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The Butcher of Braintree (book)

Is she totally insane, or just ‘crazy like a fox’?
Contrary to popular Hollywood depictions, women rarely kill. Statistics show, of all the homicides that occur worldwide, the vast majority are committed by men.
But then women don’t usually send their colleagues pipe bombs, either. Or deliberately contaminate their workplace environment with contagions. Or assault innocent strangers who suddenly vex them. Or gun down their own family members in cold blood. Or calmly plan and execute mass murder.
Of course, if you ever actually met the deviously brilliant Dr. Bishop yourself, she’d be the first to inform you that she’s no ordinary woman…
Meet homicidal professor Amy Bishop, the bloody butcher of Braintree Massachusetts and the perpetrator of the Huntsville Massacre at the University of Alabama in 2010, where for years she taught anatomy and neuroscience before being denied tenure and going on the warpath.
She’s copped an insanity defense for that deadly campus rampage, but is this Harvard-educated and coddled career felon really as deranged as her lawyers would have us now believe? Or is she once again just cleverly evading justice?
THE BUTCHER OF BRAINTREE: An in-depth analysis of the life, times, and covered up crimes of mass murderer Amy Bishop. Another true crime special report by Eponymous Rox, author of THE CASE OF THE DROWNING MEN.
Free excerpt below

Chapter 1: Mass Murder

BREAKING NEWS - Three killed during a shooting at University of Alabama - Shooter in custody: “Three faculty members were killed and three others wounded this afternoon in a shooting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. A suspect is in custody and a second person detained but ‘not arrested,’ a university spokesman says. Huntsville Police Chief Henry Reyes has announced, ‘we have a suspect and possible persons of interest…but we're not going to say exactly how many or who we have.’ The incident occurred around 4 p.m. in Shelby Hall. Police arrived at 4:01 p.m. The suspect was taken into custody shortly thereafter in front of the building. No weapon has been recovered yet.”
In the afternoon of February 12th 2010, neurobiology professor Amy Bishop had finished teaching her last class of the day at the University of Alabama and was calmly headed to a faculty meeting at room 369 in Shelby Hall, where she knew a dozen of her colleagues, including the head of the biology department, were patiently awaiting her attendance.
Armed with a concealed weapon, she arrived there shortly after 3PM and sat quietly at the far end of the conference table for about forty more minutes before rising to her feet once again. She then coolly produced a loaded 9-mm Ruger handgun from a bag she'd carried into the meeting room, and, in execution style, began shooting her fellow scientists, one by one, in the head.
With precision and accuracy Bishop first fired upon those seated to her immediate right. Both victims, department chair Gopi Podila, a molecular biologist, and staff assistant Stephanie Monticciolo, collapsed at Bishop’s feet already dying from their wounds when she then abruptly turned to her left and shot physiologist Adriel Johnson.
Expert plant specialist, Maria Ragland Davis, had been seated in the chair right beside Johnson—Bishop took careful aim and shot her next.
And so on, down the line, to the left and to the right, the homicidal professor kept on shooting. 

In the deadly spray of bullets and bone fragments that ensued that day, Luis Cruz-Vera, the newest addition to the biology team at the University of Alabama, also crumpled to the floor, not shot per se but severely injured by shrapnel in the chest. And, close by him, professor Joseph Leahy, caught in the line of ricochet as he was attempting to duck, had his right optic nerve completely severed.
In those initial moments when the bloodletting began and Debra Moriarty, dean of the school’s graduate program and a biochemist, realized with horror that the shooter was in fact one of them and strategically blocking the exit, she managed to dive safely under the table and collect her wits. Ultimately, it would be due to the fast-thinking and courage of this particular individual that anybody else in the room was saved from Bishop’s boundless wrath.
That, and the unexpected mercy of a gun jamming.
Survivors of the Huntsville Massacre confirm that when Bishop’s pistol jammed she’d been pointing it directly at Debra Moriarty. Because the gun then, for some reason, failed to fire, Moriarty had seized Bishop by the pant leg and was urgently pleading with her to regain her senses and to consider the predicament she had now created for her own daughter, Lily Bishop-Anderson, a student of biology at the very same college.
They were friends, her and Amy Bishop, or so Moriarty previously had thought. Yet the desperate pleas to spare her life and those of her remaining colleagues fell on deaf ears, she later said, greeted instead with the rapid clicking of a semiautomatic handgun and “very, very evil-looking” eyes.
She would soon be counted among the dead too, if Bishop could get her weapon to fire properly again, Moriarty acknowledged, because “this wasn’t random shooting around the room.” She could plainly see Bishop had planned for, and was killing them, “execution style.” Shooting like an expert marksman.
Over and over and over again, a perplexed but still determined Amy Bishop tried to fire her defective firearm at Debra Moriarty, while Moriarty herself slowly and deliberately crawled on her hands and knees toward the door that the distracted shooter was no longer guarding. She did not know if, with every hollow click she heard above her, the pistol was actually empty or whether it was, hopefully, broken. But Moriarty painstakingly made her way toward the exit anyway, placing her own life in jeopardy while at the same time buying her fellow researchers precious time.
When Moriarty reached the door at last, jerked it wide open, and called for help to anyone who might’ve been nearby, her five uninjured colleagues were suddenly on their feet too; and they all joined her in shoving their would be assassin into the hallway, swiftly locking the blood-soaked-and brain-spattered Bishop on the other side of the door and barricading it with the conference table in the event she tried to reenter.
Inside the windowless room, safe, at least for the moment, the professors took in the scope of the horror Bishop had just rendered, located a cellphone and dialed 911 to report it, and then, relieved to know that help was on the way, set up triage for their injured comrades, having only paper napkins and their own clothes to stanch the bleeding with.
No Hollywood movie could prepare them for such a scene of carnage. There was blood everywhere they looked. On the floor. On the chairs. On the ceiling. On the walls.
Mortally wounded 52-year-old Podila, the popular head of the biology department, lay comatose in a pool of his own blood. He would die very shortly from that hemorrhage.
Professors Davis and Johnson too would never recover from the injuries they sustained; each were slowly succumbing to them and, likewise, would both be dead soon.
Of the other three victims, Cruz-Vera’s injuries were to prove the least life-threatening, but the bullet that struck assistant Monticciolo had passed through her right cheek and out her left temple. In its devastatingly destructive journey it ripped into her left eye, leaving her permanently blinded on that side. It also shattered her sinus cavity and some of her teeth, sending fragments of bone and enamel down into her airway, and maiming her for life.
Victim Leahy had a complex assortment of head wounds, primarily a network of facial fractures that would later require wiring his jaw shut and the installation of a protective plate to the frontal portion of his skull which had been totally decimated. Compromised in this manner, he would develop additional health complications from the disfigurement much further down the line, but that’s not uncommon in such casualties. When bullets meet bone they cause long-lasting damage.
All of these traumatic injuries the overwhelmed survivors endeavored to dress as best as they could with what little they had at their disposal. And, when at last they saw there was nothing more that could be done to save their friends or to make them comfortable, they huddled in shock in a corner, unsure if or when the police would finally arrive, or if the shooter was intending to return soon to do more harm.
Outside in the hallway, however, a confounded Amy Bishop still couldn’t get her gun to fire, no matter how much she fiddled with it. So, thwarted in her mission, she abandoned it altogether and headed to the ladies’ room where she promptly removed her bloodstained overcoat, wrapped it around the faulty firearm, and deposited both items into the wastebasket.
She then took a moment to tidy herself up in the mirror, after which, acting perfectly normal and as if nothing extraordinary had happened this day, she telephoned her husband and asked him to come to the campus and pick her up, just as he usually would do.
“I am done,” was all she told him.
Her getaway vehicle on its way, Amy Bishop donned a bright pink shirt and a docile expression, and strode confidently to the front of the besieged university where she stood at the curb waiting for a reliable mate to whisk her from the scene of the crime. No doubt to claim in its tumultuous aftermath that she had never even been there at all, and, perhaps, even having gone so far as to pre-frame a patsy.
But the woman was intercepted by the police and arrested before her husband could come, and, when he did finally get there, minutes too late to be of any use, he too was detained for questioning.
Bishop’s malevolent master-plan thus bungled and gone awry, she had still succeeded in leaving three dead and three wounded, in a massacre meant for twelve.

“She seemed perfectly normal during her lecture.” -- student who attended Dr. Amy Bishop’s ‘Anatomy and Neuroscience’ class just prior to the Huntsville campus shooting
“It was an ordinary faculty meeting” and until she pulled her gun out “Bishop’s behavior was normal.” -- survivor of the massacre in room 369 of the Shelby Center for Science and Technology at the University of Alabama in Huntsville
“Moriarty was probably the one who saved our lives. She was the one that initiated the rush.” -- shooting survivor Professor Ng describing the heroics of fellow professor Debra Moriarty in ending the siege by luring Bishop out of the conference room.



  1. The mother was having an affair with the police chief at the time, John Polio. He was disliked by every member of that police department and was a dictator.