Sunday, June 12, 2016
The Face Of Evil - William Bradford Bishop Jr. - Fugitive From Justice
William Bradford Bishop Jr. (born August 1, 1936 in Pasadena, CA) is a former United States Foreign Service officer who has been a fugitive from justice since allegedly murdering five members of his family in 1976. On April 10, 2014, the FBI placed him on the list of its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.
Classification: Family Annihilator
Disappeared: March 2, 1976 (aged 39) from Jacksonville, NC
Current Location: Missing for 40+ years
Aliases: Bradford Bishop, Brad Bishop, Bradford Bishop Jr.
Known for: Wanted for five murders (Spouse, Children, Mother)
A Little Bit About The Case
He received a BS in history from Yale, and an MA in international studies from Middlebury College. Alternatively, he has been reported to have a bachelor's degree in American Studies from Yale University and a master's degree in Italian from Middlebury College. He also holds a master's degree in African Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
After his graduation from Yale in 1959, he married Annette Wels. He then spent four years in Army counterintelligence. Bishop speaks five languages fluently: English, French, Serbo-Croat, Italian and Spanish.
After leaving the army, Bishop joined the U.S. State Department and served in the U.S. Foreign Service in many postings overseas. This included postings in the Italian cities of Verona, Milan, and Florence (where he did post-graduate work at the University of Florence). He also served as a foreign service officer in Africa, including posts in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and in Gaborone, Botswana. His last posting, which began in 1974, was at State Department Headquarters in Washington as an
Assistant Chief in the Division of Special Activities and Commercial Treaties. He was living in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife Annette (age 37), three sons, William III (age 14), Brenton (age 10), Geoffrey (age 5), and his mother, Lobelia (age 68).
By early 1976, Bishop was anticipating a promotion at work. Bishop and his wife were both psychiatric patients. Bishop suffered from depression and insomnia and was taking the medication Serax. On the afternoon of March 1, he learned he would not receive the promotion he had sought.
After learning of this career disappointment, Bishop told his secretary he didn’t feel well and left work early. Shortly thereafter, police believe that he first drove from Foggy Bottom (the neighborhood where he worked at the U.S. State Department headquarters) to the bank where he withdrew several hundred dollars. He then drove to Montgomery Mall and bought a sledge hammer and a gas can at Sears. He then filled the gas can and family station wagon up at a gas station next to
Finally, his three sons (aged 5, 10, and 14) were killed while they slept in their beds in an upstairs bedroom.
With the bodies loaded into the family station wagon, Bishop allegedly drove 275 miles (443 km), about a six-hour drive, to a densely wooded swamp off North Carolina Highway 94, about 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Columbia, North Carolina. There, on March 2, he dug a shallow hole where he piled the bodies, doused them with gasoline, and set them ablaze. Later the same day, a North Carolina state forest ranger was dispatched by a spotter in a fire tower to an area where smoke was rising from the trees; the fire spread over three acres. The ranger discovered the burned bodies along with a gas can, a pitchfork, and a shovel with a label of "OCH HDW", which was tracked to Poch's Hardware a week later.
It was later confirmed that Bishop visited a sporting goods store in Jacksonville, North Carolina, that same day and used his credit card to purchase tennis shoes. According to witnesses, he had the family dog, a golden retriever named Leo, with him on a leash and was possibly, but not certainly, accompanied by a woman described as "dark skinned".
According to police reports, a week later, on March 10, a neighbor of the Bishops in the Carderock
On March 19, 1976, a grand jury indicted Bishop on five counts of first-degree murder and other charges. Evidence included his disappearance, the sighting afterward in the vicinity of the bodies, and bloody stains inside the family home that matched both his fingerprints and the blood of his family members.
Bishop had approximately one week of advance time before the authorities began looking for him
Since 1976 Bishop has been allegedly sighted numerous times in Belgium, England, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The three most credible sightings noted by the United States Marshals Service are as follows:
In July 1978, a Swedish woman who said she had collaborated with Bishop while on a business trip in Ethiopia, reported she had spotted him twice in a public park in Stockholm, Sweden during a span of one week. She stated she was "absolutely certain" and made it clear to herself that the man was Bishop.
On September 19, 1994, on a Basel, Switzerland, train platform, a neighbor on vacation in Europe who knew Bishop and his family in Bethesda reported that she had seen Bishop from a few feet away. The neighbor described Bishop as "well-groomed" and in a car.
As of 2010, authorities believe he is alive, living in Switzerland, Italy or some other location in Europe. He may still be in the U.S. in California and may have worked as a teacher or been involved in criminal activities. Although Bishop is legally American by nationality, it is widely believed that he may be living his life footloose in Europe as a place of refuge due to many more leads within this continent, compared with the lack of leads elsewhere.
Adding to the hypothesis that Bishop may be living outside the U.S. is the fact that Bishop was
On October 9, 2014, the body of an unidentified man who resembled Bishop and was killed in a hit-and-run walking along an Alabama highway in 1981 was exhumed by the FBI in Scottsboro to have the DNA, teeth and fingerprints analyzed. The DNA test indicated the deceased was not Bishop.