Posted in homicide, homicide investigation, julkisuus, massacres, murder, spree killers, trials

Amy Bishop: ‘It wasn’t me, I wasn’t there’

Amy Bishop is a Harvard educated neurobiologist, former professor of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (United States) . In February, 2010 during a faculty meeting, Bishop, 44  went on a shooting rampage, killing three of her colleagues and wounding seriously three more.

She was arrested shortly after the shootings.

As she was escorted away by the police, she told the reporters: ‘No way, they are still alive’.

Amy Bishop arrested

bishopApparently the motive for the shooting was that she was recently denied tenure which means she was about to lose her job.

It was also reported that she was a sole provider for the family, her husband James Anderson and their four children. Perhaps she was under a lot of pressure and she snapped.

However, soon many alarming details started to emerge from her past that suggested this may not be the case.

>In a bizarre twist, it was revealed that more than 20 years ago Bishop fatally shot her 18-year-old brother, Seth Bishop. It was concluded that Seth’s death was an accident.

Bishop shot her brother at the family home in Massachusetts. Based on the recollection of an arresting officer, Bishop, then 20, shot her brother three times, then ran from the house and attempted a carjacking, Boston Globe reported. Police arrested her at gunpoint and were booking her when the former chief ordered a halt to the process and released her to her mother. He later said the gun went off accidentally when she was learning to unload it.

It is not known what would have been a motive for the alleged killing. She reportedly had an argument with her father that morning, possible motive could have been revenge. Perhaps she responds to stress or stressful situations by going ballistic which suggests mental issues. According to some reports she was never properly questioned, because she was ‘highly emotional’ and the case was closed quickly. If it was a cover up, it was more likely a family cover-up than police cover up, they didn’t want to lose both of their children. And Amy may have gotten away with murder. Her parents still insist it was an accident. The case may be hard to prove decades later. The case was re-opened after Alabama shootings and Bishop was indicted in brother’s death.

In another twist, Amy Bishop and her husband were also questioned in mail bombing incident of Harvard professor Dr. Paul Rosenberg, in 1993. Their home was searched, but no evidence was found to link Bishop to the incident. Investigators believed she had a motive to target Rosenberg,  allegedly she was concerned that she was going to receive a negative evaluation from Rosenberg on her doctorate work. The bomb never exploded. A medical researcher, Rosenberg had recently attended a seminar on letter bombs—the Unabomber had struck twice that year—and this heavy package looked suspicious. So, gingerly, he cut the tape around the edge with a knife and peeked inside. Two pieces of pipe, each about 6 inches long, were fixed in place. Wires were visible. He carefully shut the box, alerted his wife, and fled. No-one was ever charged with the crime which would have been an attempted murder.

After Alabama shootings the court ordered mental evaluation which will likely be submitted into evidence.

Madison County corrections officers escort accused UAH shooter Amy Bishop to a courtroom for her plea hearing on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. (Photo blog.al.com)

The crimes she committed are outrageous, but the media coverage at least to some extent, has been unfair. That was hardly a first time such incidents took place, but most commonly shootings are carried out by men. In those cases suspects are often described as ‘ordinary’, ‘quiet’, ‘normal’ or even ‘loving husbands and good friends’, etc. As it would be more acceptable if perpetrator is a male. There were reports that Bishop was an ‘oddball’, ‘crazy’, and ‘bully’. That neighbours ‘cheered’ when she moved out and colleagues and the students just couldn’t wait to get rid of her. Also claims that ‘she was dangerous’ and she was out of control and mentally unstable according to court documents in civil case Johnson vs Karbhari, Bishop and Anderson link

Jane Velez-Mitchell; HLN even made an assumption that all professors, scientists are somehow suspicious.

They can walk around in their white coats and keep their heads in some laboratory cage and nobody questions them.’

Hilarious. Whatever one may think about ‘nutty’ professors, Bishop is first academic in US history to be accused of such crime. If  she was a taxi driver, would they draw similar conclusions?! Of course not.

Given that mental illnesses are poorly detected and treated in US, it is likely we will never know what is wrong with Amy Bishop.

However there is nothing to suggest she suddenly snapped. The crime was planned, she went to a shooting range before the murders, she bought a gun.

She appears to be in denial, during her interrogation hours later Bishop would insist, “I wasn’t there” and “It wasn’t me’. But it is possible she was just setting herself up for insanity defence.

A trial date has been set for Amy Bishop-Anderson for March 19, 2012.

She pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Interestingly, Amy Bishop is a second cousin to famed author and Academy-awarded screenwriter John Irwing, best known for his novels ‘The World According to Garp’ and ‘Cider House Rules’.

Boston.com

wired.com

Posted in cold cases, crime, homicide, homicide investigation, justice, kidnapped, murder, news, trials

Mistrial Declared In Eileen Adams Case

Eileen Adams, 14 old Ohio schoolgirl, was supposed to go to her sister’s west Toledo home after school on December 18 of 1967 – but she never got off the bus.

Eileen Adams


A month and a half later, two Michigan brothers found a rolled up rug tied up with a lamp cord in a field.

She had a three inch nail drilled in the back of her heard and cord wrapped around her neck.

An autopsy concluded Adams had been strangled.

Case went cold pretty soon and lingered in police files for decades.

Until 1981 when Robert Bowman’s ex wife went to police and said Bowman killed Adams and she was a witness:

She said she heard some noise in the basement, she opened a wooden door and was stunned to find a naked young girl tied-up and ‘hanging like Jesus’. Her arms were outstretched and she had tape covering her mouth.

Ms Bowman said she knew the girl was alive because: ‘I looked in her eyes.’

‘I was horrified, I was screaming, I was shaking,’ she added. ‘I didn’t know what to think.’.

Victim’s was found hogtied with telephone cables and with a nail driven in her head

(crime scene photo/Daily Mail)

Officers found Bowman in Florida living in a shell of a burned out building. Inside the burned out building, officers found Bowman had suspended a Spider man doll from the ceiling upside down with string binding the dolls ankles. The string was also wrapped around the doll’s neck and down its back.

There was also a Ken doll that had a nail in the back of his head. Bowman lived with roaches, rats, and snakes which he named and treated like pets.

However prosecutor said there was not enough evidence to charge him.

In 2006, police reopened the case again at the request of Adams’ parents. This time, detectives tested for DNA, also victim’s body was exhumed.

Robert Bowman was arrested and charged with murder. At the time he had been living under a tarp in the desert in California.

Bowman went on trial in August 2011. Experts testified during the trial about DNA found on the victim’s clothing. According to testimony, the random likelihood that the DNA would be found in the general population was 1 in 4.15 million. Bowman’s ex-wife was a prosecution key witness. She stated that she was afraid of Bowman who threatened to kill her and their newborn daughter if she told anyone.

After about 2 days of deliberations jury was unable to reach a verdict and mistrial was declared. Jurors voted 10-2 vote to convict, Toledoblade reported.

Robert Bowman, now 75 year old, in court. Wtol.com

A gag order has been issued in the case preventing attorneys from discussing the previous trial or any future plans. Judge Gene Zmuda set an Aug. 29 pretrial.

Bowman remains charged with murder in the first degree and was returned to the jail after the mistrial was declared. If convicted on the charge, he faces up to life in prison.

UPDATE Bowman was found guilty of murder in the  first degree and was sentenced to life in prison Friday, October 28, 2011. Bowman said he intended to appeal the conviction.

Toledoblade.com

Daily Mail

Posted in homicide investigation, justice, missing, news, trials

Making History In The Courtroom

In 1987 DNA evidence in criminal trial was likely considered, novel, experimental science.

DNA got its first courtroom test in Orange County, Florida.  Casey Anthony prosecutor, Jeff Ashton gained the world’s first DNA conviction of a rapist more than 20 years ago. Florida appeals court upheld the conviction and Florida became the first state to affirm on appeal the use of DNA.  Since then DNA profiling has helped to acquit or convict suspects in many of the most violent crimes all over the world.

Jeff Ashton in 1987 arguing in courtroom for DNA evidence ‘That is not controversial or new procedure’ he says. (Image: credit wesh. com)

In Casey Anthony case, her defence team argued that the evidence such as hair samples, air samples and cadaver dogs evidence, that State wanted to present, are not simply credible. Anthony’s defence insisted such forensic evidence should not be admissible in court since the discovery is based on novel, experimental scientific research that is not generally accepted by scientific community. The defendant requested a Frye hearing to question the reliability of scientific evidence.

It’s the first time the air samples are introduced in a U.S. criminal case.

Hair sample with evidence of an apparent human decomposition or post-mortem root banding – the scientific name for the phenomenon – has never been used as evidence in a Florida criminal trial until the Anthony case. Prosecutors say these tests prove Caylee’s body was in the trunk of Casey’s car.
After voicing some concern that the issue ‘may come back to bite’ in the form of an appeal, Judge Belvin Perry decided to allow such ‘controversial’ evidence at Anthony’s trial.

Casey Anthony trial continues with expert scientific testimonies. She is accused of killing her 2 year old daughter, Caylee. She pleaded not guilty.

Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton retired in June 2011 after unsuccessfully arguing along with Linda Drane – Burdick that 2 year old Florida girl Caylee Anthony died in the hands of her mother.