FBI: Man suspected of brutally killing his family may be in L.A. area

A man authorities dubbed the “family annihilator” for allegedly bludgeoning his mother, wife and three sons to death with a hammer nearly 40 years ago may be living in Southern California, FBI officials said.

William Bradford Bishop Jr., 77, hasn’t been seen since the day after authorities say he killed his family in Maryland in March 1976. After driving to rural North Carolina, where he allegedly burned and buried the bodies, Bishop bought a pair of sneakers in Jacksonville, N.C., and disappeared, the FBI said in a news release. He was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted list last week.

Investigators are taking a second look at the case as part of an initiative to revisit cold cases. Agents commissioned an artist to create a bust that approximates what Bishop would look like today, nearly 40 years after the killings.

Known for being an avid outdoorsman, authorities say, Bishop could be living in plain sight somewhere in Southern California. He has connections to Pasadena and an affinity for the Sierra Nevada mountains, officials said.


Bishop worked in the U.S. Foreign Service and speaks many languages, the FBI said. He earned his amateur pilot’s license flying in Botswana in Africa and earned a master’s degree in Italian from Middlebury College. He also earned a degree from Yale University and is known for wearing his class ring.

Authorities say Bishop was also known for being an insomniac who drinks scotch and wine and likes eating peanuts and spicy food. He is prone to violent outbursts and likes a neat, orderly environment, officials said. He may still have an old Smith & Wesson .38 revolver passed down from his father.

Bishop was 6 feet 1 and weighed 180 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes in 1976. He has a 6-inch vertical surgical scar on his lower back.

There is a $100,000 reward offered for information leading to his arrest and conviction.


Anyone with information is asked to call (800) CALL-FBI.

Twitter: @josephserna

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