Professor Murdered in Broad Daylight Likely Knew Killer: Cops

Dan Markel shot in the head at close range at his home

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 25, 2014 11:38 AM CDT

(Newser) – Police are seeking information on a "vehicle of interest" following the brazen murder of a professor in broad daylight. Dan Markel, a Harvard Law School grad who taught criminal law at Florida State University, was shot at close range in the side of the head at his Tallahassee home last week, ABC News reports. Police believe it's a case of premeditated murder and say the Toronto native, 41, likely knew his killer as there were no signs of forced entry. They've released a photo of what CBS News reports to be a silver or light green Toyota Prius, though police say it's not necessarily the suspect's vehicle and they won't say exactly where it was spotted.

The New York Daily News reports Markel had two young sons, aged 3 and 5, with ex-wife Wendi Adelson, a fellow professor at Florida State with whom Markel was reportedly involved in a legal dispute over custody issues and finances. She is "totally, totally shocked over what happened," her lawyer says. "She's scared to death for her children. She's scared to death for herself." Police say Adelson has not been labeled a suspect, nor has anyone else. "We are speaking to everybody who has an affiliation with Mr. Markel," an officer says, adding that a tip line has already received some 50 calls. Meanwhile, a friend of Markel's has created a fund to raise money for his two boys, which has reached nearly $50,000 after just three days. (Read about three similar killings since 2003 in Virginia.)

This photo taken on Feb. 7, 2006 shows law school professor Daniel Markel, shot in the head at his home on Friday, July 18, 2014.
This photo taken on Feb. 7, 2006 shows law school professor Daniel Markel, shot in the head at his home on Friday, July 18, 2014.   (AP Photo/Florida State University)
This photo taken on Feb. 7, 2006 shows law school professor Daniel Markel, shot in the head at his home on Friday, July 18, 2014.
This photo taken on Feb. 7, 2006 shows law school professor Daniel Markel, shot in the head at his home on Friday, July 18, 2014.   (AP Photo/Florida State University)
This photo taken on Feb. 7, 2006 shows law school professor Daniel Markel, shot in the head at his home on Friday, July 18, 2014.
This photo taken on Feb. 7, 2006 shows law school professor Daniel Markel, shot in the head at his home on Friday, July 18, 2014.   (AP Photo/Florida State University)
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