Sept. 25, 2007
Athens Police Department is investigating the death of Phillip Bebb, 66, a semi-retired Ohio University associate professor of history, who was found dead in his Athens home Monday evening, according to an APD news release issued at 10 a.m. today.
Ohio University Police Chief Mike Martinsen offered reassurance this morning. "There is no reason to believe there's any risk to the campus," he said.
The history department canceled classes today out of respect for Bebb.
The APD release said the department received a call at 8:04 p.m. Monday from Susan West, Bebb's wife, saying she had returned home to find her husband on the floor and a knife nearby. Officers arrived to find Bebb dead. A search warrant was obtained for the residence, police said.
Athens County Coroner Scott Jenkinson was called to the home, at 18 Mulligan Road.
Bebb joined the Ohio University Department of History in 1969 and took early retirement in 2004. He last taught on the Athens campus in winter 2007, but taught a class this past summer on the Lancaster campus. According to department records, he taught a variety of courses, including Italian Renaissance, Northern Renaissance, Great Figures in Florence and others, and directed the department's history tutorial program for almost 30 years.
Ohio University President Roderick McDavis extended the university community's condolences to Bebb's family, friends, colleagues and students.
"We have lost a very loved member of our family," said Sherry Gillogly, a history department staff member. "He will be missed terribly by his colleagues and his students."
Updated at 3:25 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25.