ROCKFORD, Ill. — A college professor and a journalist say they received emails from an expert on presidential pardons just days before his body and the bodies of his two sons were found in an apparent murder-suicide.

The Chicago Tribune reports that USA Today White House correspondent Gregory Korte and St. Thomas Law School professor Mark Osler said they received emails containing the life’s work of 58-year-old political science professor Peter Ruckman several days before police found the bodies.

Winnebago County sheriff’s deputies found Ruckman and his sons, 14-year-old Christopher Ruckman and 12-year-old John Ruckman, shot to death at a Rockford-area home Saturday.

Korte and Osler say the email contained a massive data set with the note: “Would want you to have this and use freely.”

Ruckman was a professor at Rock Valley College and an instructor at Northern Illinois University.

Information from: Chicago Tribune,