George Zinkhan

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George Martin Zinkhan, III[1] (February 17, 1952 – c. May 9, 2009)[2][3] was an American academic and poet. Zinkhan was a professor of marketing at the University of Georgia from 1994 until April 26, 2009.[4][5] He was named as the prime suspect in a triple homicide before authorities announced on May 9, 2009 that they had found and identified Zinkhan's body.


In 1974, Zinkhan received his Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Swarthmore College. He got a Masters in Business Administration with high distinction from the University of Michigan in 1979 and his doctorate in Business administration, also from the University of Michigan, in 1981.[2][6]

Zinkhan was the Conn Professor of Marketing for thirteen years at the University of Houston beginning in 1981. While there, he sexually harassed multiple female academics and ultimately had a lawsuit brought against him.[2] For one year he also was an associate professor for the University of Pittsburgh in 1987.[6] He began as a professor at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business in 1994 and served as department head for Terry's Department of Marketing and Distribution from 1994 until 2001.[2] He held an endowed chair as the department's Coca-Cola Company Professor from 1994 to 2009.[4][6] According to a university spokesman, he had an impeccable track record as a teacher and was a respected professor on campus.[7]


Zinkhan received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Research in 2004 which was presented by the American Academy of Advertising.[6] He also received the Terry Outstanding Faculty Award 2006 and 2009 presented by the economics faculty of the Vrije Universiteit.[8]


Zinkhan published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed academic journals, as well as numerous chapters in edited books. He was the editor of the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science from 2003 to 2006, and of the Journal of Advertising from 1991 to 1995, as well as the book review editor of the Journal of Marketing from 1991 to 1995.[2] In addition, he edited or co-edited several books:

  • Arnould, Eric (2004). Consumers. McGraw Hill / Irwin. ISBN 0-07-253714-0. 
  • Watson, Richard (2000). Electronic Commerce: The Strategic Perspective. Thompson / Dryden. ISBN 0-03-026533-9. 
  • Zinkhan, George M. (2000). Advertising research: the Internet, consumer behavior, and strategy. Chicago, Ill: American Marketing Association. ISBN 0-87757-288-7. 

Zinkhan's curriculum vitae listed 22 works under a section called, "Research Activities: Poetry".[9] Zinkhan's poems—many of which the American Marketing Association published on its website—cover topics ranging from university politics[9] to the Appalachian Trail.[10]

Personal life

Zinkhan had two children, a son and a daughter, with his wife, attorney Marie Bruce.Template:Citation needed Zinkhan also had three children from a previous marriage.Template:Citation needed The family lived in the town of Bogart in the U.S. state of Georgia.[11] Zinkhan owned a second home in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, where he was a marketing professor at the Vrije Universiteit.[12]

Murder charges

Zinkhan was named the prime suspect in the April 25, 2009, shooting deaths of his wife and two other people, Tom Tanner and Ben Teague, outside the Athens Community Theatre in Athens, Georgia.[7] The murders occurred during a picnic reunion of the Town & Gown Players, and all three killed were active in local theater productions. Two bystanders were injured by bullet fragments.[7] According to neighbors and colleagues, there had been no advance signs of trouble.[12] Police said Zinkhan and his wife, Marie Bruce, were having “marital difficulties,” that Tom Tanner appeared to be his “specific target” in the shootings, and that Ben Teague was “at the wrong place at the wrong time.” Tanner was shot first, police said.[13] On the same day, "Zinkhan was charged with three counts of murder and a state arrest warrant was issued in Clarke County, Georgia. A federal arrest warrant was issued on April 26, 2009, after he was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution."[1]


Zinkhan's red Jeep Liberty was found on the night of April 30, 2009, in northwest Clarke County, Georgia.[14] Cadaver dogs located Zinkhan's body on May 9, 2009, approximately one mile from the Jeep.[15][16] Investigators said that Zinkhan used a shovel to dig a Template:Convert grave in the woods behind Cleveland Road Elementary, lay down in it, took an old wooden pallet he had covered with dirt and debris and pulled it over top of the hole.[17] He then fired a single shot from a .38-caliber handgun into his head.[13][16]

Zinkhan's body was claimed by a son from a previous marriage one day before it was scheduled for burial in a pauper's grave.[18]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named FBI
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Zinkhan, George (April 26, 2004). Curriculum Vitae.
  3. "Authorities: Body of UGA professor identified", CNN, May 11, 2009. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "UGA Professor Fired, Still on the Run", WXIA, April 27, 2009. Template:Dead link
  5. "FBI: Wanted professor bought plane ticket to Netherlands", CNN, April 27, 2009. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Terry College of Business: Profile for George Zinkhan. The University of Georgia, Terry College of Business (2000–2008).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Weber, Harry R. "3 dead, 2 hurt in Ga. shooting; professor sought", April 25, 2009. 
  8. George Zinkhan wins 2009 Terry Outstanding Faculty AwardTemplate:Dead link, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Bedrijfskunde Vrije Universiteit, April 17, 2009
  9. 9.0 9.1 GBI releases Zinkhan case file. AccessNorthGa (December 6, 2009).
  10. Boone, Christian (April 28, 2009). UGA's professor's poetry may yield clues to his location.
  11. Burdett, Daniel. "Zinkhan 'odd,' prolific professor", The Red & Black, April 27, 2009. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Georgia professor sought in shooting death of wife, two others", CNN, April 25, 2009. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Athens killer lay in grave under pallet, shot himself", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 12, 2009. 
  14. Update: Zinkhan's vehicle located. WRDW.
  15. Police: Missing UGA Professor Found Dead. WSB TV.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Zinkhan's body found in grave he dug", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 9, 2009. 
  17. Floyd, Allison. "Police say Zinkhan targeted Tanner, committed suicide", The Augusta Chronicle, May 12, 2009. 
  18. "Son claims body of professor accused in killings", CNN, May 16, 2009. 

External links


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