between the U. of Alabama murders by Amy Bishop and Rep. William Delahunt’s statement that he is considering not running for re-election is speculative at this point. But it is very suggestive that (as best I can recall at this moment) he made the announcement shortly after the murders.
Alabama Shooting Suspect Had Killed Brother In Braintree
D.A. Delahunt Cleared Amy Bishop In 1986 Braintree Slaying
POSTED: 3:28 pm EST February 13, 2010
UPDATED: 9:01 am EST February 14, 2010
BRAINTREE, Mass.—The biology professor accused of gunning down five colleagues and a staff member at the University of Alabama at Huntsville on Friday was released from police custody 23 years ago after she shot and killed her brother in Braintree, police announced Saturday.
Braintree Police Chief Paul Frazier said Amy Bishop was detained following the death of her brother on Dec. 6, 1986, then released without being charged because the death was ruled an accidental shooting.
Frazier said Amy Bishop shot her 18-year-old brother, Seth Bishop, in the chest with a 12-gauge shotgun at the family’s home in Braintree, then ran into the street and aimed the gun at a passing vehicle before fleeing from the scene. Amy Bishop, who was 20 at the time, was arrested at gunpoint by Braintree officers.
Bishop was never booked, however, and all local police records of the case have gone missing, with the exception of an entry in the police log noting an accidental shooting, Frazier said.
Braintree Police Department
“The report’s gone, removed from the files,” he said. “Somebody has it. We don’t.”
The police chief said Saturday that he planned to meet with the local district attorney over the possibility of launching a criminal investigation into how the Bishop case was handled.
The Massachusetts State Police also filed a six-page report about the shooting, dated March 30, 1987, which was released by the Norfolk District Attorney’s office on Saturday.
A story on the shooting in the Quincy Patriot Ledger newspaper quoted Bishop’s mother, Judith Bishop, saying the gun accidentally went off into a bedroom wall when her daughter was trying to teach herself to use it in case the home was burglarized. Amy Bishop then asked her brother to help her unload the gun when it went off again, killing him in front of her, Judith Bishop told the newspaper.
[Read the State Police report on the 1986 shooting]
Norfolk District Attorney’s Office
Read the State Police report on the 1986 shooting More
Amy Bishop, now 44, faces a capital murder charge in Friday’s campus shooting, which left three biology professors dead and another two critically wounded. A university staff member was also hurt.
Braintree officers who remember the 1986 shooting said that former police Chief John Polio dismissed detectives from the case and ordered the department to release Amy Bishop after a telephone conversation with former district attorney William Delahunt, who is currently a U.S. congressman from Massachusetts.
“The police officers here were very upset about that,” said Frazier, who was a patrolman at the time and spoke to officers who remembered the incident that day, including one who filed a report on it.
When contacted Saturday, Polio, now 86, said that there was no cover up in Seth Bishop’s death, though there were questions about whether the shooting was an accident.
“I remember Judy Bishop and that she had two children and I know that they got into an argument one day and somehow a shot got involved, or a weapon of some kind, and it went off, according to them by accident. According to the mother and to the daughter, by the daughter,” Polio said in a telephone interview with The Patriot Ledger.
Audio: Polio’s Interview With The Patriot Ledger
Polio told NewsCenter 5 he has no memory of telling officers to go home. He said there was an inquest by Delahunt’s office and that the district attorney found that the shooting did not warrant charges. Polio said he doesn’t know how the records would have gone missing.
“Whatever we had we gave to the DA. An inquiry was conducted and no complaint was issued. So as far as I was concerned, that was the end of it,” Polio said in the phone interview. “As far I’m concerned, everything that was done that should have been was done correctly. All reports went to the DA, they called it. When people start making innuendos of a cover up or this or that, it upsets me.”
Before she was hired as an assistant professor by the University of Alabama in 2003, Bishop studied at Harvard University in the Division of Medical Sciences, according to Harvard spokesman David Cameron. Bishop received her PhD in June 1993.
A University of Alabama at Huntsville spokesman told The Associated Press that Bishop had been denied tenure before she was held Friday in the campus shooting.
Copyright 2010 by TheBostonChannel.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.