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Ivy League Prof Who Killed Wife to Be Paroled

Rafael Robb bludgeoned his wife to death at their Upper Merion home just before her 50th birthday.

A University of Pennsylvania professor who confessed to beating his wife to death with a chin-up bar at their Upper Merion home a few days before Christmas in 2006 is set to be released from prison later this month.

KYW Newsradio reports that Rafael Robb, once recognized among the world's leading economics theorists, had his parole approved last November. If he is released as expected, he will have served close to the minimum portion of his 5-10 year sentence for voluntary manslaughter.

The 62-year-old Robb, who is originally from Israel, pleaded guilty to that charge in November 2007 as part of a plea agreement. He is currently incarcerated at SCI Mercer, about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Ellen Robb, who was about to celebrate her 50th birthday at the time of her death, had spoken to a divorce attorney and was said to have been seeking $4,000 per month in spousal support, prosecutors said.

Ellen Robb was beaten so brutally that police did not initially think she'd been bludgeoned.

"It appeared to us that she had been shot in the face at close range, possibly by a shotgun or a high-powered rifle," said Upper Merion Detective David Gershanick, in an interview for an Investigation Discovery program that aired in January 2011.

In pleading guilty, Robb told the court that he then staged a break-in at the home so that he could blame the murder on a non-existent burglar.

Ellen Robb's family is calling on the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole to reconsider Robb's parole, KYW reports. Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman has echoed that call, according to the Times Herald. Ellen Robb's brother, Gary Gregory, told the Times Herald that his former brother-in-law's parole was "unfathomable."

Gregory told KYW that Robb has never shown remorse for the crime.

As of March 2012, the Robbs' former home in the Wayne section of Upper Merion remained vacant, according to a report by WPVI-TV. Montgomery County property records indicate the home is owned by the estate of Ellen Robb.

Bhrenda Drakeford January 17, 2013 at 01:01 PM
They should have kept his ass in prison. He will repeat that again.
Kay January 17, 2013 at 01:33 PM
Totally sad he murders his wife and may be getting out of jail.. less than 7 years.. people are in jail for far less crimes and doing hard time. What kind of system is this?
Chris Horrocks January 17, 2013 at 01:58 PM
This is a disgrace to our legal system. I would like to know why he received such a light sentence. This is crazy.
Walt Priestley January 17, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Ellen Robb will never see the light of day again. Her convicted murdered should never taste freedom again.
mary tagan January 17, 2013 at 02:49 PM
lock him away forever...where is the justice here
John Q. Public January 17, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Whenever justice does not prevail, you will find a good lawyer.
p bresn January 18, 2013 at 01:52 AM
reprehensible....absolutely a disgrace...justice???? the courts are a total waste........money talks.......
p bresn January 18, 2013 at 01:52 AM
i am tired of having to sign in everytime i leave a comment on a story.
Malika Batwinda Hightower III January 18, 2013 at 11:51 AM
I hope that's the most of your complaints in life; since it's not that serious.
Malika Batwinda Hightower III January 18, 2013 at 11:53 AM
So...approx. $24,000 he saved by this act. Wonder if to him it was worth it.
ROBERT J? HADLEY January 22, 2013 at 11:49 AM
No he had Castor and Tressler as the Judge, both said " he's an intellect man and just made a mistake" both these guys emptied Norristown State by sending the long term mentally ill to prisons, please check both there records.

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