University of Alabama-Huntsville professor Amy Bishop has just been indicted with the 1986 murder of her brother Seth, who was at that time a first-year college student. All things considered, former Prof. Bishop seems to have had even less self-control than South Carolina Congressman Bob Etheridge.
Seth Bishop in his high school photo is pictured to the left. The Boston Globe offers a chilling rundown of Bishop's crimes and background.
What appalled me from the first is that this woman was not only allowed in the classroom, she was apparently encouraged and tolerated. The killings were by no means her only outbursts. When the mass-shooting at her faculty meeting was announced, people quickly came forward to point up her violent, threatening behavior in other areas. Apparently, she grabbed a child seat out from under a child that wasn't her own at an IHOP restaurant, striking the child's mother. This was apparently what led up to her not being chosen for tenure. With a Ph.D. from Harvard in genetics, her future should have been assured. But reporting about her background shows a disturbed woman at all ages. Many were shocked upon learning of her brother's death and the initial perfunctory investigation - because the conclusion is obvious: if she had been charged and prosecuted, the three dead University of Alabama instructors would be alive today.
The Boston Globe article went into depth about her background, which is not a good one. In addition to incidents in Alabama preceding the shootings, Dr. Bishop and her husband clashed with neighbors in Ipswich, MA, and she then feuded with Dr. Paul Rosenberg while working at a lab at Children's Hospital in Massachussetts. Later, Dr. Rosenberg and his wife received a package containing two pipe bombs at their home.
It shouldn't be surprising to reader's here that colleagues reported that Dr. Bishop flew into uncontrollable rages when not receiving "first" author position on scientific papers, that she padded her CV (used to apply for her position at the University of Alabama-Huntsville), and even went so far as to include three of her minor children as co-authors on one paper. Undergraduate students complained of her unreachable nature and confusing grading and test practices, going so far as to circulate a petition asking for redress from the school. She also reportedly went through graduate assistants at a rapid pace.
All of these are the hallmarks of an unstable person - one who had many excuses made for her, and who was allowed to get away with many things - ultimately costing the life of three innocent people. Oh, her motive for shooting her colleagues in a faculty meeting? She had been denied tenure due to inadequate work, research and publications.