?

  25. I was in this class with a Redhead once, who was obviously a drug addict by virtue of the red hair and this student’s propensity to blame every act of violence on drug use. It is only speculation, mind you, but this individual’s inability to clearly reason and coherently express a hypothesis in a socially acceptable manner is absolute evidence of heavy drug use. This person’s funny attire and sense of self-importance in “helping” the police make it clear: Redhead is the Killer….look no further.

    • ZInkhan was who popped to mind in more than one person when there was no name, just “Georgia professor” being reported as the shooter. I think the reasons for that are worthy of sharing, as the shooter did indeed turn out to be Zinkhan.

      I think some hindsight as to Zinkhan’s habits are in order because he did, you know, ACTUALLY KILL THREE PEOPLE IN BROAD DAYLIGHT AT A PARTY!.

      Your offendedness just makes so little sense.

  26. Just wanted to tip you to this post. It seems your intuition about ZInkhan having drug/alcohol abuse problems are backed up by the experiences of others.

    I have little doubt his substance abuse problems contributed to his murderous actions; but those who objected need to understand that it was always plausible.

  27. Redhead, you show plenty of intellectual maturity, sensitivity and sophistication. A troubling question is how a professor with these indicia of substance abuse and alienation wanders the academic halls without treatment or discipline, overseeing what are young lives.

    The AJC reports this:
    View ajc.com website News   FBI takes lead in finding Athens murder suspectStory posted 2009.04.29 at 04:02 PM EDTBy CHIP TOWERSThe Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionWednesday, April 29, 2009Athens — As the mystery deepens into the whereabouts of accused triple-murderer George Zinkhan III, it has become increasingly apparent that the job of apprehending him is falling to the FBI.Special Agent In Charge Gregory Jones told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday that the FBI has at least a dozen agents from seven states — including Georgia divisions in Atlanta, Athens and Macon — assigned to the case.All of them are working daily to follow leads that might help track down Zinkhan, a 57-year-old University of Georgia marketing professor accused of gunning down his wife, Marie Bruce, and two men, Tom Tanner and Ben Teague, in broad daylight Saturday near downtown Athens.The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Zinkhan was last seen driving out of his Bogart neighborhood in his red 2005 Jeep Liberty on Saturday afternoon. That Zinkhan’s vehicle still has not been located is of particular concern to the FBI.“It is quite disconcerting that vehicle has not been sighted,” Jones said. “We’re led to believe it is perhaps out of the public view, housed in a garage, underground or wherever. In most cases vehicles used in the commission of a crime such as this are usually still in the possession of the individual and either sighted later on and/or recovered. That hasn’t been the case here.”Jones said his agents have conducted dozens of interviews with family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances of Zinkhan to try to get an idea of just the type of person they’re dealing with and where he might be headed.Jones said the profile that is emerging is a troubling one: An extremely intelligent and fiercely private individual who is well-resourced, well-traveled and obviously capable of murder.“They paint the picture of the controlling type of an individual who is extremely private and aloof,” Jones said. “We’ve had people in the neighborhood who have told us they have lived next door to them but they don’t know him.“Also, others have told us that he went out of his way to not allow people to know him and would not engage in conversation or let his guard down to enable somebody to know more about him. Such things as, ‘How was your week? What did you do?’, he would cut such conversations off squarely and coldly.”Meanwhile, local authorities are clearly frustrated by the lack of leads in the investigation.“The only thing we can do at this point is let [the investigation] run it’s course,” Athens-Clarke County Police Capt. Clarence Holeman said. “We’ve got a lookout on the guy. Nobody’s seen him. We’re not doing anything special… . The main thing is we know is who did it. We’re just trying to find him. We’ve got 159 counties and 50 states. He could be anywhere.”The last local lead police had, a tip that Zinkhan or at least his vehicle could have been hiding in a warehouse in rural Oconee County, was proved unfounded Tuesday afternoon.Because Zinkhan is an avid hiker, police alerted the Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Park Service and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Since Zinkhan’s passport is missing and he had booked an airline ticket for May 2 to Amsterdam, lookouts have been posted at airports and have been extended internationally.Though it’s an extremely wide net authorities are having to cast, Jones remains cautiously optimistic Zinkhan will be found.“That’s the ultimate goal,” the FBI agent said. “It comes down to detective, gumshoe, investigative work. You’re trying to piece together information, however limited it might be, to get to that ultimate goal. There are some definite and specific leads we have pursued. The interview process has generated more leads. But each time you get one it’s like starting from zero again to get to where you need to be.” Story posted 2009.04.29 at 04:02 PM EDTSend This Story to a FriendTell us what you thinkBack To Headlines

    • I just finished my second semester at a small college. During the first, a professor gave me an A although we never even opened the expensive book that was required, and never even touched on any part of the printed syllabus. I complained to the head of the dept and was simply told I could take the class over again.
      During this second, I’ve watched as a professor gave 100% grades on assignments that were not completed by certain students, and who must be the coldest fish to ever get paid for letting a text book instruct students. All responses from this professor were generic, mass produced e-mails.
      Of 8 professors over the two semesters, 2 (25%) are clearly lacking professionalism, to say the least.

  28. Most university professors, by definition, can be considered “peculiar” or “quirky”. That’s probably why they’re at the university in the first place! This doesn’t mean that all “peculiar” or “quirky” people will become involved in a serious crime during their lives. Your post isn’t very interesting, nor does it shed any real light on why this person committed this particular crime. It does, however, tell volumes about your desire to fantasize and seek the limelight – however morbid and grotesquely sensational as it is. I imagine that you are wholly unaware that your comments to the press are fairly cliche – “He was such a quiet person – I had absolutely no idea!”

  29. Jeep found, not Zinkhan
    Search ensues, but suspected killer evidently fled after ditching SUV
    By Joe Johnson | joe.johnson@onlineathens.com | Story updated at 11:43 pm on 5/1/2009

    A tow truck hauls away George Zinkhan III’s red Jeep Liberty on Friday after police found it in a ravine off Fowler Mill Road near Bogart.

    Photos By David Manning/Staff
    Heavily armed U.S. Marshals ride in the back of a pickup during a search of the area.

    Photos By David Manning/Staff
    Heavily armed law officers enter a wooded area Friday near Bogart where they found the red Jeep Liberty belonging to George Zinkhan III, suspected of killing three people last Saturday.

    BOGART – Police found George Zinkhan III’s ditched SUV in a remote ravine on the Clarke-Jackson county line late Thursday and now know that he fled, either on foot or in another vehicle, after he shot and killed three people near downtown Athens last Saturday.

    Athens-Clarke police tracked down Zinkhan’s red Jeep Liberty on Thursday night after the U.S. Marshals Service detected a signal emitted by one of Zinkhan’s cell phones, investigators said.

    More than 100 local, state and federal law enforcement officers joined an intensive search that began after daylight Friday in the densely wooded area along the Clarke-Jackson County line.

    Heavily armed officers walked through the woods, rode trails on all-terrain vehicles and surveyed the area by helicopter. Tracking dogs couldn’t pick up any scent leading from the wrecked Jeep, indicating Zinkhan probably ditched the SUV days ago, police said.

    Authorities did not find the 57-year-old University of Georgia marketing professor and suspended the main search about 6 p.m. Friday. A smaller crew planned to patrol the area overnight, and officers considered flying over the site with a heat-sensing camera.

    Police thoroughly searched about 1,100 acres and are confident Zinkhan is no longer in the area, they said.

    “We covered a lot of ground,” said Capt. Clarence Holeman, assistant commander of the Athens-Clarke police Criminal Investigations Division. “I think we know enough now where I can say there’s no indication he’s still here.”

    Zinkhan vanished last Saturday afternoon, after police say he opened fire with two handguns in broad daylight, killing his wife, Marie Bruce, 47, and two men, Tom Tanner, 40, and Ben Teague, 63, at a reunion of the Town & Gown Players theater group off Prince Avenue.

    After the shootings, Zinkhan dropped off his two young children at a neighbor’s. Then he apparently drove to a dirt lane off Fowler Mill Road – a few miles by road from his house on Chesterfield Road north of Georgia Square Mall – and allowed the SUV to roll into a ravine.

    “We know for a fact (the Jeep) was placed into drive, and I’m going to say someone pushed it over so no one could find it,” Holeman said.

    Authorities inspected the Jeep at the scene and found no traces of blood to indicate that anyone was inside the vehicle when it wrecked, he said.

    The Jeep also held no weapons, Holeman said.

    Investigators found other potential leads in the Jeep, said John Bankhead, spokesman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, but he declined to elaborate.

    Agents took the Jeep on a flatbed truck to the GBI’s office in Athens so crime scene technicians could examine it, Bankhead said.

    Over the past week, authorities have searched across the nation and world for Zinkhan, who has family ties in several states and had a house in the Netherlands, where he taught part-time.

    Tips trickled to a stop by mid-week, though a team of about a dozen FBI agents are assigned to the case, interviewing the fugitive’s friends, relatives and acquaintances in seven states.

    Cleveland Road Baptist Church served as a base of operations Friday as investigators followed up on the break in the case.

    Athens-Clarke police and the FBI parked two large mobile command centers there, and Georgia State Patrol helicopters took off and landed throughout the day. Law officers wearing vests and toting automatic weapons shuttled from the church to search locations, and troopers checked car trunks and truck beds at an intersection nearby.

    Officers on ATVs zig-zagged across wooded trails in the immediate area and around the Bear Creek Reservoir in Jackson County, less than a mile north of the property where Zinkhan’s Jeep was found.

    The 322-acre tract is owned by ABE Consulting Inc., which plans to develop a housing subdivision there, property manager Abe Abouhamdan said.

    “It’s a big piece of property, I can tell you that, with a lot of vegetation in there,” Abouhamdan said.

    People should continue to use caution until authorities locate Zinkhan because he could still be armed, police said.

    Police urge people to refrain from dialing 911 unless they actually see Zinkhan or have an emergency.

    All other information should be passed along by calling (706) 613-3345.

    Originally published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Saturday, May 02, 2009

  30. As a student enrolled in his class for the CURRENT semester (not one eight years ago), I must say that your aged assumptions are far fetched. I had nothing but respect for him as a professor. Oh, and I never once saw him in casual attire.

    • It was truly shocking hearing the tragic events last weekend, but never did it cross my mind that a professor, who had helped me regularly throughout the past four months, would be capable of such awful things.

  31. Were this man and wife swingers? Maybe they were swinging with the other couple and the man, then someone got a little attached, jealousy happened, and bang, bang, bang.

  32. Criminal complaint from Middle District of Georgia

    A criminal complaint filed in Middle District Court of Georgia Monday reveals some new information about investigation into University professor George Zinkhan, sought for the murder of three people Saturday afternoon.

    FBI Special Agent Gregory McClendon, who is assigned to the FBI office in Macon, relayed Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Rebecca Shaw was told Zinkhan had scheduled a trip to Amsterdam and that he travels there several times a year. He is also close with his brother in North Carolina and recently visited his mother in Baltimore. Shaw also said Zinkhan “has connections to the Netherlands and that he is close to his other children in Texas. Zinkhan has made no contact with these children. He also has extended family in Maryland and Utah.”

    Delta Airlines confirmed Zinkhan has a ticket to leave for Amsterdam on May 2. The statement says he may change the date and attempt to flee. The statement goes on to say Zinkhan recently got a Verizon cell phone because he needed a new one that would work in the Netherlands.

    Since the shooting Saturday, there has been no activity on his cell phones and he has had no contact with “any known family, associates or students,” according to the court document.

    http://media.www.redandblack.com/media/storage/paper871/news/2009/04/28/News/Zinkhan.Has.Not.Contacted.Anyone.So.Far.Has.New.Phone.wcourt.Document-3729114.shtml?refsource=collegeheadlines

    http://media.collegepublisher.com/media/paper871/documents/79np444e.pdf

  33. I don’t think you’re disrespecting the deceased’s memories by writing this article.
    Just came across your post because I’ve been doing some research on it. Wonder what’s going through his mind, in case he’s still alive.

  34. Zinkhan is/was a worldly, well traveled, brilliant man. He might have occasional drug use, possibly, as many do. However, he was very successful and worked with others on the many journal articles and textbooks, along with his many duties at two universities and friends and workmates on two continents. Of course, he probably has some mental problems, however, many of us do. I see this situation as one he planned off and on, half committed to the idea, while watching his relationship with his wife deteriorate. He had been through divorce before, and as many of us, learned from it, to note when the atmosphere was not improving. I don’t necessarily think that he had the killing planned, but snapped because of something he discovered or over a marital “last straw” or both. I think about this a lot because I have experienced some of these things. One wants to escape from the mess. It is possible that something happened that pushed his emotions and anger to the danger zone. In addition, I think that he is smart enough to have gotten, prior to this time, a packet of false passport and other identification. It has been said that he was quiet and not too open about his personal life. I think he had another car bought in another state, with the other ID. After getting rid of his car, in the minutes after leaving the children, then he got to the new transportation, and got to a location he had been before, at least once, so that he knew the ropes of transportation, etc. He could be in the Caribbean area with little notice. Of course. he has done something to alter his looks. He could have gotten on a flight from many areas in places that have lax regulations or have personnel that take bribes easily in corrupt environments. This is real life in much of the world. I think he is alive and will never surface, or it will be years before he does. Look at the much wanted Serb leader who was living in Belgrade and had been living a new life right under the nose of many of his countrymen, with changed appearance. This was in the small country, where he was a wanted man, and after many years he was caught and is now in prison awaiting trial for war crimes. These very intelligent people focus on the project of this new life and do well. This is their new “work”. Think of all the German Nazis who lived open lives in S. America and other places for decades. Surely the FBI has a larger view concerning this. The trail may already be too cold. I don’t think he is dead, or will kill himself. This guy loves a challenge and he is a very smart cookie. With all his various “irons in the fire” he had money socked away, cash. He has done all he needs to in his career. Yes, he is giving up a lot, however, he has accomplished enough to satisfy his need to succeed. He can live his life in anonimity and be satisfied with it at this point. Many people are very selfish and unemotional and can “say goodbye” to family for the sake of the bigger picture…themselves.

    • That insult is uncalled for. Subtance abuse may be a part of Zinkhan’s pathology(ies) even if it is far from the whole of it. (And according to sources who claim an aquaintance with ZInkhan, he was bold about coming to meetings loaded. If he’ll do that in public, what does he do on his OWN time?)

      What was interesting was Redhead’s first reaction hearing news of the shooting by a professor – Zinkhan popped immediately to mind.

      Since Zinkhan turned out to be, in fact, the actual shooter, that impression and the basis for it are worth of relating. His unconventional behaviour and habits and appearance – completely worthy of discussion and speculation.

  35. So much for your “promise” that drugs were involved. You’d think that would have been a part of the press conferences or the autopsy reports.

    Carry on…

  36. You are a complete idiot. He did NOT have a drug problem. A control problem, yes; drugs, no. They’d have told us that from the autopsy. GO FUCK YOURSELF.

  37. […] Other Links to Stories About George Martin Zinkhan III for more information and background:UGA Professor Being Sought In Triple Shooting (WSB)3 Dead, 2 Hurt In Ga. Shooting; Professor SoughtUniversity of Georgia Professor George M. Zinkhan III Suspected in Athens Triple HomicideGeorgia professor sought in shooting death of wife, two othersProfessor on the loose, suspected in Saturday afternoon shooting on Prince Avenue, 3 dead.UGA Professor George Zinkhan Sought in Shooting of Three Adults […]

  38. We have information about what happened one week before and earlier on the day of the murders. If anyone is interested please post here. We’ll be notified automatically and respond. Maybe someone is writing a book and would like something new.

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