William Bradford Bishop Jr. is a former United States Foreign Service officer who is wanted for the brutal murders of his wife, mother, and three sons in Maryland nearly four decades ago.
On April 10, 2014, the FBI placed him on the list of its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.
On the afternoon of March 1, 1976, after learning that he did not receive the promotion he was anticipating, Bishop told his secretary he did not feel well and left work early.
Police believe that after withdrawing several hundred dollars from a bank, he purchased a sledge hammer, gas can, shovel and pitchfork.
(Courtesy of Criminal Profiles and YouTube. Posted on Feb 19, 2016)
Bishop returned to his home where evidence indicates that his wife was the first victim.
She was bludgeoned to death with the hammer, followed by Bishop’s mother, and his three sleeping sons (aged 5, 10 & 14,) who were in murdered in their beds.
Bishop loaded the bodies into the family station wagon, drove six-hours to a densely wooded swamp where he dug a shallow hole, piled the bodies of his family inside, doused them with gasoline, and set them on fire.
The bodies were located later that day, by a North Carolina forest ranger who was alerted by the fire.
One week later on March 10, a concerned neighbor contacted local police.
Police found blood droplets on the front porch and entered the house to discover spattered blood on the floor and walls.
The children’s room was covered with blood.
The detective stated that in his 12 years as a police officer, it was the worst crime scene he had ever observed.
In addition, it was stated that one of the most disturbing pieces of evidence were marks on the ceiling of a bedroom where two boys were sleeping in bunk beds of the hammer swinging and hitting the ceiling.
Dental records were used to confirm that the bodies found in North Carolina were of Bishop’s family.
(Courtesy of the FBI and YouTube. Posted on Apr 10, 2014)
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|Date(s) of Birth Used||August 1, 1936|
|Place of Birth||Pasadena, California|
|Hair||Brown (in 1976)|
|Height||6’1″ (in 1976)|
|Weight||180 pounds (in 1976)|
|Occupation||United States Government Foreign Service Officer (in 1976)|
|Languages||English, French, Italian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish|
|Scars and Marks||Bishop has a six-inch vertical surgical scar on his lower back.|
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of William Bradford Bishop, Jr.
Bishop was, and may still be, an avid outdoorsman, camper, and hiker. He had extensive camping experience in Africa.
He also enjoyed canoeing, fishing, swimming, jogging, tennis, skiing and riding motorcycles. Bishop enjoyed working out several times a week.
He was also a licensed amateur pilot who learned to fly in Botswana, Africa.
Bishop has an American Studies degree from Yale University and a Master’s Degree in Italian from Middlebury College in Vermont.
He was known to read extensively and may have kept a diary or journal.
A longtime insomniac, Bishop reportedly had been under psychiatric care in the past and had used medication for depression. He drank scotch and wine and enjoyed eating peanuts and spicy food.
Bishop was described as intense and self-absorbed, prone to violent outbursts, and preferred a neat and orderly environment.