Posted on August 26, 2011

Former U of Idaho Professor Self-Admitted ‘Psychopathic Killer’

KHQ, August 24, 2011

Police reports filed in Latah County reveal a former Associate Professor at the University of Idaho, who police say shot and killed a graduate student then himself, was a self-admitted “psychopathic killer” who threatened the student several times with a gun before he shot and killed her on Monday.

According to the roommates of 22-year-old Katy Benoit, the student was sexually involved with Ernesto Bustamante, but broke things off in March. Friends say Benoit claimed the former professor threatened her several times with a gun and even put the gun in her mouth at one point.

A friend of Bustamante told police that he owned several handguns and had multiple personality disorders, one which he called “psychopathic killer” and another he called “the beast.”

According to the documents Benoit filed a complaint with the University of Idaho against Bustamante in June. Bustamante was either fired or allowed to resign on Friday as a result of the complaint.


{snip} Benoit earned her undergraduate degree last year and started her first year as a graduate student in the psychology department this fall, according to the university.

Bustamante was an assistant professor in the university’s Department of Psychology and Communication, earning a base salary of $51,000 a year, when he resigned his position with the school last Friday. Bustamante had been with the school since August 2007 after graduating from Old Dominion University in Virginia with a doctorate degree in human factors psychology, according to his resume.


“Katy was a beautiful, intelligent and musically talented woman and we are so saddened by her tragic death. She was looking forward to her graduate studies and excited about her future.”

“Katy was a friend to many people and loving daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and cousin. Thank you to our many friends and the communities of Moscow and Boise for your love, support and prayers.”

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports police could not confirm if the relationship between the two was strictly professional, though Idaho’s Dean of Students Bruce Pitman noted there was a university policy that bars faculty members from entering into romantic relationships with students.