File found, Delahunt still absent

The Braintree Police Department, the Norfolk County Prosecutor and the Massachusetts State Police are trying to get their stories down as to why no charges were filed against Amy Bishop in the 1986 shooting death of her brother.  Although the police file that had been missing for more than 20 years was found among the papers of a retired police investigator, now deceased, the case remains highly controversial. 

Shortly after being apprehended in ‘86, Bishop was released without being charged. Congressman William D. Delahunt was the Norfolk DA at the time.  The current holder of the post, William R. Keating, is investigating the entire matter. It is customary for the local police department in Massachusetts to rely on the State authorities to investigate killings because the state has greater resources. That investigation is done in coordination with the County DA's office.  Among the questions that remain to be answered in this case are:

-Why did no one question Amy Bishop and her mother at the time of the shooting? 

-Why weren't state investigators immediately dispatched to the Bishop home to prevent contamination of the scene?

-Why did the state police wait eleven days to question Bishop and her mother, the only witnesses to the shooting?

-Why weren't key facts in the Braintree Police Department report included in the State Police report? These facts include: that Bishop left the scene of the killing with a shotgun, that she later leveled that shotgun at an auto mechanic in an attempt to get a vehicle and that she had to be arrested at gunpoint by Braintree police officers.  


-Why was Braintree Police Chief Polio so passive about this case back in 1986?  

Polio acknowledged yesterday that he read the reports of his own officers for the first time when they were released by Keating's office this week. Polio said he did not read the reports in 1986 because his officers told him the case would be handled by State Police and the district attorney's office.

There are few weapons more feared in close quarters than a pump action shotgun.  Depending upon the load, they can leave a hole through in the target big enough to toss a basketball through, and an experienced user can get several shots off in a matter of seconds. Officers under Polio's command had just risked their lives to disarm Bishop when she had refused to put the shotgun down, and an officer had to grab her from behind.  It defies credulity that he never read their reports on the incident, if for no other reason than to consider updating their service records with a commendation.  

Current Norfolk District Attorney, William R. Keating, seems incredulous about most aspects of this "You didn't tell us!"/"But you never asked!" scenario between the local and state police.  He seems particularly hot over the gap in time before the witnesses were interviewed and the omission of key facts known by the Norfolk PD from the file that State Police had turned over to the prosecutors. 

"If you eliminated everyone from an interview that was emotionally upset after a shooting death, you'd have no one to talk to,'' Keating said.

Experienced prosecutors know that a series of mind numbing errors and omissions that all favor one party are unlikely to be the product of mere coincidence.

Meanwhile, Congressman Bill Delahunt has kept himself well out of the picture. He's in the Middle East on a junket sponsored by the J Street Education Fund and Churches for Middle East Peace. 

US Representative William D. Delahunt, who was Norfolk district attorney at the time of the 1986 shooting, has been in Israel since the Alabama shootings, but was questioned about the case yesterday at a press availability called after the congressional delegation was blocked from entering Gaza.

"I haven't had a real opportunity to get into the details of the case, but I suspect when I return I'll have an opportunity to become debriefed,'' the congressman told the Associated Press.


The Braintree Police Department, the Norfolk County Prosecutor and the Massachusetts State Police are trying to get their stories down as to why no charges were filed against Amy Bishop in the 1986 shooting death of her brother.  Although the police file that had been missing for more than 20 years was found among the papers of a retired police investigator, now deceased, the case remains highly controversial. 

Shortly after being apprehended in ‘86, Bishop was released without being charged. Congressman William D. Delahunt was the Norfolk DA at the time.  The current holder of the post, William R. Keating, is investigating the entire matter. It is customary for the local police department in Massachusetts to rely on the State authorities to investigate killings because the state has greater resources. That investigation is done in coordination with the County DA's office.  Among the questions that remain to be answered in this case are:

-Why did no one question Amy Bishop and her mother at the time of the shooting? 

-Why weren't state investigators immediately dispatched to the Bishop home to prevent contamination of the scene?

-Why did the state police wait eleven days to question Bishop and her mother, the only witnesses to the shooting?

-Why weren't key facts in the Braintree Police Department report included in the State Police report? These facts include: that Bishop left the scene of the killing with a shotgun, that she later leveled that shotgun at an auto mechanic in an attempt to get a vehicle and that she had to be arrested at gunpoint by Braintree police officers.  


-Why was Braintree Police Chief Polio so passive about this case back in 1986?  

Polio acknowledged yesterday that he read the reports of his own officers for the first time when they were released by Keating's office this week. Polio said he did not read the reports in 1986 because his officers told him the case would be handled by State Police and the district attorney's office.

There are few weapons more feared in close quarters than a pump action shotgun.  Depending upon the load, they can leave a hole through in the target big enough to toss a basketball through, and an experienced user can get several shots off in a matter of seconds. Officers under Polio's command had just risked their lives to disarm Bishop when she had refused to put the shotgun down, and an officer had to grab her from behind.  It defies credulity that he never read their reports on the incident, if for no other reason than to consider updating their service records with a commendation.  

Current Norfolk District Attorney, William R. Keating, seems incredulous about most aspects of this "You didn't tell us!"/"But you never asked!" scenario between the local and state police.  He seems particularly hot over the gap in time before the witnesses were interviewed and the omission of key facts known by the Norfolk PD from the file that State Police had turned over to the prosecutors. 

"If you eliminated everyone from an interview that was emotionally upset after a shooting death, you'd have no one to talk to,'' Keating said.

Experienced prosecutors know that a series of mind numbing errors and omissions that all favor one party are unlikely to be the product of mere coincidence.

Meanwhile, Congressman Bill Delahunt has kept himself well out of the picture. He's in the Middle East on a junket sponsored by the J Street Education Fund and Churches for Middle East Peace. 

US Representative William D. Delahunt, who was Norfolk district attorney at the time of the 1986 shooting, has been in Israel since the Alabama shootings, but was questioned about the case yesterday at a press availability called after the congressional delegation was blocked from entering Gaza.

"I haven't had a real opportunity to get into the details of the case, but I suspect when I return I'll have an opportunity to become debriefed,'' the congressman told the Associated Press.


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