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The Butcher of Braintree (book)

Is she totally insane, or just ‘crazy like a fox’?
Contrary to popular Hollywood depictions, women rarely kill. Statistics show, of all the homicides that occur worldwide, the vast majority are committed by men.
But then women don’t usually send their colleagues pipe bombs, either. Or deliberately contaminate their workplace environment with contagions. Or assault innocent strangers who suddenly vex them. Or gun down their own family members in cold blood. Or calmly plan and execute mass murder.
Of course, if you ever actually met the deviously brilliant Dr. Bishop yourself, she’d be the first to inform you that she’s no ordinary woman…
Meet homicidal professor Amy Bishop, the bloody butcher of Braintree Massachusetts and the perpetrator of the Huntsville Massacre at the University of Alabama in 2010, where for years she taught anatomy and neuroscience before being denied tenure and going on the warpath.
She’s copped an insanity defense for that deadly campus rampage, but is this Harvard-educated and coddled career felon really as deranged as her lawyers would have us now believe? Or is she once again just cleverly evading justice?
THE BUTCHER OF BRAINTREE: An in-depth analysis of the life, times, and covered up crimes of mass murderer Amy Bishop. Another true crime special report by Eponymous Rox, author of THE CASE OF THE DROWNING MEN.

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Chapter 1: Mass Murder

BREAKING NEWS - Three killed during a shooting at University of Alabama - Shooter in custody: “Three faculty members were killed and three others wounded this afternoon in a shooting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. A suspect is in custody and a second person detained but ‘not arrested,’ a university spokesman says. Huntsville Police Chief Henry Reyes has announced, ‘we have a suspect and possible persons of interest…but we're not going to say exactly how many or who we have.’ The incident occurred around 4 p.m. in Shelby Hall. Police arrived at 4:01 p.m. The suspect was taken into custody shortly thereafter in front of the building. No weapon has been recovered yet.”
In the afternoon of February 12th 2010, neurobiology professor Amy Bishop had finished teaching her last class of the day at the University of Alabama and was calmly headed to a faculty meeting at room 369 in Shelby Hall, where she knew a dozen of her colleagues, including the head of the biology department, were patiently awaiting her attendance.
Armed with a concealed weapon, she arrived there shortly after 3PM and sat quietly at the far end of the conference table for about forty more minutes before rising to her feet once again. She then coolly produced a loaded 9-mm Ruger handgun from a bag she'd carried into the meeting room, and, in execution style, began shooting her fellow scientists, one by one, in the head.
With precision and accuracy Bishop first fired upon those seated to her immediate right. Both victims, department chair Gopi Podila, a molecular biologist, and staff assistant Stephanie Monticciolo, collapsed at Bishop’s feet already dying from their wounds when she then abruptly turned to her left and shot physiologist Adriel Johnson.
Expert plant specialist, Maria Ragland Davis, had been seated in the chair right beside Johnson—Bishop took careful aim and shot her next.
And so on, down the line, to the left and to the right, the homicidal professor kept on shooting.

In the deadly spray of bullets and bone fragments that ensued that day, Luis Cruz-Vera, the newest addition to the biology team at the University of Alabama, also crumpled to the floor, not shot per se but severely injured by shrapnel in the chest. And, close by him, professor Joseph Leahy, caught in the line of ricochet as he was attempting to duck, had his right optic nerve completely severed.
In those initial moments when the bloodletting began and Debra Moriarty, dean of the school’s graduate program and a biochemist, realized with horror that the shooter was in fact one of them and strategically blocking the exit, she managed to dive safely under the table and collect her wits. Ultimately, it would be due to the fast-thinking and courage of this particular individual that anybody else in the room was saved from Bishop’s boundless wrath.
That, and the unexpected mercy of a gun jamming.
Survivors of the Huntsville Massacre confirm that when Bishop’s pistol jammed she’d been pointing it directly at Debra Moriarty. Because the gun then, for some reason, failed to fire, Moriarty had seized Bishop by the pant leg and was urgently pleading with her to regain her senses and to consider the predicament she had now created for her own daughter, Lily Bishop-Anderson, a student of biology at the very same college.
They were friends, her and Amy Bishop, or so Moriarty previously had thought. Yet the desperate pleas to spare her life and those of her remaining colleagues fell on deaf ears, she later said, greeted instead with the rapid clicking of a semiautomatic handgun and “very, very evil-looking” eyes.
She would soon be counted among the dead too, if Bishop could get her weapon to fire properly again, Moriarty acknowledged, because “this wasn’t random shooting around the room.” She could plainly see Bishop had planned for, and was killing them, “execution style.” Shooting like an expert marksman.
Over and over and over again, a perplexed but still determined Amy Bishop tried to fire her defective firearm at Debra Moriarty, while Moriarty herself slowly and deliberately crawled on her hands and knees toward the door that the distracted shooter was no longer guarding. She did not know if, with every hollow click she heard above her, the pistol was actually empty or whether it was, hopefully, broken. But Moriarty painstakingly made her way toward the exit anyway, placing her own life in jeopardy while at the same time buying her fellow researchers precious time.
When Moriarty reached the door at last, jerked it wide open, and called for help to anyone who might’ve been nearby, her five uninjured colleagues were suddenly on their feet too; and they all joined her in shoving their would be assassin into the hallway, swiftly locking the blood-soaked-and brain-spattered Bishop on the other side of the door and barricading it with the conference table in the event she tried to reenter.
Inside the windowless room, safe, at least for the moment, the professors took in the scope of the horror Bishop had just rendered, located a cellphone and dialed 911 to report it, and then, relieved to know that help was on the way, set up triage for their injured comrades, having only paper napkins and their own clothes to stanch the bleeding with.
No Hollywood movie could prepare them for such a scene of carnage. There was blood everywhere they looked. On the floor. On the chairs. On the ceiling. On the walls.
Mortally wounded 52-year-old Podila, the popular head of the biology department, lay comatose in a pool of his own blood. He would die very shortly from that hemorrhage.
Professors Davis and Johnson too would never recover from the injuries they sustained; each were slowly succumbing to them and, likewise, would both be dead soon.
Of the other three victims, Cruz-Vera’s injuries were to prove the least life-threatening, but the bullet that struck assistant Monticciolo had passed through her right cheek and out her left temple. In its devastatingly destructive journey it ripped into her left eye, leaving her permanently blinded on that side. It also shattered her sinus cavity and some of her teeth, sending fragments of bone and enamel down into her airway, and maiming her for life.
Victim Leahy had a complex assortment of head wounds, primarily a network of facial fractures that would later require wiring his jaw shut and the installation of a protective plate to the frontal portion of his skull which had been totally decimated. Compromised in this manner, he would develop additional health complications from the disfigurement much further down the line, but that’s not uncommon in such casualties. When bullets meet bone they cause long-lasting damage.
All of these traumatic injuries the overwhelmed survivors endeavored to dress as best as they could with what little they had at their disposal. And, when at last they saw there was nothing more that could be done to save their friends or to make them comfortable, they huddled in shock in a corner, unsure if or when the police would finally arrive, or if the shooter was intending to return soon to do more harm.
Outside in the hallway, however, a confounded Amy Bishop still couldn’t get her gun to fire, no matter how much she fiddled with it. So, thwarted in her mission, she abandoned it altogether and headed to the ladies’ room where she promptly removed her bloodstained overcoat, wrapped it around the faulty firearm, and deposited both items into the wastebasket.
She then took a moment to tidy herself up in the mirror, after which, acting perfectly normal and as if nothing extraordinary had happened this day, she telephoned her husband and asked him to come to the campus and pick her up, just as he usually would do.
“I am done,” was all she told him.
Her getaway vehicle on its way, Amy Bishop donned a bright pink shirt and a docile expression, and strode confidently to the front of the besieged university where she stood at the curb waiting for a reliable mate to whisk her from the scene of the crime. No doubt to claim in its tumultuous aftermath that she had never even been there at all, and, perhaps, even having gone so far as to pre-frame a patsy.
But the woman was intercepted by the police and arrested before her husband could come, and, when he did finally get there, minutes too late to be of any use, he too was detained for questioning.
Bishop’s malevolent master-plan thus bungled and gone awry, she had still succeeded in leaving three dead and three wounded, in a massacre meant for twelve.

“She seemed perfectly normal during her lecture.” A student who attended Dr. Amy Bishop’s ‘Anatomy and Neuroscience’ class just prior to the Huntsville campus shooting
“It was an ordinary faculty meeting” and until she pulled her gun out “Bishop’s behavior was normal.” A survivor of the massacre in room 369 of the Shelby Center for Science and Technology at the University of Alabama in Huntsville
“Moriarty was probably the one who saved our lives. She was the one that initiated the rush.” Shooting survivor Professor Ng describing the heroics of fellow professor Debra Moriarty in ending the siege by luring Bishop out of the conference room


Chapter 2: Injustice 

Sympathetically portrayed as a devoted wife, mother and Harvard-educated professional, with no known record of criminality or violence, it’s understandable why some people were quick to blame Amy Bishop’s otherwise inexplicable workplace rampage in February 2010 on the grueling process for obtaining tenure. In support of this contention, they hastened to point out that she’d just been denied a coveted tenured post by some of her slain colleagues at the University of Alabama only a few months prior to the Huntsville Massacre.
Those not familiar with this academic ordeal of sorts would likely scoff at the theory, but anyone who’s ever applied for tenure—basically a lifetime teaching position approved by a committee of your peers—can attest to the rigors of such an application. And, while there is certainly an emphasis on scholarship and achievement in determining these lucrative appointments, it also goes without saying that, since it’s up to your fellow professors as to whether you’ll be permanently staying on with them or whether your budding career as a college educator has come to a screeching halt, it can feel very much like winning or losing a popularity contest.
And, lest there be any doubt about it, the habitually haughty and antisocial Amy Bishop had never won a popularity contest in her life.
Being denied the security of a tenured position, after years of higher education and hard work, and when you were probably overqualified from the start and it should have been granted, save for lesser extraneous considerations, is the kind of setback that can cause some people to limp away feeling as if they’ve been cheated.
It’s a typical reaction, in fact, for many unsuccessful candidates, even the most emotionally stable.
On the other hand, if an individual has simply been raised their entire life with a cultivated belief that they are inherently smarter than, and superior to, everyone else in the world, then tenure represents just another of life’s grand sureties on a long, long list of similar entitlements. Definitely, the denial of tenure status to a person with this kind of fragile character makeup would not only be an unanticipated and devastating blow to their ego, it might even make them feel persecuted…
Born in the upscale Boston suburbs of Braintree Massachusetts on April 24th 1965 to Sam and Judy Bishop, Amy Bishop was the eldest of two exceptionally gifted offspring.
A child of relatively fortunate circumstances, her father was a tenured professor of the film arts at Northeastern University; and her popular, politically-active mother was heavily involved in local government, a preoccupation which, over time, would net Judy Bishop many valuable ties in her close-knit, well-to-do community. Much to the future benefit of her introverted and temperamental daughter.
But this rather idyllic background setting may begin an end on the above brief description, unfortunately, because, according to reliable sources, the Bishop household was anything but cozy and familial.
Although there is no indication that young Amy Bishop was ever bullied in the schoolyards of Braintree, she evidently did not inherit her mother’s gift for making friends. As a matter of fact, those who were in the same classes with her suggest Bishop had gained neither enemies nor confidants in her formative years, her arrogant and potentially explosive personality keeping most everybody she met at a distance, including her own brother.
“She wasn’t mean because she wasn’t someone you could get close to,” a childhood classmate said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “She wasn’t an attractive girl and she didn’t have friends,” he added. “She didn’t work at having friends…people just learned to leave her alone.”
Almost three years her junior, Seth Bishop did not encounter quite the same difficulties with socializing as his older sibling did, but, reportedly, he too was a “painfully shy” child.
Nonetheless, the younger Bishop seems to have enjoyed his early schooling for the most part, and to have developed a few reasonably solid friendships there as well. This, in spite of the rumored eccentric upbringing that might have designated him as an awkward loner too. Just like the older sister he “never talked about” or publicly acknowledged.
“It was as if he was a complete stranger in her life,” the former classmate explained, describing the entire Bishop unit as one very “dysfunctional family” which everyone more or less “just accepted as being odd.”
As to the daily machinations at the Bishops’ home and hearth, and what might qualify these as so strange to an onlooker, the same commentator offered only this small insight, immediately following the tragic events at the University of Alabama:
“That house was anything but a home. It was just a really dreary, dark place where there wasn’t any love.”
Dark, loveless, socially inept, odd—no matter—the Bishop clan would one day show the world that even they could stick together, if need be. Just as any other happy, average family might do in a time of crisis.
At least three of the Bishop family members, anyway.
Up until that challenging moment that was fatefully destined to test their collective mettle, and well past it, a determined Amy Bishop just kept focused on her studies and achieving outstanding grades, priming herself for what she hoped would be a rewarding career in academia. A career which, as might be expected, would begin first with her undergraduate work at Northeastern University.
A no-nonsense child so intensely devoted to bigger and better things is admirable, of course, and such ambitious progeny must surely stir a sense of pride in even the coldest of parents, as the Bishops were often alleged to be.
But it can’t be a pleasant life for a youngster, not being well-liked by other young people. It can’t be healthy for her to not have even a small circle of close colleagues to relax and pal around with on the weekends. The experience of growing up can’t possibly be fully realized as a positive, life-affirming one when you don’t have any friends to grow with.
Getting married, raising a family, holding down a job…traditionally these have been considered part and parcel to becoming an adult. Of course, our flexible contemporary times allow for many variations on these common themes now, so, for instance, it’s not considered “odd” anymore that some people will never make a wedding vow or will marry more than once, that some may never have or want to have children of their own, that some will never work outside their homes or are distinctly self-employed. But, regardless of these personal choices or of our economic and educational statuses, making and maintaining friendships throughout life is still the unifying factor for everyone, the most significant indicator of a person’s emotional and social wellness. For all balanced human beings everywhere, being capable of selecting a few individuals from the vast pool of strangers in the world as people we “really like”, and developing meaningful and lasting bonds with them, is the norm.
In short, teaming up with others is natural and beneficial and the very essence of being alive.
Invariably, by the time the 44-year-old learned but profoundly misanthropic Amy Bishop was loading a clip of bullets into a 9-mm Ruger pistol and placing the weapon into her handbag so she could clandestinely bring it to work with her and shoot up the biology department, she did at last understand this one very tricky lesson: That an academic life, as with ordinary day-to-day life itself, was a team sport.
By habit and design, Bishop was no team player, that’s for certain, and she could see that she’d once again dismally failed to fulfill the demands of being one. This deeply infuriated her, so she decided that, if it was all just a banal game of this nature, if even academia could be reduced to nothing more than a sport, of teams deciding who we like and who we don’t, then she would up the stakes on those who had rejected her, literally turn it into a blood sport.
For how could she not be declared the winner then, if she was the only player left standing?
It was not only paranoid thinking either that led Bishop to the unsettling conclusion her fellow biologists were refusing her a prized spot alongside them for reasons that went beyond her resume or an insufficient number of published research paperstwo major issues cited in the decline of her application and which she’d unsuccessfully appealed.
Well in advance of the Huntsville campus shooting and the formal denial of her tenure bid, a number of Bishop’s colleagues had filed complaints to the university directors about her worrisome conduct, calling attention to a disturbing demeanor in general and to the weird, often inappropriate remarks, she’d utter during faculty meetings.
They claimed she “did things that weren’t normal” and interrupted their discussions with “bizarre tangents” and “left field kind of stuff” that left them convinced she was “out of touch with reality” at times and even “strange.”
One of the professors who had also served on the review committee that denied Amy Bishop tenure flat out called her “crazy.” When Bishop caught wind of his remark and filed a grievance over it with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, he refused to back away from that opinion, telling the EEOC investigator it was no flip assessment made to malign or discriminate. “I said she was crazy multiple times and I stand by that,” he reiterated. “This woman has a pattern of erratic behavior.”
Perhaps being the subject of scathing reports like those, coupled with a handful of similar complaints from her own students, is the real reason why, on the day Bishop planned for the shootings to occur, she remained so disarmingly silent in room 369 before finally drawing her weapon. Solely to put her intended victims at ease and off their guard.
Still, if a failed quest for tenure is, in the end, what caused the supposedly harmless but eccentric biology professor to snap on that February day, why would she have waited nearly a full year to act on her disappointment? If it was, as many have frequently speculated, just a broken Amy Bishop carrying out one isolated incident of murderous revenge against those she felt had sabotaged her career, why did she kill and maim even her biggest supporters?
It doesn’t really make any sense.
Moreover, it’s not true that Amy Bishop had no criminal record and a firmly-established history for extreme acts of violence prior to the Huntsville Massacre. Indeed, her twisted trail of felonious conduct before then was well-known to the authorities, including the FBI, and had been documented as early as 1986. Bishop’s lifetime of criminality had simply been hidden from public view by a well-respected Boston family and a few friends in high places.
And, time and time again, to the detriment of society, overlooked by law enforcement.


“She was standing in like a blockade…I told her to lower the weapon, to drop the weapon. I’m a police officer, so lower the weapon. It appeared like it was five minutes [then] she lowered the weapon.” Officer Timothy Murphy of the Braintree Police Department responding on December 6, 1986 to a shooting at the Bishop house in Braintree Massachusetts
“Officers Jordan and Murphy observed the decedent lying on his back on the floor in a pool of blood in the kitchen area, with a large chest wound.” Massachusetts state trooper Brian Howe summarizing the Bishop shooting incident, case #86-112-0910-0185, in his report dated March 30, 1987
“She was distraught…hyperaware of everything. She said ‘Put your hands up…I need a car.’ [So] I put my hands up.” Tom Pettigrew, a former Ford employee, describing Amy Bishop’s attempt to carjack him at gunpoint on December 6th 1986, immediately after shooting her brother
“It was determined that due to the testimony of the members of the Bishop family and, in particular, to the testimony of Judy Bishop…no further investigation into the death of Seth Bishop was warranted.” Final disposition of the 1986 Bishop shooting as found and directed by Captain Theodore Buker and Detective Michael Carey of the Braintree police Department, with the Massachusetts State Police concurring

Chapter 3: Fratricide

Braintree Massachusetts, 1986

The winding tale of Amy Bishop’s flair for brutality has its official beginning in the kitchen of her parents’ home on a cold December day in 1986. Prior to then, however, rest assured, there had to be many a secret and forgiven misdemeanor to precede this stunning event.
If what is about to be transcribed here was merely a script to a made-for-TV dramatization, or the diabolical plot to a blockbuster whodunit movie, Bishop’s father the film professor would likely agree there could still be no stronger opening scene than a close up of his 20-year-old daughter angrily loading his pump-action shotgun and slowly descending the stairs with it. The thought of murder burning brightly in her soul and in her eyes.
The awful death of Amy Bishop’s younger brother nearly three decades ago is not a work of fiction, sadly, and the only thing false in the telling and the retelling is that it was “just an accident.”
Truth can indeed be stranger than fiction, it’s been demonstrated many times, and we’ve all seen that truth can also be subjective and relative too, and even composed of many separate parts that have to be carefully pieced together before the big picture can be revealed. But, still, truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, isn’t usually so intricately complicated as to make it impossible to access with proper probing.
For this reason, experienced investigators instinctually know the more convoluted somebody’s alibi or testimony becomes the greater the odds it’s a falsehood. And this is also the very same reason why so many red flags went up regarding the detailed but dubious-sounding accounts of how Amy Bishop shot her brother in the kitchen of her parent’s home, and then left him for dead.
Forensically assembling these anecdotes together with all available evidence, here is the picture that emerges:
Late in the morning of December 6th 1986, Amy Bishop’s father, Sam Bishop, had departed from the Bishops’ residence at 46 Hollis Avenue in Braintree Massachusetts after having just curtly concluded an argument with his daughter over “something she said.” He stated for the record that it was his intention that day to do a little Christmas shopping at the local mall and, at the exact time of his departure, his daughter had gone upstairs to her bedroom.
Although Mr. Bishop didn’t elaborate on the subject matter of their quarrel, he insisted it had been a very brief exchange and added that, when he left the house, he knew she was alone inside it and “acting normal.”
Outside, he said his 18-year-old son was busy with the task of “washing his car” in the driveway, but, in all probability, Seth Bishop too was somewhere in the Bishop home, as the chances of being able to wash an automobile by hand in the dead of winter, in the far northern state of Massachusetts, are fairly slim to nonexistent.
Archived weather reports for 12/06/86, gathered from the center at Boston Logan Airport which is situated slightly north of the Braintree suburb, as well as from the Norwood Weather Station located only a few miles to the south of it, supports such a supposition. This data shows the mean temperature for the day to have been only one degree above freezing (at 33° F), with the lowest temperature registering at seven degrees below freezing (or 25° F). Zero precipitation had fallen during the night or in the morning and there were no daytime winds to speak of either, but these were still relatively frigid conditions, notwithstanding.
Furthermore, no extreme weather records were set throughout the entire 24-hour period—it was an average winter day—so some serious doubt is cast as to the reliability of at least this part of Mr. Bishop’s statements.
Records do confirm as factual his next assertion that his wife Judy had already gone to town several hours earlier and had not yet returned from her errands at the time Mr. Bishop left the premises. This proves without a doubt that neither of them were present when their daughter stole into their bedroom and took an unloaded shotgun and shells from a bureau, brought the items back to her own room for loading purposes, and then fired a shot into the wall shattering a lamp and mirror.
Mrs. Bishop vehemently claims, even today, she most certainly did come back home within the same hour her husband had departed (around noon), but, because her testimony has other glaring holes, it’s much more likely she didn’t arrive there until well after the shooting itself, and whatever else led up to it, actually transpired.
That far more credible version of events would place a very disgruntled daughter (Amy) and her hapless victim (Seth) alone together inside the Bishop home for a number of hours before Mrs. Bishop got there, and quite possibly even after her son had been fatally wounded and lay dead or dying.
Police have determined four or more shots were “accidentally” discharged by Amy Bishop from her father’s gun on this day, with distinct points of entry visible at three separate locations: One bullet went into her bedroom wall and adjacent fixtures as already mentioned, one went up into the ceiling from the main floor of the residence, and one went into the left side of Seth Bishop’s torso, instantly destroying his lung, his heart, and his liver.
The firearm Amy Bishop used on her brother was a brand new 12-gauge shotgun which she’d loaded in her bedroom with #4 lead shot.
A Mossberg 500A, this particular model is designed to discharge multiple rounds but still requires manual pumping each time in order to bring a new shell into the chamber for firing. A pump-action mechanism isn’t a locking feature, by any means, but it still serves indirectly as a kind of safety in that deliberate force must be applied to engage it, which cannot be achieved accidentally.
Moreover, without priming the gun in this manner, its firing chamber would remain empty so that no bullet could lethally project from the barrel, even by mistake.
Let alone three or four.
For more than 25 years now Mrs. Bishop has insisted she was home within the specific timeframe that all these shots would’ve been fired, including the one that thunderously and fatally tore through her son’s chest as he allegedly stood beside her in the kitchen. Yet she also swears she never heard those other gun blasts, and, when grilled and grilled about this aspect of her testimony, went on to implausibly explain it was because the house on Hollis Avenue had been extensively “soundproofed” when the Bishops initially moved in.
Most of Mr. and Mrs. Bishop’s statements pertaining to these critical hours can obviously never be corroborated since they weren’t together until the end of that day, nor were each of them accompanied by a third party, but, to be sure, certain circumstantial things they’ve historically claimed are totally bald and suspect: The Bishop’s home had never been extensively soundproofed, the gunshots that were fired inside it were much too loud to be missed by anyone else indoors, and the only logical explanation for why Mrs. Bishop didn’t or couldn’t hear them is because she wasn’t there in the first place.
Under that scenario, however, there wouldn’t have been a single solitary witness to the shooting of Seth Bishop but Seth Bishop himself, who, because of the severity of his injuries, was unable to speak.
Most importantly, there would’ve been no one in the world to ever swear on a stack of bibles until eternity that his killer, Amy Bishop, was innocent.
There doesn’t even appear to be a witness available to dispute whether Mrs. Bishop did or didn’t come home that afternoon, or what time. That may not be as suspicious as it sounds, though. The concept of an all-seeing neighborhood busybody who never sleeps may be a quaint one, but in modern times most neighbors aren’t around during the day or paying that close attention to the activities on their block…unless they start to hear sirens blaring.
In fact, we only know with some certainty the hour Mrs. Bishop’s husband returned home because, by then, Seth Bishop was already deceased and his corpse being transported for autopsy, and the authorities had set up the customary police line in front of the Bishops’ home which even Mr. Bishop was not permitted to cross.
So we have only Mrs. Bishop’s word then as to everything else that happened.
Mrs. Bishop has testified many, many times that she herself was the sole witness to all of the events on December 6th 1986 which resulted in her son’s gory death, and that none of these were the product of any malicious intent on her daughter’s part. Rather, they were the unfortunate result of someone being inexperienced with, and mishandling, a firearm. She said she saw those tragically inexpert actions and their dire consequences all unfold before her very eyes, just as she was preparing lunch for her and her two children.
Only one of those two children is alive to affirm or deny the veracity of that account; her story is identical, naturally.
But, presuming lunchtime at the Bishops’ house would have been underway at the hour traditionally appointed for eating lunch in America—midday between noon and 1PM—it begs the question: If she was actually present when her daughter “inadvertently” shot her son to death, why did Mrs. Bishop fail to phone 911 for emergency assistance until approximately 2:30PM?
And why did no investigating party bother to question this indefensible delay…?
When the final deadly shot rang out in her kitchen, Mrs. Bishop screamed involuntarily, she has said. The violent report of a gun and seeing a boy ripped to shreds lying in a bloody heap on your floor would produce such an effect in anyone, so this type of reaction which she has so often described wouldn’t be very farfetched. Especially for a person who’s never seen a mangled body before. Especially for a relative of the victim. But, curiously, Mrs. Bishop claims it was the sound of her loud scream alone which then forced her daughter to flee the scene of the “accident”, still toting the loaded Mossberg in her hands and another live shell in her pocket.
This same dreadful scream Mrs. Bishop claimed to have made is also what prompted her fleeing daughter to thereafter try and carjack a business down the street, at gunpoint ordering an employee to give her the keys to an automobile because her “husband was after [her]” and she “needed to get away from him.”
This alleged scream from a distressed mother, emitted at the horrific sound and sight of her son’s final moments, is additionally what caused the 20-year-old Amy Bishop to refuse to drop her weapon when repeatedly commanded to do so by the police, and to stubbornly aim the shotgun at an officer instead, in a tense standoff that lasted several minutes until another snuck up from behind and wrestled the gun away, and she was taken into custody.

“You cannot imagine how kind the Braintree police were to us.” Amy Bishop’s mother Judy Bishop, in a 1986 interview she gave to local papers just one week after her daughter had shot her son to death in the family kitchen
“The police report is gone, removed from the files.” Braintree police chief Paul Frazier admitting in February 2010 after the Huntsville Massacre that the Seth Bishop murder report had been mysteriously removed from BPD’s files sometime in 1988
“I can’t give you any explanations. I can’t give you excuses because there are none. Jobs weren’t done, responsibilities weren’t met, and justice wasn’t served.” Norfolk district attorney, William Keating, commenting in June 2010 about the Seth Bishop murder cover-up and the Braintree Police Department’s role in it
“He didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He never spoke a bad word about anyone.” Dan Shaw, a close friend of Seth Bishop

in advance of Bishops' September 2012 murder trial


  1. The mother was having an affair with the police chief at the time, John Polio. He was disliked by every member of that police department and was a dictator.