HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- Grieving relatives of three professors gunned down at a university faculty meeting questioned why their accused colleague was hired despite a dispute with a former boss who received a pipe bomb and the shooting death of her brother.
Amy Bishop is charged in the three deaths and the wounding of three other professors at a meeting Friday at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She was vocal in her resentment over being denied tenure and the looming loss of her teaching post, though relatives and students said she had never suggested she might become violent.
The outbreak of violence was followed by weekend of revelations that Bishop had a difficult past that she did not discuss with her Alabama colleagues.
In 1986, Bishop shot and killed her 18-year-old brother with a shotgun at their Braintree, Mass., home. She told police at the time that she had been trying to learn how to use the gun, which her father had bought for protection, when it accidentally discharged.
Authorities released her and said the episode was a tragic accident. She was never charged, though current Braintree police Chief Paul Frazier questions how the investigation was handled.
In another incident, The Boston Globe reported that Bishop and her husband were questioned by investigators looking into a pipe bomb sent to one of Bishop's colleagues, Dr. Paul Rosenberg, at Children's Hospital Boston in 1993. The bomb did not go off, and nobody was ever charged.
Bishop's father-in-law, Jim Anderson, told The Associated Press that his son and daughter-in-law "were cleared when the evidence proved they had nothing to do with it."
He said ATF conducted the investigation. "They focused on the wrong persons and let the bad guy(s) flee," he said.
Sylvia Fluckiger, a lab technician who worked with Bishop at the time, said Bishop had been in a dispute with Rosenberg shortly before the bombs were discovered, though she didn't know the nature of the disagreement.
"It was common knowledge," she told the AP Sunday.