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Who killed founder of Stanford University?

Oct. 10, 2003 at 7:00 PM

PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 10 (UPI) -- A retired Stanford University physician is challenging the official version that the school's founder, Jane Stanford, died in 1905 of natural causes.

The school's archives say the matron who set up the prestigious university with her husband died of heart failure in Honolulu, reports The Los Angeles Times.

But Dr. Robert Cutler in his recent book claims Stanford was poisoned with strychnine.

Another Stanford professor, writing recently in an academic journal, wondered whether the murderer was Stanford's first president, David Starr Jordan.

Cutler, a retired emeritus professor of neurology, was doing research for his book when he came across a clue -- an Alameda county gumshoe had investigated an attempt to poison Stanford six weeks before she fell dead.

Cutler said Jordan "was a scoundrel who would stop at nothing to have his own point of view accepted."

"A lot of people inherently think Stanford represents something good and great and almost beyond any imaginable reproach," said Stephen Requa, Stanford alumnus and distant relative of Leland Stanford -- the railroad magnate and U.S. senator who founded Stanford University with his wife.

"Now comes a great evil at the heart of the myth," Requa said.

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