Bradford Bishop had it all: a beautiful wife, three towhead sons, a nice home in a quiet Maryland suburb, and a promising career in the US State Department. But on March 1, 1976, he threw it all away. After finding out he’d been passed over for a promotion, Bishop snapped. He went home and, in an act of unspeakable brutality, murdered his wife, his three boys, and his own mother – five people in all. Then he vanished off the face of the Earth. Or so it seemed.
Almost 40 years later, Peter Ross Range (author of the best-selling Murder in the Yoga Store) delivers the definitive story of Bishop’s life and crime, following the trail from his privileged upbringing in California to his wily escape, including never-before reported details and chilling theories as to where he might be today.
1hr 53m of goodness.
I listened to this on my commute and was utterly fascinated by it. It is always interesting to learn about a criminal who has escaped justice for so long. I think because technology has advanced so much that to think there are still people who have gotten away with their crimes, it reminds us that we are not infallible and can still fall short in our quest to find justice.
Bradford Bishop was, by all means, a man who created an unpleasant crime. The criminal acts that humans are capable of are are in equal parts horrifying and fascinating. The fascination comes from the involvement of the brain and how thoughts and actions can turn to violence.
Bradford Bishop was a man of many talents whose life seemed to show a variety of skills and had a varied work career. With a wife and three sons their family appeared, on the outside to be perfectly normal. But Bishop had a series of setbacks that pushed him into a mindset that set him on course to act out violently.
Bishop felt that his career was stagnating. He was passed over for promotion. He wanted to return to more field work in Europe – where he had enjoyed his time and work the most – but his wife didn’t want to move again. She wanted to stay in America and study.
Bishop’s mother had moved into the family home. Bishop’s life had changed significantly and he didn’t see a way out of the situation that life had put him in.
Though the murder weapon was never found, it is believed that Bradford Bishop was the culprit.
On the 1st March 1976, Bishop arrived home and brutally murdered his entire family. Starting with his wife, he killed her brutally, blunt force to the head with a hammer. He killed his mother next, when she came back from walking the dog. Then he brutally murdered his three sons, 14, 10, and 4.
He loaded his family into his car and drove across three state lines to dump them in a shallow hole in a part of the forest that they wouldn’t be found in. Then he tried to set them on fire but it didn’t work as well as he wanted it to. It takes a lot to burn a human and in trying to burn his family, Bishop actually started a small forest fire.
By the time police discovered the bodies, Bishop was long gone. He remained gone. Despite public appeals and plenty of leads and sightings, Bishop was never found. From 2014-2018 he was on the ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list. If he is still alive, he’d now be in his 80s.
The case remains open and Bradford Bishop remains uncaught. No one knows where he is or if he is still alive.
If you know of the case, what are your thoughts?