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FBI: Bethesda Father Sought for Killing Family Likely in California

William Bradford Bishop Jr. is wanted for the brutal murders of his wife, mother, and three sons in Bethesda in March 1976. The FBI says it is looking for Bishop in California, where he was born.

William Bradford Bishop Jr. is wanted for the brutal murders of his wife, mother, and three sons in Bethesda in March 1976. Credit: FBI website
William Bradford Bishop Jr. is wanted for the brutal murders of his wife, mother, and three sons in Bethesda in March 1976. Credit: FBI website

William Bradford Bishop, 77, a former diplomat and married father of three from Bethesda who was indicted for killing his family, is now being sought by the FBI in Southern California.

Bishop has been charged with murder for allegedly bludgeoning his mother, wife and three sons to death with a hammer in 1976 in their home. He allegedly burned and buried the bodies in North Carolina, and then vanished.

Earlier this month, Bishop was added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

Friday, the FBI said that Bishop has roots in Southern California. He was born in Pasadena, CA, and still has associations in the area, reports WJLA TV.

Bishop was also known to have an affinity for the Sierra Nevada mountains, authorities said.

A reward of up to $100,000 is being offered for information leading directly to the arrest of Bishop, who investigators believe may be hiding in plain sight.

A Montgomery County grand jury indicted Bishop in 1976 for the murders of his mother, Lobelia Bishop, 68; his wife, Annette Bishop, 37; and his three sons, William, 14, Brenton, 10, and Geoffrey, 5.

Authorities have no sightings of him, and say they don’t know if he’s still alive or if he died in the past four decades. But they want to resolve the brutal slayings.

Jim Garret, an author who has studied the Bishop case extensively and has worked alongside Montgomery County police, recently told WTOP he has received credible information that Bishop is living in the southwest corner of Italy.

"The area that would suit him very well is along the coast between Naples and Sorrento," Garret says. "He has been sighted in other places that are close to this area."

Bishop, who worked for the U.S. State Department, is fluent in numerous languages, including Italian.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of William Bradford Bishop is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI. A reward of up to $100,000 is being offered for information that leads to his arrest.

Log onto www.fbi.gov to view more detailed information about the Bishop case, study the age-progressed photos, and view other related images that may help to identify Bishop. 

Patch's Earlier Story:

'Family Annihilator' from Maryland Named to FBI's 10 Most Wanted List

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