Is Bradford Bishop in the Los Angeles area?

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A man who made the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list for the 1976 murders of his family members in Montgomery County, Md. may be living in Southern California, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The newspaper reports that FBI officials say William Bradford Bishop, Jr. "could be living in plain sight somewhere in Southern California." Officials say he "has connections to Pasadena and an affinity for the Sierra Nevada mountains."

This isn't the first time someone has reported that Bishop, commonly known as Bradford Bishop, is alive -- or dead. Authorities have received reports about him from all over the world. He has even been reported dead in Hong Kong and in France outside of Paris, but fingerprints verified that it was not Bishop in either case.

Bishop would be in his late seventies now.

According to Montgomery County Police, Bishop left work early as a U.S. State Department official one day in March 1976, saying he didn't feel well. Then, bought a gas can and small metal mallet before filling up the family's station wagon with gas at the Texaco and withdrawing almost all the money from a bank account.

Bishop then drove to his home in Carderock Springs in Bethesda and killed his entire family using the mallet. He killed his wife, then his three young sons as they slept in their beds, and his mother when she entered the house after walking the family dog, say authorities.


Bishop then put their bodies in the back of the station wagon and drove to North Carolina. Police say Bishop also took the family's golden retriever on the trip. The bodies of his family members were discovered after a park ranger saw a fire. The fire revealed five bodies in a shallow grave. A gas can, a shovel, and a pitchfork were found nearby, according to authorities.

Detectives determined that a vehicle similar to Bishop's station wagon was seen in the area that morning. That night, Bishop also bought a pair of tennis shoes at a sports store in Jacksonville, North Carolina, according to police.

A park ranger later found Bishop's vehicle abandoned at the Elkmont campground in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Bloody clothing and an ax were found inside the station wagon, but not his diplomatic passport. Bishop's career with the State Department, and before that the CIA, took him all over the world. He is fluent in five languages, according to authorities. At the State Department, one of his duties was making passports.

Bishop was 6' 1", 180 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes in 1976. He had a 6-inch vertical surgical scar on his lower back.

The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to Bishop's arrest and conviction. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

The motive for the killings is unknown.


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