Friends Remember Retired MSU Professor Stabbed to Death by Colleague

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Many questions remain tonight after a retired MSU professor was stabbed to death in his home.

Marc Cooper’s colleague, Edward Gutting, is charged with second degree murder and is accused of walking into Cooper’s back door Wednesday night and stabbing him to death.

Cooper’s wife was injured in the attack.

According to Missouri State University officials, there was no known conflict going on between Cooper and Gutting.

As police continue to search for a motive, family and friends of Marc and Nancy Cooper are also left with many questions.

“We are all devastated,” said Judith Peavey, a family friend of the Coopers.  “We can’t even fathom.  I just don’t understand it.”

Two days have passed since 66-year-old Mark Cooper was stabbed to death inside his Springfield home.

“We’re just in shock,” said Peavey.

Friends and family still have many questions of their own.

“What the motive was or why, where the anger came from– it’s just unfathomable.”

A family man, described as scholarly and fun to be around, Marc Cooper was also a man of faith.

“Very involved in the synagogue– Marc was on the board of directors– he was president– when the rabbi is out of town, he volunteers to run services, do sermons.”

Peavey said Marc was a man who had no enemies.

“I dont know what went on with them, Nancy has no idea– never saw this guy in her life,” she said.  “Mark has never mentioned this guy, if they had any relationship– it was minimal.”

Marc worked with Gutting and Gutting’s wife in Missouri State University’s history department before retiring in 2014.  He was still a part-time managing editor of the E-Journal of Public Affairs.


“It’s very difficult to lose someone who had made such an impact,” said MSU’s Dr. Victor Matthews.  “And who has been a voice for the humanities for so many years.”

University officals say they never knew of any conflict between the two professors.

“Just beyond what any of us can imagine– what,” said Peavey.  “What.”

Just one of the many questions family and friends still want answered.

“They’re just wonderful folks– a lot of friends, and they’ve been involved in the community and give of themselves,” said Peavey.  “She’s strong– but she’s got a long road ahead of her.  It’s going to be very, very hard.”

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