News for February, 2010

Mass murderer’s violent past missed by regional database background check

University of Alabama-Huntsville neurobiology professor Amy Bishop shot six of her colleagues on Friday, killing three.  It appears this truly appalling situation might have been avoided if the University had protected itself with the services of a professional background screening company. The Christian Science Monitor reported today that Bishop had a violent past of which it appears the University of Alabama-Huntsville was unaware, including shooting and killing her brother in 1986. Although the death of Bishop’s brother appears to have been mishandled by the police at the time and could not have been found by a background check, she was charged with assault and given probation after a 2002 altercation in a fast food restaurant. This charge would have certainly been found by a professional background check.  It appears that the University of Alabama-Huntsville was unaware of this charge because it only used a regional database search, which obviously would not catch any charges and convictions in Bishop’s former state of residence, Massachusetts.