Who's Your Amy Bishop?

Categories: Crime, WTF?

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Like many of you, I read the Amy Bishop story in this week's Sunday Times while gaping in wonder. Bishop is the bat-shit science professor who went on a shooting rampage, killing three colleagues, after she was denied tenure at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

As it turns out, there were plenty of warning signs that Bishop was dangerous. For instance, in 1986 she killed her own brother with a shotgun. (After a minimal investigation into the incident, police determined it was an accident). She was also said to have yelled at playing children, terrified some of her students, and flown into rages over perceived slights.

It was only in 2002, after Bishop punched a woman in the head at an IHOP, that she was finally charged with any crime. Apparently, Bishop and the woman had a fight over a booster seat, which ended with the scientist declaring, "I am Dr. Amy Bishop!"

It's not like Bishop's story is totally unprecedented. In Northern California, we've certainly had our share of overlooked homicidal maniacs. (Jim Jones, Dan White, and Charles Dederich immediately come to mind). More recently, though, and seemingly more line with the Bishop story, we've got UCSF lab researcher Ben Chun Liu. He admitted that he attempted to poison his co-worker, said he was sorry, and his murder charge was eventually dropped. (He's apparently still pursuing lab work).

The story also reminded me a lot of Georgia Roberts, a South Florida woman who was accused and later acquitted of stalking TV News anchor Kristi Krueger. Roberts also happens to have killed her friend in high school. She said she shot her friend in the head by accident.

In light of all this, I thought we should ask you readers if there's somebody in your life who may eventually go on a killing spree. Maybe the person enjoys, say, beheading kittens. Maybe the person pees on homeless people. Whatever.

We invite you to vent about this potentially homicidal maniac here, but please remember not to libel anyone.

I'll start. My editor Will Harper sometimes gets this weird look in his eyes. I think he might someday open fire on the newsroom. Okay, your turn.
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