Former University of Alabama-Huntsville professor Amy Bishop, who has been indicted for killing three persons and injuring three others during a February shooting rampage at the university, has now been charged with the 1986 murder of her brother, Seth Bishop, in Massachusetts. As reported by the Boston Globe:
Amy Bishop has been charged with murder for the 1986 shotgun slaying of her 18-year-old brother in their Braintree home, according to Norfolk District Attorney William R. Keating.
…The slaying of Seth Bishop was declared an accident by Norfolk County authorities at the time. But questions were raised about the investigation after Bishop, a college professor, was charged in February in a shooting rampage at the University of Alabama Huntsville. Three of Bishops’ colleagues were fatally shot and three wounded in that case.
Inexcusably missed signs?
As the Bishop story continues to unfold, I have a sad feeling that it will be a continuing tale of repeated warning signs overlooked and neglected. The 1986 events, however, likely constituted the most significant oversight of all. In an Associated Press piece about this latest development, District Attorney William Keating, who did not hold the office in 1986, would not excuse the failure to prosecute the case when it first arose:
Keating said he did not understand why charges were never brought against Bishop.
“I can’t give you any explanations, I can’t give you excuses, because there are none,” he said. “Jobs weren’t done, responsibilities weren’t met and justice wasn’t served.”
This blog commented extensively here (main post) and here (update) on the Bishop shootings in February, suggesting that the tragedy served as a wake-up call for universities to take matters of faculty mental health more seriously.