Bishop was firing a pistol at her fellow scientists. For the better part of an hour, Bishop had been sitting at the end of a long conference table, listening to a dozen people discuss the biology department’s budget and other matters. Now standing near the room’s only door, she was transformed. Aiming at one colleague’s head after another, she pulled the trigger again and again. Boom. Boom.
Gopi Podila, the department chair who specialized in the molecular biology of plants, was already down and bleeding. So was Stephanie Monticciolo, the staff assistant who’d attended the 3 pm meeting to keep the minutes. Those two had been on Bishop’s right. Now she turned left and shot the person nearest to her: Adriel Johnson, an expert in gastrointestinal physiology. Next to Johnson was plant scientist Maria Ragland Davis. Bishop shot her, too. Then the department’s newest faculty member, molecular biologist Luis Cruz-Vera, was wounded in the chest by a ricocheting bullet or bone fragment. As Joseph Leahy, whose research focused on the biodegradation of hydrocarbons, ducked for cover, a bullet tore through the top of his head, severing his right optic nerve.
Moriarity had dived under the table. Now, kneeling on the rug, she grabbed hold of Bishop’s blue-jeaned leg. “Amy, don’t do this,” she pleaded. “Think about my grandson. Think about your daughter.” Bishop’s eldest daughter, Lily, was a student at the university; she studied biology with some of the people trapped in this room. “Please snap out of this,” Moriarity thought. “This has to stop.” As if in response, Bishop pointed the gun at Moriarity and pulled the trigger. Click. It didn’t fire. Moriarity, still on hands and knees, half-rolled, half-crawled toward the door, Bishop right behind her. Bishop’s eyes seemed cold and “very, very evil-looking.”
she acted no more unusual than any other scientist I’ve ever been with. You sit down with a bunch of scientists and—I hate to say it, but—their demeanor is more like him.” He nods toward his only son, curled up in a worn armchair in a corner. “You know, like a 9-year-old. Impulsive. Selfish. Me-first.”
Anderson and Bishop’s son, introduced to me earlier as “Kid Number Four,” is bright-eyed and skinny, like he’s going through a growth spurt. He has a drawing pad and a picture book about scary monsters in his lap. His face is rapt as he uses a pencil to copy a plaintive-looking creature, with its arms outstretched.
The boy’s last name is his father’s: Anderson. But his first name is the haunting one. It honors Amy Bishop’s brother, a violinist who died too young. Seth.
Amy Wallace, Wired. The Fury.