So, who is responsible? Well, the head of the FBI's office in El Paso suggested that an American could be responsible, noting, "This would be an ideal killing field for a serial murderer given the nature of the law enforcement response." Because apparently Mexico is a great vacation spot for both college kids on spring break and homicidal maniacs.
Former Diplomat William Bradford Bishop Murdered His Family With A Sledgehammer And ... Disappeared
Unlike the killers you've read about so far, we know exactly who this one is and what he did. There's no mystery here -- a grand jury indicted him in 1976 based on what experts call a "metric shit-ton of evidence." The only thing we don't know is where the hell he went to.
William Bradford Bishop spent years working abroad for the United States Foreign Service before settling into a desk job in Washington, D.C. After being passed over for a promotion in 1976, he very undiplomatically bought a sledgehammer, went home, and bludgeoned his wife, mother, and three sons to death. He then put their bodies in his car, drove to North Carolina, dug a shallow grave, and set them on fire. The detective who investigated the house after a neighbor expressed concern about not seeing the family around called it the worst crime scene he had ever seen ... and, again, the bodies weren't even there.
FBIAnd he looked like any other friendly, normal co-worker who stares at you from a corner and laughs inaudibly.
The bodies and the car were quickly found, but it took police time to connect the dots, during which Bishop simply vanished. There were three "credible" sightings of him in Europe: a former acquaintance claims she saw him in Stockholm in 1978, a former co-worker said he took a piss next to him in an Italian bathroom in 1979 and that he ran when challenged (then again, that's the normal reaction when someone talks to you by the urinal), and another old neighbor says he was on a train platform in Basel in 1994. Europe makes sense; Bishop spoke six languages and had experience creating IDs and passports, which the Bourne movies have taught us are 90 percent of what it takes to survive over there.
If Bishop is still alive today -- and the FBI, which has him on their Top 10 Most Wanted List, believes he is -- he would be 80. The FBI notes that he enjoys exercise and outdoor activities, knows how to fly a plane, and likes scotch, wine, peanuts, and spicy food. They also created this creepy portrait to demonstrate what he might look like today:
FBIIt was cool of Robert De Niro to pose for the lower half of the face.
So if you live near a dude who loves peanuts, flies planes, and looks like he calls the condo board whenever someone's balcony flower box is an inch over regulation size, he miiight be one of the most wanted men in the world. Or maybe it's a random dude, and Bishop will never be found because sometimes horrible murderers win. Life's terrifyingly arbitrary, kids!
Mark is on Twitter and has a most wanted book.
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