William Bradford Bishop, Jr., wanted for the brutal murders of his wife, mother, and three sons in Maryland nearly four decades ago, has been named to the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
A reward of up to $100,000 is being offered for information leading directly to the arrest of Bishop, a highly intelligent former U.S. Department of State employee who investigators believe may be hiding in plain sight.
Hiding in Plain Sight?
Although William Bradford Bishop, Jr. traveled extensively overseas through his job with the U.S. Department of State and spoke several foreign languages, investigators believe he may have assumed a new identity and be hiding in plain sight in the United States.
Even an experienced traveler might find it difficult to maintain a new identity in a foreign country, said Steve Vogt, special agent in charge of our Baltimore Division. “If you’re a U.S. citizen it’s usually easier to hide in this country,” he explained. “Americans overseas tend to stand out.”
“The reality is, he could be anywhere,” Vogt added. “But we don’t want people to assume that he’s out of the country and overlook the fact that he might be living in their community. People might see someone who looks like him and think, ‘It couldn’t be him.’ Well, it could be him,” Vogt said. “That’s why we need the public’s help.”
Vogt doesn’t dismiss the possibility that Bishop died years ago, but currently there is no proof either way. “If he’s dead, so be it,” Vogt said, “but until we know for certain, we will not stop searching for him.”
On March 1, 1976, Bishop used a hammer to bludgeon his family, including his three boys, ages 5, 10, and 14. Investigators believe he then drove to North Carolina with the bodies in the family station wagon, buried them in a shallow grave and set them on fire. The last confirmed sighting of Bishop was one day after the murders at a sporting goods store in Jacksonville, North Carolina, where he bought a pair of sneakers.
“Nothing has changed since March 2, 1976 when Bishop was last seen except the passage of time,” said Steve Vogt, special agent in charge of our Baltimore Division. Vogt has teamed with local Maryland law enforcement officials to apprehend Bishop, a man described by investigators as a “family annihilator.”