Ellen Robb, Rafael Robb: Watch ‘The Professor’s Wife,’ ‘Homicide City’ Christmas Killing Today


Ellen Robb’s Christmas murder by husband Professor Rafael Robb is profiled tonight on Homicide City. ID’s episode chronicling the story is “The Professor’s Wife.” In December of 2006, Ellen Robb sat quietly at a kitchen table in her suburban Pennsylvania home, as Rafael Robb, sneaked up behind her and bludgeoned her to death with an object. The housewife and mother was wrapping Christmas presents at the time.


Homicide City episode “The Professor’s Wife” on Investigation Discovery’s Channel

When a husband returns to his Philadelphia home after running errands on a typical morning, leading up to Christmas, he finds his wife dead in a pool of blood. Police believe it’s a burglary gone awry. But upon inspecting the couple’s marital life, detectives find trouble was brewing, which led to a ghastly rage killing.



Forty-nine-year-old Ellen Robb had had enough of her husband’s verbal abuse, which by then had escalated to physical abuse. She looked forward to her brother picking her up so she could begin a new life in Massachusetts.

Prosecutors say Rafael Robb flew into an uncontrollable rage and struck Ellen repeatedly from behind when he learned she was planning to leave him and take their daughter that day. After the murder, he tried to cover his tracks by going to various public places, where he knew the surveillance cameras would catch him on video. Meanwhile, the nutty professor got rid of the clothes and the murder weapon in China Town. Today, detectives still remember the terrible condition of Ellen Robb’s body, remarking that the killer struck her so hard upon her head and face, they thought she was a gunshot victim.

For the murder of his wife, Rafael Robb, a once-respected professor at the University of Pennsylvania, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and given ten years in prison with the chance for parole after five years. Family members were sickened that Rafael received such little time. Ellen Robb’s brother said his sister was warm and generous. He remembers her as “an angel on earth.”

Where is Rafael Robb today?

According to People.com, he was released from prison after serving a ten-year sentence.¬†Watch Ellen Robb’s sad story tonight on Homicide City: “The Professor’s Wife” at 10 p.m.


[Main image via Investigation Discovery/with permission]

Traciy Curry-Reyes

Traciy Curry-Reyes is the founder and editor-in-chief of TV Crime Sky. She began her career as a true crime & entertainment freelance writer in the 1990's for her website, The Movies Based on True Stories Database/Archives. She has contributed content to other websites, such as Examiner.com and Inquisitr.com. Traciy also appears as a true-crime expert and commentator on TV One's Fatal Attraction, For My Man, and Justice by Any Means; Investigation Discovery's Murder Calls and Scorned; Oxygen's Snapped; FOX's Crime Watch Daily; and Lifetime Television's Killer Kids.