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Accused Prof Reportedly Attempts Suicide In Jail

This article is more than 12 years old.
This police booking photograph released by the Huntsville (Ala.) Police Dept., on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010, shows college professor Amy Bishop. (AP Photo/Huntsville Police Dept.)
This police booking photograph released by the Huntsville (Ala.) Police Dept., on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010, shows college professor Amy Bishop. (AP Photo/Huntsville Police Dept.)

The biology professor charged with killing three Alabama university colleagues in a shooting rampage attempted suicide in jail early Friday, a person with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press.

Amy Bishop, 45, survived and has been returned to a cell at the Huntsville jail after treatment at a hospital, the person said. Other details were not given.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of a court order barring law enforcement and numerous parties to the case from commenting publicly. Madison County Chief Deputy Chris Stephens cited the gag order in declining comment.

Bishop's husband, Jim Anderson, told the AP he has been kept in the dark and that authorities "have not had the common courtesy" to return his calls after news media in Huntsville reported that Bishop was taken to Huntsville Hospital.

Hospital officials also declined comment.

Bishop has been at the jail in Huntsville since she was booked on a capital murder charge in the February shootings, which erupted during a biology department faculty meeting. Six colleagues were wounded, three fatally.

The report on her attempt to take her life came the same week that authorities in Boston announced that a grand jury had indicted her for murder in the 1986 shooting death of her brother, 18-year-old Seth Bishop.

The death at the family's suburban Boston home initially was ruled accidental. But the case was reopened and an inquest conducted after Bishop was arrested in the fatal shootings at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

A judge in Boston ruled Friday that a transcript and report from the inquest will not be released publicly.

Norfolk Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Bowen Donovan rejected a request from the Globe Newspaper Co. Inc. to unseal the documents.

Donovan cited a 1969 ruling from the state's highest court that held that all inquests should be closed to the public and the news media.

Bishop had told police who investigated her brother's death that she accidentally shot him while trying to unload her father's 12-gauge shotgun in the family's Braintree home.

Federal authorities in Massachusetts also are reviewing their investigation into a 1993 attempted mail bombing in which Bishop and her husband were questioned.

Dr. Paul Rosenberg received two pipe bombs in a package mailed to his Newton home shortly after Bishop quit her job at Children's Hospital following a poor review by Rosenberg. The bombs did not explode, and neither Bishop nor her husband was charged.

On Friday, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, responding to a Freedom of Information request from The Associated Press and other news organizations, released 68 pages of documents from its original investigation into the pipe bombing. The heavily redacted documents did not mention Bishop or her husband by name and appeared to shed no new light on the investigation.

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


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