Bill Delahunt, Braintree P.D. Have Some ‘Splainin To Do

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Amy Bishop, the nutty professor who went on a killing spree at the University of Alabama at Huntsville on Friday, has killed before.  And not just anyone.  In 1986 she fatally shot her brother after an argument.  What happened next has all the makings of a coverup.

“I don’t want to use the word ‘coverup.’ I don’t know what the thought process was at the time,” said Braintree Police Chief Paul Frazier yesterday at an explosive press conference, adding later, “It reflects poorly on the department. This would not happen in this day and age.”

On Dec. 6, 1986, Frazier said, then-20-year-old Amy Bishop blasted her brother, Seth Bishop, 18 – described in newspaper reports at the time as a talented violinist and science student – with a shotgun during an argument, fled the family’s Victorian manse and was later arrested by cops at gunpoint.

So she was then taken into custody, booked, charged and arraigned right?  Wrong.

According to Frazier, then-Chief John Polio ordered cops to release Bishop – whose mother, Judith Bishop, Frazier said was a public official sitting on the Personnel Committee.

“I spoke with the retired deputy chief who was . . . responsible for booking Ms. Bishop. He said he had started the process when he received a call from then-Police Chief John Polio or possibly from a captain on Chief Polio’s behalf,” Frazier said.

“He was instructed to stop the booking process. At some point Ms. Bishop was turned over to her mother and they left the building via a rear exit. . . . The release of Ms. Bishop did not sit well with the police officers.”

The former police chief is claiming that there was nothing unusual about releasing Bishop before any charges were filed and says he turned the case over to the D.A.  now U.S. Congressman, Bill Delahunt.  

But Mr. Polio, 87, reached at home on Saturday, called even the suggestion of a cover-up laughable and said that the case had been handled lawfully. He said he remembered there being a shooting and recalled that Dr. Bishop and her brother had been “horsing around.”

“Everything was done that should have been done under the circumstances,” Mr. Polio said in a phone interview. “She was questioned, and then turned over to her mother. The determination was made that we were going to turn the inquiry over to the district attorney.”

Delahunt has developed amnesia.

Delahunt, now a congressman, yesterday said in a telephone interview that he did not recall the case.

I’m not ready to say this definitely was a cover-up, but there are many questions that need to be answered.  The Braintree PD needs to determine, who it was that called in the orders to release Bishop.  Delahunt needs to be more forthcoming and work with the current DA to determine what role (if any) that his office played.  And yes, any connections between the Bishop family and any members of the Braintree PD or Delahunt’s office in 1986 need to be sought.  If nothing else, the handling of this case was severely bungled and there are now three families in Alabama who may not be planning funerals for their loved ones had Bishop been prosecuted.

Update #1 – 2/14/10 @ 11:33 a.m.:

The Boston Channel reports that it was Delahunt who made the call to Polio resulting Bishop’s release.

Braintree officers who remember the 1986 shooting said that former police Chief John Polio dismissed detectives from the case and ordered the department to release Amy Bishop after a telephone conversation with former district attorney William Delahunt, who is currently a U.S. congressman from Massachusetts.

“The police officers here were very upset about that,” said Frazier, who was a patrolman at the time and spoke to officers who remembered the incident that day, including one who filed a report on it.

 When contacted Saturday, Polio, now 86, said that there was no cover up in Seth Bishop’s death, though there were questions about whether the shooting was an accident.

 “I remember Judy Bishop and that she had two children and I know that they got into an argument one day and somehow a shot got involved, or a weapon of some kind, and it went off, according to them by accident. According to the mother and to the daughter, by the daughter,” Polio said in a telephone interview with The Patriot Ledger.

 Polio told NewsCenter 5 he has no memory of telling officers to go home. He said there was an inquest by Delahunt’s office and that the district attorney found that the shooting did not warrant charges. Polio said he doesn’t know how the records would have gone missing.

Amy Bishop and her husband, James Anderson, were questioned after a package containing two bombs was sent to the Newton home of Dr. Paul Rosenberg, a professor and doctor at Boston’s Children’s Hospital.[…]

Bishop surfaced as a suspect because she was allegedly concerned that she was going to receive a negative evaluation from Rosenberg on her doctorate work, the official said. The official said investigators believed she had a motive to target Rosenberg and were concerned that she had a history of violence, given that she had shot her brother to death in 1986.

Investigators conducted a search of the home where Bishop and Anderson were living and questioned the couple, the official said. Anderson was questioned about whether he had purchased any of the components used to make the bombs, the official said.

During a search of Bishop’s computer, authorities found a draft of a novel that Bisthop was writing about a female scientist who had killed her brother and was hoping to make amends by hoping to become a great scientist, according to a person who was briefed on the investigation and spoke to the Globe on the condition of anonymity.

The US attorney’s office in Boston did not seek any charges against Bishop or Anderson, and no one was ever charged with mailing the bombs to Rosenberg.

“The police officers here were very upset about that,” said Frazier, who was a patrolman at the time and spoke to officers  who remembered the incident that day, including one who filed a report on it.

Did Delahunt broom the case?

Update #2 – 2/14/10 @ 6:40 p.m. via Ace of Spades

Amy Bishop Was a Suspect in 1993 Unsolved Bombing Attempt

Amy Bishop and her husband, James Anderson, were questioned after a package containing two bombs was sent to the Newton home of Dr. Paul Rosenberg, a professor and doctor at Boston’s Children’s Hospital.

[…]

Bishop surfaced as a suspect because she was allegedly concerned that she was going to receive a negative evaluation from Rosenberg on her doctorate work, the official said. The official said investigators believed she had a motive to target Rosenberg and were concerned that she had a history of violence, given that she had shot her brother to death in 1986.

Investigators conducted a search of the home where Bishop and Anderson were living and questioned the couple, the official said. Anderson was questioned about whether he had purchased any of the components used to make the bombs, the official said.

During a search of Bishop’s computer, authorities found a draft of a novel that Bisthop was writing about a female scientist who had killed her brother and was hoping to make amends by hoping to become a great scientist, according to a person who was briefed on the investigation and spoke to the Globe on the condition of anonymity.

The US attorney’s office in Boston did not seek any charges against Bishop or Anderson, and no one was ever charged with mailing the bombs to Rosenberg.

(emphasis mine)

This was seven years after she killed her brother without being charged with so much as involuntary manslaughter by then D.A., Bill Delahunt.

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3 thoughts on “Bill Delahunt, Braintree P.D. Have Some ‘Splainin To Do

  1. Something going on here.Was this “accidental” shooting seriously investigated because you know a young man was shot to death by his gun toting sister who was apprehended after pointing said gun at a passing motorist. Now the police records are missing and how convenient the chief involved is now a doddering old fool who has memory lapses.Smells like Delahunt is up to his neck in it.

  2. It would appear that Ms. Bishop is about to find out that Alabamian police are not as obliging as their northern counterparts.

    If she killed before, what was she doing walking in society? She should, at least, been hospitalized in a psychiatric facility.

  3. Pingback: U. of Alabama “killer denied tenure”: far-left extremist with troubling history « Spin, strangeness, and charm

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