February 16, 2010

"I am Dr. Amy Bishop."

What Amy Bishop yelled while punching a woman in the head in an effort to get her to relinquish the last child booster seat at the International House of Pancakes. Bishop, who went on to kill 3 of her colleagues and injure 2 more, was charged with assault in 2002.

99 comments:

F said...

Good grief! Does she think she's a member of Congress or something? That's the kind of comment Americans have come to expect of their elected elites. /sarc

Seven Machos said...

Did you ever see the movie The Stepfather? (The original, as apparently there was an awful remake.

This woman is the guy in that movie. I mean, it's eerie. The fact that Bishop is a woman is deliciously poetic, too, given the brand of feminism underlying that movie.

traditionalguy said...

She never was a good loser in the musical chairs type of games. So when the last tenure chair went to someone else, she did what had always worked for her before. How we handle our failures is the essence of our character. That is why socialism, where no one can lose their bad jobs, never teaches life lessons like capitalism that makes losses happen all the time. God have mercy on her.

tachyonshuggy said...

This is almost exactly how Festivus began.

Synova said...

Oh, dear god.

LonewackoDotCom said...

That's nice. However, her sociopathy and complete self-centeredness are more like those of Randroids and the Lesser Randroids among the teapartiers. Most of those on the left at least pretend to care about others; it's those at the fringes of the right who don't give a FF about anyone else. It's not fair to say that that same mindset has "seeped" into the teaparties, because it's more like a fundamental tenet.

Seven Machos said...

Lonewacko -- You probably shouldn't make diagnoses since you have an inoperable case of inject-dull-domestic-politics-into-every-fucking-thing syndrome.

Glass houses and all...

Kirby Olson said...

This leads me to think there is probably an archipelago of hundreds of such incidences but no one had the guts to connect the dots. We keep seeing this. The court system apparently makes it too painful for people to face such people over theyeas of hearings. They hope someone else will do it.

Synova said...

I still think she sounds like someone who really *really* didn't understand at any level, what was appropriate to *feel* about anything.

She seems a lot like she was faking it. Faking being human. And was misjudging the seriousness of minor setbacks.

avwh said...

Something's changed.

We used to get stories whenever the wacko mass murderer's neighbors are interviewed and they'd almost always say, "he was quiet, kept to himself,; I never imagined he could do something like this".

Here, it's a woman, with a PhD -- and a rap sheet longer than some guys serving life sentences (except no one ever prosecuted). NO ONE can say, "she never showed any signs of not being normal before".

This woman was a whackjob for at least 25 years, we now learn. And I bet more "instances" will surface before this story is over.

Seven Machos said...

It's sort of like this, isn't it?

Revenant said...

her sociopathy and complete self-centeredness are more like [whine, complain, etc]

"More like"? So what is she "like" to begin with, that she is "more like" something else? :)

Tari said...

At least the good State of Alabama will have a nice comfy chair waiting for her in the end.

Jim said...

She seems a lot like she was faking it. Faking being human. And was misjudging the seriousness of minor setbacks.

Given how she evidently was protected after killing her brother because her family was politically connected, is it any surprise that she would continue along in the same vein.

She never once had to truly pay for any bad behavior, so she was conditioned to believe that there was no such thing as consequences.

The search for the source of this sort of behavior must inevitably start with the parenting she received.

It's extraordinarily rare that you see this kind of behavior in an adult that was not created or condoned throughout their upbringing.

Sophie said...

"...This leads me to think there is probably an archipelago of hundreds of such incidences but no one had the guts to connect the dots...."

Here are some more dots:

My Brush With the Alabama Shooter's Psycho History - Amy Bishop Was Ipswich Pariah

Seven Machos said...

So, I watched this thing on the Biography channel or whatever channel about Jeffrey Dahmer. Didn't want to, but couldn't turn away.

It turns out that Dahmer had a real nice family -- certainly nothing crazy. The same could be said for Ted Kaczynski, as evidenced by his own brother who turned him in.

Anyway, here's the point: sometimes it's a messed up family. Sometimes it's just that people are completely psycho.

Sophie said...

According to some recent newspaper article schoolmates of her brothers described him as painfully shy, never mentioning his older sister, that it seemed a depressed loveless family.

Revenant said...

Given how she evidently was protected after killing her brother because her family was politically connected, is it any surprise that she would continue along in the same vein.

I'm not sure that it was that she was politically connected. The mother claimed the shooting was accidental. If one child kills another and the mother of both says it was an accident, prosecuting the killer isn't an attractive option. What attorney general wants to see a grieving mother on the stand *defending* the killer?

My guess is that the AG convinced himself that the shooting really was accidental. And who knows, maybe it was. Maybe she started out normal and killing her brother permanently screwed up her mind.

Kevin said...

This leads me to think there is probably an archipelago of hundreds of such incidences but no one had the guts to connect the dots.

I bet a number of Massachusetts law enforcement agencies are going over cold cases, seeing if there might be a tie to Bishop.

William said...

Some nut will get a bad perm and shoot her hairdresser. In retrospect the murder will seem a historic inevitability. Some feminists will discuss the traumatic impact of bad hairdos. If the nut is ostensibly liberal, conservatives will point out how this act is part and parcel of her ideology. Vice versa if she is conservative.....Has there ever been a murder so senseless, so devoid of meaning that afterwards people draw no useful lessons from it.

Seven Machos said...

William -- I want to make a distinction. There probably are a lot of people on the right gleeful that this psycho woman was a leftist. However, a lot of other people on the right are simply pointing out that this woman's far-left politics aren't splayed all over the news the way politics always are when some right-wing psycho kills people.

You virtually never see when a deranged killer is a leftist. You never even see when an obvious terrorist is an Arab radical. But you always see the politics of the conservative loons front and center. Why is that?

flenser said...

However, her sociopathy and complete self-centeredness are more like those of Randroids and the Lesser Randroids among the teapartiers.




Are you "former law student" under another name, or do you two just have the exact same thoughts running through your head?

I'm normally all in favor of bashing the Randoids myself, but I doubt that Amy Bishop had a copy of Atlas Shrugged under her pillow.

I mean, have you seen how thick that book is?

Revenant said...

You virtually never see when a deranged killer is a leftist.

I'd be willing to bet that the majority of Americans don't even know whether Lee Harvey Oswald was a right-winger or a left-winger.

Kevin said...

I'd be willing to bet that the majority of Americans don't even know whether Lee Harvey Oswald was a right-winger or a left-winger.

A right-winger, of course - everybody knows that Kennedy was killed by the Right Wing.

EDH said...

Oh well, having Scott Brown be the person the rest of the country most associated with the Commonwealth of Massachusettes was nice while it lasted.

wv-"expuse" = Amy Bishop said, "well expuuuse meeeeeee!"

AJ Lynch said...

I wonder was she saying "float like a butterfly sting like a bee" whe she slugged the woman at IHOP.

Peter V. Bella said...

...it's those at the fringes of the right who don't give a FF about anyone else.

Self reliance, self determination, individual responsibility, and self interest are the principles that this country was founded upon.

The Democrats care not about people, or their concerns. they care about power. Just like Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Mussolini, and Lenin. They do not care about hope and change. They are weasel words.

They want all of us to be beholden to the party and their government. People like Ms. Bishop are the poster children of the left. Entitled to the hilt. Give it to me or die. That is the hatred the Democrats have wrought. They will pay a price for this. Americans, true Americans, do not hate.

We may not be warm and cuddly, but we do not hate. Democrats are not Americans.

Kevin said...

Time to dig up Amy's backyard...

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Crack Emcee said...

"We may not be warm and cuddly, but we do not hate. Democrats are not Americans."

LOL. Alright, let's give a big hand to Peter V. Bella for The Macho Response.

Great job, dude.

Ralph L said...

A right-winger, of course - everybody knows that Kennedy was killed by the Right Wing
Jackie was put out that he was just a "dirty little commie." Didn't fit the martyr narrative they wanted.

former law student said...

She possesses the sense of entitlement I associate with East Coasters. No offense to Trooper. No one would tolerate her in the Midwest.

former law student said...

a lot of other people on the right are simply pointing out that this woman's far-left politics aren't splayed all over the news the way politics always are when some right-wing psycho kills people.


Two reasons for this:

From what has been unearthed so far, Bishop's association with far-left politics consisted of talking about them. It's not like she supported herself by selling copies of Chairman Mao's Little Red Book at gun shows. She was not in the SDS or SNCC. As far as we know, she was a Young American for Freedom.

Bishop's mass murder did not advance any left-wing cause. She did not kill her former colleagues because of their right wing stances. It had nothing to do with Waco or Ruby Ridge.

Lem said...

The woman, identified in court documents as Michelle Gjika, declined to comment, saying only "It's not something I want to relive."

********

I still think she sounds like someone who really *really* didn't understand at any level, what was appropriate to *feel* about anything.
She seems a lot like she was faking it. Faking being human. And was misjudging the seriousness of minor setbacks

*********

This woman was a whackjob for at least 25 years, we now learn. And I bet more "instances" will surface before this story is over.

*********

This leads me to think there is probably an archipelago of hundreds of such incidences but no one had the guts to connect the dots.


**********

There is a documentary film called Unknown White Male (2005) that follows a story of memory loss (retrograde amnesia) and confusion while posing provocative questions about the nature of personality.

Paraphrasing John Locke, one of the film's interviewees observes that the amnesiac is certainly the same man but questionably the same person.

Does anyone know anybody really?

It turns out this amnesia guy may have been faking his condition all along.

Lem said...

But then again it was the Unabomber's brother that gave him up.

".. he didn't torcher animals, he didn't spew hate.. didn't fit the profile of an antisocial person.."

Steven said...

My guess is that the AG convinced himself that the shooting really was accidental. And who knows, maybe it was.

That doesn't seem too damn likely, given the details of the incident. How do you accidentally fire a pump-action shotgun three times? "Oh, I accidentally fired the gun. Let me do the exact same actions two more times!"

As far as the mother on the stand -- fine, you think you can't convict Bishop for shooting her brother. Then prosecute her for taking the shotgun down to a car dealership, aiming it at a mechanic, and demanding a getaway car. Attempted armed robbery is a crime, isn't it? Convict her of that, and on weapons charges, and whatever other crimes she committed after she left the house. This is not difficult.

The fact is, then-District Attorney William D. Delahunt, now U.S. Representative Delahunt from Massachusetts's 10th District, did a political favor for a woman on the city council. He ordered Amy Bishop released on the day of her crimes, before she was booked, before statements were even taken from her and her mother about the events of the day, mere hours after she killed her brother with one of three shots from a shotgun.

Revenant said...

That doesn't seem too damn likely, given the details of the incident. How do you accidentally fire a pump-action shotgun three times?

Or she deliberately fired three times and her brother was accidentally hit by one of the shots. We know she was emotionally unstable, after all. Emotionally unstable people can cause harm accidentally as easily as they can deliberately.

Attempted armed robbery is a crime, isn't it?

If the jury believed that Bishop had just accidentally killed her younger brother, it isn't exactly a stretch to think that she might not have been thinking clearly immediately afterwards.

The fact is, then-District Attorney William D. Delahunt, now U.S. Representative Delahunt from Massachusetts's 10th District, did a political favor for a woman on the city council.

That's an unsubstantiated hypothesis, not a fact.

Think about this for a second. You're honestly saying that an attorney general involved himself in a conspiracy to cover up a murder... as a favor to a member of a small-town council? He risked felony charges and the end to his political and legal career to cover for a woman with relatively trivial political and financial clout? That sounds likely to you, does it?

More likely is that he knew Bishop's mother and believed her story that the shooting was an accident.

Roger J. said...

is it not possible that Amy Bishop is simply deranged irrespective of her politics?

davarlaw said...

musical chairs -really nice game

Largo said...

Although she was denied tenure in the Biology Dept. at the University of Alabama, I think the state may find her a Chair of Applied Electrical Engineering instead.

Chuckle!

Nice one, Theo.

Almost Ali said...

Apparently some of you people have never been inside a House of Pancakes on a Sunday morning. Well, it's brutal, especially in the highchair section. Back in '97 my neighbor was hit in the head with a maple syrup bottle and hasn't been right since.

Harsh Pencil said...

You could end a movie this way.

"I am Dr. Amy Bishop." (whacks person with syrup bottle)

Next person in restaurant:

"I am Dr. Amy Bishop" (whacks person with a waffle)

Next person in restaurant:

"I am Dr. Amy Bishop" (whacks person with coffee mug)

....

The Drill SGT said...

I'm not a regular in criminal courtrooms, as I expect some reporters and lawyers are, but isn't there a word missing in the story?

The headline is "Charged"

The outcome is "probation"

isn't the word "guilty" missing? or is the presumption of innocence attached to all criminals now by reflex.

edutcher said...

Amy Bishop is a psychopath. She is not, in all likelihood, a sociopath. The last two Democrat Presidents are/have been sociopaths.

WV "fries" (no kidding) What would happen to Amy Bishop if the Lefties had not been running things the last forty years.

Issob Morocco said...

You can see the formation of her defense ebbing and flowing together, like the stuff of stars.

Not Guilty by means of Insanity.

AllenS said...

After reading story upon story about this woman, I'm getting an impression that her husband was an enabler. That link from Sophie was an eye opener.

Fred4Pres said...

There should be a dating service called eCrazy@Academia to get kids like Ward Churchill, Amy Bishop and Deb Frisch together.

Jimmy said...

Sort of reminds me of someone .. Oh, I know:

"I am President Barack Obama!" (slap, slap) "These are my policies!"

Pogo said...

Can you imagine working with or for a lunatic like 'Dr. Amy Bishop'?

I have known several people who were much like her, but they were able to keep their pathology short of murder.

Call them psychopaths or sociopaths, at their core they are extreme narcissists, and see other people as blocks of wood to be moved around as they see fit.

Lonewacko, seeing the world through a limited filter, misses the fact that these people are not by nature right or left-wing. They are truly the people who do not give a FF about anyone because there isn't anyone else. Not to them.

Their politics serves their only aim: themselves.

Martha Stout wrote about them in The Sociopath Next Door, and posits that they do not in fact understand other people, and have to fake social interactions. They "know the words but not the music" of human life.

I think they are born without a soul. Like a wild animal. Force is all they understand.

MadisonMan said...

I keep thinking of her 4 kids. Liberated, in some way, by her killing spree.

kynefski said...

Hey, maybe she is Randian, and that student said she was a Socialist because, you know, Objectivism sounds left wing.

Lynne said...

This may be a little off-topic,but I'm interested that Lem brought up the issue of amnesia in this thread. There was another publicized episode of amnesia last year and I looked into the phenomenon here. I don't know if Unknown White Male was a hoax, but it sounds like most cases of such amnesia eventually come under suspicion.

Sorry for wandering O/T. But it's a fascinating subject.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

That doesn't seem too damn likely, given the details of the incident. How do you accidentally fire a pump-action shotgun three times? "Oh, I accidentally fired the gun. Let me do the exact same actions two more times!"

Well if you don't really know your way around guns, it's at least possible, especially with a pump-action, which doesn't "break" for removal of rounds.

On pumps there's usually a little lever or button that must be engaged in order to clear an unfired round from the chamber. Each round in the magazine must in turn be chambered and cleared this way.

With a round in the chamber, any reasonable pressure on the trigger (accidental or otherwise) fires the weapon and enables the shell casing to be ejected by pumping.

It's entirely possible that a scared, angry, confused, ignorant person could have sloppy trigger discipline, so that part could have been "accidental."

What never, ever could be considered accidental is picking up a weapon in the course of an argument with your kid brother.

The absolute minimum charge in that case ought to have been Manslaughter 2.

k*thy said...

Agreed, Pogo. ´All the world´s a stage and all the men and women merely players.´ When the rest of us don't play along, rage, at some level ensues. My guess, as others have said, is that the seed of this woman's story goes back to childhood. These incidents we read about now, are simply others not following her stage directions.

Hoosier Daddy said...

He risked felony charges and the end to his political and legal career to cover for a woman with relatively trivial political and financial clout? That sounds likely to you, does it?

What's Mike Nifong doing nowadays?

I'm not all that familiar with what she did but if Steven's account of the incident is factual, I have a hard time believing that any AG would drop a case like that regardless of what Mom said unless there was some kind of skeleton in his closet.

kentuckyliz said...

Moral of the story: the children of privilege should be held accountable for their actions. No phone calls, no secret deals, no passes. Otherwise you're just making a monster.

Consequences are a blessing. It is the opportunity to learn and do better.

Was the younger brother shy, or perhaps abused by his older sister? I am beginning to think the latter.

Maybe her mother was afraid of her too.

kcom said...

"What's Mike Nifong doing nowadays?"

Hoosier, I'll take the liberty of inserting a touché on Revenant's behalf. You've earned it in spades.

Shanna said...

What never, ever could be considered accidental is picking up a weapon in the course of an argument with your kid brother.

Exactly. I think later events make it likely that that death wasn’t accidental, but it could also have been the thing that screwed her up. Nonetheless, she should have been watched more carefully in later altercations. I would be interested to hear if there were any other small incidents before the thing with her brother.

And not to get into the whole gender aspect of it, but I would be more willing to believe that a boy had an accident while playing with a gun than a girl. I think it was likely purposeful on her part.

chuckR said...

I like giving people the benefit of the doubt, but according to police accounts now becoming public, she fired once into the wall, then into her brother, then into the ceiling, then ran outside and attempted a carjacking at shotgunpoint. It doesn't seem like poor gun discipline; that strains credulity.

Had the justice system been allowed to take its course properly, I think it would have strained the credulity of 12 jurors too.

Franco said...

Good point chuck R. The natural thing to do, if you accidentally discharged a weapon, is to drop that weapon, get it out of you hands. Strains credulity.

Larry J said...

Theo Boehm said...
Although she was denied tenure in the Biology Dept. at the University of Alabama, I think the state may find her a Chair of Applied Electrical Engineering instead.


According to this source:

Alabama: Effective 7/1/02, lethal injection will be administered unless the inmate requests electrocution.

So, unless she asks for the electrical engineering option, she'll get the chemical engineering option.

Balfegor said...

This woman was a whackjob for at least 25 years, we now learn. And I bet more "instances" will surface before this story is over.

Yes . . . but while shooting her brother with a shotgun and possibly mailing a pipe bomb to a professors are real whackjob type behaviour, this booster seat thing is sort of on a different, more benign level. There's lots of people who pull things like this, and most of them are probably just maladjusted, not dangerous.

Triangle Man said...

The quote I have seen elsewhere was "I am Dr. Amy Bishop, bitch!"

knox said...

Sophie, thanks for that link. Very interesting.

There should be a dating service called eCrazy@Academia to get kids like Ward Churchill, Amy Bishop and Deb Frisch together.

Deb Frisch! I forgot all about her. There's one who needs to be on 24-hr. surveillance.

Triangle Man said...

The Internet has diagnosed her as "psychotic" (1,450 hits on Google) or "bipolar" (1,190 hits on Google). Many of the bipolar hits, however, seem to be discounting the possibility rather than endorsing it, so let's go with "psychotic". "Borderline personality" disorder (167 hits on Google) might have fit some of her earlier, non-homicidal, behaviors, but she keeps on pushing her rage over the borderline.

rhhardin said...

She just sounds like a typical jerk.

The murder is extra.

Triangle Man said...

"Sociopath" was much less popular than I would have thought (604 hits on Google), but the first hit was a link to a white power site that diagnosed her as "Jewish" (21,500 hits on Google). How pre-post-racial!

former law student said...

a white power site that diagnosed her as "Jewish"

I'm having a hard time imagining any Jew picking a term so associated with Christianity as "Bishop" for a surname. You don't see many Jewish girls named "Mary," for example.

paul a'barge said...

Is "I'm Doctor Amy Bishop" the new "Don't Tase me Bro!"

Larry J said...

Is "I'm Doctor Amy Bishop" the new "Don't Tase me Bro!"

No, it's just her version of "Don't you know who I am?"

knox said...

People I've known who are bipolar are scary.

pduggie said...

The killer played D&D!

http://news.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/20100216suspect_in_slays_fan_of_dungeons/

Clyde said...

So she shot them with the pistol because she couldn't find her +5 Vorpal Sword?

Trooper York said...

Wait a minute. A professor with a sense of entitlement?

Who'da thunk it?

Trooper York said...

Most if not all academics can't deal with regular people like waitresses or barista's at Starbucks because they are always in the teacher/student mode.

They think they have to be treated with a deferance that they have been acustomed to by students groveling for a grade.

That's when they need to get slapped in the face with the cold dead fish of reality.

Just sayn'

Class factotum said...

But it's not fish slapping season.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhJQp-q1Y1s

Trooper York said...

And former law student no offense taken. There are a lot of east coasters who have exactly that attitude. But there are whole bunch of us blue collar guys or sons of blue collar guys who know how to do the right thing. Act the right way. And want to smack those yuppie asshole hipster dofus scumbags everytime we see them abusing someone.

But that would be a full time job.

Steven said...

Revenant —

Delahunt could not have chosen to believe Mrs. Bishop's official statement when he released Amy on the day of the shooting. Why not? Because no official statement was taken until eleven days after the shooting. If he learned anything about what happened from Mrs. Bishop, it was through private channels.

So, assuming you're right, that that Delahunt did hear from Mrs. Bishop and he did choose to believe her, then we have . . . what I said, Delahunt doing a favor for a politically-connected person.

Because when someone contacts the DA privately and the DA takes official action as a result that benefits that person, you know what the DA just did? He just did that person a favor.

The alternative is that he did not hear from Mrs. Bishop. In that case, without any knowledge of what happened at the scene of a homicide, he released the person directly responsible for the death into the custody of her mother.

Your choice of what favor Delahunt did on the day of the homicide, but a favor was done.

Now, with it established that Mr. Delahunt did the Bishops a favor on the day of the homicide, evaluate the decision by Mr. Delahunt not to prosecute Ms. Bishop on charges related to her threatening a mechanic with a shotgun at a car dealership.

----

Bart —

Poor trigger discipline isn't an adequate explanation. With a pump-action shotgun, you still have to work the action to load the second round, and then work it again to load the third.

JAL said...

@ revenant

You really should read the State Police "report" which was turned in in March the next year. It was based in part on interviews done ELEVEN days after the shooting.

Plenty of time to get the story straight. Only they didn't. The report is pathetic. And I am not even a lawyer, nor do I pretend to be one. Nor a cop. Likewise.

She fired the shot gun in her bedroom into the wall upstairs first. Her mother stated that she did not hear the gunshot. Really? Her explanation was her house was "relatively well insulated."

Right.

The girl comes down stairs (in that a heat of passion, no, because she needs "help"?) with the gun and "asks" for help unloading it.

She has that conversation either with her mother or her brother, depending on whether you want to believe the mother's account, or the daughter's account. Both, mind you, in the same report. The girl says the brother (who with his dad had some firearms training through the local gun club) told her to point the gun up.

Right. (One of the first things taught in firearms training is one never points a gun up unless one is intending to fire it.)

The girl stated "someone" says something to her and she turns away (?) and shoots her brother who, along with her mother, was in front of her... the only other people in the room, and even in the house (Unless they are lying about where Dad was.)

The girl puts on her jacket and leaves the house, taking the shotgun with her (loaded or not, is not clear. There is no report about whether the gun was loaded when she was arrested at the car dealership, after she stuck in the mechanic's chest. There is no local police report. The State Police report neglects to include the car dealership episode.)

Or she deliberately fired three times and her brother was accidentally hit by one of the shots.

You need to read the report before you speculate.

We know she was emotionally unstable, after all.

How do we know that?

Emotionally unstable people can cause harm accidentally as easily as they can deliberately.

Yeah and sometimes they do it deliberately. In either case they need serious intervention to keep them from hurting other people again.

And her pattern was what? Beating a stranger over the head because she was in line first? Amy Bishop didn't like anyone being in line in front of her, apparently.

If the jury believed that Bishop had just accidentally killed her younger brother, it isn't exactly a stretch to think that she might not have been thinking clearly immediately afterwards.

Then let a jury decide.

revenant quoting:The fact is, then-District Attorney William D. Delahunt... did a political favor for a woman on the city council.

@revenant
Think about this for a second. You're honestly saying that an attorney general involved himself in a conspiracy to cover up a murder... as a favor to a member of a small-town council?

Delahunt was the LOCAL DA. See above. Big difference.

he believed her story that the shooting was an accident.

Yeah. He probably did. Without doing an investigation. This is the mother who waited at the door (or one account, on her porch) for the cops after the 911 call. She was not with her son, because she said she knew "he couldn't survive."

I believe almost every person on this list would have been on the floor with his/her kid in their arms telling him they loved him and were sorry. I'd worry about getting cleaned up later.

The pattern of bizarre behavior has been there for years.

JAL said...

How about the disembling of the husband over the gun?

He at first didn't even she owned a gun ("own" being the weasel verb). Then it turns out they went target shooting a few days before. Did they rent guns? Apparently not.

Now he knew she "borrowed a gun."

Wonder if they used the round pattern or the human form pattern.

former law student said...

Meade - stay alert!

Bishop's husband said nothing unusual happened on their trip to the shooting range, and that she didn't reveal why she took an interest in target practice. Nothing in her behavior in the days before the shooting foreshadowed the violence last week, either, he said.

"She was just a normal professor," he said.

JAL said...

Not as an excuse, just some observations....

Borderline personality she is not. They have intense relationships and broken and repaired best friends all over the place. She didn't appear to have any, "friend friends."

Bipolar maybe.

Psychopath more than sociopath? Yeah maybe.

But here's something -- she is described in several accounts as was very sensitive to loud noises.

She also didn't "get" the other-people-have-feelings thing.

There is a question whether she gets feelings at all. (Unable to pick up much on that, except she obviously didn't care about the lady she hit on the head, or her husband's and kids' feelings in a public place.)

It was interesting that she called her husband to come pick up her up so they could go out for coffee after she shot 6 people.

The loud noise thing is found in the autism spectrum (Asperger's) continuum. Since she was also so crappy in her people skills, that could be part of it.

The obvious thing there though, is that Aspergers and autism spectrum people are not known to go on shooting rampages or wish and do others bodily harm. So while that may be a piece of the puzzle, it does not explain her thought processes and behaviors.

When she was being put in the patrol car she can be heard saying "It didn't happen." (Or WTTE) and the cop says something about the dead people and Dr. Bishop repeats a couple times something like "They are alive."

Another thing to note is having a DSM-IV personality disorder does not mean one gets off on the "insanity" defense.

Insanity is a legal definition, not a medical one.

You lawyers on the list can clarify, but isn't *legally* insane defense tried if it can be shown that one does know that what one was doing (killing someone) was wrong and therefore that one is not accountable for her actions?

It is clear there was premeditation in this case.

I read some bio info on the victims, and was very moved and very sad for the loss of some good people. A heart breaker.

Big Mike said...

I don't see that this necessarily relates to the killings. About 60% of American professors would act the same way, and nearly 100% of the European.

Revenant said...

What's Mike Nifong doing nowadays?

Mike Nifong was pandering to black voters, first of all. Secondly, he was doing what DAs do all the time -- manufacturing evidence to secure a conviction. That's usually a low-risk activity because the people faking the evidence are usually the only ones in a position to prove it WAS faked.

Covering up a murder is a hell of a lot riskier, and the political payoff was essentially nonexistent.

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

Amy Bishop must have been a victim herself, victimized first by her brother,then by a defective firearm, then by a vicious professor advisor, then by a selfish customer at an IHOP, and lastly by a husband who is seeming to give up his wife simply to save himself.

She deserves a second chance, just like 7M demonstrated so well above.

You know, none of this would have happened if that defective shotgun had a slide action that wouldn't have operated under the slightest jolt, of course with a loosey goosey trigger group. It really wasn't her fault, as DA Delahunt said back then.

Lastly, did you know that Ms Bishop was a founding mother of the TEA Party back in her college days?

former law student said...

In my county the DA would have prosecuted Bishop for involuntary manslaughter at least. That would have been a slam dunk.

But Nifong and Delahunt made errors that were 180 apart: proscuting the innocent vs. letting the guilty go free.

Synova said...

JAL, The problem with the Asberger's and loud noises things is that while I can see someone having a tantrum and even becoming violent because he or she can't deal with the noise and motion around them, I can't really see them seeking out those situations and being confrontational or planning to be confrontational.

I also can't really see someone who *actually* and *genuinely* can't tolerate noise to go shooting at a range.

I'm sticking with psychopath.

'"She was just a normal professor," he said.'

That's weird. Her husband thinks and speaks of her as a "professor" instead of "person" or "woman?"

knox said...

That's weird. Her husband thinks and speaks of her as a "professor" instead of "person" or "woman?"

Ha. I'll say. I think he is supposed to be a pretty big weirdo, too. Would have to be to marry her.

Trooper York said...

What are you trying to say?

That any guy who would marry a professor is a weirdo?

That's not nice.

Revenant said...

Plenty of time to get the story straight. Only they didn't.

Which, if you'll think about it, is evidence that the mother and daughter didn't take time to coordinate their stories. So if they're lying, it is an odd coincidence that they told such similar lies.

She fired the shot gun in her bedroom into the wall upstairs first. Her mother stated that she did not hear the gunshot. Really? Her explanation was her house was "relatively well insulated." Right.

The police discovered a hole in the wall from a shotgun, concealed behind some books. They did not make a determination about when it had been made. The only evidence that Amy fired that shot just before coming downstairs is from Amy's own statement.

Here's an alternative possibility: Amy was fooling around with the gun while nobody was home and accidentally fired it. She hid the damage to avoid getting in trouble. Later, she asked for help with the gun and wackiness ensued. Still later, the cops find the hidden damage from the earlier shot; she panics and lies about how it got there.

She has that conversation either with her mother or her brother, depending on whether you want to believe the mother's account, or the daughter's account. Both, mind you, in the same report.

You walk into a room in which X and Y are waiting. You ask a question. Y thinks you were asking them, but you were really asking X. You're saying that at no point in your life has something like that happened to you?

The girl says the brother (who with his dad had some firearms training through the local gun club) told her to point the gun up. Right. (One of the first things taught in firearms training is one never points a gun up unless one is intending to fire it.)

Some reasonable explanations are (a) the brother hadn't paid attention during that "some firearms training", (b) the brother judged that it was safer to point a shotgun at a bunch of drywall and wood (the ceiling) than at concrete (the floor), or (c) he actually said something like "be careful where you're pointing that thing" and she didn't recall his exact wording two weeks after accidentally shooting him.

The girl stated "someone" says something to her and she turns away (?) and shoots her brother who, along with her mother, was in front of her... the only other people in the room, and even in the house (Unless they are lying about where Dad was.)

Or -- and I realize this is a wacky possibility -- they weren't precise in describing where everyone had been standing in the seconds before the person standing near them was killed by a shotgun blast. Seriously, now, if you think that's a significant inconsistency in eyewitness accounts you've been watching too many cop shows.

The girl puts on her jacket and leaves the house, taking the shotgun with her (loaded or not, is not clear. There is no report about whether the gun was loaded when she was arrested at the car dealership, after she stuck in the mechanic's chest. There is no local police report. The State Police report neglects to include the car dealership episode.)

The eyewitnesses stated that she "waved" the gun while claiming that her husband was after her, not that she "stuck it in the mechanic's chest". So the crime here could be as trivial as brandishing an unloaded weapon.

Or she deliberately fired three times and her brother was accidentally hit by one of the shots.

You need to read the report before you speculate.

Your objection makes no sense. My speculation is inconsistent with the mother and daughter's testimony (you know -- the testimony you're saying isn't actually true), but nothing about it is inconsistent with the known *facts*.

Revenant said...

Two more points:

Delahunt was the LOCAL DA. See above. Big difference.

There's no relevant difference. It isn't Delahunt's position that matters here, it is Bishop's. What favor would a small-town councilwoman be capable of doing for Delahunt that would encourage him to risk prison time and the permanent end of his political and legal careers?

I believe almost every person on this list would have been on the floor with his/her kid in their arms telling him they loved him and were sorry. I'd worry about getting cleaned up later.

That's how the people on television act, certainly. In real life, people suddenly faced with extreme grief and stress behave unpredictably and, in most cases, irrationally. Denial and avoidance are common reactions.

Read up on the case of Cameron Willingham, who was wrongly executed in Texas based in part on eyewitness accounts of his "uncaring" response to his daughters' death.

JAL said...

@synova
JAL, The problem with the Asberger's and loud noises things is that while I can see someone having a tantrum and even becoming violent because he or she can't deal with the noise and motion around them, I can't really see them seeking

I didn't mean that was the cause of her violent behavior, I was just observing those things are consistent with that particular condition.

Her psychopathology is a whole other thing.

JAL said...

@revenant
There is an interview in one of the newsapers with the mechanic (Pettigrew?) she accosted at the car dealership. I think he knows what she did.

But he could be lying.

JAL said...

A local DA is someone who would know other town officials and upper level functionaries. This is a small town. The likelihood of social and political connection is quite high. There wouldn't even be 6 degrees of separation for most people to each other.

Why would you think that was equivalent to an AG?

JAL said...

Amy Bishop stated that she "accidentally" fired the shotgun that day before she went downstairs.

Read the report.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The most interesting thing about this thread is that it focuses on the psychopath who killed her colleagues, while the New York Times seems to take a rarely precedented moral high road and focuses on the actual victims - as obscure as they are - at the expense of much needed publicity on the part of the murderer.

Silly Rubes!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I think Pogo is making a half-hearted attempt to describe anti-social personality disorder. If there is any group that seems to possess a natural lack of concern for basic moral boundaries, that would be the one. And I know how much you neocons love locking people up, but to the extent that there is a disorder that seems to define criminality -- the majority of "natural-born" criminals, ASPD would be it.

The are a step removed from narcissists in that narcissists actually require the adulation that comes from "playing by the rules". Hence, Karl Rove and the other power-obsessed GOP tyrants who turned into whimpering scamps once exposed to the truth and shown to be nothing more than roaring mice.

Watch Girl Interrupted. Angelina Jolie's character is a good description of this. No remorse. Ever. No feelings. Not even for oneself.

I haven't gone over a lot of this, but it seems that the murderess' reported quirks point to a more eccentric brain or personality disorder, though. Not every eccentric or autistic individual is this disturbed socially. Most aren't. But I see no reason at this point to discount a confluence of irregularities. They can, actually, co-exist in the same individual.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Which, if you'll think about it, is evidence that the mother and daughter didn't take time to coordinate their stories. So if they're lying, it is an odd coincidence that they told such similar lies.

Well I tend to go with the Occam's Razor theory that she killed her brother in cold blood and then threatened another person at gunpoint to obtain a getaway car.

Kinda seems like a slam dunk to me, regardless of what Mom said. I mean she just lost her son so it stands to reason she'd lie her ass off to keep her other offspring from going to prison.

JAL said...

Yeah.

If it was an accident why didn't she stick around and tell everyone, instead of sticking what was described as a "loaded" (by Chief Frazier) shotgun in someone's chest and telling some bizarre story while trying to steal a car?

(And when did she reload?)

The focus of the post was the not so distant bizarre and violent behavior on the shooter's part -- which the stranger and stranger husband has described as something that was no big deal and which everyone over reacted to.

The victims appear to be people who will be hugely missed by their families and communities. It is quite sad seeing their faces and reading about who they were.