(Update) ‘Loved’ Villanova professor mourned after murder

Carol ambruster retired villanova professor
Carol Ambruster. Credit: Villanova University

Police identified the victim of a brutal stabbing in Germantown as retired Villanova University astronomy and astrophysics professor Carol Ambruster, 69.

“She was loved,” said Prof. Ed Guinan, a former colleague of Ambruster’s. “Everybody here is just shocked.”

Ambruster’s roommate called police around 9 p.m. Monday after discovering her body in the kitchen of their apartment on the 5500 block of Wayne Avenue.

She was stabbed multiple times in the neck and chest. Police found the murder weapon at the scene. No suspects have been arrested.

Ambruster received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Northeastern University outside Boston in 1971 and a doctorate in astronomy from UPenn in 1984. She taught at Villanova from 1987 until retiring in 2011.

Ambruster worked with colleagues at University of Colorado and NASA in studying solar flares and radiation during her long career.

“Her work in the stars was useful in our understanding of the sun,” Guinan said.

A recent convert to Judaism, she had plans to move to the Southwest, where she had studied the archaeoastronomy of Pueblo and Hopi structures in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. She argued that these structures actually formed an astronomical calendar.

“Everything was looking good for her, that’s the sad thing,” Guinan said.

She is survived by a half-sister.


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