WASHINGTON — Bradford Bishop, the man long known as the Family Annihilator could be in Nevada and has been added to the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list.
If he is still alive Bishop would be 77 years old.
More than 38 years have passed since Bishop’s entire family was killed.
Police went to Bishop’s home in Maryland on March 8, 1976, to conduct a welfare check after they received calls that the family had not been seen in a while. When they arrived at the home they immediately knew that something terrible had happened.
There was blood outside the home as well as inside the home. It was a gruesome scene. Police also found human bones and tissue but no bodies.
Just days earlier in Eastern North Carolina a forest ranger found five bodies in buried in a shallow grave. They would later be identified as Bishop’s mother, wife and three young sons.
Bishop, a former State Department employee, had simply vanished.
There was speculation that Bishop worked for the CIA as a spy since he worked for the State Department, possessed an Ivy League education and spoke five languages. Before his mother was bludgeoned to death she was very evasive when asked about her son.
Friends and former coworkers thought that is was unfathomable that a Yale educated man who seemed to have everything would just snap and murder his entire family in such a brutal, bloodthirsty manner.
According to the FBI, though, a very different portrait of Bishop emerged. He was reportedly under psychiatric care, suffered from depression and insomnia and was known for having violent outbursts. The relationship with his wife was not harmonious and she, too, was under psychiatric care.
Fueling the theory that Bishop worked for the CIA, many wonder why the FBI waited for so long to place him on the Most Wanted list. Could the FBI know that the Family Annihilator is already deceased, or out of the country in safe place to live out the remainder of his life?
The last known official sighting of Bishop was in 1976, but there have been unconfirmed reports that he was spotted in Europe as late as 1994.
He lived with his parents in California for a time and was an avid outdoors man so efforts to locate Bishop are focused in the western part of the United States.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of William Bradford Bishop, Jr.