Governor Deval Patrick has ordered State Police to review their role in the investigation of the 1986 Braintree shooting death of Seth Bishop by his sister Amy, the alleged University of Alabama Huntsville shooter.
The state will work with Norfolk District Attorney William R. Keating’s office to investigate how the December 1986 shooting was handled by state and local police and then-DA William Delahunt’s office.
Patrick also pledged additional investigative resources, as needed, for the investigation.
Public Safety and Security Secretary Mary Beth Heffernan said in a statement that State Police earlier this week, at the direction of the governor, had begun reviewing documents and "assessing its role" in the shooting.
Heffernan said the state’s internal review of the shooting will be melded with Keating’s, so that one, uniform review will be released of how the incident was handled.
Bishop, a professor at the University of Alabama Huntsville, is accused of gunning down six colleagues, three fatally, last Friday at a faculty meeting, possibly because she was denied tenure at the school. She faces a capital murder charge and possible death penalty, if convicted. Her lawyer has said she is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.
Shortly after the shootings, revelations began surfacing about Bishop's past in Massachusetts. Bishop, it turned out, had shot her brother in a case that was ruled an accident. But Braintree Police Chief Paul Frazier on Saturday, as he discussed the 1986 case, raised troubling questions about the handling of the investigation. Those questions have not been settled -- and, in fact, have become more urgent -- by the release of various police reports in the case.
Bishop was also a suspect in the 1993 attempted mail bombing of a Harvard Medical School professor, and allegedly assaulted a woman in 2002 over a child seat at an International House of Pancakes.
John M. Guilfoil can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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