FBI hunts for man accused of bludgeoning family to death

Photos and renderings of William Bradford Bishop Jr. (Courtesy: FBI)
Photos and renderings of William Bradford Bishop Jr. (Courtesy: FBI)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking the public for help locating another fugitive.

Authorities say William Bradford Bishop Jr. is wanted for allegedly bludgeoning to death his wife, mother and three sons, ages 5, 10 and 14, in Bethesda, Md., 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.

He is on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list. There is no indication Bishop is in Hawaii or the Pacific.

While Bishop has not been seen since 1976, authorities say the now 77-year-old has a six-inch vertical surgical scar on his lower back. He also used to be a U.S. government foreign services officer and can speak English, French, Italian, Spanish and Serbo-Croatian.

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.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to Bishop’s arrest. If you have any information, call the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office at (410) 265-8080.

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