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Criminal Justice

As Bomb Case Linked to Ala. Prof Is Reopened, New Evidence Also Is Cited in Brother’s Death

Posted Feb 26, 2010 12:19 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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In a series of new investigations related to the prior conduct of a biology professor accused of shooting three colleagues to death and wounding three others at a faculty meeting at the University of Alabama at Huntsville earlier this month, at least three unrelated probes are now being conducted in which Amy Bishop's conduct reportedly may play a role.

In addition to the shootings this month, in which Bishop has been charged with capital murder and attempted murder, the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston is also conducting a "thorough review" of a 1993 incident. It involved two unexploded bombs received in the mail at home by a Harvard Medical School professor who had given Bishop a poor review at a local hospital, reports the Boston Globe.

Meanwhile, authorities apparently taking another look at Bishop's 1986 fatal shooting of her teenage brother at the family's home in Boston, which was determined to be an accident, and a gun incident reportedly involving Bishop at a local Massachusetts car dealership that followed shortly afterward.

By enlarging a scene photo of Bishop's bedroom, investigators were able to determine that a newspaper on the floor contained an article about an unrelated case in which a suspect shot an individual to death and commandeered a getaway car at a local dealership, Associated Press.

"We were struck by how parallel the circumstances were," says Norfolk District Attorney William Keating. "That could go to the state of mind of Amy Bishop at the time."

In another new development, the university has announced that Bishop will be fired, reports the Huntsville Times.

As observers have wondered how a woman with Bishop's reported history of involvement in violent incidents could have seemingly escaped any consequences for her behavior until now, authorities elsewhere apparently have had their sensitivities heightened about even ordinary conversation in reaction to Bishop's case.

A sociology professor at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania says she has been put on indefinite paid leave after posting joking comments on her Facebook page about a hitman and wanting to kill a student that administrators treated as a threat, reports the Pocono Record. They specifically mentioned the Alabama case, she says.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Getaway Car Incident Spurs Call for Probe into Ala. Prof’s Prior Exoneration"

Boston Herald: "‘Oddball’ portrait of Amy Bishop emerges"

New York Times: "For Professor, Fury Just Beneath the Surface"

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