Amy Bishop and Massachusetts Politics

The scene of the crime, Dec. 6, 1986

I’m still obsessed with the Amy Bishop case–most of all I’m fascinated by the events of December 6, 1986, when Bishop shot and killed her younger brother Seth. As I’m sure you all remember, Bishop is now in jail, after being charged with one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted murder for shooting six of her colleagues in the Biology Department at the University of Alabama Huntsville, three of them fatally.

Over the past few days, a great deal more information has come out and it appears more and more likely that local politics played a role in preventing Bishop from being charged with a crime in connection with the shooting of her brother Seth on December 6, 1986 in their home in Braintree, Massachusetts.

To recap, a day after the shootings in Alabama, current Braintree Chief of Police Paul Frazier released a statement in which he criticized the handling of the 1986 shooting by then Chief John Polio, now retired. Frazier had spoken to Officer Ronald Solimini, who in 1986 had arrested 21-year-old Amy Bishop and brought her to the police station to be booked.

Solimini told Chief Frazier that the file on the case had been missing at least since 1988, when Chief Polio’s successor, Chief Edward Flynn looked for it (I would love to know why he was looking for it).

Solimini said he had been in the process of booking Bishop for murder (witnesses say that word had been written on the booking sheet) when he was told by a Lieutenant to release Bishop to her parents. Supposedly the order had come down from then Chief of Police John Polio. From Chief Frazier’s statement of Feb. 13, 2010 (click on link in article to see Word document):

“I was not on duty at the time of the incident, but I recall how frustrated the members of the department were over the release of Ms. Bishop. It was a difficult time for the department as there had been three (3) shooting incidents within a short timeframe. The release of Ms. Bishop did not sit well with the police officers and I can assure you that this would not happen in this day and age.”

“It is troubling that this incident has come to light. I can assure you that the members of the Braintree Police Department maintain the highest of integrity. Since it was discovered this morning that the report is missing, I have been in contact with Mayor Joseph Sullivan. Mayor Sullivan and I have spoken with District Attorney William Keating and we will be meeting with him next week to discuss this situation. The Mayor supports a full review of this matter and agrees that we want to know where the records are.”

Rep. William Delahunt (D-MA)

After Frazier’s public statement, a March 1987 report by the State Police (PDF) was released to the public. Based on this report, then Norfolk County District Attorney William Delahunt, now a Democratic member of the House of Representatives, had ruled the the death of Seth Bishop to be accidental and no charges were filed against Amy Bishop, according to Frazier.

On Feb. 16, Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivan announced that the missing report on the 1986 shooting (PDF) had been found in the files of an unnamed police officer. Who was that officer? No one is telling as yet.

Neither the Braintree police report nor the State Police report included the information that after shooting her brother, Amy Bishop had held two auto mechanics at gunpoint at a car dealership near her home and demanded the keys to a car, or that after leaving the dealership she had pointed her shotgun in the face of a 16-year-old boy who was working at a newspaper distribution office. It was there that Bishop was finally arrested, but not before she also trained the shotgun on police officers.

Basically, Bishop had gone on a rampage around her neighborhood on Dec. 6, 1986. After discharging her 12-gauge pump-action shotgun three times in her home, killing her brother with the second shot, she had run out of the house, tried to stop a man in a car by pointing the shotgun at him (that was in the police report for some reason), gone into the car dealership in search of a get-away car, then tried again to get a car by pointing her shotgun at a 16-year old boy. Finally, she pointed the shotgun at two Braintree police officers who were trying to disarm her, according to Boston’s WCVB, Channel 5.

A source close to the shooting investigation told NewsCenter 5 that police officers who arrested Bishop in 1986 called it the “scariest day” of their lives.

“I remember looking at her and thinking ‘She killed her brother and now she’s going to kill me,’” one officer, who did not want to be named, told NewsCenter 5′s Kelley Tuthill.

William Keating, the current Norfolk County district attorney, said Bishop should have been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon for her alleged actions after shooting her brother in 1986.

“There was a mistake in not doing it. I don’t think you can justify it,” Keating said.

Come on. Bishop should have been charged with manslaughter at the very least. The weapon she used, a 12-gauge shotgun, had to be manually pumped in order to chamber a round. And it could not just “go off” accidentally. She would have had to pull the trigger. Amy had loaded the weapon in her bedroom, where it supposedly discharged “accidentally,” blowing a hole in the wall. She had tried to cover up the hole before going downstairs. Her mother Judy Bishop later claimed she did not hear the shotgun blast upstairs.

High school yearbook picture of Amy Bishop

How many young women, after accidentally blowing a hole in their bedroom wall would do what Amy did–carry the loaded shotgun downstairs to the kitchen where her mother and brother were? Next, Amy supposedly “accidentally” pumped another shell into the chamber, pointed the shotgun at her brother and “accidentally” the gun went off again (which couldn’t happen without her pulling the trigger, right?). Finally she fired the shotgun into the kitchen ceiling before running out of the house. When she was arrested after her rampage, an unused shell was found in her pocket.

Here is a description of the incident from the Quincy Patriot Ledger, originally published on December 8, 1986:

According to investigators, Amy Bishop had been taught how to use the shotgun by her father. On the day of the accident, she was handling the loaded weapon in the home, although investigators said it was not clear why.

She pumped a round from the magazine into the firing chamber of the shotgun, then went into the kitchen and asked her brother and mother for help when she couldn’t eject the shell from the chamber, investigators said.

Her mother instructed Amy Bishop to pump the shotgun again, which ejected the first shell, according to an investigator. However, she apparently pumped the weapon again and unknowingly advanced a second shell from the magazine to the chamber.

Thinking the weapon was empty, she pulled the trigger, the investigator said. The blast struck her brother, who was standing three to four feet in front of her, authorities said.

But Amy wasn’t charged with anything. She was sent on her way and neither she nor her parents were interviewed until 11 days later, December 17, 1986. But, get this–before their interviews with police, Amy and her parents gave an interview to the local paper in which they talked about Seth, and Amy told this touching story about the younger brother she had just killed:

“One day when I was about seven and I was with him, I fell down a small cliff and couldn’t get up,” Amy said.

“He knew even then if he spread his body a certain way, he could add strength and pull me up.

“He saved my life that day,” Amy said.

Furthermore, Judy Bishop was quoted in newspaper reports in the days following the shooting. So why couldn’t she talk to police? Why were the Bishops allowed to get away with all this? We are starting to get some clues. For one thing, in 1986, Amy’s mother Judy was a member of the Braintree town meeting. In that capacity she “went to bat for” a Braintree police Captain who wanted to be allowed to work past his mandatory retirement age. The Captain’s name was Charles Solimini. Does that name sound familiar?

Seven months later, another Solimini on the Braintree force, patrolman Ron Solimini, and another officer apprehended Bishop’s daughter, Amy, in a brief but tense standoff with the armed 21-year-old. Patrolman Solimini’s relationship to Capt. Solimini could not be determined Thursday.

The elder Solimini lost the Town Meeting vote, but Judy Bishop had tried her best to help him out.

And then there’s this story in the Quincy Patriot Ledger. It turns out that Chief Frazier apparently “blindsided” a lot of officials when he gave his press conference last Saturday. He didn’t even let the Mayor know he was going to make a statement, and Rep. William Delahunt, who was the Norfolk Country Attorney General back in 1986, was out of the country when all this went down. It makes me wonder if Frazier wanted to get the story out before the higher-ups shut him down. Because he isn’t talking anymore. I’m guessing the Mayor and the DA have told him to STFU.

The remarks from Frazier, who was a patrolman at the time of the shooting, revealed longstanding frustration in the department over the handling of the Bishop case. They also left a host of officials – from retired Chief John V. Polio to U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, the former Norfolk County district attorney – blindsided and unprepared for the scrutiny that has followed.

After a weeklong blitz of calls from local and national news outlets, even Mayor Joseph Sullivan acknowledged being caught off-guard.

“I was not informed of the press conference,” Sullivan said Friday, calling it a “miscommunication” on Frazier’s part. “We’ve addressed it, and we’re moving on.”

Frazier took former Chief Polio by surprise too.

The Braintree Police Department was a divisive place in the latter half of the 1980s. Vulgarities directed at Polio, whose popularity with rank-and-file police officers had eroded since he was named police chief in 1962, were spray-painted on Hollis Stadium and at Five Corners. Officers sported baseball caps with the slogan: “Can’t Wait Till ’88,” a reference to the year of Polio’s mandatory retirement.

Polio, now 87, was wearing a “#1 Grandpa” hat when he greeted an unexpected mob of reporters after the Frazier press conference. He said Frazier’s press conference “blindsided” him. He recalled bygone disagreements with Frazier, who in 1986 was union president.

Today, Rep. Delahunt finally broke his lengthy silence. And surprise, surprise, Delahunt thinks he and his office handled the Bishop case just fine. Delahunt and current DA William Keating are doing everything in their power to shift the blame back onto the Braintree Police. Quoting Keating from The Boston Globe article:

Keating said yesterday that he was confounded by Polio’s [Braintree police chief in 1986] admission that he did not know Bishop had pointed her firearm at a mechanic and demanded a getaway car. These details were included in Braintree police reports made public on Tuesday after they had previously been declared missing.

“The report reflects what his own police officers saw,’’ Keating said. “And if he’s saying that he wasn’t aware that Amy Bishop took a loaded shotgun and pointed it at an innocent bystander, I find that astounding. He’s saying he didn’t read his own [officers’] reports.’’

Polio acknowledged yesterday that he read the reports of his own officers for the first time when they were released by Keating’s office this week. Polio said he did not read the reports in 1986 because his officers told him the case would be handled by State Police and the district attorney’s office.

And so Amy Bishop got away with murder, or maybe manslaughter. Personally I think she shot her brother intentionally–even if she quickly regretted it. Meanwhile, it is going to be very entertaining to see what happens next as local and state politicians struggle to place the blame on each other.

Governor Deval Patrick has ordered an investigation into the State Police handling of the case, DA Keating is also investigating, and so is Braintree Mayor Sullivan. Will Delahunt run for reelection now? If he does, the Republicans are going to have a field day with this. And what about Officer Solomini? Is he the one who removed the case file from the police records? Is anyone going to look into his role in covering up Amy’s wild rampage around the neighborhood?

I know I’d like some answers, and so would a lot of other Massachusetts and Alabama citizens. Stay tuned.

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97 Responses

  1. You should write a book on the case. My mom loves books on crime especially ones that feature a suspect with a weird family history or psychological profile. It could be a bestseller.

  2. Great job, bb. Personally, I think there’s more here that hasn’t come out yet. I have a hard time believing that they let her off on pointing a gun at cops because she pushed someone’s case at town meeting, there’s got to be more to it.

    • Don’t you think it’s kind of an odd coincidence that the arresting officer was the son (probably) of the guy July Bishop tried to help? I’m sure there was a lot more going on, and it will eventually come out, because they are all trying to save their own asses.

      • I do, but that also seems like there’s more to it.
        I mean, assuming they’re related, I wouldn’t excuse someone who terrorized my son or nephew just because they did me a very small favor. In fact, I’d want the book thrown at them. Unless there was a lot more to it than meets the eye and there was something I REALLY didn’t want coming out, maybe?

        • Oh I agree. There is something else. Either it is utter incompetence or the family really did have some kind of pull. The Mayor has definite shut Frazier down. Supposedly he and Polio didn’t get along at all back in the ’80s. Frazier was the union rep.

        • I agree, and it’s not like the small favor even worked out, right?

          The connection itself is glaring, but how exactly it fits in the rest of the puzzle seems much fuzzier.

          Anyhow, thanks for continuing to cover this story, bb! It helps to sort through the media reports.

          • You’re welcome. I’m glad someone else is interested. I just find this whole case fascinating.

    • I don’t know/ I live in Indiana and am from Kentucky, and that sounds like politics as usual down here. I imagine it’s not much different elsewhere.

      • But holding guns on cops, though? If she’d just run around terrorizing average citizens, yeah it wouldn’t totally surprise me. But cops–that’s something else again.

        • Exactly. Something is very odd about this, when they were literally in the process of booking her for murder–and then suddenly she doesn’t even get charged with resisting arrest or assault on a police office. It makes no sense.

          • It could be that while they were holding her initially and made the determination that killing her brother was an accident that they then saw her actions as excusable due to her just panicking and not knowing what to do. A record of what was said while she was holding the gun on the police may clear this up. This being a small town the initial call of an accident would tend to cloud all subsequent decisions. There would be a bias that someone as young AND a female couldn’t have intentionally committed such a violent act.

        • Oh, I don’t mean the crime is usual, just the cover up involving the children of local politicians.

          • True, but a town meeting member isn’t really a politician–and they aren’t very powerful usually.

  3. After calling Delahunt’s office “corrupt and incompetent,”
    WTKK radio personality Michael Graham received threatening
    voicemails from the Norfolk County DA’s office-which he played
    on the air today.

  4. Everyone on Twitter is making Dick Cheney jokes, e.g., “Breaking, Dick Cheney just shot his nurse in the face.” Not all that funny….

    • Dick Cheney is not funny. Period.
      I am having trouble working up feelings of empathy for ho
      or his family. His death will not trouble me.

      • the only part of it that will trouble me is that it wasn’t Rush Limbaugh. I actually think he is worse and does more damage to the country. I know damn well that he doesn’t believe half the crap that comes out of his mouth. He has sold his soul and his country out for money.
        Cheney has a point of view and sticks to it. You kind of have to admire that like you admire the brilliance of Satan.
        I remember during the primaries Joe Scarborough saying that if the Bomb was about to launch from the east and the country was in the worse danger it had ever seen he would want Hillary Clinton and Cheney to lead us because the are the two most emotionally strong people he ever saw in politics. You can’t knock them down.

    • Jokes are out of line, jeesh. The man’s in the hospital. There’s some seriously mangy people out there. Though the anger is understandable. He’s a man who truly lived up to his evil reputation.

  5. Puma sisters,

    on a lighter note. American is truly “post-racial” now that a predominately white sorority has won a national step show contest for $100,000

    Way to go girls!!!

  6. Bishop’s mother was a member of the Braintree town meeting but what did she and her husband do for a living?
    Are they wealthy? Related to anyone important?

    • Amy’s father Samuel Bishop was a professor at Northeastern. They are comfortable. I think Amy’s grandfather was wealthy. Samuel’s father was Greek, and he changed his name to Bishop–isn’t that strange?

      • bb, you and I are both children of professors. A few days ago I commented to you about the high rate of suicide among “faculty brats” I grew up with.
        I know for a fact that many others suffer from psychological problems but I have never seen any studies on the issue. Are you aware of any?

        • No, I’m not aware of any such studies. I doubt if there is a correlation there. Bad parents work in lots of occupations.

          • I am interested in whether there is something more involved than simply “bad parenting”. For example: high family expectations, depression or other psychological problems in people with higher IQs , fewer religous taboos regarding suicide among intellectuals are all possibilites.
            Suicides by children of professors has been of interest to me since elementary school when the eleven-year-old son of a professor killed himself by jumping off the roof of a building on our campus. As it turned out, he and several other boys his age ( all sons of faculty members ) had made a “suicide pact”. He was the only one who actually followed through with it.
            At least half a dozen other children of faculty I grew up with later committed suicide. One was the brother of MSNBC’s David Shuster. In fact , the only people I know who have killed themselves were children of faculty, which seems more than a little odd to me.

          • It’s interesting that you know so many. I know many other children of professors but don’t know any who committed suicide. Your experience is anecdotal, but I suppose there could be something to it. Have you tried searching on the internet for research? Or if you have access to scholarly databases you could try searching in those.

    • One of the articles says Bishop’s father was a professor at Northeastern.
      Faculty brats. Oy….

  7. Seriously,

    Here is something that will blow your mind. Remember that woman that Amy Bishop hit in the head in the IHOP in 2002? A woman with the same name was arrested on Sunday for drunk driving, and assault on a police officer.

    Sunday

    Michelle M. Gjika, 42, of 21 Bowen Road, Peabody, was arrested at 2:34 a.m. by Patrolman Thomas Hennessey and hit with three charges of assault and battery on a police officer, two charges of witness intimidation, destruction of property over $250, resisting arrest, negligent operation of a vehicle, and drunken driving. No further information is available.

    Here’s a story that mentions her name as the IHOP victim.

    Could there be two sides to that story?

    • “The woman that assaulted me at IHOP is a mass murderer? I need a drink!”

    • Oh my god. What are the chances that the person she attacked is another maniac??? This just keeps getting weirder! Were their actual unrelated witnesses to the IHOP thing?

      You really need to write the book! Yours would be much better written and more factual than the newspaper reporters’ plus you could give insight into the psychological aspect.

  8. None of this—this so-called money—really matters at all.

    “It’s just an illusion,” a wide-eyed Bernanke added as he removed bills from his wallet and slowly spread them out before him. “Just look at it: Meaningless pieces of paper with numbers printed on them. Worthless.”

    • Less economics, more metaphysics? Maybe we should all read about life on the frontier to gain perspective.

  9. If we ever doubted that Duane Allman was about the blues.

  10. Her mother never heard the shotgun blast upstairs, the one that killed the brother and blew a hole in the wall???

    Is the woman deaf? Or wearing earmuffs just in case one of the kids decided to shoot the house up?

    Come on! I go to a shooting range. There’s no way you’re not going to hear a shotgun blast.

    Something very fishy about this whole story.

    • That part is completely preposterous.

      Also, exceedingly strange that the mother would wait at the door for the police, leaving her son bleeding to death alone in the kitchen, because she “knew he couldn’t live.” Sounds like the daughter wasn’t the only odd one.

      *****A

      • And as bb points out, who in the world would continue to carry a loaded gun around when she didn’t know what she was doing and had “accidentally” blasted a hole in the wall? That’s hardcore. Personally, I’d drop it or put it down rather than run up to people and hope that it wouldn’t accidentally discharge again.

        • Why did she even want to fool around with the gun in the first place? I would be terrified to do that. She was definitely intending to do something.

      • Ewww…I didn’t see that detail. That is horrible. Pook kid. Wouldn’t you be clutching your child? Maybe she was in shock.

      • The part about knowing he couldn’t live really bothered me too.

      • Holy cr@p! If she knew he wasn’t going to make it, why wasn’t she at his side comforting him? That’s not odd, that’s batsh!t crazy.

    • The brother was killed right in front of the mother in the kitchen. The shotgun blast upstairs happened when Amy was alone in her room. Amy’s mother had just come home from going horseback riding. Perhaps she came in after the shotgun went off? Either that or she lied.

  11. How awful it must be to be in the position of defending a family member who has caused the intentional or accidental death of another family member. When a non family member causes the death, most families want the government to prosecute the one they feel is responsible. Most families want “justice” for their deceased love one. What a conflict it must be for them when justice for the deceased means incarceration of a family member.

    What went on in the Fisher household after the death of Seth? Did Amy Fisher and her parents get psychological counseling? How do continue to live in the same house where such a death has occurred?

    It’s puzzling to see Nancy Kerrigan and her mother, Brenda, want Mark released from jail and returned to living with his mother. Wow, how does Nancy sleep at night? Doesn’t she worry about the safety of her blind mother? After all before the recent violent confrontation with his father, Mark had been incarcerated for assaulting his former wife. How will publicity about the MA government’s handling of the ’86 Amy Fisher case affect the DA’s decision to prosecute Mark Kerrigan?

    George and Cindy Anthony’s defense of their daughter Casey is particularly painful to watch. What do they think would be justice for Caylee? Would they celebrate an acquittal of Casey? Would they welcome her back into their home?

    • I know. The Kerrigan case gives me the creeps too. And defending a mom who killed her child? I don’t get that at all. How a mother could do what Amy’s mom did, I don’t understand. It’s as if Seth Bishop disappeared without a trace and no one really cared. There is also the mystery of what Amy and her father fought about before she went upstairs and loaded the gun. Is it possible she intended to shoot her father and not her brother?

      But I imagine there were serious repercussions within the family. I think it’s very strange that Amy’s parents aren’t down in Alabama helping with their four grandchildren instead of holed up in Ipswich refusing to talk to anyone.

      • I’m not surprised at Amy’s mother’s behavior at all. No one in that family could cross Amy.The dad left his own home after fighting with her.The mother was probably afraid of her or at the very least identified with her(not saying it is sane).The younger brother was a pure victim and if it is to be known his sister resented him.I say this having been raised with a brother very much like Amy who ultimately burned our family home down(thankfully mother wasn’t at home).She would not deal with what he did.He did not go to jail but his ending was not happy.Today I represent people with families just like this and you’d be surprised how the family members who are not the”wounded bird” are ignored or abandoned.

        • Wow, that’s quite a story. That must have been so painful for your family.

          • To the members who weren’t out of it it was.
            Often it happens with families who are prominent and/ or wealthy that criminal acts get swept under the carpet. Years ago there was the DuPont heir who killed someone and his behavior that presaged the act was characterized as “eccentric”. Had it not come from the family he did his past behavior would have been deemed aberrant.
            I don’t know Amy Bishop but I can tell you any reasonable person at arm’s length would gleen that she was criminally mentally ill from the behavior she exhibited as early as her teens.As for how her defense will proceed and how successful it will be remains to be seen.The success of the insanity defense hovers at @ 5-10% last I checked.” Allegedly” (don’t you love that nicety?) killing fellow academics execution style
            doesn’t make it easy for her defense attorneys.

      • I think that they just concentrate on what’s right in front of them and hold on to that. Mark Kerrigan has probably never hurt Nancy or Brenda, so they keep telling themselves he never would. Obviously, good luck with that, he’s a violent and unstable person who hurt his wife and father, but they just can’t face up to losing another family member so they tell themselves that it’s different, he’s not like that with me, I can help him. In some ways, it’s classic enabling behavior, too. They probably tell themselves X sets him off, so they Just won’t do X, ignoring the fact that with someone who’s unstable, X can change from minute to minute.

        What I wonder about, is whether Amy Bishop’s husband was stable when she met him? Because he seems so odd now. I guess it’s likely that odd people would be drawn together, or if maybe instead after years of justifying and making excuses and enabling, he crossed that line into starting to identify with her and actively help her? Maybe out of a repressed sense of guilt for sort of passively going along and pushing down those doubts and pretending everything was normal all these years?

        • Considering how strange and painfully shy Amy apparently was at Northeastern, I would assume that Anderson has also been really weird all along. How many men would stick with a woman who shot her own brother? If were dating someone who did that, I would certainly think twice about marrying them.

          • Yeah, me too. :) But then, some people are really trusting, I guess it’s possible that he just assumed that if the police let her go, she must be a completely traumatized part of a tragedy. And maybe didn’t want to talk about it too much.

  12. Officer Ronald Solimini’s lawyer quoted in today’s Globe:

    McGee, Solimini’s lawyer, meanwhile, provided a disturbing description of the events leading up to Bishop’s release the evening of her brother’s death. McGee said that after Solimini arrested Bishop and brought her to the Braintree police station in handcuffs, her mother, Judy, arrived on the scene, demanding to speak with then-Police Chief John V. Polio.

    “As he’s standing there, the mother comes roaring into the station saying, ‘I want to see John V. Where’s John V.?’ ’’ McGee said, recounting what Solimini told him.

    Moments later, McGee said, Solimini saw Judy Bishop disappear down a hallway and, a short time after that, Polio or another senior officer called to stop the booking process, saying that Amy Bishop would be allowed to return home with her mother.

    It sounds like Judy Bishop knew the Chief of Police well enough to walk right into his office at the police station.

  13. No wonder Polio’s people couldn’t wait ’til he was gone. What a – what is a word for a person who lets a murderer go, just because her mother asked him to?? Bastard-covered bastard with bastard filling?

  14. There certainly has been an amazing story that was covered up by politics for decades. I, too, look forward to the book–even the movie of the week.

  15. Polio said he did not read the reports in 1986 because his officers told him the case would be handled by State Police and the district attorney’s office.

    WTF? His officers told him? He was the one running the department, wouldn’t he be the one to know if the State Police was handling it over his own department, and wouldn’t he want to know every detail for himself anyway? B.S. Something definitely fishy here.

    Great post bb–quirky and small town sinister. The tragedy is: if this young woman had gotten the necessary punishment and help she needed, 3 other people would still be alive today.

    • Apparently, Chief Polio was very unpopular among the officers. The stories in the Patriot Ledger are really interesting. I think it is really significant that one of the first things the new chief who replaced Polio did in 1988 was look for the Bishop file–and it was missing.

      • Police officers, especially the ones at the top, have their own agendas which frequently includes keeping their jobs. This entire case doesn’t pass the smell test. There are so many damaged people in the world that it’s amazing we don’t have more incidents like this with so many guns available.

        • We sure have way more incidents like this than most other “civilized” countries.

          • Yup. You’re the authority, but I imagine as the paranoia develops, they can stock pile weapons and things without getting noticed. That way they have an arsenal before the actually erupt and start sending off the red flags. Guns and such are so easy to get in this country … it always amazes me.

  16. Maybe Amy had a tendency to zone right out of reality in very stressful situations and really did not know what she was doing.
    I’ve read that she does not appear to be aware of the reality of what she just did, and was insisting that the people she shot were not dead.
    Not an excuse, but a possible explanation. Weirdly wired brain – which turned out to not be harmless to others.
    Too bad she didn’t get some counseling to make her aware of this dysfunctional tendency and how to deal with it.
    If her Mom understood Amy was susceptible to such states it really was her responsibility to get her some help. Sounds as though her Mom could have the same kind of tendency to disassociate.
    Armchair guesses, unfortunately not useful to the victims here.

  17. I haven’t been following this case so I really appreciate that you’re doing these great posts, bb. Maybe I’ll have some free time this weekend to check out the crime boards and see what they’ve dug up. My gut feeling is that Amy used the “amnesia” excuse before and it got her off so she’s using it again. Her husband has already been caught in lies, such as not knowing Amy had a gun, and they’d just been to the shooting range, presumably for practice.

    The office shooting was entirely premeditated IMO. And I’m not even buying that she didn’t know how to use the shotgun all those years ago. This is a woman who reacts violently when angered. It has been a constant pattern in her life. As has been her deviousness. It’s been reported that her co-workers say she smirked about being a bomb suspect. Amy Bishop thinks she’s smarter than everyone else and she probably thinks that’s why she’s gotten away were her criminal behavior. I think her plan is to play crazy and try to get away with murder… again.

    We’ll see what the psych tests reveal but IMO she’s not crazy, she’s just plain mean.

    • I wouldn’t be surpised if her husband ends up getting arrested too.

      • what were the lies the husband was apparently caught in, alluded to above??

        • IIRC, he said that he didn’t know Amy owned a gun. And then it was revealed that they’d both been to the shooting range about a week earlier, so he backtracked on his original statement. I think there were some others but I’m not familiar enough with the case to recall them offhand.

        • He claimed that he and Amy had received a letter from the Fed that exhonerated, but it wasn’t true. To me he seems like a compulsive liar. He has told different stories to different media outlets. His lawyer told him to stop talking, but he can’t seem to help it.

      • As he should be. But then Couey’s family was never charged and IIRC they knew he was hiding little Jessica.

        • The DA here is reopening the bombing case now.

          • that sounds like a good idea! I saw the husband talking on Nightline, and he seemed strange, but I didn’t know what to make of it. Other than he was obviously trying to be very restrained and covering, and trying to make it sound like everything was fine, family-wise. aka, stiff upper lipping it, presenting a “unified front”. But how “off” his performance was, I wasn’t sure.

            again, looking forward to the next installment, esp. further psychological interpretation, bb, thanks.

  18. excellent job, bb!!!

    i’ve been following this story too.

    amy obviously has issues of some sort and i’d love to know more about what went on in that family.

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