February 14, 2010

The Case of Amy Bishop: Curiouser and Curiouser

Hatched by Dafydd

Questions swirl around the case of the female professor arrested for shooting six colleagues at the University of Alabama at Huntsville; but the controversy is less about the current shooting than it is about an earlier shooting 24 years ago in Baintree, MA, where Bishop lived with her parents at the time..

In the earlier case, the 20 year old Bishop shot and killed her younger brother Seth with a shotgun. One of the arresting officers at the time stated that she had fired three shots: one into the wall of her bedroom, one killing her 18 year old brother, and the third into the ceiling as she left. She was arrested later while hiding outside and brought in as a suspect; but when the mother later claimed that the killing was "accidental," then-Police Chief John Polio of Baintree either called or caused a captain to call at his behest ordering the police to cease all questioning and release Amy Bishop into the custody of her mother:

Frazier said Saturday he'd spoken to another retired officer who booked Bishop at the station.

"He said he had started the (booking) process when he received a phone call he believes was from then-Police Chief John Polio or possibly from a captain on Chief Polio's behalf," Frazier said. "He was instructed to stop the booking process. ... Miss Bishop was turned over to her mother and they left the building via a rear exit."

Frazier said another officer said the paperwork from the shooting went missing in 1988.

(Claims are swirling around the blogosphere that the DA involved was William Delahunt, D-MA, 100%, who is evidently considering whether to stand for reelection or not. I have no idea if this is true; or if true, whether Delahunt had anything to do with the decision to release Bishop without prosecution -- or even much questioning; or if he did, why he did. I only bring it up to prove that I am aware of its existence. If any reader has further information, please post a comment.)

When they were finally able to question her, she and her mother corroborated each other, and no charges were filed -- not even for the three possible counts of negligent discharge of a firearm, or for reckless endangerment, depraved indifference to human life, or even brandishing.

I wonder whether this seemingly abject failure to hold Bishop accountable for what she did in 1986, coupled with the apparent influence of highly placed friends and the subsequent cover-up, started Bishop down the same road that O.J. Simpson later followed, leading Bishop to believe that she was privileged and beyond the reach of the law.

Certainly such belief in recent times seems heavily concentrated within the activist Left; and while it hasn't gotten much airtime, it does appear as though Professor Bishop was an ardent liberal:

Bishop, her four children and her husband, Jim Anderson -- a sometime-collaborator in her research -- settled in a two-story house about 12 miles from campus. They were outspoken Northeastern liberals whose political yard signs stood out a little on their suburban lot facing a cul-de-sac called Scarlett O'Hara Circle.

However, the Los Angeles Times article that raised the issue seems to regard it as a reason why the killing spree was even less comprehensible than it would be if, say, she were a Tea-Party activist.

Following Thomas Sowell's seminal work the Vision of the Anointed, many liberals appear to believe that the law is for "little people" and doesn't apply to those who share "the Vision" and are involved in the urgent task of "saving the world."

The earlier claim that she may have shot her six colleagues because she was upset at being denied tenure is looking a bit shaky now; a recent article in the Huntsville Times reports that Bishop was denied tenure ten months ago; and even her final appeal was rejected months back. So the traditional "defense" of liberals who commit murder or other violent crimes -- that Bishop was driven over the edge by a cruel and heartless tenure decision by the (presumably conservative) University of Alabama -- would seem unlikely in this case. I have no idea whether the U of A at Huntsville is conservative, or whether, like most universities in conservative areas, it's a lonely redoubt of liberalism; but either way, the timeline makes the defense rather less viable.

So we're driven back to the idea of liberals seeing themselves as existing in a Nietzschean state of "beyond good and evil," so vital to the "progress" of the human race that they must be allowed their little peccadillos. We certainly don't have answers yet; but we do have questions and a clear line of inquiry that should be followed, either to establish or refute: Did "liberal privilege" play a role in this seemingly inexplicable shooting rampage?

Alas, I have no confidence in the leftstream media's ability or willingness to investigate any of these questions.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 14, 2010, at the time of 3:17 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Steven Den Beste

Someone is going to have to look into a motive for her. Alabama has charged her with capital murder, and so the DA is going to have to give the jury a reason she decided to shoot up the place.

The above hissed in response by: Steven Den Beste [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 14, 2010 3:33 PM

The following hissed in response by: john.cunningham

Even more interesting is the fact that Bishop was a possible suspect in an attempted mail bombing of a Harvard prof she was working under--

The above hissed in response by: john.cunningham [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 14, 2010 8:14 PM

The following hissed in response by: Chris Hunt

If you can cry on cue and act convincingly, you can commit murder and get away with it, especially if it's family. You wouldn't necessarily need outside help with the charges.

The above hissed in response by: Chris Hunt [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 15, 2010 7:47 AM

The following hissed in response by: nemesis443

Amazing. Go to the Huntsville link at look at the stories about the dead professors. One was from India and the other 2 were black. They lived in the heart of the South, yet they were killed by female white liberal from Massachusetts, not a good ole boy.

The above hissed in response by: nemesis443 [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 15, 2010 4:09 PM

The following hissed in response by: john.cunningham

another aspect of the original MA killing is that after shooting her brother, Bishop ran out of the house, and into a car dealership, where she pointed the shotgun at a mechanic and demanded a vehicle. so this would be an assault, independent of shooting the brother. must be nice to be connected to the cops in Braintree.

The above hissed in response by: john.cunningham [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 16, 2010 12:36 PM

The following hissed in response by: Ken Hahn

I was puzzled by the shooting until I read what her husband told a reporter. It was whiney, self serving and completely devoid of any sympathy for her victims. Anderson considers himself an aristocrat who doesn't need to worry about anyone else. I have to presume that applies to his wife also.

The above hissed in response by: Ken Hahn [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 16, 2010 8:08 PM

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