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4 Police Reports Mention Bishop Family 'Spat' Before '86 Shooting (Interactive)

After Amy Bishop shot and killed her brother, Seth, in 1986, four police officers reported that Bishop's father, Samuel, spoke of an argument with his daughter beforehand. Yet none of the reports indicate that anyone, either a Braintree police officer or the state trooper assigned to the case, ever asked Samuel Bishop or his daughter Amy what the argument was about. A number of veteran detectives say that basic failure to ask an obvious question is stunning.

Excerpts of the original police reports are presented here.

Officer Ronald Solimini and Officer Murphy pursued Amy Bishop, who ran out of her house carrying the loaded shotgun. They found her after she had pointed the shotgun at a motorist and then at two people in a nearby car dealership demanding the keys to a car. While transporting their handcuffed suspect back to Braintree PD, Solimini gave Bishop her Miranda rights. Then, according to his report: “Miss Bishop stated that she had an argument with her father earlier. (Prior to the shooting she stated!) This statement was said in the presence of Off Murphy and Myself.” Notice the exclamation point. Solimini clearly recognized the possible import of Bishop's statement. But in the interrogation room and afterward, in the police interviews with the Bishops on Dec. 17, no one apparently asked the question."
Officer Ronald Solimini and Officer Murphy pursued Amy Bishop, who ran out of her house carrying the loaded shotgun. They found her after she had pointed the shotgun at a motorist and then at two people in a nearby car dealership demanding the keys to a car. While transporting their handcuffed suspect back to Braintree PD, Solimini gave Bishop her Miranda rights. Then, according to his report: “Miss Bishop stated that she had an argument with her father earlier. (Prior to the shooting she stated!) This statement was said in the presence of Off Murphy and Myself.” Notice the exclamation point. Solimini clearly recognized the possible import of Bishop's statement. But in the interrogation room and afterward, in the police interviews with the Bishops on Dec. 17, no one apparently asked the question."
"Amy Bishop was given her rights by me in the booking room. She said she wished to talk to me. She stated that earlier there had been a family ‘spat’ and she had gone to her room. (Unknown at this time how much earlier this family ‘spat’ had been)."
"Amy Bishop was given her rights by me in the booking room. She said she wished to talk to me. She stated that earlier there had been a family ‘spat’ and she had gone to her room. (Unknown at this time how much earlier this family ‘spat’ had been)."
"I spoke to Samuel Bishop and he made the following statements: …Sam stated that he had a disagreement with Amy before he left about a comment that she had made, she had gone to her room and he left."
"I spoke to Samuel Bishop and he made the following statements: …Sam stated that he had a disagreement with Amy before he left about a comment that she had made, she had gone to her room and he left."
"Samuel stated that he had a disagreement with Amy before he left about a comment that she had made, and that she had gone to her room prior to his departing."
"Samuel stated that he had a disagreement with Amy before he left about a comment that she had made, and that she had gone to her room prior to his departing."

This program aired on March 2, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

David Boeri Twitter Senior Reporter
Now retired, David Boeri was a senior reporter at WBUR.

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