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State Police Reviewing Handling Of Bishop Case

This article is more than 9 years old.

Massachusetts State Police officials are reviewing the agency's investigation of a fatal 1986 shooting that involved the University of Alabama-Huntsville professor now accused of killing three colleagues.

Amy Bishop's killing of her brother, Seth, at their Braintree home was ruled an accident. Since the Feb. 12 campus slayings in Alabama, questions have arisen as to why Bishop did not face any charges in Massachusetts. Local police said then that she fled home with the gun and pointed it at workers at a car dealership's auto body shop, where she demanded a getaway car. She was caught by police nearby.

"It is critical that we provide as clear an understanding as possible about all aspects of this case and its investigation, to ensure that where mistakes were made, they are not repeated in the future," Gov. Deval Patrick said in a statement Friday. He has faced calls for an independent investigation.

Public Safety Secretary Mary Elizabeth Heffernan said Friday that Norfolk District Attorney William Keating has most of the relevant documents.

"After further discussion with the Norfolk district attorney's office, this initial review will be folded into the full review being conducted by the district attorney," Heffernan said.

Keating said 1986 reports his office released this week show a "glaring" lack of communication between state and local police. A state trooper assigned to the district attorney's office investigated the shooting, but his final report did not mention the incident at the auto body shop.

U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., was Norfolk district attorney then. He said this week in Israel where he was traveling that he has limited memory of the case but expects to review details.

Alabama police say Amy Bishop opened fire in a faculty meeting a week ago. They haven't released a motive but colleagues say she complained about not getting tenure.

This program aired on February 19, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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