The FBI is seeking the public’s help in finding William Bradford Bishop, Jr., who is wanted for allegedly bludgeoning to death his wife (age 37), mother (age 68), and three sons (ages 5, 10 and 14) in Bethesda, Maryland, on March 1, 1976.
He then allegedly transported their bodies to Columbia, North Carolina, where he buried the bodies in a shallow grave and lit them on fire.
Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Bishop should contact the Baltimore Field Office at 410-265-8080. There is a $100,000 reward being offered for information that directly leads to the arrest of Bishop.
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.
He was born on August 1, 1936. In 1976, when he allegedly committed these crimes, he was 6’1″ tall, weighed 180 pounds, had brown hair and brown eyes and had a six-inch vertical surgical scar on his lower back. He was born in Pasadena, California. He worked as a Foreign Service Officer and spoke a number of languages including English; French; Italian; Serbo-Croatian and Spanish. He should be considered armed and extremely dangerous with suicidal tendencies.
Bishop is on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list. The list was implemented on March 14, 1950, following an article that ran on February 7, 1949, in the Washington Daily News titled “FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives Named.”
A reporter for the International News Service (the predecessor to United Press International) asked the Bureau for the names and descriptions of the “toughest guys” the Bureau would like to capture.
The resulting story generated so much publicity and had so much appeal that Director J. Edgar Hoover implemented the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” program. The first person to be placed on the list was Thomas Holden. He was wanted for the murder of his wife, her brother, and her stepbrother.