The Brave Woman!

Amy Bishop is the murderer who killed 3 innocent colleagues, shot her brother with a shotgun several times, was suspected of having mailed a pipe bomb to a Harvard Medical School professor, and was charged with assault because she became enraged when someone else got the last booster seat at a restaurant.

Psychology Today comments on Amy Bishop. She did it all for him:

The facts that are emerging about the personal life and behavior of Amy Bishop is that she is a very gifted, extremely hard working woman who has borne the guilt since she was 20 years old of having been her brother’s killer. . . .

According to one report by a friend, Bishop carried a deep sense of guilt about the death of her brother and planned to make it up by becoming a prominent scientist. This fact is significant for two reasons: (1) she is one who can not be said to be anti-social or psychopathic to the extent that she was haunted by what she had done, and (2), she felt compelled to try to make up for an act that few could live with. Work to her was thereby primary in her life.

And then there is this sympathetic note from a professor of English and feminist:

The best I can come up with is this: At first I could almost feel a sense of tragic sympathy for the person who snapped, for the unhinging of a potentially great mind…

I told myself: Here was a horror story. Here was a mother of four children, a woman whom others regarded as successful despite her denial of tenure, who nevertheless couldn’t stop thinking and talking about her rejection. According to an article in The New York Times, she would practically corner strangers at cocktail parties and talk passionately about how unfairly she was treated by her institution. Here was an assistant professor denied tenure, allegedly killing three people at a faculty meeting and wounding three others, a Harvard-trained neuroscientist who was described by her colleague as being “not as good as she thought she was,” who was mangled by a system she then sought to destroy in a rage of blind violence.

But there’s more to this horror story. This was a different soul, one who apparently howled out her pain and rage 20 years ago, one who might have been rescued or restrained, one who might have been cured or caged or at least taken out of circulation. But because she was smart and because someone was willing to take care of her, the system forgave her — only to have her attack and allegedly kill those who represented another kind of system, one that did not reward her to her satisfaction, 24 years later.

She thought the world was unfair and she was right.

She “howled out her pain and rage” by shooting her brother?


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