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More On Amy Bishop and the University of Alabama Huntsville

I’ve already written a long post tracking the Amy Bishop story. As more details emerge, I’ll post them. Here are a couple of things worth noting.

The first isn’t about her, but about her university. Just last year, another UAH professor was convicted of murdering his wife.

As to Bishop: The Boston Globe reports:

The University of Alabama biology professor accused of slaying three of her colleagues fatally shot her brother in an apparent accident in Massachusetts more than two decades ago, a local police chief said.

Braintree Police Chief Paul Frazier confirmed the 1986 shooting in his town and slated a news conference this afternoon to discuss the incident.

She was twenty, he eighteen. While trying to “unload a round from the chamber of a 12-gauge shotgun,” she shot her brother in the abdomen.

The Globe article comes close to suggesting it might not have been accidental.


As details of Bishop’s earlier killing emerge, things get a bit stomach-churning:

The Braintree police chief said today the woman accused of gunning down three in an Alabama shooting rampage shot and killed her brother during an argument in 1986 – but no police report exists and she was never charged.

Chief Paul Frazier said Amy Bishop shot her brother in the chest, fled the house, pointed the shotgun at another car, then fled into woods.

Police found her and arrested her, but during the booking process the former police chief called and interceded, Frazier said. No investigation took place after that and the incident report was lost or discarded.

“This would never happen in this day and age,” Frazier said.

Frazier has forwarded the case to the Norfolk DA’s office for investigation…


Another account:

She fired at least three shots, hitting her brother once and hitting her bedroom wall, before police took her into custody at gunpoint, he said.

Before Bishop could be booked, the police chief back then told officers to release her to her mother, Frazier said.

Margaret Soltan, February 13, 2010 3:15PM
Posted in: amy bishop, the university

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7 Responses to “More On Amy Bishop and the University of Alabama Huntsville”

  1. cloudminder Says:

    i want to recommend this site :


    there is a post on the huntsville story and more on academia as a workplace:

    :The Tenure Track

    For academicians, the tenure track is a multi-year gauntlet. You have roughly 5 or 6 years to assemble a record of teaching, scholarship, and service that meets your institution’s tenure standards. The stakes are huge: Earning tenure is the equivalent of a permanent contract of employment. A tenure denial means you’re obliged to leave.

    News reports indicate that Amy Bishop had blamed certain colleagues for her demise. It appears that once she learned her tenure denial had been upheld, she went to her department’s faculty meeting, armed with a gun.

    Should we have seen this coming?

    In recent years, several well-publicized acts of violence by unstable students have caused colleges and universities to beef up their emergency response protocols and to take student mental health issues more seriously.

    But frankly, there has been very, very little attention devoted to faculty mental health, much less the risks of personal violence committed by fellow faculty members. In Bishop’s case, she may well have been carrying heavy personal baggage: The Boston Globe reports that in 1986, she accidentally shot and killed her brother while loading a shotgun at home.

    Perhaps our inattention to these matters will now change. Here are some considerations that might inform our deliberations:…


  2. rustyrustbelt Says:

    In order to fire a pump action shotgun three times it is necessary to intentionally pump the slide to chamber the second and third rounds.

    Firing one round is an accident, firing three rounds could not be an accident. Perhaps a 1986 homicide was covered up.

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Yes. It looks more and more likely that the ’86 shooting was not accidental.

  4. Stephen Karlson Says:

    Thank you for following this story, Margaret.

  5. Margaret Soltan Says:

    You’re welcome, Stephen. I spent so much intense time on it today that at dinner tonight with my sister and my husband at a local Mexican joint I DRANK A MARGARITA. Calmed me down.

  6. stan rogers Says:

    she killed her brother, and the police chief let her off the hook! what the hell?! made her admissible to Harvard, b/c she was never charged. that elderly ex-police chief needs to be jailed as an accessory.

  7. Stephen Karlson Says:

    Margarita therapy is good.

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