DECEMBER 16, 2004 -- UNC-Wilmington officials have released documents revealing Curtis Dixon and his father, James Dixon, deceived campus officials a year before the murder.
The university had been previously bound by federal privacy rules.
In April of 2003, James Dixon, then an administrator at UNC-Charlotte, e-mailed UNCW, asking whether it was too late for his son to apply for admission.
First, James Dixon sent a fake transcript saying his son had been home-schooled for four years at a school named Dixon Academy. Documents were not filed establishing Dixon Academy until what would have been Dixon's junior year.
In reality, Curtis had dropped out of Charlotte's Vance High School. Next, Curtis lied about attending both the North Carolina School of the Arts and UNC-Charlotte. Finally, Curtis was convicted on a theft charge, a fact not disclosed on his application.
"Given these numerous discrepancies, had they been known at the time, I doubt Curtis Dixon would have been admitted to UNCW," says Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo.
DePaolo says numerous steps have been put in place to avoid this sort of tragedy from happening again. These steps include: asking students about gaps in their academic history and asking high school guidance counselors. Some say these steps may not be enough.
"Not even the best background checks can completely eliminate the risk of a potentially dangerous student being enrolled. But becoming a model for campus safety is something we must aim for," says Chancellor DePaolo.
That is the legacy of the first murder in the university's history.