I’ve decided to avoid presidential politics this morning, but I have a variety of interesting news links that I hope you’ll enjoy.
I’m going to begin with some crime stories. Do you remember Amy Bishop? She was the University of Alabama Huntsville biology professor who was turned down for tenture and later murdered three of her colleagues and wounded three others at a department faculty meeting in early 2010. I wrote a couple of posts about her at the time, see here and here. Today Bishop was sentenced to life in prison.
A former Alabama biology professor who pleaded guilty to killing three colleagues and wounding three others in a 2010 shooting rampage was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Monday after a jury convicted her in a shortened trial.
Amy Bishop avoided a death sentence by admitting earlier this month to gunning down her colleagues during a biology department staff meeting at the University of Alabama at Huntsville.
Alabama law requires a jury to decide the punishment and confirm a guilty plea for a capital murder charge.
Bishop’s defense attorneys did not contest the facts of the case during the abbreviated proceedings on Monday.
“She has admitted she did these terrible things,” defense attorney Robert Tuten said in his opening statement.
A few days ago, there was some interesting news in the Trayvon Martin case.
Forensic tests made public Wednesday show that George Zimmerman’s was the only DNA that could be identified on the grip of the gun used to fatally shoot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
The results rule out Martin’s DNA from being on the gun’s grip. Zimmerman’s DNA also was identified on the gun’s holster, but no determination could be made as to whether Martin’s DNA was on the gun’s holster, according to the report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
I wonder if that will affect Zimmerman’s decision to go through with the stand-your-ground hearing that his attorney Mark O’Mara has scheduled for next year?
O’Mara is also trying to get access to Trayvon Martin’s school records even though they couldn’t be introduced at trial because they are not relevant to the crime, according to prosecutor Bernie de La Ronda.
In a new pleading, Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda asks Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson to seal whatever those records show and in the future to keep O’Mara’s subpoenas a secret.
O’Mara is entitled to go on a fishing expedition to find out about Trayvon’s past, according to court paperwork de la Rionda filed Wednesday, but “he is not allowed to chum the waters and then, by innuendo or otherwise, to publish irrelevant items … to the media in an attempt to influence public perception or otherwise curry favor with potential jurors.”
De la Rionda also Wednesday filed a new evidence list – his eighth. It shows that a book and television appearance by Zimmerman’s self-proclaimed best friend, former Seminole County deputy Mark Osterman, are now officially part of the case prosecutors are building against Zimmerman.
Osterman’s self-published book, written with his wife, is titled “Defending Our Friend: The Most Hated Man in America.” From Examiner.com:
A new book claims that before being shot in the chest and dying, Trayvon Martin grabbed the gun of George Zimmerman, as the two struggled during a violent encounter, according to a report Thursday. This, despite the findings released this week that none of the teen’s DNA was found on the weapon….
The Miami Herald reports that Osterman was the first person Zimmerman’s wife called after the shooting. A former U.S. air marshal, he was with his friend during Zimmerman’s first three police interrogations.
According to the Herald, Osterman’s account of what took place the night of Martin’s death is “a sharp deviation from the versions Zimmerman gave…”
In his book, Osterman quotes Zimmerman as saying, “I desperately got both of my hands around the guy’s one wrist and took his hand off my mouth long enough for me to shout again for help.”
The quote continues, “For a brief moment I had control of the wrist, but I knew when he felt the sidearm at my waist with his leg. He took his hand that was covering my nose and went for the gun, saying, ‘You’re gonna die now, mother*****.’ Somehow I broke his grip on the gun where the guy grabbed it between the rear sight and the hammer. I got the gun in my hand, raised it toward the guy’s chest and pulled the trigger.”
I also have an update on the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting. Accused shooter James Holmes recently appeared in court with short brown hair and a few days’ growth of beard.
Seeking to avoid any delays in the Colorado movie theater shooting case, prosecutors gave up their fight to see a notebook the suspect sent to a university psychiatrist and instead argued for a palm print to compare with one found on the inside of a theater exit door.
James Holmes appeared in court Thursday with short brown hair instead of a wild shock of orangish-red hair and seemed more animated than he has been in the past. He smiled and glanced around the courtroom, looking at his lawyers and reporters covering the hearing. He appeared to be moving his mouth but not actually talking.
Prosecutors believe they still have good arguments for getting access to the notebook and will continue to fight for it. Oddly, some victims’ families refuse to believe that Holmes is mentally ill.
Family members receiving updates about Holmes from the courtroom said it’s all an act by the former University of Colorado, Denver, neuroscience graduate student to appear mentally ill.
“He’s just putting on a show,” said Greg Medek of Aurora, whose daughter Micayla, 23, died in the shooting. “I don’t think he’s crazy. He’s just evil.”
The last crime story is about the New York man who jumped into a tiger cage.
Before his now-infamous tangle with a Bronx Zoo tiger, David Villalobos adorned his Facebook page with New Age odes to Mother Earth and affirmations like, “Be love and fearless.”
Police said Saturday that Villalobos had told detectives that it was without fear that he leaped from an elevated train into the animal’s den. His reason, they said, was that “he wanted to be one with the tiger.”
Villalobos also recounted how, after he landed on all fours, the 400-pound beast attacked him and dragged around by his foot, said New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne. Despite serious injuries, he claimed he was able to get his wish and pet the tiger — a male Siberian named Bashuta — before his rescue, the spokesman added.
Based on those admissions and a complaint from the zoo, police charged the hospitalized Villalobos with misdemeanor trespassing on Saturday. It was unclear if the 25-year-old real estate agent had an attorney, and attempts to reach relatives were unsuccessful.
There’s much more weird info at the link.
Here’s a bloodcurdling historical story for you from The Daily Beast. It’s a review of a new book, “Soldaten: On Fighting, Killing, and Dying: The Secret WWII Transcripts of German POWs” by Sönke Neitzel and Harald Welzer.
How much did World War II German soldiers know about the Holocaust? Publicly, many of them denied knowledge. But a long-lost cache of secret recordings that the British intelligence service made of German prisoners of war show that, in private, they chatted openly and casually about mass-murdering Jews, demonstrating what Hannah Arendt called “the banality of evil.”
The book consists of transcripts of conversations secretly recorded by British intelligence. I’m not going to include an except, because the material is pretty gruesome. You can read it all at the link. But this certainly will be a valuable addition to the history of Nazi Germany and WWII.
The Foxconn plant in China where apple products are manufactured has been shut down because of riots that took place over the weekend.
SHANGHAI — Foxconn Technology, a major supplier to some of the world’s electronics giants, including Apple, said it had closed one of its large Chinese plants Monday after the police were called in to break up a fight among factory employees.
A spokesman said some people had been hurt and detained by the police after the disturbance escalated into a riot involving more than 1,000 workers late Sunday.
The company said the incident was confined to an employee dormitory and “no production facilities or equipment have been affected.” It said the cause of the disturbance was still under investigation.
One Foxconn employee reached by telephone Monday afternoon, however, said the incident began when workers started brawling with security guards.
Unconfirmed photographs and video circulated on social networking sites, purporting to be from the factory, showed smashed windows, riot police officers and large groups of workers milling around. The Foxconn plant, in the Chinese city of Taiyuan, employs about 79,000 workers.
The Chinese state-run news media said 5,000 police officers had been called in to quell the riot.
This one is for Connie: Stranded 655-pound turtle reluctantly released.
A 655-pound leatherback sea turtle that had been stranded in thick mud in Truro on Wednesday night was released off the coast of Harwich Port Saturday morning, New England Aquarium officials said.
A Massachusetts Audubon Society staff member spotted the 7-foot-long black male turtle in Pamet Harbor Wednesday night as high tide approached, said Connie Merigo, the aquarium’s rescue director.
Aquarium staff and volunteers, along with staff members of the Audubon Society and International Fund for Animal Welfare, brought the turtle to the aquarium’s Animal Care Center in Quincy near dawn Thursday.
The sea turtle was about 100 pounds underweight and had low blood sugar and an old injury on his front right fin, Merigo said.
“When he first got here he was fairly lethargic, especially out of the water,” head veterinarian Dr. Charles Innis said.
Innis said the turtle was treated aggressively with “injectable sugar solution, vitamin and mineral supplements, steroids, and antibiotics to stave off infection.” It wouldn’t have been possible to keep him any longer, because leatherbacks are so stressed by being in captivity that they usually don’t survive long.
That’s all I have for now. I hope you enjoyed the break from politics. I know I did. Now what are you reading and blogging about today?
Good Morning!! I think I have some interesting reads for you today, so let’s get right to it.
The biggest story of the day is that the Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals has ordered the Obama administration to quit stalling and get rid of DADT immediately.
A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a two-page order against the policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” in a case brought by the group Log Cabin Republicans.
In 2010, a federal judge in California, Virginia A. Phillips, ruled that the law was unconstitutional and ordered the government to stop enforcing it. That decision was appealed to the Ninth Circuit, which issued a stay allowing the government to continue enforcing the policy as it made its way through the courts.
Congress repealed the policy last year, but called for a lengthy process of preparation, training and certification, still under way, before ending it….
Judges Alex Kozinski, Kim McLane Wardlaw and Richard A. Paez stated in their order that “circumstances and balance of hardships had changed” since their initial ruling: the Obama administration had informed the court that repeal of the policy was “well under way,” and in a filing in another case on July 1, the Department of Justice took the position that discrimination based on sexual orientation should be subjected to tough scrutiny. The government, the judges wrote, “can no longer satisfy the demanding standard for issuance of a stay.”
And the credit goes to the Log Cabin Republicans, because Democrats are too weak and cowardly to do anything useful anymore.
As I predicted, Michele Bachmann is making gains on Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, according to the latest PPP Poll.
When PPP polled New Hampshire in April Michele Bachmann was stuck at 4%. She’s gained 14 points over the last three months and now finds herself within single digits of Mitt Romney. Romney continues to lead the way in the state with 25% to 18% for Bachmann, 11% for Sarah Palin, 9% for Ron Paul, 7% for Rick Perry and Herman Cain, 6% for Jon Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty, and 4% for Newt Gingrich.
Bachmann’s surge in New Hampshire is being built on the back of the Tea Party. Among voters identifying themselves as members of that movement she’s leading the way at 25% with Palin and Romney tying for second at 16%, and Cain also placing in double digits at 11%. Only 33% of Republican primary voters in the state identify themselves as Tea Partiers though and with the remaining folks Romney’s way ahead with 33% to 13% for Bachmann, and 10% for Huntsman and Paul.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The 14 men (and 5 boys whose names are being withheld because they are juveniles) who gang raped an 11-year-old Texas girl were due in court yesterday.
Four of the accused face charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child, while the majority of the men have been charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. All defendants are expected to appear in the Liberty, Texas courtroom today for status updates, according to the Associated Press.
Cleveland police began investigating the case in December of last year after cell phone video showing the alleged sex attack started circulating among students at Cleveland schools, according to court documents. The video shows the girl engaged in sexual acts with several men….Most of the men who face charges are free on bond. One of the accused men, Marcus Porchia, 26, has been implicated in another unrelated case for sexual assault.
The trial has been postponed until October because of delays in DNA testing.
“I’m going to pressure the state to pressure the DPS lab to get whatever analysis as quickly as possible,” state District Judge Mark Morefield said.
Morefield reset the 14 men’s cases for Oct. 3. Five juvenile boys also have been charged.
During the hearing, Warren told the judge his office was in tentative negotiations with at least one of the defendants, Jared McPherson. Warren did not say if he was referring to a possible plea agreement and he declined to comment after the hearing. McPherson’s attorney also declined to comment. A gag order is preventing those connected to the case from commenting.
Something tells me this trial won’t get as much publicity as the Casey Anthony trial. I hope I’m wrong, because this is a horrendous crime against a child, and these men need to be put away for a very long time.
Actually the next high profile trial I expect to follow is that of Amy Bishop, the professor who opened fire in a faculty meeting after failing to get tenure. So far the judge is planning to keep the trial open to the public. I hope it will be televised. Once Bishop finishes that trial, she’ll have to go to Massachusetts and face murder charges in the shooting of her brother in 1986.
There’s already a true crime book out about the Bishop case.
The Amy Bishop story inspires fear, confusion, and now 258 pages of true crime drama.
Attorney Mark McDaniel says the lawyers involved in the case will be hurrying to read the book.
McDaniel says, “I promise you the defense lawyers and the prosecutors are reading that, probably reading it today.”
And then there’s the Whitey Bulger trial. Bulger pled not guilty to 19 murders today.
The retired state police colonel who oversaw the unearthing of the remains of several of the people James “Whitey” Bulger is accused of killing from crude mass graves said he felt some personal satisfaction yesterday in seeing his notorious nemesis “a broken man” in chains before a judge.
But retired Col. Thomas J. Foley said that for the families to hear Bulger, 81, plead not guilty to 32 charges, including 19 murders, extortion, machine-gun possession and money laundering, “I’m sure had to be a difficult pill for the families to swallow.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly said that should the case go to a trial, he expects prosecutors will need at least a month to present evidence and up to 40 witnesses.
J.W. Carney Jr., Bulger’s public defender, would not say whether his client, who faces life imprisonment here and could face the death penalty in murder cases pending in Florida and Oklahoma, is interested in striking a plea deal.
Boston Herald columnist Peter Gelzinis is asking Whitey’s politically powerful brother Billy Bulger to get Whitey to talk.
William M. Bulger, former president of the state Senate and the University of Massachusetts, sits in the front row in a charcoal business suit, a look of implacable rectitude frozen on his pale face.
Around Billy in the courtroom are the wives, brothers, sons and daughters of some of the 19 people Whitey is accused of killing. Billy knows they are there, but never acknowledges them. Strange for a man who began his star-crossed career as a lawyer taking cases in South Boston District Court.
As this circus lumbers forward, it will become increasingly obvious that the only man who can clear a path to something called justice is Billy Bulger, the man some people still think of as “The Good Brother.”
Billy should do what he refused to do 10 years ago before a grand jury and a congressional committee. He should have the courage to confront his brother and urge him to give some small semblance of peace to the families he’s wounded by coming clean. Billy should ask Whitey to take ownership of his sins.
I’ve got a few reactions to the verdict in the Casey Anthony case. James Wolcott says he didn’t follow the case closely, but based on what he did see he wasn’t surprised at the not guilty verdict.
I seemed to be one of the few whose world didn’t flip sideways–I wasn’t that surprised and if anything pleased that the jury made up its own collective mind in defiance of the lynch-mob clamor on the cable channels.
It can’t be said that the know-nothing know-it-alls on Fox News and Nancy Grace’s Sweeney Todd cooking school accepted the jury’s verdict with modesty and maturity. After expressing shock and taking turns to tell us how “stunned” they were, they accused the jury of suffering from Stockholm Syndrome (staring at Casey Anthony’s face somehow melting their reason and resolve), appearing to resent that fact that the defendant might be freed soon (since she might be granted time-served on the lesser charges, having already served years behind bars), and acting peevish that they didn’t get their way, having already convicted Casey Anthony on the airwaves for years now and treating the trial as an audiovisual demonstration of what to them was self-evident.
“Appearing to resent” and “peevish” are too mild, actually–many of the instant commentators on cable were visibly, audibly angry at the AUDACITY these acquittals.
Failed OJ prosecutor Marcia Clark thinks the verdict in the Anthony case is even worse than what happened with OJ.
…it was a circumstantial case. Most cases are. But the circumstances were compelling. Maybe not sufficient to prove premeditated murder—and I never believed the jury would approve the death penalty—but certainly enough to find Casey Anthony guilty of manslaughter at the very least.
Why didn’t they? My guess, since I’m writing this before the inevitable juror cameos, is that the jury didn’t necessarily believe Casey was innocent but weren’t convinced enough of her guilt to bring in a conviction. The thinking goes something like this: Sure, Casey’s behavior after her daughter’s death looks bad—dancing, partying, lying—but that doesn’t mean she killed the baby. Sure, that duct tape was weird, but that could’ve been done after the baby was already dead—no way to know who or when that tape was put on the baby’s face. Sure, the chloroform computer search seems damning, but that may not even have been done by Casey (her mom took the fall for that one).
And so, every bit of evidence presented by the prosecution could’ve been tinged with doubt. At the end of the day, the jury might have found that they just couldn’t convict her based on evidence that was reconcilable with an innocent explanation—even if the weight of logic favored the guilty one.
It’s a thoughtful article, highly recommended. Clark may be right about the jury, because at least one juror is already talking. She says she felt sick to her stomach at having to vote not guilty.
I wonder why she didn’t push for manslaughter then or at least child endangerment?
Jeralyn wrote a couple of good posts on the Anthony case yesterday: The Meaning of a Not Guilty Verdict and So Many Ignorant Reactions to Casey Anthony Acquittal. She had a few choice words for the HLN vampires.
HLN…proceeded to blast the defense team for holding a victory party and sharing a toast of champagne. Excuse me? This team didn’t work as hard as the prosecution? With fewer resources? The defense team saved a life today. That’s as close to G-ds work as it gets for criminal defense lawyers. Why shouldn’t they be proud? They held the state to its burden of proof and the state failed to meet it.
One viewer said the jury got it wrong because unlike everyone else, they weren’t privy to what was being said on Facebook and Twitter. The host agreed, saying the jury was in a vacuum in the courtroom. Hello? The jury was in the courtroom and heard and saw all the evidence. They were sequestered so they would be free from outside influences and prejudice. The jurors were the ones who received the judge’s instructions on how to apply the law. Did anyone bother to post or read all the instructions on Facebook and Twitter?
I wish the news media would stop saying no one will ever be held accountable for the little girl’s murder. It hasn’t be proven there was a murder. The defense argued it was an accident. The state took its best shot and came up short.
Congratulations to Jose Baez, Cheney Mason and everyone else on the defense team. They represented their client with pride and dedication, and with enormous sacrifices to their personal lives and law practices. They successfully battered the junk science, and prevailed in the long run — despite the unprofessional conduct of a prosecutor who smirked throughout their closing argument.
The fossil of a car sized mega-wombat has been unearthed in northern Australia, scientists said Wednesday — the most complete skeleton of its kind.
Weighing in at a whopping three tonnes, the herbivorous diprotodon was the largest marsupial to ever roam the earth and lived between two million and 50,000 years ago.
A relative of the modern-day wombat, the diprotodon skeleton was dug up in remote Queensland last week — the most northerly specimen ever discovered — and scientists believe it could shed valuable light on the species’ demise.
Along with Australia’s other megafauna, which included towering kangaroos and gigantic crocodiles, diprotodon became extinct around the same time that indigenous tribes first appeared and debate has raged about the role of humans.
That’s all I’ve got for today. What are you reading and blogging about?
I’m still obsessed with the Amy Bishop case–most of all I’m fascinated by the events of December 6, 1986, when Bishop shot and killed her younger brother Seth. As I’m sure you all remember, Bishop is now in jail, after being charged with one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted murder for shooting six of her colleagues in the Biology Department at the University of Alabama Huntsville, three of them fatally.
Over the past few days, a great deal more information has come out and it appears more and more likely that local politics played a role in preventing Bishop from being charged with a crime in connection with the shooting of her brother Seth on December 6, 1986 in their home in Braintree, Massachusetts.
To recap, a day after the shootings in Alabama, current Braintree Chief of Police Paul Frazier released a statement in which he criticized the handling of the 1986 shooting by then Chief John Polio, now retired. Frazier had spoken to Officer Ronald Solimini, who in 1986 had arrested 21-year-old Amy Bishop and brought her to the police station to be booked.
Solimini told Chief Frazier that the file on the case had been missing at least since 1988, when Chief Polio’s successor, Chief Edward Flynn looked for it (I would love to know why he was looking for it).
Solimini said he had been in the process of booking Bishop for murder (witnesses say that word had been written on the booking sheet) when he was told by a Lieutenant to release Bishop to her parents. Supposedly the order had come down from then Chief of Police John Polio. From Chief Frazier’s statement of Feb. 13, 2010 (click on link in article to see Word document):
“I was not on duty at the time of the incident, but I recall how frustrated the members of the department were over the release of Ms. Bishop. It was a difficult time for the department as there had been three (3) shooting incidents within a short timeframe. The release of Ms. Bishop did not sit well with the police officers and I can assure you that this would not happen in this day and age.”
“It is troubling that this incident has come to light. I can assure you that the members of the Braintree Police Department maintain the highest of integrity. Since it was discovered this morning that the report is missing, I have been in contact with Mayor Joseph Sullivan. Mayor Sullivan and I have spoken with District Attorney William Keating and we will be meeting with him next week to discuss this situation. The Mayor supports a full review of this matter and agrees that we want to know where the records are.”
After Frazier’s public statement, a March 1987 report by the State Police (PDF) was released to the public. Based on this report, then Norfolk County District Attorney William Delahunt, now a Democratic member of the House of Representatives, had ruled the the death of Seth Bishop to be accidental and no charges were filed against Amy Bishop, according to Frazier.
On Feb. 16, Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivan announced that the missing report on the 1986 shooting (PDF) had been found in the files of an unnamed police officer. Who was that officer? No one is telling as yet.
Neither the Braintree police report nor the State Police report included the information that after shooting her brother, Amy Bishop had held two auto mechanics at gunpoint at a car dealership near her home and demanded the keys to a car, or that after leaving the dealership she had pointed her shotgun in the face of a 16-year-old boy who was working at a newspaper distribution office. It was there that Bishop was finally arrested, but not before she also trained the shotgun on police officers.
Basically, Bishop had gone on a rampage around her neighborhood on Dec. 6, 1986. After discharging her 12-gauge pump-action shotgun three times in her home, killing her brother with the second shot, she had run out of the house, tried to stop a man in a car by pointing the shotgun at him (that was in the police report for some reason), gone into the car dealership in search of a get-away car, then tried again to get a car by pointing her shotgun at a 16-year old boy. Finally, she pointed the shotgun at two Braintree police officers who were trying to disarm her, according to Boston’s WCVB, Channel 5.
A source close to the shooting investigation told NewsCenter 5 that police officers who arrested Bishop in 1986 called it the “scariest day” of their lives.
“I remember looking at her and thinking ‘She killed her brother and now she’s going to kill me,'” one officer, who did not want to be named, told NewsCenter 5’s Kelley Tuthill.
William Keating, the current Norfolk County district attorney, said Bishop should have been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon for her alleged actions after shooting her brother in 1986.
“There was a mistake in not doing it. I don’t think you can justify it,” Keating said.
Come on. Bishop should have been charged with manslaughter at the very least. The weapon she used, a 12-gauge shotgun, had to be manually pumped in order to chamber a round. And it could not just “go off” accidentally. She would have had to pull the trigger. Amy had loaded the weapon in her bedroom, where it supposedly discharged “accidentally,” blowing a hole in the wall. She had tried to cover up the hole before going downstairs. Her mother Judy Bishop later claimed she did not hear the shotgun blast upstairs. Read the rest of this entry »
Something is very wrong with Amy Bishop, and there has been something wrong with her for a very long time. But just what is her problem, and how did she manage to keep it at least somewhat under control for so long? As a psychologist, I have found this story so fascinating that I have barely been able to focus on anything else for the past few days.
Amy Bishop is a professor at the University of Alabama at Huntsville who shot six of her colleagues at a Biology Department meeting on Friday, February 12. She had taken a 9-millimeter pistol with her to the meeting, loaded with 16 bullets. She did not have a permit for the weapon. She has been charged with one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted murder so far. From The New York Times:
Those killed were Gopi Podila, 52, the chairman of the biology department; Maria Ragland Davis, 50, a professor who studied plant pathogens; and Adriel Johnson, 52, a cell biologist who also taught Boy Scouts about science.
Two of the wounded were Joseph Leahy, 50, a microbiologist, and Stephanie Monticciolo, 62, a staff assistant, both of whom were in critical condition. The third was Luis Cruz-Vera, 40, a molecular biologist, who was released from the hospital on Saturday.
A neuroscientist with a PhD from Harvard University, Bishop was working on a start-up company to market a portable cell incubator that she had invented with her husband. The couple had won the $25,000 seed money in an Alabama business competition. Bishop and Anderson have four children, the oldest of whom is 18.
Bishop had been denied tenure twice by her department, and her appeal had been denied in April of 2009. At the end of the Spring semester she would have had to leave UAH. She felt she had been unfairly treated because of personality issues, and had apparently retained a lawyer to help her fight the decision. However, with her qualifications, Bishop should have been able to find another teaching job easily. On the other hand, why did she end up at UAH in the first place when she had such outstanding qualifications?
was a far-left political extremist who was “obsessed” with President Obama to the point of being off-putting.
In addition, many right-wing blogs are trying to turn this tragic story into a political issue, claiming that Amy Bishop is a radical socialist, and supposedly that should explain her losing control and going on a shooting rampage.
At least one blog is suggesting the shootings were based on race, because most of the people Bishop shot were people of color. I also saw this suggestion made on Twitter several time yesterday.
…Bishop shot almost every non-white faculty member in the department. (She also shot and wounded two white victims, a professor and a staff member.) She killed both African-American professors in the department (one of whom was too junior to have had anything to do with Bishop’s tenure decision). She killed the department chair, who was ethnically South Asian. A Latino faculty member was wounded. There may only be two non-white faculty left in the department. Whether she intended it or not, Amy Bishop effected a racial purge of the Alabama Huntsville biology department.
The following is a summary of what I have learned about Amy Bishop so far. Read the rest of this entry »